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State Historical Museum

600 E. Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-5111
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Ranked #12 of 42 attractions in Des Moines
Type: History Museums
Most recent review
- May 14, 2014
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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    24
    11
    5
    0
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Des Moines, Iowa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

Remembering the old-school wonders of the previous Iowa Historical Building, a recent visit to this museum confirms it to be a disappointment. It is an attractive building, but it feels empty and antiseptic inside. Also, when we were there on a weekday, if there were any other patrons in the building we didn't see them--it was like a ghost building.

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Des Moines, IA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

Here's a fine place to dig into your curiosity about Iowa! Whether you grew up here, or not, there's something for everyone. As someone who loves planes and flying, I was most delighted with the planes suspended from the ceiling (brought back memories of the planes suspended from the ceiling of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago). FYI:... More

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Oskaloosa, Iowa
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
17 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

This is not an ideal place to bring a toddler, but many there are several interactive exhibits for school aged children. The cafe has an affordable lunch menu.

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

It is such a huge building for there really not to be much. I wish there was a bit more, most stuff is small and in cases. Its free so you cant complain with what your getting. If your in the area its a nice walk around. Very clean and well kept.

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
23 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

I great museum with lots of great information about the state of Iowa and our most famous Iowans. The best part is that its free.

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Des Moines
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
22 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 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... More

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Dacula, Georgia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 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... More

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Iowa
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 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... More

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Lakeland, Florida
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
74 attraction reviews
205 helpful votes 205 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 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

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Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
13 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 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... More

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