There are a lot of reasons to love Easter - it’s an excuse to get together with family, go away on holiday and eat all the chocolate you can stomach without guilt. But it also often winds up being an expensive time of year, and one of the easiest ways to spend a tonne of cash in the blink of an eye is a trip to the Royal Easter Show.
Starting on Thursday April 6 and running through to Wednesday April 19, it is way too easy to drop hundreds of dollars on a single day out at the Easter Show. But don’t worry, we love rides and showbags too, so we’ve come up with a plan so you can have all the fun you want, without breaking the bank.
The first step is to get tickets without paying an arm and a leg. Early bird prices end on 5 April, but if you’ve missed out on those, there are still plenty of ways to save.
For example, by picking up your tickets at Woolies, you could save 10%. That knocks an adult ticket down from $41.50 to $37.50, and a child’s from $26 to $23.
Or, if you’re more of a night owl, hit the gates after 4pm and kids tickets are just $10 and adults are $31.
For seniors, remember that 12 April is Seniors Day, so you can snap up a ticket for just $15, instead of the usual $31.50.
If your kids love the thrill of spinning in circles at high speed, then show rides can suck your budget dry in no time. But, when you can save as much as 20% by pre-purchasing coupons online, you can splurge on a carousel ride or two.
Here are the deals for pre-paid ride coupons:
Jumping in the car to avoid busy trains might seem like a good idea at first - until you remember that you’ll then have to deal with traffic and parking fees at Olympic Park.
Public transport is a much more budget-friendly option, and if you pre-purchase a ShowLink ticket, not only will you get discounted entry to the Show, but it also includes the trip there on a bus or train.
Food at events like the Royal Easter Show is notorious for being overpriced. So don’t buy into the convenience of a quick snack from a food truck, or the alluring grease of hot chips and dagwood dogs. Instead, fill a backpack with your favourite snacks from home and bring it with you.
Or, if the food is one of the drawpoints that brought you to the Show in the first place, then be sure to wander through the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome to pick up a few free samples, or buy a Sydney Royal Tasting Plate from The Stables online.
If you’re looking for something to entertain the kids that won't cost you a bundle, then there are heaps of free events to choose from.
Kids can try their hand at some farming at the Daily Telegraph Paddock, stroll along the Animal Walk or get up close and personal in the Farmyard Nursery. There’s also a woodchopping competition, fireworks, a dog show and an interactive bee-keeping demonstration. What more could you ask for?
For many kids, a showbag at the end of the day is a non-negotiable part of the Easter Show. But letting them run wild to choose their favourite isn’t going to do your budget any favours.
The key here is forward planning. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on a showbag - say, $15. Then do your research online to find out which bags will net the best value for your dollar. You can even let your kids browse the bags online so they know exactly what they’re after when they get to the showbag pavilion.
With a number of showbags on offer for $10 or under, there’s no reason you should overpay to take part in this Royal Easter Show tradition.
So there you have it: your plan for a cheap as chips Royal Easter Show trip! Got other strategies for saving money at the Show? Let us know in the comments below.