Everyone loves local fairs. There is so much to do: petting the animals, riding the rides, watching demonstrations, and of course the food. Eating at the fair can be pricey and get even more expensive the bigger your family is. Here are a few tips to help keep the costs down.
Some larger fairs offer presale tickets. Sometimes these are just for entrance to the festivities other times they offer advance ride tickets and sometimes food vouchers at a discounted price. The best ways to find these are to check the fair’s website. Typically prices for admittance and rides are cheaper during the week and less crowded so try to go then whenever possible.
If you have younger children you can bring bottles of water in with you to save you from buying it for bottles or to water down juice. If you arrive around the time the fair opens you’ll get to park close to the gates. It will make for a short jaunt back to your vehicle, so instead of buying food just bring a cooler of quick foods to eat for your meal. You’ll have to eat them at the car, so don’t forget to get your hand stamped on the way out so you can go back and enjoy more festivities after you’ve eaten. If you can’t go early try to stay late since sometimes vendors will discount their goods at the end of the day so they don’t have to throw it away. The last day vendors will also offers some discounts, but not always.
Don’t just buy from the first elephant ear stand you see, typically there are multiple vendors selling the same thing and often times you can find it for a little less by walking a little more. If the fair has a map, and a lot of them do, mark on it when you see a food item you want to come back for later or just make a mental note of the location and price. Vendors who go to the same fair year after year most often set up shop at the same location. That makes things very convenient when you find a favorite! A lot of times portions are huge so you can save money by sharing some items and that will even make it possible to try more things and save some calories and still leave with some cash. Well unless you spend it all on the games!
If you see someone walking around with food or even a prize ask them where they got it from. Most people are friendly and will tell you where and even how much. These are some of the tricks I have picked up over the years of fair going. I am sure there are some I have yet to discover!