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“Unexpected”

African American Museum of Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Unexpected”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

This is a gem of a small museum. With kids I would plan for about an hour, longer as they get older. They have great interactive exhibits to help kids and adults engage in a very personal way. I especially enjoy the ties to Iowa.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
7 Thank Anne J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Definitely worth a stop!”
Reviewed 2 June 2014

I had a friend visiting from out of town, and we decided at the last minute to drop in after we saw the sign on the highway. I've lived here for several years and never stopped in - it's a real gem! The Czech museum gets much more publicity, but my husband and I thought the African American museum was more enjoyable due to the breadth of exhibits and the number of interactive displays. There were only two other people there late on a Saturday afternoon, so we were able go around at our own pace and see everything just in time to beat closing. Depending on how much you tend to read versus just look at pictures and interact with displays, I'd recommend leaving yourself at least an hour to an hour and a half. We didn't have kids with us and took just under an hour and a half. I'd think most kids would enjoy the numerous interactive displays, too.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Katie1211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“really informative, and stuff for kids too”
Reviewed 14 July 2013

The exhibits are really thoughtful and professionally done. The main permanent exhibit might involve too much reading for kids, but was really interesting to us, and there was a lot we didn't know (for example, they were doing lunch-counter sit-ins in Iowa in 1948!). Some of the first-hand stories of Iowan African-Americans on the laminated cards are really gripping. The rotating exhibit about Africa before the boats was also informative and had lots of hands-on stuff for kids. There were masks and drums and cloths to handle, and a very sobering reconstructed slave-ship bunk you can lie in to give yourself a tiny, tiny taste of what that must have been like. Turns out they also run a summer camp for kids.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank mn_daytrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lebanon, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Impressed!”
Reviewed 21 June 2013

I didn't know what to expect when I stopped here, but I was impressed with the quality of the museum exhibits and the knowledgable staff. There was a good mix of visual and written documents to look at, as well as hands-on exhibits. It's not as large or well-funded as the Czech museum across the river, but it is a great addition to the city and to Iowa's history. Admission was worth it, and there weren't many other people around, so you could go through at your own pace. I don't think they get many visitors, actually, so definitely stop. The exhibits have something for everyone--sports history, civil rights, education, early Iowa history, etc. The special exhibit on West Africa was neat, too, with information on music, food, culture, and history.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank JP L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coralville
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A hands-on learning experience for everyone”
Reviewed 8 February 2013

I was impressed with the wide variety of exhibits and artifacts in this museum. There are wonderful murals too that make you feel as if you are standing right in the African village and that the people there could step out to meet you at any moment. Great hands-on exhibits for adults and children with a chance to play African musical instruments, work with African food, feel woven African cloth, and more. Instead of the usual museum "Do Not Touch" signs, there are lots of "Please Touch Me" signs. Opportunity for young and old to learn something about another culture.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank n1nna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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