Iowa State Fair Offers Entertainment and Activities Just for Kids

The Iowa State Fair has a wide variety of free, family-friendly fun coming to the 2014 Fair. Kids’ activities and entertainment, all free with admission, can be found everywhere from the Kids’ Zone to the Fun Forest Stage. “Nothing Compares” to the Iowa State Fair, set August 7-17.

The Kids’ Zone – a special area packed with games and entertainment – is planned with young Fairgoers in mind. Experience the wonders of Bruno’s Tiger Show. Learn about farming and celebrate Little Hands on the Farm’s 10th anniversary. Learn more about water, light, soil nutrients and plant growth at the interactive Seed Survivor display. Before you leave, visit the Blue Ribbon Kids tent for fun Fair-themed activities every weekday.

Blue Ribbon Kids, the Fair’s special club for ages 10 and under, allows children to experience the Fair from a unique perspective. Blue Ribbon Kids members will get to be part of the action during special club activities every morning at 10 a.m. in the kids’ club tent in the Kids’ Zone, north of the Animal Learning Center and will last 30-60 minutes. Membership is free and children can sign up between 9 and 9:30 a.m. for any club event or download a form at and bring it along.

Schedule of Blue Ribbon Kids Events:

Thursday, August 7 – Become a Fair Entrant Day

Friday, August 8 – Paint the Sidewalks Day

Monday, August 11 – Dairy Daze Day

Tuesday, August 12 – Plant with Us Day

Wednesday, August 13 – Pay It Forward Day

Thursday, August 14 – Baby Farm Animal Day

Friday, August 15 – Make and Take Craft Day

Fun Forest Stage:

The Fair’s family-friendly Fun Forest Stage is nestled in 1.5 acres of fun, located east of the John Deere Agriculture Building. All shows are ASL interpreted, courtesy of the Deaf Action Center and the Iowa State Fair.

James Johnson’s World Record Balloon Stunt Show includes visual comedy, magic and stunts. He is best known for “pushing the limits” as he puts people inside a giant, 6 foot in diameter, latex balloon. Shows begin daily at 11 a.m.,1 and 3 p.m.

The Rubber Chicken Show starring Greg Frisbee, a comedian, juggler and escape artist. He keeps the audience on their toes by juggling while his hands are on fire, escaping from a straight jacket and launching a rubber chicken with a cannon. This family-friendly event is sure to entertain. Shows begin daily at Noon, 2 and 4 p.m.

Grounds Attractions:

The Red Trouser Show offers a high-end street theater production full of acrobatic tricks and hilarious stunts. This professional and highly skilled duo uses fire, juggling and illusions to provide a unique and visible attraction that leaves awe-stricken audiences laughing. Shows daily at Noon, 3, and 6 p.m. on 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, snare and more – all at the same time! Strolling daily at 11 a.m.,1 and 3 p.m.

Hedrick’s Petting Zoo is the ideal place for fairgoers can get up-close-and-personal with zebras, kangaroos, camels and more in a safe and fun environment. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. north of Gate 11.

More Entertainment:

In addition to feeling the squish of grapes between your toes during the Grape Stomp (daily, 11 a.m., 2, 3, and 6 p.m.), more Grape Getaway kids’ activities will be held daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in a tent north of Grandfather’s Barn.

No matter what your age, fun will be had by all on Iowa Park and Recreation day, Thursday, August 14. Participate in bubble gum blowing (9 a.m.) and the pie eating contests (10:30 a.m.) on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage and the Big Wheel Races (11 a.m. and 1 p.m.), arts and crafts (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and scavenger hunts (1 p.m.) on the Grand Concourse.

Stop by the Maytag Family Theaters to enjoy Pella Wildlife Company’s daily educational presentations. Learn about Iowa’s wolves and bats, or become an expert on reptiles and birds of prey. Shows daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Stop by the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building Atrium for the return of Sandscapes, a team of national, international and world champion sand sculptors, and watch them construct an agriculture-themed masterpiece. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Silly Sally the Clown’s shows teach and entertain audiences of all ages with magic, music, puppetry and dancing. The performance will be held on Thursday, August 7, at 10:30 a.m. on the Fairview Stage.