Non-Fair Time Camping

*Off-season campgrounds will be closed July 18 – August 19. Polk County Fair participants will be allowed to camp during their Fair time.*

Flexible, Versatile, Affordable

  • Open mid-April through mid-July and September to mid-October. 
  • 160 acres of gently rolling woodlands, just minutes from city shopping, dining
    and entertainment
  • 2,300 sites with water and electrical hookups
  • 734 sites with sewers
  • Economical rates
  • 24-hour security
  • Fairgrounds facilities and planning staff available for larger groups and events, including groups that require a large number of camping spaces
  • Severe weather storm shelter is available in the campgrounds

Non-Fair Time Camping Rates:

  • $28 per night for all utilities (water, electricity and sewer)
  • $26 per night for water and electricity
  • Extra vehicle charges may apply.
  • Limited lower grounds camping is available for exhibitors during interim events. 
  • Different rates apply during the Fair.

For additional information please call 515.262.3111 ext. 284 or e-mail 

Conveniently Located

Centrally located just off I-80 and I-35 in Des Moines, the Fairgrounds are located at East 30th Street and East University Avenue. 

Northern Iowa - From I-35, take I-235 to Exit 10A then head east on E University Avenue approximately four miles to the Fairgrounds.

Southern Iowa - From I-35, take IA 5/US 65 to Exit 79 then head west on E University Avenue approximately four miles to the Fairgrounds.

Eastern Iowa - From I-80 take Exit 141 (Hwy. 65 Bypass), travel south on Hwy. 65 to Exit 79 and head west on Hwy. 163 (E University Avenue) approximately three miles to the Fairgrounds. 

Western Iowa - From I-235, take Exit 10A then head east on E University Avenue approximately four miles to the Fairgrounds.

Excellent Facilities

Amenities include 2,300 sites with water and electrical hookups and 734 sites with sewers. Three large bathhouses with showers, toilets and sinks accomodate thousands. A unique safe shelter, including an office and bathhouse, was completed in 2003. Five dumping stations provide convenient waste disposal for RVs and trailers.

Larger groups can also make use of Fairground facilities. These include exhibit buildings, meeting rooms, picnic shelters, arenas and large parking lots. An expert planning staff will be glad to help you with all the details that can make your event extra special, all at surprisingly low cost.

Camping during the Iowa State Fair!

It's a great way to enjoy the fun and festivities of Iowa's biggest celebration! Every August, thousands of Fairgoers from all over the Midwest park their trailers and pitch their tents during the Fair. Whether it's a vacation or a family reunion, stop by for a night - or two weeks - and experience America's classic State Fair. For more details, see our fairtime camping page.