The Iowa State Fair has a wide variety of free, family-friendly fun coming to the 2017 Fair. “Nothing Compares” to kid friendly fun at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 10-20.

NEW in 2017

In 2017, the Iowa State Fair unveils Thrill Parks: Thrill Ville, Thrill Town and Thrill Zone. Thrill Town is the perfect place for little Fairgoers and their families to find loads of fun and stroller parking. Thrill Town is located east of gate 10 and directly north of the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center Lawn. For the bigger kids, be sure to check out Thrill Ville between the Grandstand and Ye Old Mill.

• Super Tall Paul will dazzle audiences of all ages with his skills of juggling, dancing, miming, improvisation and various instruments at Expo Hill

• Bandaloni gives musical entertainment a funny facelift as he belts out familiar family favorites while playing guitar, harmonica, tambourine, high-hat, kick-drum and snare at the same time, strolling grounds daily.

• Robocars are unique and brightly colored vehicles which transform into life-size robots, strolling the grounds daily.

• Vodvill Klown with his hilarious Slapstick Circus Act explores the possibilities of circus skills in the real world daily at Hy-Vee Fun Forest.

• Hedrick’s Petting Zoo provides an educational and entertaining display of the widest variety of exotic animals daily at Kids’ Zone.

• Andringa Family Foundation Little Hands on the Farm teaches children the importance of agriculture and how it affects their daily lives in a fun and interactive way at Kids’ Zone.

• Grape Stomp - Feel the squish of grapes between your toes at Grandfather’s Barn.

• Fair Contests: Bubble Gum Blowing, Pie Eating, Pedal Tractor Pull, Mutton Busting, Scavenger Hunt, Mom Calling, Children’s Singing, Checkers Tournament and even the Pigtail, PonyTail, Braid, Mullet & MoHawk Contest. (locations and times vary)

• Balloon Masters art exhibit - watch the brightly colored balloon masterpiece come to live daily in the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building.

• Art Works, formerly known as the Governor’s VSA Arts Festival recognizes and celebrates artists of all ages with disabilities. Shows daily at the Hy-Vee Fun Forest.

• Sandscapes – A team of national, international and world champion sculptures construct an agriculture-themed masterpiece daily at Ruan Plaza.

Blue Ribbon Kids:

Events at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., sign up 45 minutes prior at Hy-Vee Fun Forest.

- Thursday, Aug. 10 – Make and Take T-Shirt Day

- Friday, Aug. 11 – Rabbit Hopping and Cavy Courses

- Monday, Aug. 14 – Blue Ribbon Foundation

- Tuesday, Aug. 15 – Story Time with Dan Wordell

- Tuesday, Aug. 15 – The Many Hats of an Iowa Farmer

- Wednesday, Aug. 16 – The Wonderful World of Eggs with the Iowa Egg Council

- Thursday, Aug. 17 - Hy-Vee Kids Fit - 10 a.m. only

- Thursday, Aug. 17 - “My Family’s Corn Farm” - 5 p.m. only

- Friday, Aug. 18 - Kids’ Club Gives Back to the Des Moines Police Department

Discounted admission tickets are available now through Aug. 9 with savings of over 30 percent. Purchase tickets online at or at the ticket office located in the Administration building on the Fairgrounds. To find a complete schedule of events or to enter family friendly contests at the Fair, visit “Nothing Compares” to kid’s activities at the 2017 Iowa State Fair, Aug. 10-20.