State Historical Museum of Iowa

State Historical Museum of Iowa

600 E. Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50319 - United States





Free Everyday

One block west of the state capitol in Des Moines, the State Historical Museum of Iowa showcases the state's rich heritage through a variety of exhibitions, events and year-round programs, including Goldie's Kids Club for children and families. The state's flagship history museum is overseen by the State Historical Society of Iowa, which preserves and provides access to more than 209 million artifacts, photos, documents and other pieces of history at 10 sites across the state.


The museum's exhibits explore a range of topics, including the Iowa Caucuses ("First in the Nation"), Iowa's ties to the movie industry ("Hollywood in the Heartland"), the history of bicycling ("Riding Through History"), the Iowa Territory, the Civil War and natural history. Children and families also enjoy "Hands-On History," an interactive gallery designed just for children.

On Saturday, Sept. 21, visitors will have a chance to learn about the history of flight in Iowa, with a a look at three early 20th century airplanes in the atrium, a paper-airplane making activity, and a flight-themed scavenger hunt. Admission and all of the activities are free. Please check the museum's website,, for details.


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