Rainbow Feathers and Chocolate Shakes: Chapala Carnaval

by Joy Whitehead / Feb 20, 2013 / 0 comments

The Chapala Carnaval is a fun family-friendly fair that happens once every year in the beginning of February. From ice skating to paintball, and deep fried hot dogs to frappuccinos, this fair has something for everyone!


Chapala Carnaval


Ticket prices for adults are 25 pesos and for children, 15 pesos.


When we arrived, we started with some lunch. We found a really nice lady with a stand selling some Mexican fair foods: hot dogs, potato chips, and sodas. Our favorite food from her stand was a hot dog covered in a pancake-like sweet batter, deep fried, and on a stick.  It was a lot like something you can get at a fair in the USA. They were called 'banderrillas capeadas.'  Be sure you don't just say that you want a 'banderilla' because those are just a swirled hot dog on a stick. The lady was very nice, and she even fried ours over again so that they wouldn't be cold. There were also a variety of different toppings and sauces to choose from to put on your banderilla capeada.


The next thing we did was a Mexican version of a bounce house. While most of these trampoline houses are only two stories high, we found one later that had three stories, with the bottom level sectioned off for the little kids. These trampoline houses are made with lots of trampolines and some punching bags, and a trampoline slide with a rope to help climb up with. For about 15 minutes on a small two story one, it costs around 15-20 Mexican pesos, and for a big one with three stories, it could cost from 15-25 Mexican pesos. After the fifteen minutes in a two story trampoline house, we went and explored the rest of the area.


Chapala Carnaval - bounce house


We had seen signs earlier indicating a sea lion show at the carnaval, but none of us really thought about it until we saw them. Two fully grown sea lions were behind a chain link fence in a small pool filled with water. These were the performers for the sea lion show. Then we heard something. It was very loud and annoying. A crowd had gathered around a medium-sized, dimly lit room where the strange noises were coming from. We managed to climb down the stairs to get a peek at what was causing all the commotion. There, on three tall bird stands, were three big and beautifully colored macaws! People were everywhere, which was probably why they were screeching so loudly.


The next thing we did was get a small snack. First, we tried some chili-seasoned grilled shrimp kabobs. Everyone enjoyed them, but they still had the shells on them, so we had to hold the little shrimp shells in our hands until we could find a trash can for them. Then, a little while after ordering and finishing the shrimp kabobs, we decided to get some shakes from a shake booth that we had been eyeing for a while. We got three frappuccinos and one chocolate shake. They were delicious! Topped with a whipped cream topping, with cinnamon sprinkled on top, there was a cereal straw on one side and chocolate sauce drizzled over the top…it was great! Everyone agreed that they were even better than Starbucks!


We took our frappuccinos and chocolate shake and headed for a playground with lots of green grass to sit on. The kids all played on the metal playground with the paint chipping off. When our playground rest time was over, we headed for a booth to get some nice cold drinks. Beside the booth was a big pirate themed blow up obstacle course for kids. Our last 'ride' was the inflatable obstacle course. After having finished our drinks while watching the youngest kids fight against the pirates and their blow up obstacle course, we decided to call it a day and head home.


Chapala carnaval


After a fun filled day of brightly colored macaws and cute sea lions, discovering a new favorite Mexican fair food - banderillas capeadas - and getting some of the best frappuccinos and chocolate shakes we'd ever had, we rode back home, looking forward to next year’s Carnaval.





Joy Whitehead is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.


All photos courtesy and copyright Joy Whitehead