A Day At The Fair

Want to spend a wonderful day with your grandchildren? Try taking them to your local fair. This is the time of year for State Fairs, Harvest Fairs, Autumn Fairs, you name it. A day at the fair is the thing to do.

Gramps and I recently spent the day at the Texas State Fair so I could show you all the fun you and your little ones could have.

First of all, we parked our car and took the DART train into Dallas. Don’t forget – HOW you get there is part of the fun! What child (or adult for that matter!) doesn’t love a train ride? We saw some interesting sights, like construction areas with cranes, bulldozers and dump trucks. That’s like finding treasure for little boys!. The train was elevated in spots, so we were “on top of the world.” We even went through a tunnel, making it about the most perfect train ride ever! All that fun and we hadn’t even gotten to the fair yet!

Arriving at the fairgrounds, we were met with colorful flags, water fountains and of course, Big Tex. He’s a fixture in Texas and he used to talk with a deep voice welcoming everyone in. Now he just greets fairgoers with his immense height, size 50 boots and 100 gallon hat. It is not required that you dress like Tex, as this gentleman has, but “dressing for the fair” is appropriate. You will be out in the sun and doing a lot of walking.

Exchanging money for coupons is the first order of business. You can’t do anything without your coupons. HINT: Keep a few coupons for souvenirs for that scrapbook page, along with the train tickets. Makes beautiful memories for all!

Now, on to food – fair food – bad fair food. Is there any other kind? No day at the fair can be enjoyed or remembered properly without good bad fair food. I have to say I used to think funnel cake was just about the baddest of fair food. But no more! Try fried butter, fried OREO, fried pizza, fried Snickers, fried______ (fill in the blank). And this, fried PBJ &B. What is that, you ask? A fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich, which for some strange reason, looked kind of tasty to me. Scary! The menu boards alone were a source of so much hilarity to me, I wanted pictures of them all! I was laughing. Kids were laughing. Even food servers were laughing. Where have I been, I wonder? Oh, that’s right – the fat free aisle!

After lunch, it was over to the car show for the boys (big and little). There was a spectacular truck with a special paint job in memory of 9-11-01. Those old enough to remember were somber and respectful. Those too young to know were quietly told the story and meaning of all the vignettes covering the truck. It was a special moment and a great time to share and reflect a pivotal happening in all of our lives. What a great way to memorialize and pass on to the next generations a day we can and should never forget!

Next, we visited the crafts, textiles and foods, which was basically quilts, canned foods, pies, cakes and oh yeah, the LIFE-SIZED BUTTER SCULPTURES! Really, could anything impress a child more than a life-size cow made out of butter? I don’t think so! Well . . . . . . . there was the shoe collection . . . . . . . pretty funny, huh? HINT: I was thinking this could be a great thing to do at home with the kids. Another Granny Camp activity! What fun! Just be sure you use “old” shoes.

And what fun would a fair be without animals? Be sure you get to the barnyard, petting zoo, pig races, dog show and any other show of your favorite animal. Kids and animals just naturally go together, that’s a fact!

Now, for the Midway. Games, rides, feats of strength and accuracy or just people watching. It’s all there. Families of every size, shape and hue can be found. So take the whole group – youngest to oldest – from stroller to wheelchair and make it a true family day. Go on the rides and win a stuffed animal. That’s what the fair is all about – having and sharing the fun!

Gramps and I took a spin on the ferris wheel, The Texas Star, another state icon. We shared the cabin with sweet Mia and her mother. Mia looked lovely with her face painted in “zebra” to match her shirt. I so love a girl who is color coordinated!

Depending on your endurance and how many children you have in tow, you can add attractions to your day.Stay late for the concert and the laserlight water show, shop the vendor stalls, get a massage, have your shoes shined (Yes, even your sneakers! Yes, even your kid’s sneakers!), walk through a house carved out of 1 Redwood log . . . . .  the list goes on.

But the day came to a close. So back on the train we went, up in the air, through the tunnel and to our parked car. Exhausted, stuffed, dusty, happy, with a camera full of pictures and a heart full of memories, we ended our day at the Texas State Fair. Hard to believe it was only one day. But remember, my Sweeties, it only takes a moment to make a lasting impression on a child.