Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair) 2013 Coupons, Discounts, and Savings

Saving Money at the Washington State Fair (fmr. Puyallup Fair) | The Coupon Project

It’s that time again! The Washington State Fair (formerly the Puyallup Fair) will be running September 6 – September 22nd.

Since I know you all like saving money, I thought I’d give you a jump start on planning your trip by sharing my best ideas for how to save at the Fair. Should I find additional ways to save as we get closer, I will make sure to update you!

Saving on Admission

First, here’s the regular pricing for 2013 admission: adults $12.50; students 6-18 $9; seniors 62+ $9; kids 5 & under FREE. These are the same prices as 2012.

  • Early Bird Online Pricing (NEW!). You can now save by purchasing your tickets online! Adult tickets are $10 vs. $12.50 and student & senior prices are $7.50 vs. $9. Early Bird pricing ends September 5th. These tickets are good for entrance on any day during the Fair’s operation.
  • Free Gate Food Drive. On opening day (Sept 6th), gain FREE entrance between 9 and noon by bringing a suggested donation of a non-perishable food item. This is my absolute favorite way to save on Fair admission, providing it works for your family’s schedule.
  • FREE Kids’ Weekend. Once again, BECU is sponsoring a free kids’ weekend. Print and bring this coupon from the BECU website to get your kiddos 18 and under in for free September 7th and 8th only. Coupon is required for free admission. You do not need to be BECU members to use the coupon. Remember that kids 5 and under are always free.
  • Pre-buy Discounted Tickets. You can buy discounted tickets ahead of time at participating locations. The discounts will run: adults $10; students 6-18 $7.50; seniors 62+ $7.50. Note that this is the same as the early bird online pricing mentioned above!
  • Fred Meyer Value Pack. Starting now and running through Sept 6th only, you can buy a “family value pack” at Fred Meyer stores for $35.95. The pack includes: (2) gate admissions, (10) food bucks, (6) rides – excluding Extreme Scream, and 2-for-1 coupon for the rodeo. Value of the package is $65. This is $1 more than the 2012 price for the same package.
  • Military Appreciation Days. On Monday, Sept 9th and Monday, Sept 16th, active, retired, and reserve military and National Guard as well as disabled veterans and their dependents can get FREE admission to the Fair. Make sure to bring valid Military ID at the gate.
  • Happy Hour Thursdays. As with last year, this year you can get into the fair for $7 after 7pm on Thursday. You can also get two draft beers for $7 in the Corona Cantina.
  • Free School Tickets. In the past, my son has come home with a free Fair ticket from school. You might inquire to see if your school will be participating in a similar program before purchasing tickets.
  • Watch Daily Deal sites. A couple years ago, we saw a HOT Groupon offer for Buy one, get one free Puyallup Fair tickets. We didn’t see this in 2012, but I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for you.
  • Win a Fred Meyer Coloring Contest. Today at Fred Meyer I noticed they had this coloring contest in the Kiddie Playland area. Looks like one winner will be selected from each store to win two tickets! Submissions need to be made by August 30. It’s worth a shot, right?

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Any other ideas I’m missing for admission?

Saving on Parking & Transportation

There is no shortage of parking around the Fair, but it can be expensive. You can also download a free parking map from TheFair.com. Here are a few ideas for saving on parking.

  • Look for a non-Fair lot. You’ll find many private businesses (and even residences!) will offer cheaper rates. I’d say if you find anything $5 or less, you’re sitting pretty.
  • Keep an eye on the Fair website. Sometimes the Fair will offer special coupons or $5 parking specials.
  • FREE Shuttle Service from Kiwanis. Last year, there weren’t any free public transportation options, but it looks like some new opportunities have cropped up for 2013! Park for free and ride the shuttle for free! See TheFair.com for more information. There is a suggested donation of $5 per adult and $2 for students. Monies will benefit Kiwanis.
  • Sounder Train. You can ride the Sounder to the Fair from King, Pierce, and Snohomish stations. I don’t see rates posted yet, but you might want to bookmark the Sound Transit page for more information.
  • Bus. See TheFair.com for information about South & Pierce Transit bus options.
  • Park far, far away…. I’ll admit it. We’ve done this before when we’re feeling really cheap. We’ll park about 1/2 mile away and find street parking. This does exist, but be prepared for a serious hike. Last year we bummed a free parking spot off a friend of my husband’s who lives in walking distance of the Fair.

Whatever you do, do NOT park in the parking lot of a local business or something else that’s likely to get you towed! No good. Other ideas for saving on parking?

Saving on Rides

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Probably the best way to save on rides is to not go on any. At $0.50 per ticket and most rides requiring several tickets, you can see how quickly things add up! However my kids would say no trip to the Fair would be complete without a few rides.

  • Ride/Admission Bundle. You can pre-buy a ride/admission bundle at TheFair.com. The cost is $29.95 for 2 adult admission plus any 6 Funtastic rides (except Extreme Scream). This option is available online through September 5th only. 
  • Opening Weekend Dizzy Pass (NEW!). This year, you can buy a bracelet that will give you unlimited rides in the Funtastic Midway and Sillyville for either September 7th or September 8th (opening weekend). If you buy online through September 2nd, pay just $27.50. The price will jump to $35 on September 3rd online or on-site at the Fair. I think this would be a good offer to combine with the free BECU kids’ weekend (see admission, above).
  • Mon – Thurs Dizzy Pass. If you’re planning a trip to the Fair during the week, you might opt for the Mon – Thurs Dizzy pass. Buy online through September 5nd for just $25. The bracelet will get you on unlimited rides in the Funtastic Midway and Sillyville. The price will jump to $27.50 on September 6th or on-site at the Fair. This is good for Sept 9 – 12th only.

If you have other ideas for saving on rides, I’d love to hear them!

Saving within the Fair

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Even if you can manage to get into the Fair for free, and park for free…you can easily drop a couple hundred or more once you’re inside. Here are my best tips for saving in the Fair.

  • Pack your own snacks. You can definitely bring your own food and drink into the Fair. Beverages must have a lid on them (such as a water bottle) and you may not bring alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat in Sillyville. If you like fair food, consider eating in Sillyville (the little kiddie area). Last year I found they had a selection of kid-friendly food and CHEAP food by fair standards. I also noticed that there was no one in line at the scone stand there…. and this was on a weekend! (But shhhhhhh…. don’t tell anyone, ‘k?)
  • See the animals. There are lots of animal barns, a petting zoo, and even animal events you can take in for free. This is always a highlight for my kids and it costs nothing. They’ve also recently added a Rainforest Adventures Exhibit which is free to check out. Check out the Animal Exhibits page for more.
  • Eat some free treats. Yeah, I’ll admit it. I like trying all the free food! This is a fun way to eat some special treats without shelling out the dough. Here are a few of my favorite ideas: 1) hang around the Vitamix demo table for healthy smoothies and soups, 2) stop by the dairy barn for free samples of milk, chocolate milk and sometimes egg nog, 3) keep your eyes peeled in the expo halls for free samples of stuff like fudge, honey, and jams and 4) throughout the Fair are these water stations you can get a small cone of water from – I think it might be Mountain Mist.
  • Get some free stuff. I swear my eyes close in on all the freebies at the Fair. From free food samples, to stickers for the kids – I’ve even gotten coloring books and flower seeds. Keep an eye out for what you can get for nada.
  • Get fair treats just outside the Fair. Last year our kids wanted cotton candy and we ended up saving a bundle by buying it from one of the stands just outside the fair. I want to say we paid about half (or less!) of what you’d pay for the same amount inside.

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If you’re aware of any additional tips on free things to do at the fair or ways to save money, by all means, speak up!

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Comments

  1. Janet Wolff says

    There is a burger stand outside of the horse arena near the 4H-dogs area. Rarely a line, they are there all year, so they have regular pricing-not fair pricing, and equally good grub! :-)

  2. Marci V says

    In the past have always bought Fred Meyer admission for my mom and I to take my 2 boys. Thanks for posting all this since my oldest is 6 and won’t be free (unless they do school tickets).

    We take a wagon to carry all our food & water/juice. I bring extra water for my mom since its like $4 for the smaller than normal size water. I purchase a backpack for each kid (kids usually $10) and come with a drink & snacks & coupons and my kids love the backpack. I believe we have 3 years of them now. Wagon is also good for pulling the kids back to the car (we have parked in the “free” street parking in the past). Spring Fair is free parking in the fair lots :)

    If you purchase tickets in advance at Fred Meyer there is a ride discount coupon on the back. Kids watch free music at the stages, magic shows, animal petting area, pavilion hall kids zone, rainforest adventure, visit the police & fire dept areas, picnic lunch (food we bring), buy some scones on the way out.

    • Angela Russell says

      I appreciate you adding this tips, Marci! I have seen those backpacks before and wondered if they were worth the value.

      Good tip on the ride discount coupon as well! Thanks again!

  3. Brandi says

    Hey I checked My Coke Rewards last night and saw that for 200 points (less than the amount for a 12 pack of coke) you can get a family admission for four (if I am remembering correctly) to the fair.

    I thought that was a SMOKIN’ deal that wasn’t advertised elsewhere!

  4. Brandi says

    Oh, also, the Entertainment book usually has a BOGO Admission coupon for the fair, but it’s only valid on certain dates.

  5. Katherine says

    Thanks for the great information. 1 note and 1 question for you:
    I am recently handicapped and was told that if I come in my wheelchair both myself and my escort are free. With that said, since you have been there, would you let me know what kind of handicap access there is? I’ve been places that say handicap/wheelchair accessible and they are a nightmare to navigate. Is the ground an uneven field (like I would expect) or are there pretty smooth walkways? Any info you can provide would be really appreciated. I’d rather not go and allow my kids to go with my husband rather than weigh down the crew with wheelchair issues, ya know?!
    Thanks!!

  6. Kelly says

    Katherine – the entire fairgrounds are paved so I would think navigating in a wheelchair wouldn’t be too difficult. Now you have to navigate around all the crowds, but that’s a hassle for those on foot too. I just recommend picking a lighter crowds day (think weekday).

  7. Chris says

    I had brought my wheel chair one year and igot in for free and also I has someone help push me and they also got in for free is this still true?

    • Katherine says

      Chris- I emailed the actual Fair organizers last week and they said my escort was free but I wasn’t. That said, I have been told by several people that those in a wheelchair are free too. I think it might be a matter of who sells you the ticket ;)

    • Brandon says

      YES! It is true. Or they might have changed it for a senior ticket price and companion that pushed them in for free. I can’t remember but the fair site actually states this.

  8. Elizabeth H says

    Columbia Bank (downtown Tacoma – not Stadium District) sells Puyallup Fair tickets for $10 each. For more info, call the downtown branch at 840-6000. (I found out about this on Sept. 18/2013).

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