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“Best State Fair Ever!!”

Iowa State Fairgrounds
Ranked #2 of 66 things to do in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Des Moines
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best State Fair Ever!!”
Reviewed April 29, 2014

The Iowa State Fair has something for everyone. All sorts of entertainment, hands on activities, food, vendors, rides, and just friendly people!!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sonia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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669 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“One of the Places to See on Your Bucket List”
Reviewed April 16, 2014

Great fun, great food (albiet high in fat and cholesterol) and lots to see. For Iowans and others lucky enough to come, this is it. For ten days in the Fall you can get all of the eye candy you can afford. From walking through the cattle barns to seeing the horses to eating everything you can think about on a stick, the fair lets you walk through acres of livestock, travel and entertainment exhibits, food and even the midway.

Starting early in the morning you can catch breakfast at over 100 vendors, move to the pigs, cows, goat, poultry, rabbit and horse barns. Later you can take in a show at various venues on the Grand Concourse, catch a radio or TV show at the Crystal studios or across the street at the Maytag Family Theatre. Grab a lunch at one of the vendors along the way and relax while eating your lunch listening to one of the acts on the Bill Riley stage. Later view the displays both inside and out at the John Deere Horticulture and Elwell Family Food Center, take in the advertisers at the Varied Industries and Patty & Jim Cownie Cultural Center, see agriculture come to life in the Paul Knapp agriculture center and wind down your evening with a meal from the Stockman's Cattle barn, the Pork barn or the Turkey barn, while taking in a concert behind the Midway. End your evening with a concert at the Grandstand and enjoy a fireworks display afterward. If you want to divert from any of these activities enjoy yoursel for a while at the Midway or by taking a ride on the Ye Olde Mill of flying overhead on the one of two chair lifts. Finally you can retire at the campground or at one of the many hotels/motels in the city.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank DANIEL F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best State Fair in the Midweat”
Reviewed April 16, 2014

One of the best things about the Iowa State Fair is that once the admission price has been paid, there are numerous things to do that are free. And the variety of exhibits is broad in order to appeal to people of all ages.
Over the past 5 years many improvements have been made to the facilities on the fairgrounds. Most of the buildings have had air-conditioning installed which provides relief from the heat and humidity of an August summer day.
The variety of available food choices is vast and can be found at many price points.
It provides a great day of fun for the whole family!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank IATravelGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The greatest State Fair”
Reviewed April 16, 2014

Wonderful grandstand shows both free and ticketed. Food awesome nothing like it anywhere. Livestock and the great people of Iowa what could be batter.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank goinby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Come to Iowa in August!”
Reviewed April 15, 2014

The Iowa State Fair is definitely worth a visit. The Fair's culture, animals, free entertainment and food will keep you busy for a few days.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lori H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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