Minnesota State Fair 2020: Scoring Free and Discounted Tickets

It’s a pretty widely accepted fact: If you plan to tote a family along for a day at the Minnesota State Fair, you’re going to come home with a considerably lighter wallet. The skewered foods are tempting, the Midway & Kidway are calling, the deals are hot and, oh yes, there are those admission tickets to consider. If you’ve been keeping up with the latest and greatest from the State Fair, you probably know that admission prices are not increasing this year. While 2020 prices haven’t been announced yet, here’s what admission was for 2019:

$15/adults (13-64)
$13/seniors (65+)
$13/kids (5-12)
Free/under 5

Now, the prices of food and whatnot are beyond our control. (Though I suppose you could vow to consume nothing at the Fair, but who does that?) (Hey – I do that! We always bring a well-planned, tasty picnic with us! – Joy) There are, however, some surefire ways to save more than a few bucks on admission tickets. I assure you I will be using every one of the strategies listed below as I’m now in possession of four paying kiddos at the gate:

Purchase pre-Fair discount admission tickets – $12/all ages. These are available in person at the State Fair ticket office through Aug 21 (1741 Como Avenue).  Tickets are also available participating Cub Foods locations through Aug 21. Discounted ride & game tickets, and Blue Ribbon Bargain Books are sold at these sites as well. Special note: the State Fair does not accept discount admission tickets to cover the cost of on-site parking. The charge to park this year is $15, cash only.

Take advantage of 2020 Promotional Days for Minnesota State Fair Discounts– if possible, plan to come on one of the following:

  • Thrifty Thursday: $13/adults & seniors, $10/kids, specials on ride tickets
  • Seniors & Kids Day: $10/seniors & kids, others full price. Specials on ride tickets.
  • Military Appreciation Day: $10/active members plus their spouses and kids, $10/retired or veteran members plus their spouses. Valid ID required. Early bird specials on ride tickets.
  • Ride & Read Day: $13/adults, $10/seniors & kids. One discount ticket per valid public library card shown. Specials on ride tickets.
  • Seniors Day: $10/seniors, others full price. Early bird specials on ride tickets.
  • Kids & Last Chance Day: $10/kids, others full price, specials on ride tickets.
Minnesota State Fair 2017: Scoring Free and Discounted Tickets with Bookawocky

Ramsey County Library’s Bookawocky program – earns kids ages 5 – 11 who complete a summer activity booklet a pack of prizes including one State Fair admission ticket.

2019: THE FREE STATE FAIR TICKET PRIZE PACK IS ONLY AVAILABLE THIS YEAR THROUGH A RAFFLE DRAWING. We hope in future years libraries are able to resume the free ticket to each child who completes the summer reading program.

Several other county libraries have participated in the Bookawocky program and will enter your child’s name in a drawing to win prizes that may include Fair tickets. Be sure to check if your local library participates.

Volunteer at the Fair – at one of many fun locations and receive complimentary gate admission as thanks. No, it’s not always convenient (but it is possible!) to bring kids along to volunteer. Consider signing up for an early shift, then plan to have another caregiver bring the kids to join you in the afternoon. To practice what we preach, Family Fun Twin Cities helped out in the Alphabet Forest in 2014 and at Little Farm Hands in 2015. Click any of the following links to see how you can get involved.

Alphabet Forest – Our first crack at volunteering at the Fair with kids was at the Alphabet Forest exhibit in 2014. The kids enjoyed duties right alongside us promoting literacy activities and local authors.

Minnesota State Fair Discounts: Scoring Free & Discounted Ticke

Little Farm Hands – FFTC invited Twin Cities-area families to come volunteer alongside us at the 2015 Fair. You do NOT, however, need to be with an organization to volunteer your time. Shifts are about 3 hours long and include guiding families through the mock farm exhibit. Once your shift has been completed, you are free to enjoy the Fair!

Minnesota State Fair Discounts: Scoring Free & Discounted Ticke

MN State Fair Foundation – Anne is super excited to be volunteering for the Minnesota State Fair Foundation for the first time in 2019. While this is NOT an opportunity fit for kids, she will earn a free admission ticket for each 4-hour shift served.

Other places to look into volunteering at the Minnesota State Fair:

Do YOU have any other tips or tricks for scoring Minnesota State Fair Discounts or FREE tickets? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.

For more State Fair 2020 planning, try our list of 50 Things To Do at the Minnesota State Fair.

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13 thoughts on “Minnesota State Fair 2020: Scoring Free and Discounted Tickets”

  1. Pingback: Get Ready for the Great Minnesota Get Together | Family Fun Twin Cities

    1. Thanks for the idea, Lisa, it’s a very good one! I didn’t know for several years that my own husband could purchase discounted tickets through his work.

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    1. Yes! That one was fun, although I recall being worn out by the end of that day. You can guarantee your kids will sleep well.

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