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How To Go To The Ohio State Fair For Cheap (Or For Free!)

The Ohio State Fair is one of the biggest events all summer.

But if you’re living on a budget, or you’ve just got a large family, it can get a little pricey. Once you’re in the gate, it’s actually pretty easy to find free fun. Your admission ticket includes countless free activities and attractions, including the famed butter cow and calf, Smokey Bear, a petting zoo, an arts gallery, and fishing at the 8-acre natural resources park.

There are also free entertainment stages featuring live music, amazing hypnotists, impressive magicians, and wholesome family-friendly shows.

If you’re looking to save some cash this year, there are tons of ways to cut the costs of attending the fair. From discounted admission to no-strings-attached free admission, you can put all your extra money towards some deep-fried Buckeyes and funnel cake!

Admission Prices

via Wikimedia Commons
  • Adults (ages 13-59) – $12
  • Youth (ages 6-12) – $10
  • Senior (ages 60+) – $10
  • Children five and under – Free
  • General Parking – Free

Ride Prices

via Facebook
  • $32 — Ride-All-Day Wristband
  • $1 credits — Fairgoers can buy individual ride credits for $1 each. All rides require 3 or more credits.

Discounted Admission Days

Thursday, July 27

Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Fair

Telhio and Ronald McDonald House Charities Day
When you bring one of the following “wish list” items per person to a booth outside the gates, you’ll receive a voucher good for a BOGO free admission ticket before 6 p.m.: canned chicken or vegetable, disposable plates or silverware, napkins, paper towels, or condiments (mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, ranch dressing). All donations will support families at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.

Sunday, July 30

Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Fair

Veterans & Military Day
Veterans and active military members can enjoy free admission to the fair with a Military id.

Monday, July 31

Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Fair

NBC4 Family Discount Day
Until 6 p.m., adults will be admitted for the kids’ admission price of $10, and kids 12 and under will be admitted free. Until 5 p.m., purchase ride-all-day wristbands for just $18! All riders are required to have a wristband or credits to ride.

Tuesday, August 1

Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Fair

Senior Day
Have you been enjoying the fair for decades? If so, Senior Day is the day to go for you. Seniors ages 60 and up can enjoy free admission, Aug. 1 only, all day long! Additionally, all fairgoers can enjoy 1964 The Tribute, a Beatles Tribute concert in the WCOL Celeste Center at 1 p.m.

So break out your walking shoes, Columbus. It’s time to hit the fair!

For more information about The Ohio State Fair, please click here.

More Fair Fun