Did you miss my first two posts in this series about the Iowa State Fair?
After surveying a small group of fellow Marshalltown Moms, we have heard about your Favorites: Food! Animals! Kid activities/exhibits! 2017 is THE YEAR to make your fair dreams come true, because with our access to technology they have made it SO EASY. So, what should you do?
- Visit https://www.iowastatefair.org/ to view tabs: What’s New, Healthy Choices, Food on a Stick, $3 or Less, Food Finder. $3 or less has food items in ALPHABETICAL ORDER! (LOVE!)
- You guys: utilize the food tab there’s an app for finding food vendors!
- Fun fair tip: The Bud tent fill waters for free! For more than one-day goers, don’t forget to purchase a souvenir cup that you can use again and again! (Better yet, dig your 2016 out from your cupboard and use it!) Find the Blue and White Awnings, at Hardenbrook‘s, they have low prices on their souvenir cups, and you can purchase a sticker for the next year’s use!
- Leave your thoughts in the comments, what is your favorite fair food? I MUST consume a funnel cake every year! (And I WON’T share.)
You wanted to see some animals, eh? Visit at any of these fun Faireas (fair-areas, I made a new word!):
- Avenue of Breeds
- Boulevard of Dairy
- Cattle Corner
- Hedrick’s Petting Zoo: Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., now located in the Kids Zone. (includes camels, zebras, alpacas, and a wide variety of exotic animals!)
- Horse Haven
- I Milked a Cow
- Milking Parlor/Milking Experience
- Paul R.Knapp Animal Learning Center
- Pig Place
- Sheep Stop
And a friendly reminder: Bring your HAND SANITIZER, and use it at least 400x per child on fair days.
You’ve heard about all the activities the fair has to offer, and you want to make the events work for YOUR family. How do you fit it all in effectively? Thankfully, the group at State Fair website has already taken care of that for you. Visit their site and use their comprehensive schedule to select the date(s) of your visit, select which activities you’d like to participate in and then print off your fair itinerary! Easy as pie! https://www.iowastatefair.org/entertainment/fair-schedule/
There are so many different groups to get involved with, which are also all viewable on the Iowa State Fair website. A few examples are:
- Blue Ribbon Kids, which has FREE daily activities at 10 a.m. also offering coupon books for free items/activities throughout the fair. For kiddos ages 2-10!
- Little Hands on the Farm includes an interactive Farm experience where your children ages 2-10 can become farmers! They will gather items in their basket along the Little Hands pathway, also visit a chicken coop and tractor shed, sheep and dairy barns! Then they get an opportunity to sell these items for a Little Hand Dollar at the Grocery Store!
- They also offer Vet Camp (4th grade-7th grade) and Advanced Vet Camp (8th grade- 12th grade) for your kids interested in a future in Veterinary Medicine! This is a FREE two-hour program. There are only 30 spots available per session, so be sure to register ahead of time!!
- On the last day of the fair (August 20th) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. they will be running a STEM Day with multiple exhibits, free items, and opportunities to win prizes! Some exhibitors include: Grout Museum District, ISU Engineering and Community Outreach, John Deere, Program for Women in Science and Engineering, University of Iowa SySTEMs of Discovery, and University for Northern Iowa STEM! This experience is included in your child’s admission fee, which is half off that day!
Thrill Parks goes digital! Fairgoers can easily access rides and games simply by scanning their wristband. Two advanced wristband offers are available pre-Fair but don’t worry if you miss the advanced wristband offers, you can still purchase your wristband at the Fair! » Unlimited Ride Wristband ($36 includes reloadable wristband) Good for 1 day of unlimited rides Monday-Thursday until 9:00 p.m. in Thrill Town or Thrill Ville. Does not include games, but credits can be added at Thrill Park booths on the Fairgrounds. The wristband is reloadable after 9:00 p.m. for more rides and games. One wristband per fairgoer for rides in Thrill Ville or Thrill Town. » Advanced Thrill Pass Wristband($41 for 60 credits includes reloadable wristband) Good any time of the Fair on any ride or game in Thrill Town and Thrill Ville. Wristband is reloadable at any Thrill Park booth at the Fair.
Shopping the Vendors
I personally get enjoyment out of viewing the different vendors, and all the fair has to offer, but it can get tiresome! Sometimes I want to look for something specifically, and the State Fair has thought of this as well! Product Finder!! This is so awesome for checklist-oriented moms! https://www.iowastatefair.org/visit/product-finder/
Search: roofing, spa, jewelry, kitchen, hand-made jewelry, caricatures etc! Plan your visits around the activities the kids are participating in. (Hey! Maybe leave Dad/Grandma/Aunt Jane with the kids so Mama can go shoppin’!)
Enjoy your families, stay safe, and eat plentifully. 😊
View more posts in this series about the Iowa State Fair: