Texans love their State Fair. Millions attend each year for its sporting events, special exhibits, celebrity appearances and fried food fun. Unfortunately, the biggest drawback of attending the State Fair of Texas is the cost.
Savvy fairgoers know how to cut the costs, not forgo the fair. Now, you can, too.
General Admission is $17; senior citizens (60 & over) and children (age 3 to 48″ tall) $13. Children under age 3 enter for free. Parking is $15 per space used in the lots operated by the State Fair of Texas. But, you should never have to pay full price. See the list of alternatives below:
- Advanced Tickets
Purchase Advance Tickets at Kroger grocery stores and save: General Admission tickets: $15.50. A Season Pass is $34.95. You can purchase tickets at the check-out counter or at the service desk.
- McDonald’s Coupons
Get $3 off admission with a coupon from participating McDonald’s restaurants.
- Dr Pepper Cans after 5 p.m. and on Tuesdays
Any day after 5 p.m., bring an empty Dr Pepper can to the State Fair and get in for only $8. Or bring an empty can of Dr Pepper on Tuesdays for only $5 admission. Plus, most rides in the Midway are reduced to only six coupons as part of the Dr. Pepper promotion on Tuesdays (excluding thrill rides and the Texas Star). This can really save some money.
- Kroger Food Drive Wednesdays
Admission is $3 for each visitor bringing three cans of food for donation to area food banks.
- Cinemark Free Thursdays
Bring a Cinemark Theater ticket stub for free admission.
- Seniors Day Thursdays
Senior citizens (age 60 & over) enter for free every Thursday during the State Fair. Just show your I.D.
- Dickies Day Thursday, October 3
Those wearing a Dickies logo clothing item receive free admission to the State Fair on October 3, 2013.
- Coke $6 Thursdays
Bring an empty 20-oz. bottle of a Coca-Cola product and enter the State Fair for $6 admission.
Download and print a coupon from KISS-FM for $5 off. General Admission is $12 when purchased at the gate with the coupon.
- Fort Worth Star Telegram Press Pass Fridays
Present a Star-Telegram State Fair of Texas “buy one, get one-Fridays” offer coupon (found in the Friday Star-Telegram DFW.com section) and a valid subscriber Press Pass when purchasing a General Admission ticket ($17) at the gate and receive a second ticket free. Offer is good any Friday during the State Fair, but cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.
- Group Discounts
There’s also discounted admission for groups of 20 or more and for companies of 100 employees or more. See www.bigtex.com for group discount prices.
If you don’t mind walking a few blocks to the fairgrounds, you can save big on parking fees. There are nearly two dozen “unofficial” permitted lots ranging from local churches to front yards. Just look for lots with permits and keep safety in mind when choosing your spot.
Additionally, State Fair of Texas visitors save on parking by riding the DART Rail Green Line to two stations – Fair Park Station, located on Parry Avenue at the entrance to the fairgrounds, and MLK, Jr. Station, located south of R.B. Cullum Blvd. and convenient to the MLK fairground entrance (Gate 6) and the Cotton Bowl Stadium.
The good news, once inside the State Fair of Texas, most of the entertainment is free. Just skip the rides and Midway games to enjoy dozens of concerts, shows, demos, exhibits and more.
Best kept secret: if you have coupons left over from last year, or any year, be sure to bring them with you. They never expire! And there’s no need to exchange them at the gate or coupon booths, either. Just use them as you go throughout the State Fair.
Not all food venders charge the same number of coupons for food and drink items. Save money by walking around comparing these before buying. Also, split larger items (funnel cakes and cinnamon rolls, for example) and reuse your initial drink cup to fill with water from drinking fountains instead of buying several drinks during your State Fair visit.
For additional savings, pick up a State Fair of Texas Guide at the admission gate or any information booth. Inside you’ll find discounts for several food establishments and paid exhibits/shows as well as a schedule of events listing when and where free food samplings will be held.
Learn more about the State Fair of Texas here. Or, for additional activities in Dallas, click here.