The San Diego County Fair will be “Out of this World” when it kicks off June 8 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The theme promises everything from space exploration and science fiction to visitors from other planets. But there’s plenty that we Earthlings can do to keep our fair expenses grounded.
Save on Admission
- For super fans, the Best Pass Ever can’t be beat. It includes daily admission – all 24 days of the fair – for just $24. You’ll need a school or government-issued photo ID to use the pass.
- Tuesdays are the magic day for kids 6-12 years old. They get in free! Kids 5 and younger get in free everyday.
- Kiddies can’t make it on a Tuesday? No problem. Youngsters 6-12 can get in free any day if they read 10 books and have it verified by their teacher or librarian. The certificate you’ll need to get signed can be downloaded in English or Spanish.
- Adults can get $4 admission on opening day and on Tuesday, June 12. You’ll need a ticket available with any $10 purchase at Albertsons stores. (Tickets must be purchased in advance; none will be available at the fair.)
- Been laid off in the past year? Present an unemployment check stub and a photo ID at the will-call window on June 19 or 26 to get free admission for yourself and a guest.
- County auto dealers are in on the action this year. Starting June 1, visit a Toyota dealership to get a coupon valid for two adult admissions for the price of one. Visit a Ford dealership to get a 4-tickets-for-$28 coupon.
Free Entertainment and Unlimited Rides
- Once you’re inside, there are tons of free things to enjoy – including concerts by big name artists. Get free unreserved seats at performances by top artists including Kenny Loggins, KC & the Sunshine Band, Ben E. King, Bill Medley, Switchfoot, Lonestar, Grand Funk Railroad and La Arrolladora Banda El Limón.
- Love the rides? Wednesdays and Thursdays until June 28 are “Pepsi Pay-One-Price” days. For $30, get a wristband that allows unlimited access to Fun Zone and Kiddieland rides from noon until 8:00 pm. The deal is available on certain other days – but you’ll have to check availability, then buy and print out your Pay-One-Price voucher online. (There’s a $2.50 fee for online purchases.)
- On Tuesdays more than 100 food vendors offer smaller portions for $2. Or bring your own picnic; there are six designated picnic areas. (No alcohol, glass containers or sharp utensils.)
- Avoid the fair’s $10 parking fee by opting for free parking at Horsepark, about 2 miles east of the fairgrounds, at 14550 El Camino Real; a free shuttle will get you to the front gate. On weekends and Wednesdays there’s additional free parking (with shuttle service) at Torrey Pines High and Mira Costa College’s San Elijo campus.
Know of any other great San Diego County deals or savings? Let us and others know in the comments below. Even if you don’t know of any, tell us what deep-fried treat you are most looking forward to trying.