State Fair on the Cheap
The 2014 State Fair of Texas starts its 24-day run at Fair Park on Friday, September 26. Smart fairgoers are on the hunt for any discounts or deals they can find to save a little cash.
Luckily there is no shortage of bargains to be had. Below are the myriad ways in which you can save money on State Fair of Texas tickets, which normally run $17 for general admission and $13 for seniors and kids under 48 inches tall.
Buy your tickets in advance
You can always get discounts at BigTex.com. This year the State Fair has a deal with Sonic Drive-In where if you enter the promo code "Sonic" when you order tickets online, you'll get $3 off any ticket through October 13. But because you can't print tickets at home or have them reserved at will call, the $8.95 you have to pay for shipping throws the discount part of it out the window unless you're buying three or more tickets.
A better suggestion would be the new digital ticket option available through DART's GoPass app. Not only do you save $2 on any ticket, your tickets are also right there on your phone, ready to be activated whenever you want to use them. With more convenience and no shipping fees, you can't beat this deal.
You can also save a little by buying advance tickets at your local Kroger. General admission tickets there cost $15.50, but no senior or children discounts are available. Keep in mind that kids 2 and under do not require a ticket.
If you're planning on going to the State Fair three times or more, you owe it to yourself to buy a season pass. For only $39.95, you can romp around Fair Park as much as you like. The pass comes with a one-day-only guest ticket and a free ride on the Texas SkyWay and the Top o’ Texas Tower during special season pass holder events. Buying at Kroger saves you $5, as the pass is only $34.95 there.
North Texas Food Bank deals
Once again, there are multiple opportunities for you to get a discount while doing some good. Anyone who brings in a full 20-ounce Dasani water or Coca-Cola product on opening day gets in for $6. No cheating: Every person in your group must have a bottle to get the discount.
For an even better deal, every person who brings in at least three cans of food on Wednesdays gets in for $3. All food and drinks will be donated to the North Texas Food Bank.
Seniors 60 and over have it made in the shade — or the sun, more likely — as they can get into the fair for $4 off every single day. Even better, every Thursday — October 2, 9 and 16 — is Senior Day, meaning those lucky ducks get in for free.
This isn't an option for everyone, but if you're bringing a big group, you can rack up the savings. Groups of 20 or more get adult tickets for $13.50 each; $11 for seniors and kids. If your group is between 100-249 people, that price drops to $12 and $10. And if you're bringing a whopping 250 or more, it's only $11 and $9, respectively.
The next time you eat at Mickey D's, make sure to check your tray liner or bag for State Fair coupons. You'll find ones for $3 off general admission any day, and ones that offer a $7 discount for kids when an adult pays full price.
Dr Pepper deals
Don't recycle those empty Dr Pepper cans. Save 'em up, as every person with one gets $5 admission on Tuesdays or $8 after 5 pm any day of the week.
Coca-Cola repeats its opening-day deal every Thursday, except this one gives you a $6 admission price for any empty 20-ounce bottle.
You can get $5 off general admission on Fridays simply by going to the KISS-FM website and printing a coupon for every member of your group. Discount does not apply to senior or children's tickets.
Many fairgoers have gotten used to wearing a piece of Dickies clothing on a specific day and getting in free, but the State Fair discontinued that promotion this year. Instead, anyone who purchases $75 or more worth of goods at the Dickies retail store in Fort Worth through October 6 will receive two free tickets to the fair.
Discount on Midway rides
Tuesdays seem to be the day to go, as you can get your $5 Dr Pepper ticket and then save more inside, where all rides except for thrill rides and the Texas Star are only six coupons. Because that gives you a savings of anywhere from $1-$3 per ride, that may be the best deal of all.