The Del Mar Fair: Health Tips & How to Prepare

It’s that time of year again—the sun is shining, the rides are up, and the food is frying! The San Diego County Fair kicks off May 31st and will run through July 4th at The Del Mar Fairgrounds. The fair is known for its long list of activities and, of course, the endless list of fried foods. With a little planning, you can make your family’s trip to the fair healthier and still enjoy a few indulgent snacks. We’ve compiled tips on how you can prepare for the fair and how you can stay healthy during the fair.

How to Prepare

  • Check the weather before heading out and dress accordingly. We recommend wearing breathable summer fabrics so you remain fresh all day long!
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes. Wearing the right shoes can impact your endurance and protect your joints from injury and pain.
  • Consider taking public transportation to avoid traffic, parking congestion, and save money. If you take the train, trolley or bus to the Fair, you will be dropped off right at the gate! For more information to help you plan, visit the San Diego County Fair’s transportation guide.
  • If you decide that you want to drive, leave early for the Fair. There are plenty of options for parking both on-site and off-site.


On-site parking:

  • General Parking: $17.00
  • Preferred Parking: $27.00
  • On-site lots open at 9 AM, and on July 4 at 8 AM
  • Lots close about an hour after the fair closes


Off-site parking:

  • Horse Park ($5), Torrey Pines High School (Free), and Miracosta College San Elijo (Free). Check out the San Diego Fair parking guide for a complete schedule of operational dates and times.
  • Parking at off-site lots is on a space-available basis
  • Free shuttle transportation to and from the lots to the main gate
  • Shuttles are available for guests with disabilities


$6 Fair Days!

Soak in the San Diego County Fair and all of its glory for only $6. This special price is only available at a San Diego County Albertsons or Vons stores.

  • Friday, May 31 (Gates open at 4:00PM)
  • Saturday, June 1 (Gates open at 10 AM)
  • Wednesday, June 5 (Gates open at 11 AM)
  • Check out the Fair’s special events, live entertainment, and deals!
  • As you prepare your bags for the day, consider the Fair’s guidelines, so you know what to leave at home.


Health Tips

  • Protect your skin from the sun. Don’t forget to reapply! According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day. Avoid sugary drinks as they can make you bloated.
  • Limit the portions of deep-fried and sugary foods. Fair food is tempting, however there are ways to keep it healthy and prevent overindulging:
  • Don’t arrive hungry: eat a balanced meal before heading to the Fair.
  • Keep the portions small and share!
  • Drink a lot of water; this will help you feel full throughout the day.
  • Mindful eating will help you minimize the chances of overindulging. Take a break, sit down, and pay attention to what you’re eating.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way to reduce germs. However, things can get hectic at the Fair making it difficult to access soap and water. Try using alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol for a quick and effective alternative.


The San Diego County Fair is the perfect time to soak in the sun, reach your daily step quota, and enjoy yourself! At the end of your trip, reminisce on your experience being healthy and positive without any regrets on what you indulged on. It’s important to practice moderation and stay hydrated. Keep the portions of unhealthy food small by sharing with your friends and family.


With a little planning, your trip to the Fair will be healthy, fun and memorable!

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