101 FREEbies 4 Kids at the Iowa State Fair - dsm4kids.com

101 FREEbies 4 Kids at the Iowa State Fair

So much to do so much to see…So what’s wrong with taking in some stuff that’s FREE?  While there are exhibits and events that cost extra at the Fair, there’s so much FREE stuff (included with paid admission) that there’s really no need to shell out a load of cash.  Especially for young kids that don’t know the difference between a FREE show on the Riley Stage and one playing in the Grandstand.  Here are 101 FREE things to do with kids at the Iowa State Fair:

  1. Stop by Kidfind Headquarters on the west end of the Grandstand for a Kidfind tag.
  2. Tap your foot to the strolling Bandaloni One Man Band.
  3. Rev your engine over to the Classic Car Display on Friday, August 14th.
  4. Discover Iowa State Fair treasures and memorabilia at the Richard L. Easter Museum.
  5. Enjoy kids’ activities at Farm With Us, an educational interactive display, in the Ag Building.
  6. Sign up for the Blue Ribbon Kids’ Club and enjoy daily activities.
  7. Watch a mural being created in the Cultural Center Atrium.
  8. S-P-E-L-L at the Youth Spelling Bee on Friday, August 14th.
  9. Chase butterflies through Discovery Garden on the south side of the Ag Building.
  10. Get your gulp on in the Milk Chug a Lug Contest in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center.
  11. Whet your appetite with some blue ribbon recipes in the Elwell Family Food Center.
  12. Learn about wind energy at the Wind Energy Education Center on Expo Hill.
  13. Stroll down the Boulevard of Dairy Breeds and Hall of Champions in the Cattle Barn. 
  14. Meet Dan Wardell and the Cat in the Hat at IPTV’s PBS Kids booth in the Varied Industries building.
  15. Cheer on your favorite competitors as they scramble their way to the top of their division in the Jr. Egg Rolling Contest on Saturday, August 15th at 10:30 am.
  16. Check out Iowa’s Largest Pumpkin on display along Rock Island Avenue throughout the Fair.
  17. Rock out to one of the many performances on the Bud Light Stage.
  18. Cheer on your favorites at the Outhouse Races on Tuesday, August 18th at 2:30 pm.
  19. See some of the most beautiful quilts in Iowa at the Fabric and Threads Department on the second floor of the Varied Industries building.
  20. Get crafty at Art Attack in the Cultural Center’s courtyard.
  21. Check out the projects created by some very talented and creative 4-Hers in the 4-H Building.
  22. Watch as farm dogs compete to outwit herds of sheep and cattle in the Stock Dog Trials on Wednesday, August 19th at 8:00 am.
  23. Go sailing on a comedy treasure cruise with Swashchucklers Comedy Pirate Show in the Kids’ Zone.
  24. Hug or have your pic taken with one of the Fair mascots, Fairfield and Rosetta.
  25. Get your milk questions answered at the Fair’s milking demonstrations in the Milking Parlor.
  26. Watch some talented young people at Bill Riley’s Iowa State Fair Talent Show.
  27. Visit the Big Boar in the Swine Barn and be prepared to discuss his big cojones.
  28. Roll up your sleeves and start frosting at the Kids’ Cookie Decorating Contest on Thursday August 20th at 11:00 am.
  29. Channel your inner Sarah Pratt at the Butter Sculpting Contest in the Paul R. Knapp Learning Center.
  30. Stop and smell the flowers in the Ag Building.
  31. Chug little gear heads over to the Gas Engine Display located west of Pioneer Hall.
  32. Yell for your mother in the Mom Calling Contest on August 20th at 11:00 am.
  33. Take in a horse show at the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center.
  34. Participate in the workings of a pint-sized farm operation at Little Hands on the Farm.
  35. Plant sunflower seeds at the Seed Survivor exhibit in the Kids Zone.
  36. Who needs Top Chef? Watch a food competition in one of the judging rooms at the Elwell Family Food Center.
  37. Stop by Expo Hill daily for the acrobatic Red Trouser Show.
  38. Participate in Sweet Corn Shucking on Thursday, August 20th at 12:00 pm.
  39. Watch as the theme of Celebrate Agriculture unfolds at the Sandscapes Sand Sculpture in the South Atrium of the Varied Industries Building.
  40. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Super Bull.  Find him taking names and swatting flies in the Cattle Barn throughout the Fair.
  41. Check out the Plant of the Day in the Discovery Garden on the south side of the Ag Building.
  42. Channel your inner Jimmy Fallon at the Joke Telling Contest on August 20th at 1:00 pm.
  43. Catch the Woodcarver’s Display and Demonstrations at the Cultural Center.
  44. Burn off some energy on the Fun Forest play equipment.
  45. Share the Fun in the 4-H Building.
  46. Intermingle with the exhibits, such as the 50th Anniversary of the Iowa State Fair Queen Contest, at the Richard O. Jacobson Hall & Kenyon Gallery.
  47. Visit with Oscar the Robot as he provides a spark of energy while wandering the Fairgrounds.
  48. Learn all there is to know about sheep at Sheep Stop in the Sheep Barn.
  49. Whistle a tune in the Whistling Contest on Thursday, August 20th at 1:30 pm.
  50. Dale Jones the One Handed Comedy Juggler will entertain you on the Hy-Vee Fun Forest Stage.
  51. Get a taste of history with the activities showcased in the Country School House.
  52. Enjoy some of the oldies on the MidAmerican Energy Stage.
  53. Watch live chainsaw carving in Heritage Village.
  54. Go goo goo ga ga over the newborns in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center.
  55. Find the ripest tomato in the Ag Building.
  56. I Scream, You Scream at the Ugliest Ice Cream Contest on August 20th at 3:00 pm.
  57. Bone up on the issues affecting children and quiz presidential candidates on Vote for Kids Day, Thursday, August 20th.
  58. Find the queen bee at the Iowa Honey Bee Producer’s booth in the Ag Building.
  59. Watch a fun and entertaining show on the Hy-Vee Fun Forest Stage, Doc Anderson’s “You Can Do Magic”.
  60. Beat the heat with a free fan from one of the vendors in the Varied Industries Building.
  61. Take a tram ride through the campgrounds to visit Iowa’s seventh largest city.  Don’t forget to get your hand stamped before you leave the fairgrounds.
  62. Join the fun on Iowa Park and Recreation Day. Bubble Gum Blowing, Pie Eating, Sidewalk Bowling and more on Thursday, August 20th.
  63. Drop by the Sheep Barn and visit the Big Ram winner.
  64. Bring your family and friends for some fun entertaining education at the Thank a Farmer Magic Show in the Paul R. Knapp Learning Center.
  65. Venture west of the Susan Knapp Amphitheater for authentic reenactments of the mountain man lifestyle in Mountain Man Camp.
  66. Cheer on your favorite babies in the Decorated Diaper and Diaper Derby at the Bill Riley Stage on Friday, August 21st at 10:00 am.
  67. Meet Sparky the Fire Dog, or “Stop, Drop and Roll” at the Halls of Law & Flame on the east side of the Grandstand.
  68. Take a gander at the Butter Cow in the Ag Building.
  69. Step back in time at Heritage Village and see the barber shop, ice cream parlor and general store.
  70. Enjoy some Iowa sweetcorn on Friday, August 21st during the Free Sweet Corn Feed.
  71. Learn how to raise a steer at the Commodity Carnival in the 4-H Building.
  72. Enjoy the shade or cool down in the jumping fountains in Legacy Terrace in front of the Grandstand.
  73. Enjoy hit songs from country artists on the Susan Knapp Amphitheater stage.
  74. Learn about Iowa’s aquatic life in the DNR Building.
  75. Stop by the FFA Exhibits Building to see projects from some of Iowa’s most talented youth.
  76. No detail is too small at the Doll Houses and Miniature Rooms Exhibit in the Cultural Center.
  77. Every limbo boy, girl and llama? Do the limbo rock at the Llama Limbo Contest on Saturday, August 22nd at 6:00 pm.
  78. Get all your horse questions answered at Horse Haven in the Horse Barn.
  79. Get tatted up with temporary tattoos from one of the businesses and local colleges in the Varied Industries Building.
  80. Enjoy a Science Show presented by the Science Center of Iowa on Sunday, August 23rd at 8:00 am on the MidAmerican Energy Stage.
  81. Break out the glue gun for Agriculture Craft Hour in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center.
  82. Learn about Iowa’s wildlife and outdoor activities in the DNR Building Courtyard.
  83. Bring out your inner stylist at the Pigtail, Ponytail, Braid and Mohawk contest on Sunday, August 23rd at 1:00 pm.
  84. Gaze upon the longest green bean in the Ag Building.
  85. The Rubber Chicken Show will amuse you on the Hy-Vee Fun Forest Stage. 
  86. Enter the Mother Daughter Look-A-Like contest on August 23rd at 1:00 pm.
  87. Feel the squish of grapes between your toes during the Grape Stomp at Grandfather’s Barn
  88. Cheer on dog and owner as they crawl, weave and jump at Dog Agility Demonstrations on Sunday, August 23rd at 6:30 pm.
  89. View handmade dolls, clothing and needlepoint at the Fabric and Threads Department on the second floor of the William C. Knapp Varied Industries building.
  90. Get all your cattle questions answered at Cattle Corner in the Cattle Barn.
  91. Get your motor run’n on the Avenue of Motorcycles, Sunday August 23rd.
  92. Hit the AgVenture Discovery Trail, an ag-themed scavenger hunt that leads kids through the Fairgrounds as they learn about livestock, wind energy, crops and more.
  93. Stop by First Church and join one of the daily hymn sings.
  94. Eat an Egg on a Stick from the Iowa Egg Council in the Ag Building.
  95. Get the kids more interested in science, technology, engineering and math.  Sunday, August 23rd is Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Day.
  96. Start your day of right with Fitness on the Hill every morning of the Fair.
  97. Color at Iowa Food and Family Project’s booth in the Varied Industries building and receive a coupon redeemable for a free ice cream cone at McDonald’s.
  98. Learn all there is to know about pigs at Pig Place in the Swine Barn.
  99. Don’t pass go!  Go directly to the Monopoly Butter Sculpture.
  100. If the kids are whining, head for the Grape Getaway, kids’ activities in a tent located by Grandfather’s Barn.
  101. Cap off your day at the Fair with a beautiful fireworks display following each musical Grandstand performance.


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