Iowa State Fairgrounds Playground

The Iowa State Fairgrounds’ playground is fun to explore year-round! When we first moved here, a local mom tipped me off to the cheapest way to check out the Iowa State Fair with young kids: going the night before they open! The animals are all there, the playground is open, and some of the food vendors are happy to serve up some food on a stick. I prefer the fair in all its sweaty, crowded, crazy glory during the week, but it occurred to me that the playground would be great to visit when it wasn’t so busy. We had a great time playing on the wooden train playground and the climbing wall; it would be a great place to take a walk with strollers too. The fairgrounds often host animal shows and the barns are free to walk around in, check their calendar to see what else you might check out after the playground!

dsmof disclaimer


Name: Iowa State Fairgrounds Playground
Address: 3000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50317
Type: Places to play and places to take a walk
Bathrooms: Not unlocked during non-fair time
Shade: Yes, the playground is partially shaded by trees
Playground: Yes
Trails: Yes; paved sidewalks
Water: No
Official Website:

Other things nearby of note:

Strasser Woods State Preserve: Park Visit

Grandview Park and Sprayground – Des Moines, Iowa

If you’re looking for other places to get outside, check back in with the interactive map!



Full map found online here; the playground is located inside that blue square. I found parking along the street nearby without any trouble.

train playground des moines iowa

kids play area iowa state fair (2)

kids play area iowa state fair (1)

iowa state fairgrounds playground (2)

iowa state fairgrounds playground (1)


Come see the playground at the Iowa State Fairgrounds! Open year round; this is a great place for kids to play at the Iowa State Fair.

1 thought on “Iowa State Fairgrounds Playground

  1. Christine K Page says:

    Do you have historical and photo history and DATES OF OPERATION
    I visited in 50’s 60’s to the original Free Playground up by Women and Children’s Bldg.


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