6 Places to Take in Des Moines History

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6 Places to Take in Des Moines History

Have you ever wondered about the history of Des Moines, Iowa? There are six great places to take in Des Moines history from the change in leadership to animals, agriculture, and the people that once graced our beautiful city. If you grew up in Des Moines, many of you may remember class field trips to a few of these historic locations. Take a look at my six places to explore, have fun, and learn about Des Moines, Iowa.

Living History Farms

One of my favorite places to take in several centuries of history in Des Mones, Iowa specifically agriculture. Living History Farms offers 300 years of history through its camps and interactive outdoor history museum. From the Flynn Mansion to the old drug shop there is so much hands-on fun for everyone.

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Iowa State Capitol

I still remember my class field trip to the Iowa State Capitol. I distinctly remember how big and beautiful it was and to this day they are diligently always this historic building in shape. When touring the Iowa State Capitol you can learn about laws passed, passed by senators and governors and so much more than create what Des Moines and the state of Iowa are today. Take a look at a full review here.

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State Historical Museum of Iowa

What better place to take in the history of Des Moines, Iowa than at a museum designated to the history of Iowa? The State Historical Museum of Iowa offers exhibits that share life in Iowa before it became a state, the history of bicycling in Iowa, learning about Iowa’s natural resources and so much more. They offer a wonderful kids area where children are invited to learn and play hands-on. They offer several programs including the Goldie’s Kids Club.

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Terrace Hill

Terrace Hill is a National Historic Landmark and is the place of residence for the Iowa Governor. This beautiful home provides a ton of history including beautiful stained glass windows, pictures, furniture, and much more. Terrace Hill is one of the nation’s most accessible governor’s residences and you can schedule a tour.

Jester Park Nature Center

Jester Park Nature Center recently opened its doors on the outskirts of Des Moines, Iowa and many people would not think of this as a location to take in Des Moines or Iowa history. The Jester Park Nature Center provides exhibits that represent three major habitats at Jester Park and are also common all over Iowa, the wetlands, prairie, and woodlands. This is a great place for kids to play with hands-on activities, take a fun class, hike, climb a bouldering wall, and much more.

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The Jordan House Museum

The Jordan House is a beautiful Victorian home and is a member of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. It is one of the oldest structures in Polk County and should be at the top of your list to take in the history of Des Moines, Iowa. As you tour the home you will be able to see antique treasures and many artifacts from the regular railroad. The Jordan House offers events and public tours throughout the year.

What locations would you add to this list?


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

One thought on “6 Places to Take in Des Moines History

  1. I’d add the Danish museum in Elk Horn

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