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10 ways to save at the San Diego County Fair

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Kate Hamernik
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ways to save at the san diego county fair

The San Diego County Fair is a tradition for so many! Growing up in North County San Diego I have many fond memories of what was once “The Del Mar Fair”.  We love to share budget saving strategies here on San Diego Deals and Steals. Here are ten ways to save at the San Diego County Fair.

The “Best Pass Ever” is really the best deal if you plan on going to the fair more than once. For just $26 you can enjoy the fair every single day.

best pass ever

Kids get in FREE – There are so many opportunities for kids to get in FREE! Kids ages 5 years and younger are always free! Kids up to age 12 can get a free ticket simply by reading! (Printable certificate for your teacher is in the link).  On June 27th all kids 12 and younger get in FREE! Kids can also enter contests for a free admission the day of! Make sure to check out the link for info on kid’s meals, ride discounts, and more!

Military FREE day – Grab your 2 free tickets on base for opening day of the San Diego County Fair. Active duty, Reservists, Retirees, Dependents, and DoD employees are eligible. Thank you for your service.

Unemployed?  Unemployment Day is on June 14th. Those who can show proof that they are unemployed can get 2 free tickets to the fair to kind of forget about being down on their luck for the day.  Make sure to read up on where to grab free parking and also remember you can pack your own food.  The Fair can be very pricey, but there are several things to do that do not involve an additional charge.

$5 fair days – There are three days of the Fair where you can get in for only $5!  Tickets must be purchased at Albertsons.

$10 tickets for College Students – on June 9th – College Students can get a $10 ticket – an $8 discount!

Groupon has an awesome deal for 42% off tickets for any day! Hot tip! Groupon often has a bonus code for an even greater discount! The code SALE3 is currently available for a bonus 20% off – what?!

Costco members – Make sure to check out the awesome package currently available at your Costco.

San Diego County Fair

Pack your own food! Did you know you can bring outside food into the Fair with you?  We love fair food, but it can add up.  When we go as a family we always bring our own water bottles and also some snacks. This always saves our family of five quite a bit!

Park in a free lot!  Don’t pay to park!  Our kids actually think parking in the free lot is part of the experience.  Not only do we get to check out horses when we park, we also get to ride a bus! If we are lucky we even get to ride a double decker bus.  The shuttle buses are completely free and run all day and night during the fair.

San Diego County Fair rides

More about the San Diego County Fair – “Where the West is Fun” is the theme for the 2017 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons | Vons, remembering the rough and tumble Wild, Wild West and celebrating how the West is fun today. The 2017 Fair will feature a Wild West saloon, numerous Western-themed educational and historic exhibits and country music for everyone to enjoy. There is a new Sheriff in town and it is you! Pull on your boots, grab your cowboy hat, and ride on into Del Mar for some fun this summer. The Fair opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and runs through Tuesday, July 4; it is closed the first four Mondays and the first three Tuesdays. The San Diego County Fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County and one of the top 10 Fairs in the United States and Canada, drawing more than 1.6 million visitors annually. For more information visit


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