Our last trips to the fair, 2010

Tomorrow's the last day of the State Fair of Texas until next year. We went today (Saturday) and Thursday.
My favorite entrance gate to the Fair is the one closest to MLK Station. At that entrance, the Museum of Nature and Science and the Children's Aquarium are just inside to the left. And...the line to get in is smaller, and the train and that station are much less crowded.

So, on Thursday, the swarming masses left the train at Fair Park Station, and we had the train to ourselves for a few minutes. We went right to the Aquarium, and because we'd been there before, headed for the Sting Ray Bay. It's SO awesome!

Happy sting rays.

A nice view of the Texas Star. We passed this on our way to the Midway Greenhouse to see the train exhibit (again)

After the train exhibit, we got some lemonade and  had our lunch at the shady picnic tables right outside the greenhouse. It was SO nice!!

We watched the carousel and listened to the music while we ate.

William made a few friends while Aldous and I were finishing up.

After that, we headed to the rides where William rode the airplanes. AGAIN. zzzzzz   zzzzzz zzzz

William's so independent now, he gets on and off rides by himself. 

We walked over to the stock barns and came across this lamb getting a haircut. The boys thought this was pretty cool.

And then we headed to the cattle barn, where Aldous was confused by this guy. "Look, a pig! Look an elephant?? What *IS* that, Mommy? " and William was impressed by the size of his "tessicals"

We went this morning, repeating my going-all-the-way-to-MLK trick, and headed to the Aquarium. Doug hadn't been there, so we got to show him all the cool stuff.  We got a cup of food for the sting rays, to feed them. This was the food. 

After that, we did a quick tour of trains in the greenhouse, again, then went to ride a couple of rides. And William rode the airplane, again. BUT this was his last ride of the year.

Next we headed to the ranch arena, so William could participate in the Pee Wee Stampede. We happened upon it on Thursday but it had already started and was sad he couldn't do it, too.  Here he is nervously waiting to be called in.

There he is, contestant #1455, with his black hat and his stick horse.

William in line with the other contestants, waiting his turn. There's a lot of waiting around in rodeo, it seems. 

His event was steer wrestling, and he had that steer down in 7 seconds, but sadly, a cowboy in a polo shirt and crocs was a bit faster and took home the trophy.

And the ride around the arena for the grand finale! 

Bringing in all the horses.

Waiting for his blue ribbon with another cowboy.

After all of that fun, we got some lunch with funnel cake for dessert! So good!


And, on our way home. An empty train car.

We hardly had any trouble with lines or crowds or long waits for anything. Our secret was to get there at 10am. We did have a bit of crowding on the trains, but when Doug and I went together, we each had a kid in the ergo, and we carried the stroller folded up. The train ride is very short, so even tho it was standing room only most of the time, it wasn't a big deal at all. On the days when I went without Doug, William had to stand on the train with me, which he thought was cool. He's been often enough that he knows which train we're getting on next, so even if he runs ahead, he'll be where I was going anyway. Thankfully, he's too shy to get too far in crowd and is afraid of getting on the train by himself.

During the week the midway opens at noon, so by getting there around 10am, when the Aquarium opens, we have time to look there thoroughly, walk to the greenhouse to see the trains, then have some lunch. By the time we eat lunch, the midway is open. After riding some rides, there is time to check out one or two things before heading to the train. Because we get season passes, we don't feel like we have to see EVERYTHING in one visit and seeing the same stuff everyday isn't a "waste of time". We saw pretty much everything at the fair that the boys would have enjoyed and didn't have to rush or stay too late in the day. On the Doug-free days, it was more manageable for us to bring our food so I didn't have to try to figure out how to get our food and the boys too a place to eat at the same time. I just bought a lemonade, put it in their cups I had brought and pulled out our lunch! Viola!

I think this was one of the most fun years of the fair!


Holly said...

You're so funny. I didn't know until this year that you were allowed to bring your own food. I guess I just assumed you couldn't.

Evelyn Dalton said...

I am particularly proud of the hidden cowboy in William!! Next year he will win because he will know better what to do and how to do it faster!! That all looked so fun and I am sooo jealous that we didn't go at all!! ughhh!!

Fabulous Terrah said...

Love me some State Fair. Great post!

Mrs. Bianca said...

Thanks for the tips. One of these days I'll make it to the fair before sundown. Next year I want to enter something into the craftmaking part, which I didn't get to see this year. What is your favorite part of the fair?

Jacki said...

Holly, it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be allowed to bring food. We take our own food to everything. It's easier for me if I don't have a lot of extra hands. :)

Evelyn, I was surprised that he did it, too! They made the littlest ones do steer wrestling, the next up did calf roping, next saddle bronc, then the oldest did bull riding, plus some of the older girls did barrel racing. By older I mean 5 or 6 y/o.

Bianca, my fav is to wander thru the crafts and food entries, but the boys totally hate that, so we didn't try it this year. I really enjoyed everything we did, tho, and didn't have to suffer thru a single thing!


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