Summer festivals, fairs and attractions

Octagon of the Arts Festival on Main Street in Ames.

Hayley Bookey

Iowa’s Popular Fairs and Festivals

Iowa State Fair – Des Moines (August 7th – 17th)

Linn Creek Art Festival – Marshalltown (July 19th)

Crafts, food, music, art

Main Street 4th of July Parade and Festival – Ames (July 4th)

Grinnel Games Weekend – Grinnel (June 13th-15th)

Orange city Tulip Festival – Orange City (May 15th – 17th)

Pella Tulip Festival – Pella (May 1st – 3rd)

Des Moines Art Festival – Des Moines, IA (June 27th – 29th)

Adel Sweet Corn Festival – Adel (August 9th)

Sturgis Falls Celebration – Cedar Rapids (June 26th)

Des Moines Renaissance Fair – Des Moines (August 30th)

Summer Attractions Near Ames

Ames Main Street Farmers Market (Every Saturday May – September 8:00 am – 12:30 pm)

Stop by the Ames Farmer Market to pick up the freshest fruits, veggies, meats, and breads in Ames! There are many different vendors and it is free to attend.

AdventureLand – Altoona, IA (Hours vary)

Take a trip to Adventureland Amusement Park to experience some of the most thrilling rides, food, and fun in Iowa. $40 for a day pass with optional season passes as well.

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad and Museum – Boone, IA

Take a scenic round trip on a dinner train around Iowa at Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad and Museum. Different trains vary in prices ranging from $20-$25 for two hours.

Creative Spirits – Ames

Enjoy a glass of wine to get your creativity pumping while learning how to paint from experienced artists.

Iowa Arboretum – Madrid

The Arboretum refers to themselves as the “Library of living plants.” They give tours and also host events mostly consisting of guests speaking about the importance of plants.


Iowa State University Museums – Ames

Museums consist of: Brunnier Art Museum, Christian Petersen Art Museum, Farm House Museum, Art on Campus Collection and Elizabeth and Byron Anderson Sculpture Garden, each with something unique to offer.

Octagon Center for the Arts – Ames

Exhibits, demonstrative classes, art festivals, and gallery shops all for the enjoyment of Ames residents.


Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards – Ames (11:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday)

Family owned winery right in Ames, featuring events and wine tasting.


Reiman Gardens – Ames (9:00 am – 6:00 pm)

Relaxing and inspiring garden full of sculptures, flowers, plants, and a butterfly house; all for free for Iowa State students!

Snus Hill Winery – Madrid (Open Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM)

Savor Snus Hill’s regional wines while enjoying a seat on their porch or in one of their shaded lawns, or attend one of their many holiday events such as dinner or a concert on the weekend.

Story City Antique Carousel – North Park, Story City

Find the kid in you while you venture to North Park to take a ride on the antique carousel of Story City which has been around since 1913. Afterwards stop by the Antique mall with over 70 different vendors.

Grotto of the Redemption – West Bend

Known as the eighth wonder of the world, Grotto of Redemption is a historical place consisting of eight different grottos which each display a scene in the life of Christ. It contains precious stones and gems and is the largest grotto in the world.