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“Worth a look around”

State Historical Museum
Ranked #12 of 66 things to do in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Des Moines
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Worth a look around”
Reviewed 20 January 2014

I think the highlight of the historical museum is the wooly mammoth skeleton that is in the main lobby. For as big as the museum is there isn't too much to look at; however the displays that are up are very nicely put together. There's a few permanent sections about prehistoric Iowa, pioneer life, and coal mining. When we were there the museum also had displays about RAGBRAI, the civil war, and preserving the artifacts in the museum. I was here with my husband and brother and we spent a couple of hours wandering around. Admission is free and its a good spot to spend a cold afternoon.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank SillyG2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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137 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Dacula, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great for the Whole Family and Free!”
Reviewed 7 January 2014

We were in Does Moines for a short stay. It was snowing and very cold as we walked towards the capital. We came upon the museum and what a pleasant surprise. There is a host of historical information and we could not believe it was free. The entire family enjoyed the multiple stations painting a picture of the olden days in Iowa. Very interesting!

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Stubailer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“More of a venue to rent, instead of being an Iowa Historical Museum”
Reviewed 27 November 2013

When the Iowa Historical Museum first opened, it was bright, vibrant & engaging. The building was well staffed with people that knew history and the artifacts. Lately, that is not the case. They've cleared out exhibits and the center area so they could rent the facility out for weddings and events for big money. This is a huge disappointment. They even removed the Duane & Floppy exhibit into storage... later claiming they intended to have Floppy evaluated in Nebraska. There's been no news since. Everyone is asking... Where's Floppy?

Visited September 2013
2 Thank MStanwick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lakeland, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
307 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 287 helpful votes
“Worth a stop”
Reviewed 19 October 2013 via mobile

The building stands almost in the shadow of the state Capitol. Fascinating look at the history of the state from the native Indian days through territorial status and eventual admission as the 29th state of the union. Great exhibits and loads of great information. Suggest you allow half a day here. We spent over 2 hours and wished we had more time. Admission is free.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Frenchguy48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Really interesting!”
Reviewed 7 September 2013

We were looking for place to waste some time before driving home to Omaha and found out this place was free. Perfect! I have to say that I am a history buff and love museums (and it was totally hot that day, so I wanted to be indoors), but I found this place very interesting and learned a lot I didn't know about Iowa and the Midwest before. There's so many great pieces to see, like a fantastic Civil War exhibit with uniforms and weapons, etc. and lots of pioneer stuff too. And lots to read. I really enjoyed this museum a lot!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank FootballFangirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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