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Iowa State Fairgrounds

Address: E. 30th St. and University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone Number: 515-262-3111
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89%
Ranked #2 of 103 things to do in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Owner description: The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and...
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Attraction details
Type: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Owner description: The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. Annually attracting more than a million people from all over the world, the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines is Iowa’s great celebration, a salute to the state’s best in agriculture, industry, entertainment and achievement. It is the true heartbeat of the Midwest, unequalled and unduplicated.The Iowa State Fair, the inspiration for the original novel “State Fair” by Iowan Phil Stong, three motion pictures and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway musical, is without a doubt the country’s most famous state fair. National media frequently rank the Fair as one of the top events in the country. In 2004, USA Weekend named the event the #2 choice for summer fun in America, topping New York City’s Times Square, Cedar Point Amusement Park Resort in Ohio and Disneyland in California. Midwest Living magazine named the Fair one of the “Top 30 Things Every Midwesterner Should Experience.” The Fair is also included in the New York Times best-selling travel book 1000 Places to See Before You Die and the subsequent travel book, 1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. and Canada Before you Die. Join us August 7-17, 2014.

Hotels near Iowa State Fairgrounds

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328 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Ankeny, Iowa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

If you like fairs, this probably is one of the best if not the best. Variety is the key word, there is something for everyone at the Iowa State Fair, including a lot of walking (rides are available as well). There are air conditioned attractions as well as areas where you "enjoy" the Iowa August heat and humidity. Food is... More 

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Cancun
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

You will find a lot of the same things to look at that would normally be at any large state fair. I will say that the fair has a number of good concerts every year along with a number of free concerts that are usually pretty good. There is always a lot of fun to be had.

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Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Come to visit the Iowa State Fair. It is the best state fair in the nation. Enjoy the sites and the unique food.

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Norwalk, Iowa
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Iowa State Fair has a little something for everyone. From farming to floral arrangements. From photography to the best homemade quilts. From hertiage of Iowa and it's beauty to horses and grandstand shows. We have all the food you could think of eating on a stick. Like a pork chop on a stick to fried butter on a stick. Not... More 

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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Some much to see and do alot of walking lots of different types of food concerts are awesome we park at the capital and ride the bus so don't have to deal with parking at the fair

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Altoona
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
12 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

To some it is a crowded hot mess with over-priced greasy food. For me and my family it is America at its finest. Farming, arts, crafts, rides, music, food, inventions and numerous of other items. I do recommend purchasing entry ticket prior to the fair. I also enjoy the park and rides (at a discount with prepaid entry fee) but... More 

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Iowa
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
4 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

With approximately 1 million visitors each year, there must be something special about the Iowa State Fair. The food, the animals, the concerts and the people-watching all make this annual event memorable. If you haven't spent a day at the fair, put it on your bucket list.

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Urbandale, Iowa
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
44 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2015

The opportunities for all visitors is nearly limitless. What ever you like to eat, you'll find in some form or another. The displays of art, livestock, agriculture and industry are high quality. The ways to be entertained are abundant from the large to the small stages. Demonstrations are taking place in every quadrant of the fair grounds. I love sitting... More 

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Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
24 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2015

My fathers birthday is in August and every year he craves a giant turkey leg or a lamb burger so we end up spending the day at the state fair. There are subtle changes from year to year but still fun for all ages. Not to mention, people watching is at its best.

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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

As a native Iowan, I try to make my yearly visit to Des Moines for the state fair. I am never disappointed when I leave. Minus last year when I could not find the fried butter. Yes I said it, fried butter on a stick. It tastes like a cinnamon roll. The bbq is amazing as well. If you are... More 

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