How to save at the Indiana State Fair

My brother and I always looked forward to our teeny community fair in our small Michigan village. The treats, the rides and the parades are some of my best memories. Then I met the mighty Indiana State Fair and it reset all of my expectations for what a Fair should be.

Now, the end of summer is marked with the fun I’ve come to love at the State Fair from deep-fried Oreos to the Midway of rides to the tons of sights to see. And if I’m not paying attention, it can get pricey.

Since I like saving a little dough as much as the next mom, here are my easy tips on how to save at the 2016 Indiana State Fair:


1. Buy online thru August 4th and save.

Now until August 4th, buy tickets on the Fair website and pay only $8 {a 25% discount off the regular gate price of $12}. Don’t waste the cost of printing them at home – just show your ticket on your mobile device upon entry. ALSO AVAILABLE: Midway wristbands for only $20 thru August 4th – a 25% savings!

2. Keep in mind that kids 5 and under are FREE.

Every day, all day, kids ages 5 and under receive free admission to the Fair.

3. Take advantage of promotional/deal days.

AAA users, military families, teacher savings: There’s a special promotion almost every day of the State Fair. Some of the highlights include:

  • $2 Tuesdays: Gate admission is only $2 and many vendors offer $2 eats as well. Watch for signs.
  • 8/15: Meijer Family Day – admission only $20 for up to 10 people. Print your voucher!
  • 8/18: AAA Day – free gate admission when showing an AAA member card at entry.
  • 8/19: Fifth Third Bank $5 Stand Up To Cancer Day – gate admission is $5 all day.

But instead of overwhelming you with a list of all the promo days, take a peek yourself here on the Fair website.

RELATED: 10 Ways to save when shopping

4. Save on parking by using the FREE shuttle service.

Don’t mess with the lines and the waiting and the ‘where did we park?’ questions. The Indiana State Fair runs a FREE shuttle service out of the Glendale Mall Rural Street Lot from 10am-11:45pm every day. The buses are air conditioned, run every 20 minutes and drop you off on the north side of the Fair. Easy in, easy access, easy out. Done.

5. Plan your route + get some tips.

I highly recommend downloading the Indiana State Fair mobile app prior to your trip. It has the Event Schedule for the day, free stage lineup and a handy map to help you navigate the grounds. This great list of FREE fun available in the Fair’s “Trip Tips” section is also getting dropped in my bag. I like that it includes ideas spread out all over the fairgrounds, not just in one area. Only thing I would add: The FREE Fishing Pond at the Indiana Department Of Natural Resources building!

6. Enjoy a FREE concert or performance. 

Each year, the Indiana State Fair offers a Free Stage for concerts. This year’s lineup includes notable artists like The Fray, Laura Marano of the Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally and more. Entrance to the concerts is free with your paid gate admission. Don’t forget the other free entertainment available like rodeos, jousting and more, all listed on the Fair website!


MORE INFO: The Indiana State Fair runs August 5-21. Fairgrounds are located at 1202 E. 38th Street, Indianapolis. For more details, visit their website or Facebook page, or call {317} 927-7500.

Related Articles



From our Sponsors