The Oklahoma State Fair is an annual icon of family fun. But the hoopla of it all can be quite a lot to navigate, especially with kids. If your family is new to the adventure that is the Oklahoma State Fair, here are a few tips and tricks I have picked up over the years on our family trips to the fun and food mecca:
- Save money by planning ahead. A day at the fair can quickly add up to a hefty expense, but with some savvy planning, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to maximize family fun. Visit on a discount day. On Opening Day, Thursday, Sept. 15, gate admission is $5 for everyone over age 5, and on Tuesday, Sept. 20, gate admission is $2. At a savings of up to $10 or more per adult, this can really add up to a huge savings! (It is important to note that kids ages 5 and under are free every day of the fair.) If those days don’t work for your family’s schedule, consider purchasing advance tickets. Advanced tickets, which are good for any day of the fair, are $8 for ages 12 and up, compared to $15 at the gate, and $4 for ages 6 – 11, compared to $8 at the gate. There are even options to bundle ride wristbands too! The only catch is you must make your purchase before the fair opens on Sept. 15. You can buy online or at metro OnCue locations and MidFirst Banking Centers. Also be sure to take a look at fair’s coupon book. This Little Book of Big Deals offers more than $250 in savings on gear, souvenirs and food, including two-for-one cinnamon rolls and snow cones. Peruse the pages ahead of time to see if the $5 price tag is worth it for your family.
- Prioritize your spending. Depending on our budget for the year, we opt to spend more on rides and less on food or vise versa. Since a strawberry crepe is our family’s fair must-have, we often eat a meal before we go and splurge on desserts only. But, if food is the real reason you go to the fair, you can balance that spending by taking full advantage of all the free activities including livestock competitions, Great American Pig Races and more.
- Avoid the crowds and go on a weekday. This is an especially good tip if you have young kids. Navigating crowds and waiting in long lines can be a dreadful chore with a toddler or preschooler in tow. But, let’s be honest, no one likes to wait at any age! If you can swing a weekday trip, the slower pace is a very nice treat.
- Map out your adventures ahead of time. While not necessary to nail down every second of your visit, there are so many things to do and see at the Oklahoma State Fair that it’s very easy to get sidetracked! We let each member of our family choose one must-see item and I make a note of when those activities and shows are happening so we are sure not to miss out.
I hope you enjoy your day at the Oklahoma State Fair! And, who knows, I might just see you there!! If you have a great tip for visiting the fair with kids, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always on the lookout for the inside scoop on #okcfamilyfun.