Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

The fair opens next week, Friday June 3rd and runs until Monday, July 4th and my family couldn’t be happier to once again attend the fair and make awesome memories. But with so many things going on right now, and so many other activities happening, we have to be frugal when we think of the activities we’re doing over the summer. And that means looking for some great deals and ways to save at the San Diego County Fair.

Luckily I’m a pro at this by now with experiences from past fairs since having kids. And I’ve gotten a little savvy on ways to save and maximize my fair-going experience without shelling out big bucks. Here are a few great ways to save at the San Diego County Fair without skimping out on the fun stuff… or the food!

San Diego County Fair Carousel 2013

Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

Buy a Costco Fair Pack

For around $60 we picked up a San Diego County Fair package. It included the following:

  • 4 admission tickets
  • 1 free Passport to Savings book coupon
  • 1 parking pass
  • 4 drink coupons
  • 50 ride tickets

We always purchase one of these so that we can go to the fair on a weekend – crazy busy! – or one of my husband’s off Friday’s and not have to worry about taking the bus in or spending a whole lot on food because we have the coupons. It also gives the kids just enough ride tickets to satiate their need for carnival attractions while distracting them from the carnies who try to lure them into tossing rings or darts in an attempt to get a 25 cent stuffed animal.

Some years we do purchase additional tickets there because 2 kids go through 50 tickets quite quickly! Most rides average between 3-6 tickets each. And that includes adults as well if you have to ride with your child.

Get the Best Pass Ever!

You know you can’t see everything at the Fair in just one day, so here’s your opportunity for big savings with the Best Pass Ever! Just $26 buys one person admission to all 26 days of the Fair; regularly $16 each day (adult admission). On sale online, now through July 3 (one day before the Fair ends). You also can buy the Best Pass Ever at San Diego County Albertsons and Vons stores, now through June 3. For more info see the Best Pass Ever page.

Kids Free Tuesdays at the San Diego County Fair - Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair
Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair selfie sticks

Take Advantage of Kids Free Tuesdays

Children 5 and younger are admitted free every day and do not require tickets. However, if you have kids older than 5, Tuesday, June 27 is Kids’ Day; children 12 and younger are admitted free. (Admission for ages 6-12 other days is $11.)

Free Kids Tickets for Reading Logs
Children 12 and younger who read 10 or more books, verified by a teacher or librarian, get free admission any day of the Fair. (Regular child’s admission is $11.) Download your Reading Certificate [PDF] before school gets out!

Discount tickets at Albertsons and Vons

Albertsons | Vons $5 Fair Days — Come to the Fair for just $5.00 on Friday, June 2; Saturday, June 3; and Wednesday, June 7, 2016. These tickets are available only at San Diego County Albertsons and Vons stores with a $10 minimum purchase. They are not sold at the Fairgrounds.

Save on 20% adult admission tickets: Discount adult admission tickets for $15 (save $3.00 off the regular adult admission price) are available at Albertsons and Vons stores. Albertsons and Vons also will have regular-price senior ($11.00; 62 and older) and children’s ($11.00, ages 6-12) tickets.

The nearest stores to the Fairgrounds are Vons at 2606 Del Mar Heights Road (one exit south of the Fairgrounds) and Vons at 931 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach (one exit north).  And remember – there is a $10.00 minimum purchase required.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - save money on food at the fair with Taste of the Fair Tuesdays
Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - kids meal deals

Save Money On Food

Taste of The Fair Thursdays

On Thursdays, from 12noon until 5:00PM, you can buy $3.00 taste-sized portions of some of your favorite Fair foods, such as corn dogs, fudge, fish tacos and cinnamon rolls, on Taste of the Fair Thursdays. So many choices! You guys… it’s the PERFECT way to sample everything you love in little bites. Especially if you’re like me and your husband won’t share 5 different dishes at one time and suggests you choose only 1-2 treats.

Kids Meal Deals
Look for the Kids’ Meal Deal signs throughout the Fair at participating food booths. The meal includes an entrée, side dish and drink, plus a free child’s admission, with paid adult admission, to 10 local attractions, for only $5.99.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - ride tickets packages and other discounts

Get Bussed In or Take Mass Transit!

Save On Parking And Transportation

You can find free parking at the off-site lots and then get bussed into the fair to save money on parking. Find out more information in the Transportation section of the website.

Get a discount on Fair admission if you’re a regular transit rider. Find out more information in the Transportation section of the website.

Ride the train, take the bus, save money!: During the Fair, shuttles transport bus and train passengers from the Solana Beach train station to the Fair’s West Gate (you must present a train or bus ticket to board the shuttle). You can buy the Fair Tripper, a Fair admission-and-public-transportation-fare package; or present a same-day transit ticket or monthly pass at the West Gate window for an admission discount on adult, senior or child admission.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - teachers and educators discount

Are you a Teacher/Educator?

School Staff Appreciation Days presented by Mission Federal Credit Union
Everyone who helps to educate the next generation are all VIPs in our book, so we want to reward your dedication with a discount day at the San Diego County Fair.

Head to any San Diego County Mission Federal Credit Union branch (starting June 1), present your school employment ID, teaching credentials or pay stub, and receive four $5.00 admission vouchers to the Fair. These vouchers enable you to buy admission tickets on School Staff Appreciation Days, valid for any age, for $5.00.

School Staff Appreciation Days

Friday, June 16
Friday, June 23
Friday, June 30

Tickets are available ONLY at the 27 Mission Federal branches, while supplies last. These tickets will not be available at the Fairgrounds. Find the Mission Federal branch closest to you

Plan to attend Teacher Appreciation Receptions. Teachers and Educators: Please join in for an evening of networking and idea-sharing in the student exhibits, where you can meet the exhibit coordinators and learn how to highlight your students and their work at the San Diego County Fair.

  • K-6 teachers: 4:00-7:00PM in the Best of K-6 Schools Exhibit, Creative Youth Tent, Family Funville
  • 7th grade to community college teachers: 4:00-6:00PM in the Student Showcase Exhibit, 1st Floor, West Grandstand

Saving on Multiple Trips

Free Return Ticket 
Every year we’ve been able to receive a free return ticket back to the Fair just by completing a survey while there. You also get a free return ticket in your Passport to Savings book. So here’s what we do! I go for the Albertson’s $5 day with the kids. Then I turn in my coupon from the Costco pack for the Passport to Savings when I’m there and I take the survey.

That means I have a return ticket for me and the coupon for a return ticket in the Passport to Savings. Then I have my kids’ teachers sign off on his Reading Log to get free admission so everyone in the family can go again before we even use our Costco passes! That’s 3 trips to the fair in one season. Pretty awesome deal!

There are also a few other ways to save that you can find on the Fair’s website here

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - enjoying the fair skyline

Are you going to the fair this year?

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Summer + an outdoor movie night idea on a trampoline

We’re thankful for summer and sharing a great way to get outdoors with an outdoor movie night idea brought to you thanks to our partnership with Hershey’s via MomTrends.  

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Summer + an outdoor movie night idea on a trampoline

Summertime always comes and immediately the one thing that runs through my head as a work from home mom is: how in the world am I going to take care of the kids all day AND get work done?

But this summer I’m approaching things differently. I’m not resenting the fact that our school cancelled their summer program right after all of the local museum classes filled up, or the fact that I don’t have a backup child care set in place because I didn’t think about it in February when apparently everyone else did. I’m going to make the best of our summers together and really strive to be thankful for summer.

At the end of the day, summer is the only real time I have to fully enjoy my kids until they move out of the house. That means 10 summers left with my oldest, 12 with my middle, and 17 with my youngest. Those are going to go by FAST!

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Summer + an outdoor movie night idea on a trampoline with siblings

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Summer

1. More Time With The Kids – 

While having the kids home all summer will be hard to balance my work/life workload, having more time with the kids is always a good thing and something to be thankful for. Even though I still have to work, I can take an afternoon or morning off each week to really spend one on one time with the kids. Plus we have some help from family so they can have fun adventures with Grandma, their great aunts, or their cousins throughout the summer too. 

2. Later Bedtime – 

Because we don’t have to wake up early, I can choose to spend more time with the kids at night (watching movies outside!) or catch up on work after bed time. The kids love having the freedom of no bedtime and actually get to bed by 9pm when this happens so they’re not up too late. And everyone is in a better mood when we go to bed and get up when our bodies tell us to. 

3. No Alarm Clock – 

Ok, confession: I don’t use an alarm clock. But I do have to wake up at 6:30am every day during the school year to make sure the kids get out the door and to school on time. Because we don’t have to actually get up and go somewhere (if we choose not to), we can sleep in. AND? We can have pajama days. Lots and lots of pajama days! 

4. Warm Weather – 

I love that we get to enjoy all summer together when the weather is nice. Sure there’s a few weeks where it’s unbearably hot. But living here in San Diego means that we can take full advantage of the beaches, pools, and other outdoor (and some indoor) areas to keep cool. I fully plan on taking advantage of our location this year and have quite a few beach days planned for us. Even if that means I have to get my keyboard a little sandy while I work and they play. 

5.  Fun Adventures – 

With the warmer weather and lack of an actual place we have to be, we can have fun adventures this summer (and every summer) that we wouldn’t have had the freedom to do during the school year. As I mentioned previously, we’ll take full advantage of our location. But I’m also planning at least one road trip and a few staycations to enjoy ourselves this year. I’m also hoping to schedule at least one activity outside the home a week. That way I’m not too stressed about too many activities but we still get to do fun things. 

So far here are some of my ideas for summer fun adventures: hikes, beach/pool days, zoo trip, free days at museums, movies in the middle of the day, trip to the water park, trip to the mountains, gardening club, city clean up days, trip to the aquarium

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Summer + an outdoor movie night idea on a trampoline and making homemade ice cream5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Summer + an outdoor movie night idea on a trampoline with homemade popcorn

One of our fun adventures this summer will be getting outdoors and enjoying movie night on our trampoline. And it’s SUPER simple! 

Outdoor Movie Night On A Trampoline

  1. Grab a white sheet plus a pile of blankets and pillows.
  2. Hang the white sheet over one side of the net on your trampoline and clamp down with clamps (I just use the clamps I use for my photo backdrops here).
  3. Set out the blankets and pillows so everyone is comfy. 
  4. Make some fun snacks with the kids like this delicious homemade chocolate ice cream in a bag with Hershey’s Simply 5 Syrup or popcorn in a bag.
  5. Grab a projector and start playing the movie! 

 

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Summer + an outdoor movie night idea on a trampoline with blankets and pillows

What #Simply5 words describe a sweet memory that’s made your day special? 

Sometimes, even the process of enjoying the little things in life – like movie night – becomes complicated. It shouldn’t require a year-long commitment or tons of planning.

In honor of the sweet and simple ingredients in Hershey’s Simply 5 Syrup and the sweet and simple memories that it inspires, we want people to share the sweetness in everyday moments. Take a moment to “stop and smell the chocolate” and share your #Simply5 – a five word recount of what makes your day sweet.

Post your #Simply5 on social media by sharing a five word recap of what makes your day special! 

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Summer + an outdoor movie night idea on a trampoline with Hershey's Simply 5

Hershey’s Simply 5 Syrup is a sweet and simple take on original Hershey’s Syrup, now made with five simple ingredients. You can find more recipes and fun things to do with Hershey’s by visiting them on Facebook or following along on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Hershey’s via MomTrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hershey’s or Momtrends.

$1 Movies for 2016 Summer Movie Express

 

Summer Movie Express Regal Cinemas; Image Source: Regal Entertainment Group

The nine-week film festival takes place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  The start dates for Summer Movie Express vary based on local school schedules. A portion of each $1 admission goes to assist the Will Rogers Institute.

“With a wide variety of films this summer starting with The Lego Movie and ending with The Lorax, we know families will be boarding the Summer Movie Express at Regal,” said Ken Foreman, Vice President of Film Marketing at Regal Entertainment Group. “This annual program provides an excellent opportunity for families to enjoy the movies together week after week.”

$1 Movies for 2016 Summer Movie Express

Each week, there will be two featured films at the early morning matinee show time of 10:00 am. The titles for this year’s Summer Movie Express are:

$1 Movies for 2016 Summer Movie Express

In San Diego? Click on the link below to print a PDF of your local theater’s schedule.

Edwards Mira Mesa

Regal Parkway Plaza

Edwards Rancho San Diego

For a full list of participating locations, local festival dates and for more information, please visit www.REGmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express.

What movie will you be heading out to see with the kids?

15 Water Activities For Kids

Water Activities for Kids - fun and playful ways to use water

Water. Such a simple thing however when my kids start playing with it they go crazy. Maybe it’s like the cardboard box phenomenon. Hand a kid a cardboard box and they’ll be entertained for hours. Give a kid a container full of water and the same thing happens.

Below are a few awesome ideas on just what to do with the water and how to make water play even more fun! Just remember that any water play needs to be supervised. Check out these water safety tips for kids for ideas on what to keep an eye out for.

15 Water Activities For Kids

  1. This alphabet car wash sensory bin is messy and wet! Your kids could have hours of fun with this activity.
  2. For the car wash experience on a larger scale, let your child wash the cozy coupe.
  3. Make giant bubbles in the kiddie pool. You can even stand inside them as you pull the hula hoop up!
  4. This DIY sprinkler limbo activity looks like so much fun. How low can you go?
  5. Take water balloon play to the next level with these messy paint­filled water balloons.
  6. Excavate dinosaurs with this fun salt and water ice melting activity.
  7. Backyard fishing is a great kiddie pool activity that even older kids will enjoy. (Don’t worry… the fish are fake!)
  8. Stay cool and learn about colors with this water and colored ice sensory bin for toddlers.
  9. Make an easy water wall with pool noodles!
  10. Isn’t this erputing ice chalk paint the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?
  11. Sponge bombs are always a hit in a water fight. Less fuss than water balloons!
  12. This DIY giant water blob is a fun full­body sensory activity for the kids.
  13. Make rainbow bubbles in the kiddie pool for colorful sensory play.
  14. A water transfer activity is a great way to learn about mixing colors.
  15. Use squirt guns for an interesting summer painting activity. Fill them with liquid watercolors or fill the guns with water and food coloring if you don’t have watercolors on hand.

What’s your favorite way to get the kids involved in water play?

Summer Activities for Kids

Summer Activities For Kids

It’s almost the end of another school year and weare planning out our summer activities. Since I work from home I need a great go-to list of activities to have prepped for the kids to do. We have checked out our friends lists and have created one of our own.

Someone on the interwebs mentioned the fact that we only have 18 summers with our kids. And while I’d like to think that we’ll have more after they turn 18, I’m going to try and make the most of each of those summers.

I’m going to attempt to do at least one fun activity or craft at home with them each week. Then we’ll plan one outing to visit the various spots around town. That way we have a good balance of things to do this summer.  Gotta hit up all of the fun we’ve mapped out on our Summer Bucket List.

Summer Activities for Kids

  1. DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder from Simmworks Family
  2. Make Watermelon Cupcakes from Formula Mom
  3. Pool Noodle Bubble Blowers from The Mad Mommy
  4. Caterpillar Clothespin Kids Craft from DIY Inspired
  5. DIY Splash Pad for Summer Fun from Life with Captain Fussybuckets
  6. DIY Sidewalk Paint from Simmworks Family
  7. How to Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk from Spaceships and Laser Beams
  8. Make Your Own Camping Scavenger Hunt from Quirky Inspired
  9. 5 Great Ways to Get Outdoors With Kids from Simmworks Family
  10. Pool Noodle Boats from Our Family of Seven
  11. Create an Ocean Rock Pool from A House Full of Sunshine
  12. DIY Fruit Juice Dyed Watermelon Windsock from Simmworks Family
  13. Dinosaur Egg Ice Smash from A House Full of Sunshine
  14. Berry Sweet Handprint Strawberry Craft for Kids from Fun Handprint Art
  15. Create a DIY Herb Chalkboard Planter from Simmworks Family

How are you keeping busy this summer?

Summer Activities for Kids To Do

5 Kid Pool Rules For Summer

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Stearns Puddle Jumpers®. All opinions are 100% mine.

5 Kid Pool Rules For Summer

The temperature is remaining warm, Memorial Day is around the corner and the kids are almost out of school. For tens of thousands of children, their eyes switch from the books to the pool.

We love going to the pool during the summer but when we do there are some clear, simple rules that our children must follow in order to swim and play at the pool. And if one of the rules is broken, we simply pack up and head back home.

Pool safety, and sun safety, is very important. So we’ve come up with 5 Kid Pool Rules to keep our kids safe during the summer months. We even keep a copy of it with our pre-packed pool bag. Makes things simple and our kids know what to expect!

5 Kid Pool Rules For Summer

Healthy Snack Time with Sprout Organic Foods at the pool

1. Sunscreen. Before anything!

I don’t know about you but I am a stickler for sunscreen application. Like clockwork we apply and re-apply. I even set a timer to remind myself. There’s been too many times in my life that I’ve gotten burned and have had to deal with the pain afterwards. To save my kids from that, we remember to keep up with our sunscreen.

What I love doing is before we even get our swim clothes on, we put on sunscreen. Then when we get dressed and head out the door we don’t have to stop and apply when we get to the pool. Need a distraction? Give them a snack while you apply!
Healthy Snack Time with Sprout Organic Foods playing at the pool

2. Cover up.

Whether it’s a rash guard, a hat, or staying under a cover, when it’s sunny outside, I keep the kids, and myself, covered up. We get enough sun daily here in San Diego to give us a golden hue to our skin. We don’t need to be lobster red!

The best way to get my kids to cover up is to have them pick out their rash guard and a hat to match. We also don’t give them the opportunity to not wear a rash guard while swimming or playing in the waves so they really don’t know any different.

5 Kid Pool Rules For Summer - floaties on

3. Flotation devices on!

My go-to item for in the pool safety is our tried and true Puddle Jumpers. For kids 30-50 lbs, there’s no other way to go. It’s comfortable for the kids and gives them a sense of security if they’re just learning to swim or haven’t quite mastered swimming in deeper water.

Plus, it’s Coast Guard approved so most public pools and water parks will allow you to use them over their generic life vests. That means you get to use a safe flotation device that your kid is comfortable with!

Our Puddle Jumpers are also put on as soon as we get to the pool and aren’t taken off until we leave. This is also something that the kids cannot argue with. If they take off their Puddle Jumper, we’re heading home.

Need one for your kid? Visit StearnsFlotation.com to purchase one today.

5 Kid Pool Rules For Summer - listening ears

4. Listening ears at all times.

To keep the kids safe, we make sure that they keep an ear on us at all times. What does that mean? Not going farther then about 10-15 feet from us so they can hear us if we need to speak with them.  Since it’s a rule, they are pretty good about following it and not going out of range. By staying within hearing range, they’re also visible as well.

5 Kid Pool Rules For Summer - no running

5. No running. Ever. Period.

I know it’s basic. But my kids, and most others, just get excited when they’re having fun in the water or sand. They want to race off to their next adventure but running by a pool is very dangerous.

We’ve had a few slips here and there so our kids are aware of the fact that they can get hurt if they run by a pool. And we have to warn them about the danger of not only falling, but falling and hitting their head near water. Very scary.

When our kids are safe, and they’re clear on the rules, pool time is so much more fun! We’re clear on our expectations and in return we usually end up with very happy, very tired kids after a fun day at the pool.

How do you keep your kids safe during the summer?

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Creating a Summer Bucket List For Kids

This summer my kids are finally old enough to truly enjoy summer. They’ve already had quite a few fun experiences and we’re only a few days into summer. So we decided to write down all of our fun ideas and create a summer bucket list for kids to help keep track of everything we want to do.

If you have kids and want to get them involved in planning their summer fun I definitely suggest having them involved in writing them down. Whether on a huge chalkboard like we did or by creating a notebook like Stacie of SimplyStacie.net did with her daughter.

I made sure to keep the kids involved and asked them what they wanted to do. When they were vague or unclear I simply asked a few questions to determine exactly what they wanted to go do.

Here’s what we decided on:

Summer Bucket List Fair Fun

[Read more…]

5 Great Ways to Get Outdoors With Kids

Ways to Get Outdoors With Kids

Now that summer is here we’re making our “must do” lists for what we want to to do this summer. And in creating this list we’ve looked back at the other fun things we’ve done with our summers in the past. And most of them seem to involve being outdoors.

I think that getting outdoors with kids is a very important part of summer fun. And having a few activities in our back pocket to bring out and do with our kids might kick start that summer fun.

Below is a list of 5 great ways to get outdoors with kids this summer. I’d love to hear your ideas as well!

[Read more…]



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