The Minnesota State Fair is here! I’m super bummed that summer’s going by so fast, but happy that we have a fabulous state fair, one that was rated the #1 state fair in the nation! The 2015 Great Minnesota Get-Together runs Aug. 27 through Labor Day, Sept. 7.
You probably know how expensive the fair can be. It’s hard to spend less than $100 within a few hours just between admission, food and rides! But there ARE many ways to save with a little bit of planning. Here are some tips I gathered from my own experiences plus directly from State Fair news releases:
Special Deal Days
If you can get to the fair on one of their special deal days, definitely plan to! Almost everyone can qualify for a discount on one or more of the days. Here are the discount days:
Thrifty Thursday – Aug. 27. Discounted admission for adults (13-64) is $11 and kids (5-12) is $8.
Seniors & Kids Day – Monday, Aug. 31. Seniors (65+) and kids (5-12) are admitted for just $8.
Military Appreciation Day – Tuesday, Sept. 1. when active military and their families, as well as retired and veteran military and their spouses, are admitted for just $8 when they purchase admission at the gate with documentation of U.S. military service.
Read & Ride Day – Wednesday, Sept. 2. Guests presenting valid public library cards when purchasing admission at the gate are admitted for the following discounted prices: adults (13-64)
$11; seniors (65+) $8; and kids (5-12) $8. (One card is required for each discounted admission.)
Seniors Day – Thursday, Sept. 3. Seniors (65+) are admitted for just $8.
Kids & Last Chance Day – Monday, September 7th (Labor Day). Kids (5-12) are admitted for only $8.
In addition, many vendors feature special day deals on
- Thrifty Thursday, Aug. 27
- Seniors & Kids Day, Aug. 31
- Military Appreciation Day, Sept. 1
- Seniors Day, Sept. 3
- Kids & Last Chance Day, Sept. 7
Participating vendors will display a special deal sign and are listed in the Deals, Drawings & Giveaways Guide available at all information booths (sponsored by CenturyLink) and at mnstatefair.org. Select vendors also feature closeout prices on Kids & Last Chance Day, Sept. 7.
More Fun for Less at Mighty Midway & Kidway
Specials are offered every weekday on rides and games at the Mighty Midway and Kidway (sponsored by Sensodyne and DISH). All-day specials run:
- Thrifty Thursday, Aug. 27
- Read & Ride Day, Sept. 2
- Kids Days, Aug. 31 and Labor Day, Sept. 7
Early Bird specials are offered until 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28; Tuesday, Sept. 1; Thursday, Sept. 3; and Friday, Sept. 4.
Blue Ribbon Bargain Book
I was thrilled the last time we were at the State Fair and someone handed me their blue ribbon bargain book as they were leaving! We used a few of them and I decided that they can be a great deal, especially if you’re going with a group and can share it.
I received a copy of the 2015 Blue Ribbon Coupon Book at a Blogger Preview event I attended earlier this month, and there are some really good coupons. You can see what’s in the book here. (Plus, check out my preview of NEW state fair foods this year!)
The 2015 Blue Ribbon Bargain Book offers 150 coupons for food, merchandise and attractions throughout the fairgrounds:
- Coupons are valid all 12 days of the fair and a preview of bargains is available at mnstatefair.org.
- Bargain Books are available at State Fair, Gift Shops and Bargain Book & State Fair Poster Carts at the fairgrounds during the fair.
Free Entertainment and Attractions!
There is a lot of fun included as part of admission, including fun for kids, fireworks, live entertainment and more. Here is a list of what you can find for free:
This year’s State Fair features more free attractions and exhibits than ever, including:
• Nightly fireworks spectacular (sponsored by Mazda)
• Live music and entertainment all day and night at stages around the fairgrounds
• The daily parade at 2 p.m. (sponsored by Twin Cities Hyundai Dealers) featuring the High School Marching Band Competition (sponsored by McDonald’s)
• The Giant Sing Along (presented by Bremer Bank)
• Music and fun just for kids at Family Fair (sponsored by Coca-Cola and DirecTV)
• 3rd Lair SkatePark BMX and skateboarding demos at The X-Zone
• Ongoing culinary demonstrations at the Creative Activities Demonstration Kitchen (Creative Activities Premium Books sponsored by Gold Medal Flour)
• Dog agility and police K-9 demonstrations outside the Pet Center (sponsored by Sam’s Club)
• FAN Central (sponsored by Xfinity) featuring local sports teams and hometown heroes
• The CHS Miracle of Birth Center where nearly 200 baby calves, lambs and piglets will be born during the fair’s 12-day run
• Fruit, wine, Christmas tree, crop art, flower, vegetable, potato, bee & honey and pumpkin contests in the Agriculture Horticulture Building
• Insight, ideas and products for fair guests planning to update or remodel their homes in the Home Improvement Building (sponsored by LeafFilter)
• The Timberworks Lumberjack and All-Star Stunt Dogs Splash shows at The North Woods (sponsored by Cabela’s and Good Health Saunas)
• The Kemps Little Farm Hands agricultural education experience (sponsored by Kemps, Cub Foods, John Deere Company, Cargill and Minnesota Corn Growers Association)
• Karaoke and live music in The Garden (sponsored by Treasure Island Resort & Casino)
Deals, Drawings & Giveaways Guides
Available for pick up at any information booth, the Deals, Drawings & Giveaways Guide details special day deals, items available for $1 or less, freebies and places to sign up and win prizes.
Free Minnesota State Fair App
The free Minnesota State Fair App is the official smartphone user’s guide to finding your way around the Great Minnesota Get-Together. This special technology created just for Minnesota State Fair fans uses the popular Food Finder, Merch & More Search and Fun Finder tools to help guests locate their favorites. The app is free and is available for download through the iPhone App Store or Android Apps on Google Play.
Free Information & Guest Services
The Great Minnesota Get-Together offers many free services and amenities for guest convenience, including:
• Park & Ride service from 33 metro locations
• Trolley rides to the north end of the fairgrounds and back (presented by Texas on Tour)
• Information booths (sponsored by CenturyLink) stocked with free maps, daily schedules (sponsored by the Minnesota Lottery), specialty brochures, complimentary sunscreen (partnership of Vanicream Sunscreen, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Fair) and Deals, Drawings and Giveaways Guides
• First Aid Stations (sponsored by Regions Hospital) located on the east and west ends of the fairgrounds • A Wi-Fi hotspot at the west Grandstand Plaza (sponsored by DragNFly Wireless)
(Photos courtesy of MNStateFair.org)