Many of you may know the city of Pella, Iowa, for its gorgeous tulips that bloom every spring and its weekend-long annual Pella Tulip Time Festival. But Pella is a great place to visit even when tulips are not in bloom. We spent a lovely day exploring downtown and learning about Pella’s history. We love this quaint town!
Where is Pella, IA?
The city of Pella is located just under an hour east of Des Moines. Whether you have young kids who want to play and learn or adults who want to eat, wander, and shop, Pella makes for the perfect day trip.
We made a stop at Pella on our way home from Honey Creek Resort. It was the first super nice day of spring and we were ready to spend some time outside.
We first stopped for an early lunch at one of our favorite coffee shops, Smokey Row Coffee. Then the kids grabbed their scooters to scoot around town.
Downtown Pella is super cute, filled with brick walkways, bridges, adorable storefronts, and more. Even though there was still snow on the ground in some locations, that did not stop us from enjoying the beautiful sun and warmer temperatures.
Visiting the Pella Historical Society
After scooting around the town a bit, we discovered the Pella Historical Society and Museums. It was the highlight of our day!
I was not sure how interested the kids would be walking through the historical museum, but they loved it! They also learned a ton. The museum is focused on preserving the Dutch heritage and history of Pella, IA.
As we began our journey through the historical museum the lady at the front desk gave us a fun scavenger hunt to do along the way. This was a great way to keep the kids interested and learn about Pella Iowa’s history. Our tour guide did a great job including the kids too.
Their favorite part of the tour was the ‘Puppet Theatre’. It was a fun place for the kids to play and use their imaginations. We spent a good half hour reading and creating fun stories with the Dutch Puppet Theatre.
As part of the tour, not only do you get to travel through the Pella historical village, but you get to visit Vermeer Windmill, one of the tallest working windmills in North America! And we saw the boyhood home of Wyatt Earp, still standing in its original location in the historical village.
Overall, we spent about three hours at the Pella Historical Society and Museums and loved every minute of it!
We ended our day in Pella with a visit to the Jaarsma Bakery, which specializes in Dutch pastries. Their famous Dutch Letters are “S” shaped puff pastry about eight inches tall, with moist almond paste filling and a touch of sugar sprinkled on top. So yummy!
The city of Pella, Iowa is a fun getaway for families, couples, or friends. Add this destination to your summer bucket list and be sure to check out the Pella Historical Society!
Information on the Pella Historical Museums
Address: 507 Franklin St., Pella, Iowa 50219
Hours: Open mid-March through December.
Vermeer Mill & Village | Monday – Friday: 10 am to 5 pm; Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm.
Windmill tour times | Monday – Friday: 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm; Saturdays: 10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 1:30 pm.
Admission Prices: Adults: $15; Ages 5-18: $10; Children under 5 are free.