It’s that time of the year again… the NY State Fair!
UPDATED FOR 2016!
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
- This past February, the Fair sold $4 general admission tickets
*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.
Money Saving Coupons
New this year!
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.
- Wade Shows Midway Monday (August 29) – Special limited wristband offer, 10 rides for only $10.00.
- Midway Mega Pass Unlimited Ride Wristband Vouchers – $70.00 each for unlimited rides (all day, every day)
- Midway One-Day Unlimited Ride Wristband Vouchers – $20 or $25 each (all day, any one day)
Perhaps the best FREE concert series in America, the Chevy Court stage will host 23 free concerts this year from artists like Kesha, Daughtry, Dashboard Confessional, Chicago, and more.
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)
- Baked Potato
- Get a baked potato with toppings for only $1 at the Potato Booth (NE corner of Horticulture Building)
- Hot Dogs
- There are various food stands that offer $1 hot dogs (i.e. Emmi’s Hots)
- Ice Cream
- 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.
Summer Send Off “Dollar Day”
- Adult admission to the Fair will be $1.00 per person all day (September 5)
- All of the rides in the Wade Shows Midway will be $1.00 per ride
- Vendors will be offering $1.00 specials on food, drink, and merchandise
- There will be also be a fireworks show after the Chicago concert
Do you know of any other ways to save money at the Fair? Please comment below 🙂