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How to Save Money at the 2023 Texas State Fair

With the way prices have risen over the last year, it makes it easier to splurge a little when you know how to save money at your favorite yearly events, like the 2023 Texas State Fair! This year’s dates will be September 29 – October 22, 2023, so clear your calendar!

Admission is free for children 2 and younger, $25 for adults (13+), and $18 for children (3 to 12 years old) and seniors (60+). Plus, each coupon costs $1. However, there are so many ways to save money! You can pinch a few pennies on admission tickets, food, alcohol, and even rides!

Not to mention, there are free activities, events, and live shows! There are even ways to see the rodeo and college football games while you’re at it! Keep reading for more about how to save money at the 2023 Texas State Fair!

Don’t forget to check out our guide to the 2023 Texas State Fair for an insider look into some of our favorite fair foods and activities!

Note: This year, any minor 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone (21+) beginning at 5pm. One adult can accompany no more than 6 minors at a time.

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How to Save Money on Admission Tickets at the 2023 Texas State Fair

Weekday Savings Hacks

  • $10 Opening Day Peanut Butter Drive – Bring 2 jars of peanut butter to the gate and receive $10 admission on Opening Day (Sept. 29, 2023).
  • Mondays through Thursdays, adult admission is just $15 while kid’s (3 to 12 years old) and senior’s (60+) tickets are $10.
  • On Fridays, adult admission is $20, and kid’s/senior’s is $15.
  • Seniors can enjoy $5 admission on Thursdays. Be sure to have your ID with you.
  • After 5pm, all adults will pay child’s price thanks to Oncor, which means you’ll save $5 on admission!
  • $5 Feed the Need Wednesdays – Bring 5 canned food items in support of the North Texas Food Bank on Wednesdays and receive $5 admission.
  • The Military Discount gives veterans, active service members, and any other adults in their party $5 off. Be sure to have proper documentation with you if you plan to purchase your tickets in person. However, you can also redeem this offer online.
  • First responders and any other adults in their party will receive $5 off on weekdays. Be sure to have proper documentation with you if you plan to purchase your tickets in person. However, you can also redeem this offer online.
  • Participating McDonald’s across North Texas is offering a discount voucher for tickets purchased at the gate and online! Guests will receive $5 off weekday admission. Be sure to check those tray liners and inside your meal bag (only one coupon per person)!

Unlock your savings with the exclusive code 23CURLY, making every Tuesday and Thursday a $10 treasure trove!

Weekend Savings Hacks

Saturdays and Sundays are when you can expect Texas State Fair tickets to be the most expensive. Adult admission is $25 while kid’s (3 to 12 years old) and senior’s (60+) tickets are $18. However, there are several ways you can save while still taking advantage of your weekend!

  • After 5pm, all adults will pay child’s price thanks to Oncor, which means you’ll save $7 on admission!
  • The Military Discount gives veterans, active service members, and any other adults in their party will get $7 off. Be sure to have proper documentation with you if you plan to purchase your tickets in person. However, you can also redeem this offer online.
  • First responders and any other adults in their party will receive $7 off weekends. Be sure to have proper documentation with you if you plan to purchase your tickets in person. However, you can also redeem this offer online.
  • Participating McDonald’s across North Texas is offering a discount voucher for tickets purchased at the gate and online! Guests will receive $7 off weekend admission. Be sure to check those tray liners and inside your meal bag (only one coupon per person)!

SHOP OUR TEXAS WATERCOLOR ARTPRINTS ABOVE

Any-Day Savings Hacks

  • Sign-up to be a Big Tex Insider and get exclusive deals and State Fair information sent straight to your inbox for FREE.
  • Children 2 years old and under receive FREE admission.
  • Plan out how much time you’ll be spending at the 2023 Texas State Fair and look into getting a $50 season pass with some cool VIP perks, including additional discounts and freebies. This is likely more affordable than buying a new admission ticket every time you visit, especially if you plan on attending multiple times out of the State Fair’s 24-day duration.
  • Purchase two season passes online, including $50 in coupons for food and rides, for just $150.
  • Get premium admission into the Texas State Fair for $98, which includes admission for two, as well as $50 in food and rides. It’s redeemable on any of the State Fair’s 24 days.
    • NOTE: Premium tickets are only available for purchase online
  • You can also get a single premium ticket for $24 OR premium admission for four, plus $50 in coupons, for $146. These are also redeemable on any of the State Fair’s 24 days.
    • NOTE: Premium tickets are only available for purchase online.
  • When purchased at your neighborhood Kroger’s check-out or service desk, you can get $3 off premium one-day admission tickets (September 1 – October 22, 2023).
  • Check with your school age kiddos or your friends with kids and see if they received a free ticket to the 2023 Texas State Fair. They may have stuffed it in their backpack and forgot, or maybe your friends aren’t able/planning to attend the State Fair this year.

How to Save Money on Food/Drinks at the 2023 Texas State Fair

  • Thrifty Thursdays: Some of the craziest fair food items (that are often more expensive) will be discounted every Thursday during the Texas State Fair. You can see a full list of these items at Big Tex.com
Fruit Pebbles Shrimp Po'Boy
  • Did you know you’re allowed to bring your own snacks and drinks, including coolers and ice chests, into the Texas State Fair? This excludes alcohol, bottles, glass, and metal silverware. Keep in mind your cooler with be searched at the gate.
  • Scattered throughout the Texas State Fair, you may notice several beer tents. Many of them will be offering FREE samples, although the days and times may vary between vendors. Snap a picture of their posted schedules so you’ll know when you can snag some free beer later in the week!
  • You can also sample wines and a wide array of Texas brands at the Texas Wine Garden and Go Texan Pavilion.
  • If you’re planning to attend the Texas State Fair with a group, pool your coupons together and share some of the more expensive, but some of the best, Texas State Fair creations. Not only will you save money, but you’ll be able to try a little bit of everything!
  • There are specific booths across the park that sell bottled water for 2 coupons. Other places sell bottled water for 3+ coupons, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled.
  • At the back of Fair Park near the Swan Boats and the stairs of the Cotton Bowl Stadium is the Beer Barn, which sells “cheep” beer for only 4 coupons, rather than as much as 8 coupons! That’s 4 dollars in savings! The line may be a little long depending on the day and time, but if you’re wanting to drink, the wait is worth it.  

Indulge in a delightful culinary adventure every Tuesday and Thursday with code 23CULINARY, unlocking $10 tickets and savor the flavors of Thrifty Thursdays, discounted Fair Food day from mini treats to regular-size delights.

Exterior of Beer Barn

How to Save Money on Rides at the 2023 Texas State Fair

  • Thrilling Tuesdays: All rides, including those on the Midway, are discounted to 4 tickets. Kiddie rides are discounted to 3 tickets. This, however, excludes the Thrillway and the Texas Star Ferris Wheel.
Bird's eye view of State Fair rides

Free Things to Do at the 2023 Texas State Fair

You can find a detailed map and schedule inside the Texas State Fair Visitor’s Guide.

  • You can get FREE entry into the Fair Park Coliseum just by showing your Texas State Fair admission ticket.
  • You can also get FREE entry into Cotton Bowl Stadium with your admission ticket. See Big Tex.com for the game schedule. Keep in mind that items like bags, coolers, food, and beverages will not be allowed inside the stadium.
  • There are three stages across Fair Park, each with their own band line-ups.
  • At the back of Fair Park, you can test drive Chevy’s newest models everyday between 11am and 6pm at the Chevrolet tent.
  • Across Fair Park, you’ll get to experience live entertainment such as pig races, motorcycle demos, a stunt dog show, and more! See the full list linked below!
  • The livestock barns near Chevrolet Plaza will offer activities like the Oncor Petting Zoo (10am to 9pm) and milking demonstrations (see schedule linked below for times), great for the kiddos and animal-lovers in your group.
  • Wander through several exhibits and museums, like the Dallas Children’s Aquarium, Big Tex Urban Farms where you can learn about agriculture, and the African American Museum (10am to 7pm). Mundo Latino will also be hosting a Día de Los Muertos exhibit (10am to 7pm)!
  • Inside the Creative Arts Building, you can watch chef demonstrations (11am to 12:30pm, 2:30pm, & 4:30pm), a cooking contests (11am to 1pm), and crafts at the Little Lonestar Craft Corral (1pm to 4pm).

You can find the complete event schedule for the Texas State Fair here.

Other Ways to Save Money at the 2023 Texas State Fair

  • Coupons and Midway game cards never expire! So, if you don’t already have a stash at home, keep that in mind for next year’s Texas State Fair and keep any extra coupons you may come home with. Visit Guest Relations to exchange your game card funds for food or Midway coupons.
  • Withdraw your cash before you enter the State Fair to save money on ATM fees.
  • Consider taking the DART to save money on Lyft/Uber or parking costs (parking is $20 per space at all lots). Additionally, the DART’s GoPass app will provide you a savings code for $5 off weekday admission and $7 off weekend admission. Simply enter the code 23DART when you purchase your State Fair admission ticket online.
  • If you live ridiculously close to Fair Park, ride your bike! You can lock it up at gates 5, 6, and 11 without having to worry about the additional time and money it takes to park at the Texas State Fair.

Make sure to scour the 2023 Texas State Fair Visitor’s Guide for more details, including maps of the park, full-length schedules, and discounted food items. You can pick one up when you arrive or pull up the digital copy on your phone as you explore.

This will help you make the most of your time at the State Fair rather than wandering aimlessly, especially if you only have the standard, one-day admission ticket.

How to Save Money at the 2023 Texas State Fair: Final Thoughts

Learn how to save money at the 2023 Texas State Fair and enjoy it like a true Texan! Throw aside the belief that the State Fair has to be expensive and take advantage of all it has to offer, including the discounts!

Aside from the memories you’ll take home with you and the non-profits this spectacular event supports, all of the free entertainment and activities for people of every age make the Texas State Fair well worth your time and money. It only happens once a year after all!

Don’t forget to also check out our guide to the 2023 Texas State Fair for an insider look into what you can expect this year!

Ferris wheel at the state fair
How to Save Money Texas State Fair
How to Save Money Texas State Fair
How to Save Money Texas State Fair