The kids are out of school and ready for summer vacation. What’s a mom to do? Before temperatures and your kids’ boredom soars, take the family to one of San Diego’s oldest summer traditions, the San Diego County Fair.

Located at the Del Mar Racetrack, the County Fair is happening now through Wednesday, July 4 (closed Mondays, except for July 2). The fair’s theme is “Out Of This World,” with a daily focus on the wonder of the universe, as well as the fun and imaginative world of science fiction and visitors from other planets.

Fair Fun for Kiddos

There’s an activity for every age at the fair. But for kids, there are so many great attractions and entertainment. If rides and games are what the kiddos want, the Fun Zone has nearly 40 rides. Kiddieland (for toddlers and young ones) has more than 40 age-appropriate rides. And both locations have games for all skill levels.

The Infield is full of family fun including a display of San Diego County children’s art, writing, collections and crafts. There’s the Area Fifty-Fun exhibit that will make kids’ imagination run wild. Families can compete for a blue ribbon in the Family Fun Contest area. And there’s entertainment to enjoy, including magicians, tractor races, a turkey stampede, and much more.

Fun Eats

The San Diego County Fair wouldn’t be the same without the food. Kids can enjoy their share of Hot Dog on a Stick, cinnamon buns, barbecue, and the traditional fair, plus a host of new items. The Lobster Shack serves steamed lobster tails from Maine. The Pineapple Express has everything from maui chicken sliders to fried spam. There’s plenty of bacon wrapped around everything, as well as deep-friend peanut butter and jelly and cereal.

For families eating on the lighter side, the Fair offers lots of healthy options and a Gluten Free menu. For a full run down of all of the new eats this year, check out our story dedicated to what to nosh on, deep-fried, on a stick, and everything in-between.

Ways to Save

As most families know, a family trip to the fair (or any other venue) costs money. The San Diego County Fair offers many ways to save so parents and kids can enjoy this tradition.

Pay-One-Price Day Ride Wristbands – These are sold at ticket booths located in the Fun Zone and Kiddieland. Pay-One-Price wristbands are sold on site ONLY on Wednesdays and Thursdays through June 28, 2012. There are also “online” days where you can purchase your pay-on-price ticket online.

Albertsons|Sav-onDiscount Tickets – Buy $11.00 adult admission tickets at Albertsons in San Diego or southern Riverside counties (a savings of $2.00). You also can buy senior and child tickets there at regular price, then bypass the ticket purchasing line at the Fair!

Read Your Way Into the Fair – Children 12 and younger who read ten or more age-appropriate books, and have that verified by a teacher or librarian, get free admission any day of the Fair.

Unemployed Guests are on the Fair – If you have been unemployed within the last year, the Fair will cover admission on Tuesday, June 19 and 26. Simply present an unemployment check stub (July 2011-June 2012) or EDD debit card, with a photo ID, at the will-call window next to the O’Brien Gate.

San Diego County Fair
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014
858-755-1161
Online: sdfair.com

Admission:
Adults: $13.00
Ages 62 and older: $7.00
Ages 6-12: $7.00 (free on Tuesdays)
Ages 5 and younger: Free

– Leah R. Singer

Photos Courtesy of the San Diego County Fair