Family-Friendly Entertainment at the Iowa State Fair -

Family-Friendly Entertainment at the Iowa State Fair

Looking for fun, family-friendly entertainment during your visit to the Iowa State Fair (August 9-19, 2018)? With loads of family-friendly activities and exhibits included in the price of admission, it’s not hard to find.  There can be a lot of walking at the Fair, so it’s always good to take a little break and enjoy some entertainment, sitting down.  That’s why we’ve rounded up this list of family-friendly live performances that will keep the whole family entertained at the Iowa State Fair.

You might also want to check out our article about local county fairs , which is posted in our Summer Fun Guide.  Since we can’t cover everything about the Iowa State Fair in one article, we’ve created an Iowa State Fair Guide, where you can find even more great ideas for enjoying the Iowa State Fair with your kids.

Family Friendly Live Acts at the Iowa State Fair

Fun Forest Stage

The Fun Forest Stage is a hub of entertainment for the grade school-and-under set. Kids can get up and dance to “The Dollipops” who perform daily at 12:00 noon, 2:00 and 4:00 pm and laugh themselves silly at “The Rubber Chicken Show featuring Greg Frisbee” at 1:00 and 3:00 pm daily. And, you patient parents, we near-guarantee adults will be entertained as well…did we mention that the Fun Forest Stage is in the shade!?!

Chainsaw Artist

Watch Gary Keenan as he takes a blank section of timber and turns it into a work of art using his chainsaw. Owls, eagles, bears, alligators – Gary can find all these and more inside logs and pieces of wood. This chainsaw carver’s natural talent is mesmerizing to watch and a Fair can’t miss.  Watch Gary wield his chainsaw August 9-19 at 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, 3:30 and 5:30 pm.

Matt’s Family Jam

Matt’s Family Jam is a modern-day family show band.  Coming from their home in Branson, Missouri, Matt and Lisa Rolf and their three children, Collin, age 19, Adrienne, age 16, and Benny, age 13, deliver a power-packed, energetic, live music show that includes everything from classic hits to current favorites to brand-new original music. Their musical skills treat audiences to a fantastic, entertaining experience at every show. They will perform on the Anne and Bill Riley stage August 9 and 10 at 7:00 and 9:00 pm.

Dan-Dan The Farmer Man

Cool your crowd with the strolling comedy capers of Dan-Dan and his scarecrow. Dan-Dan and his sarcastic sidekick trade farmyard funnies, sing silly songs, and interact with the audience. When the cornball clodhopper cranks up his crop quenching contraption, these rural rubes conjure up a crowd cooling cloudburst! Fast paced, family friendly, truly funny comedy.  Keep an eye out for Dan-Dan as you walk around the Fairgrounds.  You never know where you might run into him.


Performing near the Bud Light Stage, I-Flip is the ultimate aerial show. This incredible 25-minute show contains: aerial bungee, tramp-wall, sphere, power track stunts, and more. To conclude this spectacular show, one of the performers does a 60-foot death defying high fall into a stunt man airbag. Performances are daily at 1:00 and 3:00 pm.

Ron Diamond

A master magician, illusionist and hypnotist, Ron Diamond intrigues his audiences with his impeccable sense of timing, humor and his magic of the mind expertise. With an advanced certification and a practice in hypnotherapy, Diamond brings experience, a down-to-earth style and talent to all his interactive shows, making each and every performance unique and entertaining. He performs on the Anne and Bill Riley stage August 14-18 at 7:00 and 9:00 pm.

Red Trouser Show (Acrobatics, Fire & Comedy)

The Red Trouser Show is a high-end street theater show. From daring feats of balance to amazing acrobatics, the group draws cheers after each new trick. The group performs daily on Expo Hill at 12:00 noon, 2:00 and 4:00 pm.

Bill Riley Talent Show

The Bill Riley Talent Search annually showcases the amazing talents of Iowa’s young people at the Iowa State Fair. Grab some lunch-on-a-stick and watch these talented hopefuls perform at 12:00 noon on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage – and get there early for a good seat.


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


What’s your family’s favorite Iowa State Fair show or live entertainment? Share it with us in the comments below!

Featured photo source Iowa State Fair Website Media Library.

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