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Iowa State Fair, DNR Building
Iowa State Fair, August 11 - 21, 2016

2016 DNR at the Fair Day-by-Day Highlights
Full 2016 Iowa DNR Courtyard Schedule

Located at the west end of the State Fair Grand Concourse, the DNR’s historic aquarium, pavilion and courtyard is a must-see for thousands of fair-goers each year.

Built in 1921, the wrap-around aquarium is the focal point of the pavilion, filled with Iowa fish of all shapes, sizes and species. Throughout the building, park rangers, conservation officers, environmental specialists, biologists, foresters and other staffers are on hand to field visitors’ questions. And, licenses and Iowa Outdoors magazine subscriptions are on sale just inside the main gate of the pavilion. 

Through the west pavilion gates, created with metal trash collected during Iowa’s annual Project AWARE river clean-up, is the courtyard. Here, a pond with waterfowl and turtles, a prairie, a kids nature playscape, a stream, a water bottle filling station, picnic tables, benches and plenty of shade all form a relaxing oasis for hot, weary fair-goers.  

The mobile education exhibits along the north courtyard fence helps visitors learn how to make simple, everyday changes to help protect and improve the environment.  

Three to five presentations are made daily on the courtyard stage including cooking demonstrations and live animal talks. For a list of courtyard theme days and daily stage presentations download the 2016 Iowa DNR Courtyard Schedule.

The DNR’s pavilion and aquarium are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, throughout the fair. 

“Gotta Do, Gotta See” checklist for the DNR 2016 State Fair Exhibit:

  • Marvel at the world’s largest birdhouse
  • Test your skills at the archery range 
  • Flaunt the latest Iowa Outdoors tee shirt, free with a magazine subscription
  • Make fish lips at the lunkers in the aquarium
  • Learn at least one new thing from a stage presentation (2016 Iowa State Fair Recipes)
  • Talk trash as you stroll through the air-conditioned mobile education unit 
  • Create a make-and-take from recycled materials at ReusaPalooza (last Saturday)
  • Quench your thirst at the water bottle filling station or water fountain in the courtyard 
  • Help your child hammer out a birdhouse on Extreme Sunday (Birdhouse information)
  • Cast for fun at Fishing Fridays and catch a bow fishing demo (second Friday)
  • Take a break on a bench or a picnic table in the cool of the courtyard
  • Make Memories photo opportunities throughout the building 
  • Spend the Night cabin replica 
  • Try out a Stand Up Paddle Board from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Iowa DNR Iowa State Fair Flickr Gallery
Flickr Icon, Logo  Iowa State Fair Gallery: flickr.com/photos/iowadnr/sets/72157621848706353/
Visit Us at the Fair and Take it Outside