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Iowa State Fairgrounds

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Address: E. 30th St. and University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone Number: 515-262-3111
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Description: The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest event...
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.
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Iowa state fair

Love the fair, first day is always the best day to go. Got there early but the best deal for parking is still to ride the bus from Southeast Polk High School.

5 of 5 starsReviewed September 2, 2015
haole11
,
Fairfax, Iowa
via mobile
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450 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Fairfax, Iowa
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW via mobile

Love the fair, first day is always the best day to go. Got there early but the best deal for parking is still to ride the bus from Southeast Polk High School.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

I absolutely love the Iowa State Fair. I have gone every year since I was little, and it never gets old. It really is something you need to see at least once in your life. There's a life size cow sculpted out of butter, shows, rides, etc. There are free shows and contests as well. Plus you have to eat... More 

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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW via mobile

Amazing place to go with your family for a day of fun. Great rides, great food and lots of very cool exibits.

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Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

Even after hearing the hype we weren't prepared for the size and scope of the state fair. We planned a trip to Des Moines to see my grandparents' graves and timed it to coincide with the fair. The fair grounds are huge and well planned, with wide, paved roads and lots of trees. The variety of food is tremendous and... More 

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Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

This is truly the best state fair! I've been to many state fairs and this one is absolutely top notch. Many fairs lack in things to do that aren't carnival rides (North Carolina, I'm looking at you) but my family could spend three entire days here and not run out of things to do! The variety of food is amazing.... More 

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Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW via mobile

Nothing beats the Iowa State Fair and this year was no exception. Record crowds yet I didn't feel smashed and unable to see or do what I wanted. The weather was cooler and it only rained one day which was great not sweltering in the heat. Saw a couple concerts, Carrie Underwood and Alabama. The largest disappointment was cancellation of... More 

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Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

The Iowa State Fair is always fantastic! It's a great place to see the best entertainment including concerts (lots of free ones too), talent shows, comedians, etc. Of course there is every type of food imaginable to try as well! Art shows, craft shows, tractor pulls, amusement park midway, petting zoos, wine tasting...there is something for everyone daily!!

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Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

While visiting my daughter and her boyfriend and his family, we went to the Fair Friday night and Saturday day. It was good, the food was well priced compared to the Texas State Fair's high prices on food and drink, this was a bargain. I would go back when visiting my daughter again if during Fair time.

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Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

Visited twice this year. Excellent entertainment on the free stages; variety of foods and great place to people watch.

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Burlington, Iowa
Level Contributor
38 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2015 NEW

Enjoyed a day at the Iowa state fair. If you like to try fair food, this is the place for you. My son was excited to milk a cow. Lots of "fair" things to do on a bigger scale.

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Iowa State Fairgrounds and other visitors
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
20 days ago
20 days ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?