The Iowa State Fair started last week and is still going strong! The Iowa State Fair runs through the end of this weekend – Sunday August 22, 2010. There are plenty of family-friendly activities for moms and kids at the Fair.
For instance, stop at the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center which is open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. This exhibit features new babies of various species such as pigs, cows, sheep, goats, and newly hatched birds, like chicks. ducklings, baby turkeys, and baby ostriches. There are plenty of hand sanitizing stations throughout the building, as well as easily located restrooms.
Also within the Animal Learning Center is the Christensen Farms Stage featuring activities such as puppet shows and story book readings.
The Varied Industries Building also has kid-friendly activities, such as Clifford the Big Red Dog (at the Iowa Public Television booth) . . . and it’s air conditioned, so it’s a nice, refreshing change from the heat and humidity of the outdoors. There are also refreshments sold in this building! There are also easily located restrooms.
Kids (and adults) can also milk a cow! Check out “I Milked a Cow” the cattle barns. Through Saturday, the milking times are 9:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 4:00 PM, and Sunday at 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM.
There are also plenty of horse shows (such as the huge Draft horses, like the Belgians and Percherons) that are interesting and entertaining for spectators, young and old alike, as well as other livestock shows.
Children 2-10 years old will also enjoy “Little Hands on the Farm,” an interactive exhibit, that teaches them about agriculture and how it affects them, showing them where such things as produce, eggs, and milk come from, in a fun, hands-on learning environment. “Little Hands on the Farm” is next to the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center.
Another must-see is in the Agriculture Building – the Butter Cow sculpture – which has been a perennial favorite since the early 1900s. The cow starts off as a wood, metal, wire, and steel mesh frame, and ends up with approximately 600 pounds of pure cream Iowa butter on it sculpted into one of the major dairy breeds (Jersey, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Holstein, Guernsey, and Milking Shorthorn). This year, the companion butter sculpture honors Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.” And yes, the green eggs and ham have been dyed green!
And remember – children 5 and under are free all day, every day. Parents can get in for $5.00 after 5 PM on weekdays (otherwise, adult tickets are $10.00 each).
Plus, there are programs with maps at each admission gate. Check out the Iowa State Fair website for more information.