The Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton is a traditional fair with carnival rides and games; award-winning quilts and pigs; and booths offering treats like funnel cakes and deep-fried pickles. It runs this year from June 15th to July 8th, but not on Mondays or Tuesdays.
How to save money at the Alameda County Fair
Last year, I took my children on $1 Day – dollar admission, dollar rides – which was the smartest move I could have made because admission for all three of us was three dollars. Normally adults are $12 and children 6-12 are $8, while children under 6 are free for pre-sale tickets. Add $3/adults, $2/child if you buy at the gate.
Go on Opening Day June 15th, to pay $1 admission per person and $1 for each ride.
There are reptile shows, a younger kids area, and a sophisticated model train set-up. My 6-year old and I enjoyed browsing a room full of bunnies and learning their breeds.
Other Deal Days:
Kids FREE Thursdays until 5 pm – June 21, 28 & July 5
Kids 12 and under receive FREE admission until 5 pm & $2 small bites of the fair
FREE ADMISSION with kids clothing & $1 Rides – until 5pm – June 20
Bring one item of clothing FREE Fair admission benefiting the Foster Kids Clothing Drive & $1 Rides
FREE ADMISSION WITH CANS – Feed The Need Food Drive until 5 pm – June 27
Bring 4 non-perishable food items and receive FREE Fair admission benefiting the Alameda County Community Food Bank
There are even more discount days that you might qualify for (military, seniors, fathers, etc.) so goaheadd and see what works best for your family! You can also see if this Living Social deal is a good one >>
What to expect: The Fair is sensory overload, but arriving when it opens at 11 am will allow you the best chance for short ride lines and wide-open walkways.
Parking is $10 and there's no getting around that. Bring a stroller for your little one, but if it turns out your preschooler can't walk another step, there are strollers and wagons for big kids to rent.
Carnival lovers might want to see our round-up of more summer fairs and festivals for Bay Area families!