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Iowa State Fair, DNR Building
Iowa State Fair, August 10 - 20, 2017

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. 

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 2017 Iowa DNR Courtyard Schedule.

2017 Iowa State Fair, Recipes

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

Inside the DNR building, DNR experts will be on hand daily to answer any questions you may have related to Iowa’s natural resources.  Take time to browse around the many exhibits within the DNR, including the Hike, Bike and Paddle zone, Watch and Learn zone, Stay and Play zone, In Your Home zone and meet our DNR law enforcement officers. Take a peek at the live fish and reptiles in the aquariums, and get a close-up look at the mounted wildlife that are native to Iowa. You can even buy or renew a one-year subscription to the DNR’s Iowa Outdoors magazine for $15 and receive a free t-shirt or renew or purchase your hunting tags or fishing licenses. 

The DNR courtyard contains a nice shady area with many benches and picnic tables for families to enjoy overlooking a pond with live ducks. The courtyard stage will have several educational and interactive presentations daily. You can find a full schedule of courtyard stage events here. Some highlights of the courtyard presentations include:       

  • From the farmer’s market to the Dutch oven (Thursday, August 10)
  • Paddling Iowa: places to go and safety tips (Thursday, August 10)
  • Selecting the right trees to plant in your yard (Friday, August 11)
  • Fishing technology, cooking and cleaning fish (Saturday, August 12)
  • Fishing technology: using the DNR’s website to track fish (Saturday, August 12)
  • Live animals: Trumpeter swans, reptiles and amphibians of Iowa (Sunday, August 12 and Friday, August 18)
  • Healing through hunting: Wounded Warrior Hunts (Monday, August 14)
  • Training your new hunting dog (Monday, August 14)
  • Tree diseases and insects (Tuesday, August 15)
  • Every drop counts: from the ground to the tap (Tuesday, August 15)
  • Managing your farm pond and woodland resources (Tuesday, August 15)
  • Celebration of Boy Scouts projects in natural resources (Wednesday, August 16)
  • Volunteer opportunities in the outdoors (Wednesday, August 16)
  • When junk becomes art (Saturday, August 19)
  • Bringing technology outdoors (Sunday, August 20)

Mark those calendars and be ready to join us at the Iowa State Fair, August 9 - 19, 2018!