The State Fair of Texas is offering Sensory-Friendly Mornings at the fair for the fourth year. Sensory-Friendly Mornings will take place every Wednesday of the 2022 exhibition, with future occasions on October 12 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The fair’s mission is to provide a family-friendly environment, and this event allows for an opportunity for Texans and out-of-state visitors alike to experience the fair in a more accessible and accommodating way.
In 2018, State Fair of Texas public relations manager Taylor Austin created Sensory-Friendly Mornings as a way to make the fair accessible and fun for every guest who might have sensory sensitivities.
“It was a project that I actually spearheaded for our team — just finding ways to make the fair more accessible, knowing that we’re a place where we welcome people from all walks of life,” Austin told D Magazine.
The State Fair collaborated with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and other local organizations to create ways to make Sensory-Friendly Mornings at the fair constructive and fun for all who choose to attend.
“Knowing that not everyone can come out and enjoy a super over-the-top, overstimulating environment, we thought, ‘What changes can we do internally to make this a better experience for folks that do have sensory sensitivities?'” Austin added.
On Sensory-Friendly Mornings, adjustments are made across the fairgrounds to accommodate those with sensory sensitivities.
The fair’s guided itinerary states that the fair organizers have mapped out quiet zones for any guests who need time to depressurize and take a break from the events.
Listed on the guided itinerary include locations such as the Oncor Petting Zoo, Big Tex’s farmyard, the Children’s aquarium, the Texas Discovery Gardens, and the Creative Arts building. Events suggested include “¡Fiestas de Marionetas!”, meeting the Budweiser Clydesdales, and taking advantage of photo opportunities with Big Tex.
Additionally, fairgoers will be able to visit the Midway without the standard lights and sounds from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Wednesdays happen to also be the best discount day for fairgoers: each guest who brings five canned food items as a donation for the North Texas Food Bank is charged only $5 for admission.