It’s almost that time of year. The PNE, Vancouver’s annual summer fair, opens on Aug. 20 for 17 days of carnival rides, concerts, deep-fried Oreos, barnyard exhibits and fireworks.
For many Vancouverites, it’s a celebrated summer rite of passage, bringing back fond childhood memories. But one thing that has changed since those good-old-days is the price. Adult admission to the PNE is $20 this year. A ride pass will set you back another $42.75. As amusement parks go, these prices are actually rather reasonable. But for a family, the expenses can add up fast.
For the budget-minded, here’s a quick guide to PNE discounts and freebies:
- Kids are always free: Children under 13 are admitted free everyday. You still have to pay for the rides, but this does shave off the admission price.
- Free admission on Monday, Aug. 22: From 9 a.m.-noon on Monday, Aug. 22, everybody gets into the PNE for free. I don’t think they advertise this very widely, but it’s a great deal. Again, you still have to pay for all the rides.
- Free Summer Nights Concerts with admission: With your $20 admission ticket, you get access to the evening’s Summer Night Concert. Some big-name acts usually show up. This year’s lineup includes Chris Isaak, Air Supply (remember them?), Wilson Philips, Kenny Rogers, Hall & Oates and Donny Osmond.
- Free Superdogs with admission: Another PNE highlight. The Superdogs shows – showcasing acrobatic canines – are staged three times daily at noon, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. inside the Pacific Coliseum. Arrive early for good seats.
- Twilight Ride Pass: After 5 p.m., Monday-Thursday, ride passes are discounted from $42.75 to $29.75 – not a huge break, but every bit helps.
- Miscellaneous free stuff with admission: Among the other activities included with PNE admission are the Peking Acrobats, nightly fireworks celebration and – everybody’s favourite – the Dream Home tour.
Anyone else have any PNE money-saving tips? Please share your suggestions below.