A proud tradition since 1854, the Iowa State Fair is included in the New York Times bestseller, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, and was the inspiration for the novel, State Fair, three motion pictures and a Broadway musical.

Experience nearly 200 mouthwatering food choices, fabulous free entertainment and plenty of blue-ribbon competition. The Iowa State Fair is a 2009 and 2010 American Bus Association Top 100 event and 2009 Discover America Top 200 event.

Location and Directions

The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th Street & East University Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, just off I-35 and I-80.

Driving Directions

Future Fair Dates

  • 2017 August 10-20
  • 2018 August 9-19
  • 2019 August 8-18
  • 2020 August 13-23
  • 2021 August 12-22

2016 Advance Admission

  • $8 Adult Advance Admission (purchased pre-Fair)
  • $4 Child (ages 6-11) Advance Admission (purchased pre-Fair)
  • Children ages 5 and under are FREE

2016 Gate Admission

  • $12 Adult Gate Admission (day of)
  • $6 Child (ages 6-11) Gate Admission (day of)
  • Children ages 5 and under are FREE

Special Fairtime 2016 Admission Offers

  • Opening Day (Thursday, August 11): Bring 3 cans of non-perishable food for a $3 discount on an adult admission ticket.
  • Veterans’ Day (Monday, August 15): $8 for active and former members of the United States military who can show proof of veteran or active military status and their spouse.
  • Older Iowans’ Day (Wednesday, August 17): $8 for Fairgoers ages 60 and older. 
  • Extreme Sunday (Sunday, August 21): half price adult and child admission; not good with any other discount.
  • Discounted Admission Available at the gate Monday–Thursday evenings from 5 to 10 p.m. and all day.

Iowa State Fair trivia - great for fun bus games


Map of motor coach drop-off and parking
Older Iowans’ Day drop-off and parking map

Fairgrounds Map

Map of the Iowa State Fairgrounds