Events/Shows South Carolina Travel

5 timesaving SC State Fair tips

The South Carolina State Fair is back, and this year’s theme is To the Fair and Beyond. It’s running from October 12 – 23, 2022, and we just visited last week. There’s a lot to take in, so here are some SC State Fair tips so you can make the most of your visit.

SC State Fair tip -

SC State Fair tips

Check the website for up-to-date info

There’s nothing worse than showing up somewhere and it’s closed. Make sure you check out the SC State Fair website before you go so you have the most up-to-date info like hours of operations, show times, etc.

Buy tickets ahead of time & clear bag policy

You can save yourself some time and money by getting your tickets online ahead of time. If you forget, there’s signs with QR codes when you’re in line, and you can save $5 that way too. Kids 5 and under are free, and there’s special prices for seniors, and also some special price promotions on certain days.

You can also buy ride tickets ahead of time. There’s prices for 1, 20, 50 tickets, wristbands, and express access. Participating Circle K’s also has promotions for tickets, so make sure to check them out too to save some money.

There’s also a clear bag policy, with the exception of diaper bags, so make sure you’re not showing up with a regular bag just to end up having to turn around and go put it back in your car.


Know where you’re going

Two things here. Parking and the layout of the fair. There are two main parking lots – one is $5 (South Gate)and the other is $10 (North Gate). Prices during game days can vary so make sure to check the website ahead of time.

The fairgrounds is big so knowing where everything is at can help with time so you’re not wandering around the other side of the fair, when there’s a show or event happening soon on the other side. Here’s a link to the map if you want to plan ahead.

Top SC State Fair tip – Arrive before noon

This SC State Fair tip is my top tip! We all know kids… and us adults can get super impatient with lines, so arriving early not only saves you time from finding parking if the lot gets full, but you can ride the rides multiple times and barely have to wait. I also think that the ride operators throw in a couple of extra laps in the morning, so you’re on the rides longer.

Check the height requirements

Some rides that look suitable for little kids, sometimes actually aren’t. Make sure to check the height requirements before you get in line so you don’t end up getting turned away when you get to the front. Most kid rides require kids to be 36″ to ride alone, 42” to ride alone or with a taller person, then 48” for the big kid / scary rides.

BONUS SC State Fair tip – Pack a cooler

This is probably more of a money saver tip. We all love fair food, but it can add up really quick, and the kids or you might have specific foods you want instead. Pack a cooler with some drinks, snacks, and lunch, but make sure to leave it in the car. You can’t bring in food, however, there’s in and out privileges if you get a stamp on the way out.

These are all tips that have helped us save time waiting in lines, and experience most of the fair. I hope these SC State Fair tips are helpful to you too. Make sure to tag @spousesproutsme in your pictures so I can check out your fun, and check out this link for more things to do in South Carolina.

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