DALLAS — The State Fair of Texas opens Friday for its annual three-week run, and hundreds of thousands are expected to attend.
The gates swing open at 10 a.m., but with money tight for a lot of families, there ware some ways to have fun while being thrifty.
The biggest change you'll notice is in the parking lot, where rates have gone up from $10 last year to $15 this year — a 50 percent increase.
That may encourage more families to use the DART train, which lets passengers off right at Fair Park's front gate.
It will cost $2 to get into the Discovery Gardens, which includes the cost of the butterfly exhibit. On the bright side, it usually costs $8.
The Children's Aquarium reopens after a major renovation, but at a price. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for kids. Children under 2 get in free.
The cost of a few kiddie rides is up by one coupon, which is still 50 cents.
So what are the best ways to save?
Bring three canned goods on Wednesdays and get into the Fair for $2, a $12 savings.
Discounted State Fair tickets are also available at places like Kroger supermarkets and McDonald's.
If you can avoid the temptation of corny dogs or exotic fried specialties, you can bring your own food — it's allowed — and focus your family on a steady supply of a huge number of free activities.