How to Save Money at the Santa Barbara County Fair

By Shannon Gurnee
In California
July 30, 2018
36 Comments
1879 Views

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

It’s the summertime and that means that county fairs are going on all around the country. We recently headed to the Santa Barbara County Fair, which actually takes place in Santa Maria, and it was a lot of fun! We love to take our kids to the fair, but with 6 kids, it can get really expensive really fast! That’s why we use these tips so we can have a good time and save money at the fair. While this post is featuring the Santa Barbara County Fair, you can really use these tips to save money at any fair!

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Go on Discount Ticket Day. A lot of times, county fairs will have different days with specials going on. The Santa Barbara County Fair has a Half Price Ticket Day (with $1.00 rides), a Senior Discount Day and a Military Day (free admission all day for Active Duty Military and Law Enforcement Officers). This year, we went on the Half Price Ticket Day and it was great! Not only was it half price admission to get into the fair, but the rides were all $1.00 each (which was basically one ticket that day). The average cost of each ride was normally anywhere from $3 to $6 a ride normally!

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Eat before you go to the fair. Fair food can get pretty expensive, so it’s a good idea to eat before you go to the fair. That doesn’t mean you won’t buy any fair food, but it will be less than if you went in hungry! We like to get different foods and then share them amongst ourselves. We especially like the pretzels, kettle corn, ice cream and hot dogs.

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Fill up water bottles at the fair. Like any amusement park, water bottles are crazy expensive. For instance, we pay $2.79 for a huge case of bottled water at Costco, but at the fair, you’ll pay $3.75 for one of those bottles. While some fairs won’t let you bring in water bottles, we suggest you buy one or two at the fair and then fill them up at the water fountains around the fairgrounds so you don’t get dehydrated in the heat.

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Get cash before you go in. While a lot of the food booths (and even the ticket ride booths) do take credit cards, there are food booths and the entrance booth at the Santa Barbara County Fair that take cash only. So be sure to visit your local bank, ATM or even get cash back at the grocery store before you go into the fair to avoid ATM and bank fees.

Save on admission and ride tickets. To do this, we could either go on $1.00 ride day or buy a wristband from our local Farm Supply Store. Sometimes grocery stores will have wristbands and admission tickets you can buy ahead of time as well. 

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Space out the rides throughout the day. Whether you have discount tickets or are paying full price for the rides, be sure to space out the ride times. You could go on one or two rides and then check out some of the free displays and contests. Or take a break and get something to eat. Then go back to the rides.

Bring your own sunscreen. To avoid sunburns and protect your skin, be sure to bring your own sunscreen. While some fairs have shops where you can buy sunscreens, not all of them do. If they do sell sunscreen, be prepared to pay a pretty penny for them.

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Visit the animal exhibits. First of all, these are free and included in the admission. Secondly, it’s a great way to support the young people in your community. I love that our local 4-H groups participate in showing their animals at the fair. Animals include hens, roosters, goats, sheep, pigs and more! The kids work hard to raise and take care of the animals and are proud to display them for the public to see. There were so many cute ones too!

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Visit the other free exhibits at the fair. They have all kinds of things at the fair, including displays of arts, flowers, homemade jam contests, homemade baked goods contests, and more! We loved walking through the halls and not only seeing all of the talent out there, but also taking a break from the hot sun.

Bring a jacket or sweatshirt. While it may be hot during the day, it definitely does cool off at night. So be sure to bring a jacket or sweatshirt and wrap it around your waist while you walk around the fairgrounds so you don’t have to buy one to stay warm.

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Santa Barbara County Fair #fair #fun #familyfun #amusementpark #blog #blogger #bloggermom #momblogger #savings

Take advantage of free concerts! When we went, they were playing Smash Mouth (ya know the songs – “I’m a Believer,” “Walkin’ on the Sun,” and “All Star”). This was our boys’ first concert and they were stoked to be attending! They even got to go up on the stage – no joke!!! If the concert is going to be at night, be sure to bring a blanket with you. In our case, we parked in a parking lot fairly close to the fair and walked out to the car to bring the blanket in. So glad we did!!!

Have fun at the fair and save some money while you’re doing it!

GIVEAWAY

1 lucky winner will receive $10 via Paypal to enjoy at the fair!

How do you save money at the fair?

About Has 1589 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

36 Responses to “How to Save Money at the Santa Barbara County Fair”

  1. Ann Fantom says:

    I save money when going to the county fair by buying discount tickets before going to the fair.

  2. Ashley C says:

    We try to go on discount ticket day and bring in snacks for the little ones

  3. Cynthia C says:

    I don’t attend the county fair, so I guess that’s how I save.

  4. Amber says:

    Fun post and great photos! We don’t normally go to the fair but I like the idea of eating something healthy before we go, and then we can each pick one treat while we’re there.

  5. Francine Anchondo says:

    I buy discounted tickets.

  6. Caroline Schaffer says:

    Because we’re there the entire week participating in 4-H, we purchase admission tickets and a ride bracelet before fair begins. There are so many activities to participate in and watch. We love to support our fellow 4-H friends and watch them with their animals!

  7. Donna Jacoby says:

    I buy tickets before the fair at discounted rates. Thank you for the giveaway!

  8. robin rue says:

    The little traveling carnival that comes to my town over July 4th week does wristband day, so you can ride all day as much as you want for one price.

  9. Rosey says:

    My daughter got her shirt signed and a picture with one of her favorite bands at a fair a few years back. She was deeeeelighted. These are all good tips too. We def. eat before we go to the fair.

  10. Stacie says:

    These are excellent tips. I always bring water bottles if possible or I refill the ones we buy.

  11. Bill Sweeney says:

    Buying tickets in bulk (or a sleeve length) saves money. If the fair allows, we’ll pack in a few munchies.

  12. Natalie says:

    I bring my own food and water bottle and I use the coupon book at the fair.

  13. These look and sound so fun! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  14. GiGi Eats says:

    Oh man, for me part of THE FAIR is eating the FAIR FOOD – so I dont think I could not (if I could actually eat it in general these days, haha).

  15. Theresa says:

    We always went on wristband day to enjoy a full day of riding the rides for one complete price. Sadly, wristbands have skyrocketed in price these past few years, it’s cheaper for us to hit up Cedar Point and ride the big rides instead, so we haven’t been in a long time. I do miss their fried Oreos and funnel cakes though!

  16. Sarah L says:

    I go with friends and we split the food.
    Thanks for the contest.

  17. It’s so nice to be able to take the whole family out for a day of fun but it’s so much better when you get to save money as well. I love all your tips and it’s something you can try to apply when you go somewhere else!

  18. Sarah L says:

    subscribe emails: slehan at yahoo dot com

  19. Danalee Davis says:

    I try not to buy the food. It is too expensive at the fair.

  20. Buddy Garrett says:

    We take advantage of discount admission times.

  21. kumamonjeng says:

    I have been to Santa Barbara last winter and too bad I didnt visit any of the County fair. Looks like you guys are having a blast there. The rides are just incredible and the ice cream look delicous, can tell from your kid’s face. So cute.

  22. Peter says:

    There are no discount days where I live for any fairs. Everything is always super inflated. I try to bring as much snacks items as I can when we go. Having little ones with a stroller means I get five pack more than enough most times. These are great tips for county fairs that offer lowered rates

  23. Ruth I says:

    We always wait for promo when we go to fair or travels especially because we are a big family. These tips are so helpful!

  24. Trina says:

    Looks like an awesome state fair! They have one in my city that I haven’t made it to yet, I can’t wait to check it out.

  25. Nicole says:

    These are all really great ideas! I would definitely try to go on ticket discount day, that’s brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Sara Welch says:

    It has been a hot minute since I have been to a good fair. This looks like it was ton of fun!

  27. Kiwi says:

    I bet your family had such a good time at this fair. I love fair season its great for any age!

  28. Heather says:

    My family absolutely loves the fair! I can’t wait to go to ours this year!

  29. go fair still can save money.. great wor… looks like it’s fun place to be in.. nice fair..

  30. Melanie says:

    It’s all about the fair food! Looks like you found some awesome deals which means more money for deep fried everything!

  31. Kelli A says:

    One of our favorite parts of summer/fall around here is when the country fairs are all starting up! Lots of fun and and we utilize discount days A LOT! or buy week passes for the closer ones!

  32. These are great tips. We have our state fair coming up soon, while I love going it’s definitely overpriced. I’m going to use these tips when it comes!

  33. Really great saving tips! Our county fair is coming up and I hate to say we’ve never been. Maybe with tips like these to help save a bit a long the way this will be our year to attend!

  34. Wow, this fair looks like so much fun! Thanks for these money-saving tips, I will use them the next time, I love saving.

  35. Lily says:

    I love this fair and I thinks it’s great for family and kids. And I love saving too, I always use dealsplus and dealspure to find exclusive daily deals.

  36. I read your post. Such useful information you have shared. These are very useful for anybody who wants to strategy to go to Santa Barbara. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

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