Ahhh, it’s autumn in North Texas – when the daily high temperatures drop to a tolerable 85° or so degrees. That refreshing nip in the air signals one thing. It’s time again to get outdoors and enjoy the State Fair of Texas.
My family of fair fanatics can’t wait to head to historic Fair Park in Dallas during the State Fair’s 24-day run from September 25 to October 18. Though I know we’ll indulge in tasting some of this year’s new fried specialties, we’ve made a family pact to be a bit more health conscious at the Fair this year with a little intra-family challenge.
We use the buddy system to keep us paired up on fair day. We’re just adding an incentive to keep our family “teams” on a healthier track. The stakes are pretty high: the team that “Fairs the Best” gets extra tickets for rides and games at the end of the day. We have two challenge categories: food and footsteps.
Our Fair Food Challenge – 3 Tips for Healthier Fair Fare
I already know this will be the most difficult. Personally, I’m torn between sampling the chicken fried lobster and the deep-fried Oreos. But teams will attempt to:
- Keep the fried-food frenzy to a minimum by purchasing only one specialty fried item to share.
- Drink water, iced tea, or real fruit juices instead of sodas or diet sodas.
- Choose healthier food options such as the rotisserie chicken, tropical shrimp kabobs, grilled corn on the cob, or the grilled chicken on a stick.
Hint: If you download the 2015 State Fair of Texas Map and Guide at BigTex.com before you go, you can find coupons and locations for healthier food options.
Our Footsteps Challenge – Take a Brisk Walk Past Big Tex!
Every team member is getting a pedometer to wear to see who covers the most ground. The team with the highest combined total of footsteps will also receive extra tickets for rides and games.
It’s all part of getting in a healthy workout while we visit the Fair. Did you know?
- Every loop you make around Fair Park from one end and back is about 2 miles, plus there is 370,000 square feet of exhibit space to explore. That can add up to a lot of walking!
- Thrill rides can be good for you, too! It’s been estimated that between walking and the anaerobic benefits of thrill rides people burn about 100 calories for every 31 minutes spent at an amusement park.
Hint: If everyone in your family has a smartphone, you could choose an app instead of pedometers to track your competition.
We anticipate having a great and healthier time at this year’s State Fair of Texas. Of course, we’re always prepared for the possibility that one of our family members will overdo it. So if someone wakes up in the middle of the night with a severe stomachache or muscle pain, it won’t be a challenge. We know there’s an HCA hospital or ER nearby with excellent emergency services whenever we need them.
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