There’s no better place to be a kid than the Iowa State Fair!

Whether it’s jumping into a hands-on Blue Ribbon Kids activity, pretending to be a farmer at Little Hands on the Farm or whirling on a ride, the Fair has enough kid-friendly activities to keep families busy all 11 days!

Interactive learning at Little Hands on the Farm

Blue Ribbon Kids Club

Blue Ribbon Kids, the Fair's special club for ages 10 and under, allows children to experience the Fair from a unique perspective. Blue Ribbon Kids members will get a rare glimpse at the heart of the Iowa State Fair and become part of the action during special kids' club activities. Blue Ribbon Kids' Club members not only get a hands-on Fair experience but will receive a birthday card and a quarterly newsletter after signing up.

Coupon books for 2018 are no longer available, however, kids can still sign-up and attend Kids' Club events.


2018 Kids’ Club Events!

Thursday, August 9 – Make and Take T-shirt Day at Kids’ Club - 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. – Kids’ Club members will have the chance to color their very own Blue Ribbon Kids Club T-shirt.  T-shirts will range from youth small to adult X-large and will be on a first come first serve basis. A new design for 2018 is being created!                 

Friday, August 10 – It’s Pets’ Day at Kids’ Club - 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. –  Have you ever wondered if your dog or cat is healthy? How much water should they drink...should I be brushing their teeth? Learn those things and more about your pets from the people who know pets best, our friends at the Ankeny Animal and Avian Vet Clinic.                    

Monday, August 13 – It’s Piggie Day at Kids’ Club - 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. – Come join our friends from the Iowa Pork Producers Association along with Erin Brenneman and Cristen Clark as they tell us all about the pigs they raise on their farms right here in Iowa! Did you know that Iowa is home to more pigs than people? These ladies get to work with pigs every day and are very excited to tell you all about it. You might even get the chance to have your picture taken with a baby pig from the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center!

Tuesday, August 14 – “Chopped” Kids’ Club Style - 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. –  Here is your chance at making a snack from the food ingredients in the basket! Come cheer on some of our own Kids’ Club chefs as they create some snack masterpieces all while learning about healthy snacks!    

Wednesday, August 15 – Kids Yoga Day at Kids’ Club - 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. – Come practice your best yoga poses at the first ever yoga day at Kids’ Club! Get ready to have some fun!  

Thursday, August 16 – Kids’ Club Gives Back - Serving Older Iowans - 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. – Kids’ Club on Thursday, August 16 will be all about how we can show respect and help our older and wiser friends. We will be decorating backpacks for wheelchairs and coffee cups that will be donated to nursing homes across the state! What a fun day it will be!                  

Friday, August 17 - Dallas and Polk County Extension, STEM and 4-H Day at Kids’ Club - 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. –  Come and learn about Iowa 4-H and Clover Kids programs along with other opportunities extension offers for kids and families. There will be STEM activities including bug bots and crafts!    

NEW: Blue Ribbon Kids Club Saturday Meet and Greets Announced!

Meet and Greet with Robo Cars and Fairfield and Rosetta

Saturday, August 11 - 10 a.m. at Fun Forest Stage

Start your day by meeting the Fair’s icons Fairfield and Rosetta. Get a signed autograph page and have your picture taken with the Fair’s most

famous ribbons!  Also be sure to come and see one of the Fair’s strolling acts, Robo Cars. These transforming cars will be a tractor and a fire truck for 2018!

Meet and Greet Breakfast with Dan Wardell from IPTV Kids Clubhouse

Saturday, August 18 - 10 a.m. at Fun Forest Stage

Eat breakfast with IPTV host Dan Wardell from the IPTV Kids Clubhouse! Dan will be on hand to have breakfast and to read a story! It is sure to be an amazing time!

Any questions please contact

Team ISF

Team ISF is a volunteer based program for youth, ages 11-15, who are interested in becoming more actively involved in the inner workings of the Iowa State Fair. Team members will not only have the option of assisting with the various programs and departments that make the Iowa State Fair one of the most acclaimed Fairs in the nation but while volunteering they will obtain points that turn into prizes ranging from a Team ISF water bottle to a sweatshirt to Grandstand concert tickets. 

To join, simply fill out the membership form and return to Team ISF, Iowa State Fair, PO Box 57130, Des Moines, IA 50317-0003. A parent or legal guardian must fill out the bottom of the form. Once the form is returned a membership packet will be mailed to you. Remember, membership is completely FREE!

Team ISF Membership Form

Vet Camp & Advanced Vet Camp

It's the chance of a lifetime!

Vet Camp is an educational, exciting, hands-on learning program aimed at encouraging 4th - 7th graders to learn about animal health, welfare and what it is like to be an animal doctor. Vet Camp registration is currently full, however, submit your registration form today to be on the waiting list. 

Vet Camp Registration Form

Advanced Vet Camp is for 8th - 12th grade who have an interest in Veterinary Medicine. This two-hour program will focus on both large and small animal veterinary medicine along with information on attending vet school.

The two-hour long programs focus on both large and small animal veterinary medicine. Vet Camp and Advanced Vet Camps are FREE with paid Fair admission. Spaces are limited and fill up fast!  All registrations must be submitted or postmarked by May 15, 2018. 

Advanced Vet Camp Registration Form

Vet Camps Brochure

Contact Emily Wynn at or 515.401.1544 with questions

Little Hands on the Farm

Located in Kids Zone, Little Hands on the Farm teaches children the importance of agriculture and how it affects their daily lives in a fun and interactive way. Children ages 2 to 10 become farmers at this free, hands-on exhibit. Children obtain a gathering basket and proceed along a path that includes a garden, grain bin, apple orchard, chicken coop, tractor shed, sheep barn and dairy barn. After gathering particular items along the way they get the chance to sell these items at the Little Hands on the Farm Farmers’ Market for a Little Hands dollar to spend at the Grocery Store for such items as a piece of fruit, a granola bar or an ice cream sandwich. 

Little Hands on the Farm Map

Petting Zoo

Hedrick’s Educational Petting Zoo provides an educational and entertaining display of the widest variety of exotic animals. From camels, zebras, alpacas, and more, children and adults alike will love the up-close experience with some of the world’s most fascinating animals.

Located in Kids Zone north of Little Hands on the Farm.

coloring contest 

Entrants from across the Midwest competed for ribbons in the Coloring Contest judged prior to the start of the 2018 Iowa State Fair.  All entries are on display in the Animal Learning Center throughout the Fair.

Complete results below:

3-4 Years Old

1) Samantha Hook, Road Lake Heights, IL

2) Greyson Pressley, Aurelia, IA

3) Jack Wolter, Asbury, IA

5-6 Years Old

1) Brody Pressley, Aurelia, IA

2) Evelyn Ricker, Spirit Lake, IA

3) Miley Koehler, Glenwood, IA

7-8 Years Old

1) Breonna Stewart, Bloomfield, IA

2) Max Koehler, Glenwood, IA

3) Kaytlin Kendrick, West Des Moines

9-10 Years Old

1) Clay Smith, Fort Madison, IA

2) Ethan Kendrick, West Des Moines, IA  

3) Phoebe Schaffer, Elkhart, IA

Anything Goes

1) Summer Field, Lakeville, MN

2) Larryme Stewart, Milton, IA

3) Anna VanDell, Deland, Fl

Intellectual Disabilities

1) Michael Hindman, Sioux City, IA

2) Tesia Cave, Marshalltown, IA

3) Katy Miller, Marshalltown, IA