Saving you money throughout San Diego and Beyond!

Posts Tagged ‘Saving Money at the San Diego County Fair’

10 ways to save at the San Diego County Fair

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Kate Hamernik

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

Saving Money at the San Diego County Fair!

Posted on: June 4th, 2015 by Kate Hamernik


Are you planning on a trip to the Del Mar Fairgrounds?  We love the fair but we always need to stick to a budget.  We like to splurge on San Diego County Fair Food – but we are all about Saving Money at the Fair in as many areas as we can!

Here are just a few ways you can save!

Save on San Diego County Fair Tickets and Parking

Buy your Fair Tickets through Living Social for more than 30% off! Bonus – save time waiting in line to purchase tickets! (These are only available for a limited time!)

Buy a Fair Tripper Ticket from the North County Transit Department – for $16 you will get a ticket to the Fair as well as a ride – use the Coaster, Sprinter, or Breeze – Parking at the Fair is not cheap and a bit of a hassle – save time and money this way!

Go on $4 Fair Days! June 5, 6 or 10  — admission for only $4 (MUST by tickets at Albertsons or Vons in advance)

Are you planning on going several times?  Grab the Best Pass Ever – only $25 and you can go ever single day if you want!  25 days for $25!

Remember kids are FREE until they are 6 years old! Many places give you a break on toddler admission – but as soon as they turn 3 you are expected to pony out money for a child’s admission ticket – San Diego County Fair gives you a bit longer.

Kids can earn a ticket to the San Diego County Fair with a Reading Certificate – Download a Reading Certificate here (linked on the page) – a teacher will need to sign!

Children 12 and under are FREE every Tuesday that the Fair is open (check dates!)!

Military Discounts – these tickets must be bought on base (not at the ticket booth) . Military discount tickets are available for purchase on base only to the following customers with appropriate Military ID: active duty, dependents, reservists, retirees, and DoD employees.

Parking will cost between $10 – $20 – but there are several off site locations that are FREE and include a free shuttle!

Save on Rides and Food at the San Diego County Fair

You CAN bring food into the Fair!  Bring at least your own water bottles and maybe some snacks.  We typically bring sandwiches for lunch and water bottles.  We like to buy a snack, dinner, and a treat – that can be pricey but we off set it with free water and cheap homemade lunch!

Passport to Savings booklets are $5 but can save you tons of money in the Fair and beyond! You can grab these at the Fair – we always get more than the $5 we spent back!

Buying a bundle pack – tickets, rides, and treats can save you some $$ – here are online Ride Packs – you can also buy packs at Costco!

Get a Pepsi Pay one Price Wrist Band – for $35 you will get unlimited rides on specific days (buy a participating Pepsi product and get an additional $5 off!) – these tickets need to be purchased at Albertsons or Vons.

FREE Entertainment!

Remember checking out the Exhibits and many of the shows is included in your ticket price.  We love to check out the animals, the various art exhibits, woodworking, gems & minerals, etc.  The kids love to watch dance recitals and concerts as well as the piggy races! We also love to check out the vendors – while we rarely buy much we do like to check it out.  This year we will probably buy a couple amber necklaces from the little Russian store we have grown to love and we will probably watch and drool over the kitchen gadgets until our kids pull us away.


The San Diego County Fair can be expensive – but it doesn’t have to be!  Follow these Money Saving Tips on most of your day and splurge on something yummy!  Do you have any other tips for Saving Money at the San Diego County Fair?  Leave them in the comment section!