A day at the amusement park can be the backdrop for some wonderful family moments, and a great place to create lasting memories. But, from admission to refreshments and souvenirs, the costs can add up quickly. You may think that a family trip to the amusement park is financially out of reach, but think again. We’ve compiled a few ideas to help family fun at the theme park more affordable.

5 Ways to Save

  1. Plan Your Trip Wisely – When you’re booking your trip, avoid the traditional vacation seasons and consider a trip in the vacation off-season. Many parks charge the highest admission when people are most likely to attend (think: spring break, summer months and on the weekends). Many parks offer cheaper admission rates in the off season, so plan your trip in the fall or spring, mid-week. Altering your trip dates even by a few weeks may have another benefit: when fewer people visit, lines tend to be shorter!
  2. Look for Ticket Membership Deals –It pays to shop for deals ahead of time. Check deal websites like RetailMeNot, Groupon, or TravelZoo. These sites will often offer deals on admission, parking, and food deals. If your trip includes a hotel stay, look for hotel/admission package deals. Many times, hotels will be able to offer a better deal than if you are paying for each individually. Pay attention when you are near the park: convenience stores and shops close to the park will often offer deals to their customers for ticket discounts and special rates.
  3. Follow the Park on Social Media – Be sure to follow your favorite parks on social media. In addition to flash ticket deals, they will often offer specials at concessions and notify of the rides with the shortest lines. Download the theme park app for the most up-to-date information and promotions.
  4. Stay Hydrated for Less – Who wants to spend $5 on a bottle of water? An easy way to save is to throw a water bottle in your bag. Most of the food service counters or concessions spots will fill the bottle for free. Packing a lunch or snacks can also help to save on costs. Check park rules beforehand, though. Many theme parks have guidelines on what you can bring into the park.
  5. Buy Souvenirs Later – If you want a t-shirt, hat, pin or other collectable to help you remember your trip, you could save quite a bit by waiting to buy after you have left the park. Check out the souvenir stands outside the park, or check online shops or eBay.

A day at the amusement park should be a fun trip with your family, and it doesn’t have to leave you dreading your credit card bill next month. You can rest easier when you save with a few key strategies. Looking for more budgeting advice? Your Farm Bureau agent has tips and budgeting tools that will help you save and plan for the future.