Enjoy Old-Fashioned Fun at the County Fair

Enjoy Old-Fashioned Fun at the County Fair

There is something old-fashioned and quintessentially “summer” about going to a county fair. Even if you didn’t grow up in the country, a visit to a county fair can make you feel like a kid again.  You’ll also be happy to hear that the price of admission (which is FREE) includes carnival rides, concerts, exhibits, livestock shows, talent shows, kids’ activities, fireworks and more.   This is your complete guide to county fairs in Central Iowa.

Boone County Fair

1601 Industrial Park Road • Boone, IA 50036 • (515) 432-5899

Do you have a tyke that’s crazy about animals? Head to the Boone County Fair where your kids will be able to check out all kinds of farm animals in the barn. This fair goes all out for the kiddos with a Carnival, Bohm Magic Shows, Helping Hands Farm and Kidz Corner specifically designed for them.  They also have a special Kids Day on Friday, July 22nd.

Dates: July 21 – 24, 2016
Hours: Daily 7:30 am to 12:00 am
Admission: FREE.  Ticket information is provided on the website for carnival rides and grandstand events.

Central Iowa Fair

2608 S 2nd Street • Marshalltown, IA 50158 • (641) 753-3671

Red, White and Blue, This Fair’s For You! Kids will have fun on the Pony Go Round Pony Rides; Kid Land, which includes putt putt golf, spin art, inflatables and a dunk tank; and the Rock Climbing Wall. Saturday, July 9th is Family Fun Day with an Ice Cream Eating Contest in the Big Top Tent.

Dates: July 5 – 10, 2016
Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 8:00 am – 11:00 pm; Friday 8:00 am to 10:00 pm; Saturday 7:00 am to 12:00 am; Sunday 7:30 am – 12:00 pm
Admission: FREE.  Select events and activities charge admission.

Dallas County Fair

28057 Fairground Road • Adel, IA 50003 • (515) 993-3728

The day to take a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl at the Dallas County Fair is on Thursday July 7th when it’s $1.00 Kids Day Rides at the carnival. All kids’ rides are $1.00 until 2:30 pm or you can purchase an unlimited ride wristband for $15.00, good from 5:00 pm til close. Weary kids (and parents) can take a load off at the Little Critter Corner or with Mr. Nick Balloon Artist.

Dates: July 6 – July 10, 2016
Hours: 7:00 am – 12:00 am
Admission: FREE.  Ticket information is provided on the website for carnival rides and select events.

Jasper County Fair

359 N. Walnut Street • Colfax, IA 50054 (515) 674-4382

The theme of the 2016 Jasper County Fair is “Sew It, Grow it, Show It”. Entertainment includes Mutton Bustin, Fireworks and a Teen Dance to name a few. Family Day is July 17th and will feature a Hot Dog Eating Contest, Oreo Stacking Contest and a FREE supper.  Monday is Children’s Day with a Kid’s Carnival, Kids’ Corner-Reading with Marcus McIntosh and a parade.

Dates: July 15 – 21, 2016
Hours: Friday 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Saturday to Thursday 7:00 am to 12:00 am.
Admission: FREE. Select events and activities charge admission.

Madison County Fair

1204 W. Summit Street • Winterset, IA 50273 • (515) 462-1295

If you have little daredevils, Saturday, July 16 is Kids Day at the Carnival.  Purchase $12 arm bands and the kids can ride to their hearts content from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Grandstand and Arena events include a truck pull, two rodeos, circle track mud run and mud bog.

Dates: July 13 – 17, 2016
Hours: Wednesday 6:00 am – 11:00 pm; Thursday, Friday & Sunday 6:30 am – 11:00 pm; Saturday 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Admission: FREE.  Ticket information is provided on the website for carnival rides and select events.

Marion County Fair

1000 N Lincoln Street • Knoxville, IA 50138 • (641) 842-5431

The Marion County Fair is chock full of family fun with carnival rides, a rodeo, farm animals, pony rides, face painting and a daily Kids Craft Corner. Families can also go roller skating and play Chicken Poop Bingo.  And, “Boy, let me tell you what”…the Charlie Daniels Band will be playing the Grandstand on July 15th.

Dates: July 15 – 19, 2016
Hours: Friday 9:00 am – 11:00 pm. Saturday 7:00 am to 12:00 am; Sunday 8:00 am to 11:00 pm; Monday 8:00 am – 10:30 pm; Tuesday 7:00 am – 11:00 pm; Wednesday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
Admission: FREE. Ticket information is provided on the website for grandstand events.

Polk County Fair

Iowa State Fair Grounds • 3000 E Grand Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50317 • (515) 262-3111

“Grow it, Sew it, Create it, Show it at the Polk County Fair. Enjoy an authentic county fair close to home with blue ribbon competitions in livestock, produce, home crafts, arts and crafts, and more. The fair features barbeque, Anything Goes Competition, Bill Riley Talent Search and a Teen Dance.

Dates: July 20 – July 25, 2016
Hours: Wednesday 8:30 am – 10:00 pm; Thursday 8:00 am – 10:00 pm; Friday 7:00 am – 10:00 pm; Saturday 8:00 am – 12 Midnight; Sunday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm; Monday 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Admission: FREE

Story County Fair

220 H Avenue • Nevada, IA 50201 • (515) 382-6551

You won’t want to miss all the livestock and pet shows, Queen Coronation and Family Fun Night (Sunday, July 24th) at the Story County Fair.  Mini fairgoers will also enjoy the petting zoo, pony rides, and face painting.

Dates: July 23 – July 27, 2016
Hours: Saturday 8:00 am to 10:00 pm; Sunday 6:30 am to 11:00 pm; Monday 9:00 am – 8:30 pm; Tuesday 8:30 am – 9:00 pm; Wednesday 7:30 am – 8:30 pm
Admission: FREE

Warren County Fair

1400 W 2nd Avenue • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-5861

Family fun abounds at the Warren County Fair.  This year’s family friendly entertainment includes the Nick’s Kid Show, Hillbilly Silly Science and Tom Terrific, The Balloon Man. Kids won’t want to miss the Carnival Rides. Wristbands will be available for $20.00, which allows wearers unlimited rides at specific times each day of the fair.

Dates: July 27 – August 1, 2016
Hours: Wednesday 7:00 am – 11:00 pm; Thursday 6:30 am – 11:00 pm; Friday 8:00 am – 11:00 pm; Saturday 8:00 am – 11:00 pm; Sunday 8:00 am – 11:30 pm
Admission: FREE. Ticket information is provided on the website for grandstand events.



Which Central Iowa County fair is your family’s fav? Give it a shout out in the Comments below!

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