The kids and I visited the State Historical Building over Spring Break. As a child, I remember taking field trips several times to walk through the exhibits. Just recently, I discovered that they have created a hands-on option for children 10 years and under.
Hands-On History is a great room with lots of fun activities. There are Duplo blocks, a kitchen with pots, pans and food, a place to create rubbings with crayons, a large train table where children can climb under and pop their head through, a large tractor to sit on and more.
There was also an area in the corner with comfy bean bags, where a staff member offered to read a book every so often.
After we played for a bit in the Hands-On History area, Amelia noticed the exhibit through the window where there were wildlife dioramas of elk, bison, turkeys and more in the Delicate Balance. We spent time walking through looking at old dolls, looking at a very large tree stump and walking through a coal mine.
When we were done walking through the exhibits on the lower level we decided to burn off some more energy by climbing the large staircase. If it is a cold day out, this simple activity will for sure wear your children out. Also, there are bathrooms and drinking fountains on every floor. We made sure to stop for a drink at each fountain 🙂
The State Historical Museum of Iowa is free and is open:
Monday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 4:30 p.m.
Make sure to check their event calendar before you visit for special programming and events that may be going on.