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Iowa State Fairgrounds

Features Animals
Open Now: 7:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Open today: 7:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Review Highlights
Something for everyone

Always hot temp when I go. Hope they bring back the truck and tractor pulls. Dippin dots have... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
via mobile
Must see attraction

This place has everything. Something always going on even if it's not the actual fair. Fun to... read more

Reviewed October 31, 2018
Round Lake, Illinois
via mobile
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent69%
  • Very good22%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“butter cow”(100 reviews)
“fair food”(43 reviews)
“iowa state”(102 reviews)
For 11 days in August, it’s a fairground, but for the other 354 days of the year, the Iowa State Fairgrounds is home to auto shows, livestock exhibitions, flea markets, antique shows, concerts, trade shows and more. See what’s happening this month...more
Open Now
Hours Today: 7:00 AM - 1:00 AM
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Suggested duration: More than 3 hours
3000 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317-2494
+1 800-545-3247
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Reviews (829)
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All reviews butter cow fair food iowa state fair grounds corn dogs pork chop on a stick boar something for everyone free entertainment animal barns cultural center people watching grandstand shows corndogs car show baby animals carnival rides
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1 - 10 of 822 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Iowa State Fair happens once per year for ten days in August. The food will give you indigestion, but you won't be able to resist. Perhaps the one bright spot for food is the Jennie Grinder. I can never go to State Fair and...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Steve L
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Always hot temp when I go. Hope they bring back the truck and tractor pulls. Dippin dots have been gone for two years now-hope they come back. Pineapple whip is so good and refreshing.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Lurch11386
Reviewed October 31, 2018 via mobile

This place has everything. Something always going on even if it's not the actual fair. Fun to walk around off season too, many things to see. Great ingress location for extra fun too.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank bgskyman
Reviewed October 18, 2018 via mobile

First time going to the Iowa State Fair, it was enjoyable. The parking was ample and clean. Plenty of staff to direct traffic. Easy access to the entrance with rides available. The walk ways were wide and clean. Wide variety of food to try. Sweets...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Lisa H
Reviewed October 15, 2018

August may be very hot and humid in Iowa, but you must make a trip to the Iowa State Fair! It's one of the biggest state fairs in the whole United States.Great food, with new items added every year. Great concerts every year. The butter...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank AngieP1988
Reviewed October 12, 2018

The inn's personnel made this trip memorable and comfortable. This was a first time experience to the midwest and found new things which made this a big learning experience.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank helenunderwood
Reviewed October 9, 2018 via mobile

The Iowa State Fair is the largest and arguably the best State Fair in the entire country. I make it an annual outing taking my grandchildren. If you've never been to a fair this is the one to go to

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank diehardcowboy
Reviewed September 13, 2018

This year was at least the third time we’ve made the three-plus hour trek from Kansas City to this fair. Each time, it’s been on a Sunday,, and we had to drive back that evening to get to work the next day. It’s worth the...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Dmarkwind
Reviewed September 12, 2018

Great way to experience Iowa. The Animal Learning Center is a great addition and a wonderful learning experience!

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Vacation187538
Reviewed September 3, 2018

I'm going to try to keep this simple and to the point! The fair is expensive, you have to pay to get there. You have three options when it comes to getting there you can pay to park at the fair which is crazy expensive...More

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank Tim V
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
August 12, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Jo B | Reviewed this property |
This is true, there is water at every food vender
Anne T
August 6, 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from IowaStateFair | Property representative |
Anne, Camping spots are limited, reach out to the the Fair directly to see if there is any availability. 515.262.3111. Thank you and we can't wait to see you here!
June 12, 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from IowaStateFair | Property representative |
Thank you for reaching out with your question. A Grandstand ticket for a concert during the Iowa State Fair does not include admission, however, if you purchase your admission ticket before August 10 you can receive a... More
Travel Forum Posts
Columbus Hotel (1 Replies)
I am attending a horse show at the Ohio Expo Center/State Fairgrounds. I would like to know of any nice hotels in the area. I would like something fairly close and want to avoid getting stuck in traffic on my way from the hotel back to the fairgrounds. I stayed at the comfort Suites last year and it was terrible. They really let it get run down.
January 04, 2008|
Response fromRedColumbus|
the nice thing about the fairgrounds is that you're right off of I-70 so you can go north or south... I'd go south. for a nice basic hotel check out the Red Roof Inn downtown (Nationwide Blvd) or Drury Inn (also on Naationwide)... only a 10 minute drive from the fairgrounds. There's a convention center downtown so finding a room downtown can either be easy peasey or next to impossible the side bonus is, if you can get a room downtown, you'll be within walking distance of a ton of other...More
Inexpensive lodging convenient to State Fairgounds (4 Replies)
Hi. I am looking for inexpensive lodging in a 15 mile radius to the State Fairgrounds. So far my searches are tuning up terrible. Reviews for anything less than $70 a night. We need to stay for a week and cannot afford more. The trip is inrly September. Any suggestions? ThanKYou.
March 18, 2017|
Response fromgrandmalisa|
Have you tried the Extended Stay Americas at Crabtree Valley? I think it will fit your criteria.
Portadown, United Kingdom
Ampitheatre parking? (6 Replies)
Hello, We will be travelling from Orlando to Tampa Amphitheatre at Florida State Fairgrounds for the bruce Springsteen concert on May 1st. So, is car parking easy? Is it free and how soon should I arrive? Thanks.
February 28, 2014|
Response fromjillbozz|
It is easy. Earlier you get there closer it is to park. Has always been free for concerts. Enjoy the show