Spending a day (or more) at the Fair can be an expensive outing (on average, visitors spend about $121). As the goal of this blog is to help save you money, I’ve compiled a list of ways to have a good time at the Fair without breaking the bank:
Tickets / Admission
Advance sale tickets – Available through today (August 24) only – $6 for adults* (otherwise $10 at the gate)
A full list of locations where these are sold can be found here
Six-Day Frequent Fairgoer Admission Pass – allows one person to attend 6 days at the Fair for $30
$3 admission Thursdays (August 25, September 1)
Law Enforcement Day (August 26) – free admission to any active or retired law enforcement personnel
Senior Citizen’s Day (August 29 and August 30) – free admission to senior citizens (60 years of age and older)
Fire & Rescue Day (August 30) – free admission to any active or retired member of a fire department or emergency services organization
Armed Forces Day (September 1) – free admission to any active duty or veteran with military identification
Six Nations Day (September 2) – free admission for Native Americans
Student Day (September 2) – free admission to those 18 years old and under
Summer Send Off “Dollar Day” (September 5) – $1 admission on the last day of the fair
*Children 12 and under are admitted free every day of the Fair*
Save on gas and parking (and hassle, too) by taking the bus!
Centro will once again provide its popular direct service to the New York State Fair. The 13 Park-N-Ride locations and schedules can be found here. Centro Ride Passes and transfers are accepted. For most of the locations, it is a $2 fare for adults (ages 10-64) and children 5 and under are free.
Head over here to check out and download the State Fair Money Saving Coupons! The coupons include discounts on a variety of things including food, wine, bull riding, and more. These easy print at home coupons are the perfect way to save a buck.
For $2, you can visit the SkyRiver Butterfly Exhibit, where you can hold a butterfly on a q-tip.
The PAW Patrol Roll Patrol Road Tour is held on Friday, September 2 to Sunday, September 4 in the Family Fun Center near the Youth Building. There is no charge to take part in the tour.
There are dozens of other attractions at the New York State Fair that are displayed here, including free shows and exhibits.
Food / Drink
Get a delicious 7 ounce cup of chocolate or white milk for 25 cents at the Rainbow Milk Bar (Dairy Building)
Get a baked potato with toppings for only $1 at the Potato Booth (NE corner of Horticulture Building)
There are various food stands that offer $1 hot dogs (i.e. Emmi’s Hots)
Utica Coffee Company offers $1 ice cream scoops
Several ice cream stands offer mini-cones for $1
Turkey Hill is handing out free carmel-peanut butter gelato cups this year
Other $2 and under choices
Las Delicias – Chicken Empanadas ($2)
Several stands sell 12-ounce cans of soda for a dollar
Chicken tenders – The Hofmann Hot Dogs/Twin Trees Restaurant stand offers tenders for $1 (Hot dogs and water, too)
Bonus tip: If you go on a hot day and/or tend to get thirsty often, plan on purchasing from a vendor who offers free refills. For example, you pay $10 upfront but get unlimited refills throughout the day.