Amusement ParkTheme parks and fairgrounds offer fun for people of all ages. And you can have even more fun if you know some of the tricks of the theme park trade. Here are six ways to get more out of your visit:

Don’t pay top dollar at the gate. Buy admission tickets from Groupon, follow the park’s Facebook or Twitter page for special promotions, or look for discounted ticket offers from grocery stores, fast food chains and memberships like AAA, AARP or warehouse clubs.

Skip pricey photos and souvenirs in the park, which are marked up significantly. Unless you are a super fan or collector, you can pick up souvenirs online after your visit, and sometimes find them cheaper on the park’s own website. Turn your own smartphone snaps into souvenirs with a free photo editor like LunaPic.

BYOW. It’s important to stay hydrated on hot days, but water can set you back several dollars per bottle if you buy from the park. Many parks allow you to bring in an empty bottle you can fill at drinking fountains. This will save you money and prevent overheating, which causes more theme park injuries than all other injuries combined.

Snap a photo of your parking spot, drop a GPS pin in your phone’s map app, or park near clearly recognizable features, so you can spare yourself wandering through the parking lot at the end of a long day. This can be especially helpful if you have exhausted little ones in tow.

To beat long lines arrive early. Also, weekdays and before and after students are out for summer break (i.e., early June or September) are often the least crowded.

Carnival games may not be rigged, but wins won’t come easy. Find the easiest games by watching the number of winners in a given period, or simply learn how to beat them.

Try these tips soon, and make having more fun the theme for your next amusement park visit!

Sources: Real Simple, Reader’s Digest, The Fun Times Guide

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