Because this year’s Indiana State Fair lasts 23 days, buying tickets, midway tickets, and fair food for more than a day can get a bit pricey.
If you’re on a budget but want to maximize your time at the show, there are several ways to get free or discounted tickets. Once at the fair, there are many excursions and activities to take part in to save your money for more fair food.
Indiana State Fair:Here’s what you need to know about getting here and parking
Here’s how you can attend the Indiana State Fair without spending too much money.
How to get discounted Indiana State Fair tickets
Some ticket discounts are available online at indianastatefair.com/p/tickets. Halftime advance wristbands can be purchased at a discounted price. Wristbands can be purchased for $25 in lieu of the $40 entrance fee, but grant unlimited ride access only on Wednesdays, Fridays, and the last day of the fair, August 21. Discount wristbands can be purchased until 11:59 p.m. July 31. Families can purchase a four-pack of tickets and a parking pass at a discounted price of $40.
Another efficient way to save at the fair is to cycle there. Cyclists can save $1 on fair entry when they ride their bikes. Free, secure bike racks are available off the Monon Trail just north of 38th Street.
Admission to the show on August 3 is $7 with a digital or printed coupon from Indiana’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The voucher can be found on the BMV website at IN.gov/BMV.
On August 4th, August 11th and August 18th, enjoy $3 Gate Admission, $3 Midway Rides and $3 Meal Options at each food booth presented by the Indiana Secretary of State.
Fair food:Bloody Mary with cheese curds, bacon, fried pickles. are you trying
Purchase a copy of the August 4 IndyStar newspaper and receive a complimentary ticket to the August 10 show. The complimentary ticket will also be available in the August 4 digital edition of the newspaper, see the E-Edition tab on IndyStar’s website.
AAA members receive free entry upon presentation of their valid AAA membership card at the gate on August 17th. One valid ID is allowed per person.
First responders, current and former military personnel, and their families will receive free entry on August 19 upon presentation of valid ID at the gate.
Free activities at the Indiana State Fair
Check out the quick assembly of the 1926 Model T: In keeping with the State Fair’s theme, “Celebrating Indiana’s Automotive Excellence,” stop by Enough Plaza July 30-31 to watch the assembly of a nearly 100-year-old vehicle. Times vary.
Play putt-putt golf: Bring a lucky break for some miniature golf fun at Corteva’s Agriscience Pavilion between 9am and 9pm.
Dive into the Flying Fools High Dive Show: Watch breathtaking dives from up to 25 feet off Main Street daily at 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 5pm and 7pm.
Make yourself comfortable in the Quilting Hall of Fame: Despite the Indy summer heat, get warmed by the quilts at the Indiana Arts Building’s Hall of Fame exhibit, which begins daily at 9:00 am.
Jump into the 4-H Cat Show: Watch one of the hairiest competitions of the year on July 31st at 11am in the Expo Hall, where both kittens and cats will compete for the prestigious Best in Show award.
Admire woolly fashion: Head to the Indiana Arts Building for the Make it with Wool Fashion Show on July 31 at 2:00 p.m.
Marvel at giant vegetables: With all the fair food stuff, it’s probably best to at least look at some veggies. Check out these epic veggies on August 13 at 11am in the Ag/Hort shopping district.
Related:The Indiana State Fair celebrates Hoosier farming with 18 featured farmers
Be amazed by the Mighty Mike Show: Strongman Mighty Mike can bend pounds of metal, tear up a deck of cards, and juggle bowling balls and sledgehammers. Watch him and his tricks daily at 1pm, 3:30pm and 6pm along Main Street.
Travel back in time at Pioneer Village: Complete with antique tractors, an Opry house and a violin competition, Pioneer Village gives you a fantasy of stepping back in time to the 19th century. Located between Machinery Field and MHS Family Fun Park, the Village is open daily from 9am-8pm
Check out the Speed: Science of Motion exhibit: Zoom into the World of Speed at the Harvest Pavilion between 9am and 9pm daily to test your potential as a Formula 1 driver in this brand new driving simulator exhibition.
Sing along at a concert: Kansas, Jesse McCartney, Chaka Khan and Pat Benatar. Need something else? Check out all of these legends and more on the Hoosier Lottery Free Stage. For more information on performance dates and the rest of the lineup, visit bit.ly/3OBUDTT.
For a full list of free State Fair activities, visit bit.ly/3S8yiR6.
Indiana State Fair $3 Thursday Deals
Each August State Fair Thursday — August 4, August 11, and August 18 — is $3 on Thursday, with $3 gate admission, Midway tickets, and, arguably most importantly, deals at each food booth .
Here are some of the $3 Thursday grocery deals to keep an eye on:
- American Dairy Association of Indiana Inc.: Mint cookie milkshake
- Ben’s Soft Pretzels: Jumbo soft pretzel
- Black Leaf Vegan: 8 ounce cup of mac and cheese
- BurgerBob’s concessions: A hot dog
- Charlie’s: Half slice pizza or small order of nachos
- Delicious: Italian sausage in a hot dog bun
- Adler Food Service: 16 ounces iced tea
- Devour Devour: 3-ounce turkey tips
- Indiana Ribeye LLC: corn on the cob
- Jamaican Breeze Sports Bar and Grill: Small jerk chicken with slice of bread
- Linda Chans: Spring roll
- Miss Piggys: Corn Dog or 6-ounce mac and cheese
- Old Tyme Poppin Grain: bag of popcorn
- Papageorges Inc: Quarter serving of gyros
- Pickle Barrel Sirloin Tips: side of mushrooms
- Red Frazier Bison: Bison Lettuce Wrap
- Samano’s Taquiera: Chicharrones
- Sutter’s LLC: Sample bag of toffee
- The German Corner: 8-ounce red cabbage serving
- Wilkes Concessions LLC: A cannoli
If you go: Indiana State Fair
The state fair will take place from July 29th to August 21st, 2022, the opening times vary depending on the day:
- Wednesday and Sunday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m
- Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. – 11 p.m
The fairgrounds are located at 1202 E. 38th St.
Visit indianastatefair.com for more information on events and activities.