The Orange County Fair – A Family of Four – and $4

The Orange County Fair – A Family of Four – and $4


Orange County Fair Bumper Cars

Most people can figure out how to spend a few hundred at the Orange County Fair, and I thought it would be more fun to talk about doing the OC Fair on $4.

If you’re going to do this, make sure you have a plan, especially if you have young kids.

If you’re going to do this, make sure you make a plan, especially if you have young kids.

Step 1.  Plan to attend the OC Fair during one of its promotions. See Orange County Fair Discounts and Deals for ideas.

We attended Orange County Fair Goats during the book fair event which meant that if we brought one new book, we received fair admission and one free carnival ride, resulting in a savings of of $12 to $17 per person to start.

The result of this was that for a total of $4, we got four tickets and four rides, so each child got 2 rides, making them feel like they got to do some of their favorite things.

Step 2. Prepare your kids before you get to the Orange County Fair. For us this is a key step.

The kids knew ahead of time that we were not going to ride a bunch of rides or play a bunch of games.  If we’re going to do that, we come when they’re $2 each.

By preparing the kids, we limited the amount of complaints and upset from not getting to do all of the rides and it works pretty well.

Orange County Fair Koi Pond

Step 3.   Bring food and snacks.  There is so much temptation at the Orange County Fair, very little of it good for you, so pack a few snacks and some water bottles.  This cuts back on costs and makes the Fair healthier (which I know is antithetical).*

Step 4.  Free parking.  We are close enough to the Orange County Fair to be able to ride our bikes, but there are other options to free or inexpensive parking by parking in remote lots.

Step 5.  Discover all the Fair has to offer for free.  We signed up for the Knott’s Berry Farm pie eating contest, watched the pig races, petted farm animals, posed for pictures, looked at lovely photos and watched glass blowers.  There is so much to do at the Fair that is part of the admission, why not enjoy it.

Orange County Fair Carnival Games

Someone was even kind enough to give the kids a huge monkey.

We spent four hours at the Orange County Fair on $4 and had a blast.

What other suggestions do you have for enjoying the Orange County Fair or other local places for cheap?  We’d love to hear them.

* Please check rules on outside food and drink.  No one commented on ours during the bag check.

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