If you're about to pull out the calculator, allow us to help with what a basic day without taking advantage of any discounts will run a family of four:
(Prices based on a family of four with two adults ages 13-61, and two children between the ages of 6-12.)
Admission ($19 each) for 2 adults: $38
Admission ($12 each) for 2 kids: $24
General parking: $15
Preferred parking: $25
Total: $77 - $87
A sheet of 28 coupons (rides require 3-10 coupons): $20
Total: $97 - $107
Adults meals (about $10 each): $20
Kids meals (about $6 each): $12
Total: $129 - $139
Now it's easy to look at this total and maybe side against a visit. Depending on how much a family spends on food, or if they even buy ride tickets or pay for parking, this figure can drop or jump. Thankfully, there are options to save some money.
Parking is available off-site with free shuttle service all day, taking care of $15 - $25 right there.
For tickets, there are select Kids Days where children 12 and younger get in for free. That takes $24 off the cost of admission for a day.
There are a couple of options for adult tickets as well. A coupon from Vons or Albertson brings adult admission down to $15, saving another $4 each.
Children 6 and younger get in free throughout the fair as well, potentially saving even more money — because they're probably not eating deep-fried ice cream chicken sandwiches, right? ... Right?
Speaking of food, families can save there. On Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., special $3 sample portions of fair favorites will be available to save families money and some calories. But with options like a ramen burrito or cotton candy ice cream sandwich, it may be difficult to only eat a couple of items.
When it comes to rides, families can purchase admission and ride packages, starting at $77 at Costco and includes parking, admission for four, ride coupons and drink coupons. There are also "pay one price ride days" for unlimited rides on Wednesdays and Thursdays, going for $38.
While a $130 price tag on a day at the fair initially looks like a lot, a little digging will net families some quick savings before they even hop into the car.