1. Celebrate Texas innovation.
The theme of the 2018 Texas State Fair is all about Texas-born inventions and innovations. The Hall of State's featured exhibit, Celebrating Texas Innovation, provides an inside look into some of the best innovations Texas has had to offer in food, medicine, agriculture, art, industry and science.
2. Explore Home on the Range.
Fair favorites Little Hands on the Farm and the Children's Health Barnyard petting zoo are being combined and brought into the Fair Park Coliseum this year under a new name, Home on the Range. This bigger and better exhibit will give you a small farm town feel as you venture through the Coliseum with family and friends.
3. Check out the new fried foods.
While the 2018 Big Tex Choice Awards winners haven't been announced yet, it's never too soon to get excited about the food! There are tons of tasty concoctions - both fried and not fried - that have made it past the semi-finals, and we can't wait to see who will make it to the Fair.
4. Visit the Livestock Birthing Barn.
Witness the miracle of life at the Fair's brand-new Livestock Birthing Center, where you'll watch and learn as an array of barn animals go through the process of incubation and giving birth.
5. Experience a new exhibit at the African American Museum.
Starting Sept. 22, you'll be able to explore Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty, a traveling exhibit hosted by the African American Museum. It features more than 300 artifacts, pieces of art and documents which tell the untold story of the plantation, including a new special feature on historical figure Sally Hemings. Tickets for the special exhibit cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids aged 3-12.
6. Watch dogs perform spectacular stunts.
Catch one of the daily performances by the world's first stunt dog show ever created, the All-Star Stunt Dog Show. This show is especially heartwarming in that every dog showcasing their special talents has been rescued from animal shelters. Acts include dogs jumping rope, barrel racing, juggling and more!
7. See Amazing Archery.
Be wowed by an incredible display of archery by Frank Addington Jr., a professional archer with almost 40 years of experience. With many impressive shots to behold, including a baby aspirin being shot in mid-air, you won't want to miss Amazing Archery.
8. Chow down on new concessions.
After a long day of walking the fairgrounds, grab a slice of pizza pie or grilled steak at the Backyard Steak-Out and Pizzeria. This unique new concession stand is built out of shipping containers for a cool industrial vibe and they cook all their pizzas in a brick oven on site. You'll also be able to enjoy live music in addition to your food!
9. Enjoy a concert.
With 24 days straight of fantastic concerts on the Chevrolet Main Stage, there is never such thing as a bad day to visit the Fair. You can expect a variety of artists like Ludacris, Aaron Watson, Seven Streeter, Banda Carnaval and Hunter Hayes. Swing by the Bud Light Stage and the Dr Pepper Stage for more local and small acts.
10. Catch a football game.
Watch the newest State Fair matchup featuring Texas Southern University Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars face-off at the State Fair Football Showdown at the historic Cotton Bowl on Oct. 20. Halftime will feature a "Battle of the Bands" with Southern University's renowned Human Jukebox and TSU's Ocean of Soul going head-to-head.
[And if you're one of the new things at this year's state fair, be sure to see our First-Timer's Guide to the State Fair of Texas and these Texas State Fair Rookie Mistakes to Know Before You Go.]