Rides are always popular in the Fun Zone at the San Diego County Fair. Photo by Chris Stone
Rides are always popular in the Fun Zone at the San Diego County Fair. Photo by Chris Stone

Don’t get mad about San Diego County Fair costs. Here’s how to get free or discounted admission to the summer party in Del Mar.

Free Admission

Are you unemployed? If you’re been unemployed sometime between July 2015 and June 2016, you and one guest can go to the fair for free. To participate in the offer you must present an unemployment check stub or your EDD debit card with a photo ID at the will-call window.

Do you have kids under the age of 12? Every Tuesday during the fair, children receive free admission. Children can also get free admission if they read 10 or more books. To print a reading certificate, click here, and get it verified by a teacher or librarian.

Want to enter a contest while getting free admission? It’s possible. Anyone who enters a competition, whether it’s costume contest, a photography contest or a tea cup relay — contestants are granted free admission. To check out the list of contests, click here.

Hey, teachers! This one is for you. Mission Federal Credit Union is offering four free tickets to each educator to attend the fair on June 17 or June 24. Tickets are available at one of the Mission Federal Credit Union branches while supplies last. Here’s a list of locations.

Service members can redeem two free tickets for Friday, June 3. Just present your military ID at base ticket offices. There are also plenty of other discounts for those who serve.

Discounted Tickets

Buy discounted tickets at your neighborhood Vons or Albertsons stores. The grocery stores offer $3 off by purchasing your adult tickets at the store.

Ford dealerships in San Diego County are offering four adult admission tickets for $44. Tickets are valid Tuesday through Friday and must be purchased at a dealership.

Toyota dealerships in th region are also offering discounts. Get a 2 for 1 adult admission coupon at a dealership that’s good Tuesday through Friday.

Cell phone retailer MetroPCS is offering discounted fair admission and reserved seating to the several fair concerts. Visit a MetroPCS store for more details and to get a coupon.

Are you a public transit rider? Purchase a fair tripper ticket for $17. The ticket includes admission and roundtrip transportation.

Other Ways to Save

Save on parking by utilizing one of the free parking lots near the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Shuttles will then escort you to the fair site.

Bring your own food! You can bring your own food. Just avoid bringing alcohol, glass containers or metal knives.

If you’re planning to hop on the rides, you purchase a value pack or go to the fair on a Wednesday or Thursday to ride all the rides for one price.