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?

$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

What’s New This Summer at Knotts Berry Farm

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.07.58 AM

Timber Mountain Log Ride

I have such amazing memories of the times my parents took me to amusement parks during the summer. The thrill of the rides, the indulgent good food, and the freedom to choose where we went and what we were doing next. My siblings and I were always up for an adventure and we knew that this was exactly what we would get as soon as we passed through the turnstiles at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Now with my own kids, I’m looking for that exact same experience this summer and I’ll definitely still find it at Knott’s. From the thrilling new rides, like Voyage to the Iron Reef,  to fun shows for the whole family, like Blockbuster Beagle!…on ice at the Charles M. Schulz Theatre, there is something for everyone this summer.

Voyage to the Iron Reef On-Ride 1

In just a few short weeks I’ll be taking the kids up for their first adventure of the summer. We’ll be kicking things off right with a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm to check out what’s new this summer and how we can make the most of our summer with the help of a few of our friends (hint: one of them is a beagle with a black nose and a cool red house).

Here are 13 reasons why you should visit Knott’s this summer:

The NEW Voyage to the Iron Reef – The new interactive 4-D attraction called Voyage to the Iron Reef, will take you on an adventure aboard submarine-inspired vehicles through enchanting underwater forests, disorienting ocean current tunnels, mysterious mechanical wreckage, and high definition 3D animation.

Blockbuster Beagle!…on ice (Charles M. Schulz Theatre) – Snoopy and his Peanuts buddies “go Hollywood” bringing Walk of Fame glamour, dazzling movie lot escapades and California excitement to a brand new ice show adventure. June 13 – August 23 No shows on Wednesdays

Vertical Impact & Vertical Impact Geared Up Show – Vertical Impact presents the ultimate blend of extreme stunts with high flying acrobats performing a one of a kind performance perfect for the entire family! June 13 – August 23 No shows on Mondays & Tuesdays

Charlie Brown’s Happy Campers (Camp Snoopy Theatre) – Join Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and the world’s most popular beagle, Snoopy in a show that’s sure to make an outdoorsman out of anybody! Daily, June 14 through September 1

Big Band Swingin’ Sundays – Jump, Jive & Swing to the sounds of Orange County’s best local Big Bands. Sunday evenings, June14 – August 30

Boardwalk Dance Party (Boardwalk Circle Stage) – Dance ‘til you drop and wave your hands in the air until you just don’t care with DJ Howly, one of Orange County’s most requested “mixers & spinners”. Monday & Tuesday evenings, June 15 – August 25, plus September 7

Ghost Town Streetmosphere – Ghost Town is alive with townsfolk who will put you smack dab in the middle of the Wild West. As you mosey on through Ghost Town, say “Howdy” to returning favorites, Dusty Trail, who’s never without her six-shooter, Miss Ruby, the purtiest Saloon Gal in town, Miss Apple the School Teacher, and the rest of the Calico townsfolk. Daily June 13 – September 7

Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies (Birdcage Theatre) – Things get krazy when Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies perform their toe tappin’, knee-slappin’, side splittin’ country comedy show that has Knott’s audiences clamoring for more! Fridays through Mondays, June 13 – August 23 except 6/19 and 8/6 & 29.

 Salsa  Bands (Fiesta Plaza Stage) – Nothing says a party at the Fiesta Plaza stage better than the energy created by some of Orange County’s most popular salsa bands. Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings, June 13 through August 23, Plus August 29, 30 and September 5, 6, & 7

The Ghost Town Miners (Spurs Stage) – For a “Yeehaw” of a good time you won’t want to miss the Ghost Town Miners sing and play some of the best bluegrass this side of the Rio Grande! Tuesday through Thursday, June 16 – August 20

The Marshal Purdy Show (Birdcage Theatre) – Come on in for some old fashioned, homespun fun that’s sure to tickle your fancy and bust your gut. Tuesday & Wednesday, June 17 – August 21

The Big Fat Steve Band (Boardwalk Circle Stage) – Back by popular demand, The Big Fat Steve Band-The Kings of Kool is a fun, exciting dance band with a swingin’ beat. Wednesday through Saturday, June 13 – August 29, plus September 5 & 6.

Calico Saloon Cancan Show (Calico Saloon) – What’s a Saloon without a show? Don’t miss the Calico Saloon Show for some good old’ fashioned bar room fun. We heard that the dancin’ girls even perform that new fandangled dance from Paree, France, the Cancan! You might even want to cool off with a tall cool bottle of the hard stuff…Sarsaparilla! Daily, June 13 – September 30, Plus September 5 – 7

What are you looking forward to at Knott’s?

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?

Visit Sponsors Site

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials

This shop featuring summer beach bag essentials has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CokeHappyHour #CollectiveBias

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials

The best thing about living in San Diego AND working from home is that if it’s a nice day I can choose where I work. Most times during the summer I love heading out in the afternoon and spending some time at the beach with friends (and sometimes our dogs).

My kids like to call this happy hour. They don’t truly understand what the traditional happy hour is yet but our version is pretty awesome.

I keep a packed beach bag in the trunk of our car for just these occasions. I’ll share exactly what I keep in this bag and how you can make a bag filled with beach essentials too. Since every beach trip requires refreshments, I like to stop by Walgreens to pick up a few bottles of Coke to enjoy at the beach when we get there.

STAINMASTER PetProtect running at the beach

We also love surprising out of town guests with a summer essentials bag too when they come visit. It’s the perfect way to welcome them into our city and allows them the opportunity to take advantage of our beautiful beaches.

I also love stuffing in a few coupons for places around town including the zoo, local restaurants, and other attractions.

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials - share a Coke

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials

What you’ll need: 

  • large bag (something you won’t mind getting dirty)
  • towel for everyone
  • straw beach mat
  • magazines
  • tablet or laptop (to work)
  • sun glasses
  • hat
  • sunscreen
  • snacks
  • Coke

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials - unpack at the beach

What you do: 

  1. Pack the towels, beach mat, magazines, hat, and sunscreen in the large bag to stay in the trunk.
  2. When you’re ready to head out to the beach, grab the tablet or laptop and your sun glasses and add them to your bag. Grab the the kids (and/or the dog) and head out for some fun.
  3. Stop by Walgreens to pick up some snacks and grab a few cold Cokes to share with friends. Take advantage of Coke Happy Hour at Walgreens while you’re there (more about that below).
  4. Head off to the beach!

 

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials - easy to grab and go

Every Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 to 7:00pm, Buy 1 Coca-Cola 20 oz. bottle and Get 1 Free 20 oz. bottle to share! You can load the coupon instantly on the Walgreens app or click here for more information.

From May through July you get 3,000 Balance Rewards points when you buy participating Coca-Cola products when you purchase $10 of participating Coca-Cola products.

Coke at Walgreens

Who will you share a Coke with during happy hour

Delicious Summer BBQ Ideas

Summer BBQ Ideas - great additions to any summer bbq or party

Summer is here and that means it’s time to start cooking! The warm weather is perfect for inviting a few friends and family over for a laid-back BBQ cookout any day of the week.

I love how easy it is to BBQ. A good rub or marinade, some meat and veggies, and a hot grill! Plus there are so many great sides and treats to serve alongside the BBQ goodies.

Not sure what to throw on the grill? Try out these delicious ideas for your summer BBQ. Not only do we include what to grill, but we also share what to serve with your BBQ meal. [Read more…]

Easy Summer Dinners: KRAFT Chopped Grilled Chicken Salad

This post brought to you by KRAFT Natural Shredded Cheese and Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.

Easy Summer Dinners Kraft Chopped Grilled Chicken Salad

During these hot months the one thing I love are easy summer dinners. Meals that I can prep in advance and throw together in minutes for the whole family to enjoy as well as meals that are tasty and perfect for when we have company over.

We’re in the midst of moving right now but still want to have friends over so this weekend we kept things simple and made this delicious Chopped Grilled Chicken Salad. [Read more…]

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…]



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