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State Historical Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 600 E. Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone Number: 515-281-5111
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 93 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 55
    Excellent
  • 24
    Very good
  • 10
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
From Coal Trains to Musicals

Exhibits are well developed and fun for all ages. And no admission fee. Can't beat that. Kids get a scavenger hunt sheet that encourages them to pay attention to the details... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
spanishpeeks
,
Des Moines, Iowa
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93 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
227 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Exhibits are well developed and fun for all ages. And no admission fee. Can't beat that. Kids get a scavenger hunt sheet that encourages them to pay attention to the details throughout. The main hall feels a little cavernous and empty, so don't let that turn you off. The exhibits are plentiful and are off to the side. We especially... More 

Helpful?
Thank spanishpeeks
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
116 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I had never been there and it was relaxing. I enjoyed the different sites there. The employees there knew their information if asked. Grew up with Dawyne Elloit and Floppy. Pictures of Mr. Elloit, and actually saw Floppy. Heard how Floppy got his name. Sorry won't share that, you will need to there and found out. They had great items... More 

Helpful?
Thank Scuba132
DES MOINES
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2015

I usually go to the museum a few time a year when I have international guest they enjoy the look at Iowa history an I usually see something I have missed on previous visits.

Helpful?
Thank zztopfanman
Forsyth, Missouri
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2015

We come here every time we are in Des Moines, the kids love it. It's really nice to take them somewhere they can learn

Helpful?
Thank Rachel W
Severna Park, Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2015

This museum has everything you could want in a state history museum. Great movie history and politics exhibit, as well as more general history exhibits. The movie exhibit would have benefitted from more scholarly perspectives--since most of the movies cited the same scholar--but it was a thought-provoking and a unique concept anyway. I wish more of the interactive features worked,... More 

Helpful?
Thank saget1
Covington, Louisiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2015

This museum is an interesting place to visit offering varieties of subjects relating to Iowa, including Civil War relics and information, animals native to the state, politics, a movies history section, etc. Historically interesting and very kid friendly.

Helpful?
Thank Janet S
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2015

We went to the new Caucus display and it was very nice. A lot of interesting information about the history of the caucuses in Iowa.

Helpful?
Thank ShellyPB
Level Contributor
188 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2015

All Iowans should stop through this museum sometime in their lifetime. Thr staff has done a wonderful job of telling Iowa's story with intriguing artifacts and excellent programming. A+

Helpful?
Thank Jason R
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2015

The HIstorical museum does a great job of displaying a variety of exhibits. They are interesting and thought provoking.

Helpful?
Thank Amy M
Springfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
88 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2015

My husband and I spent a couple of hours here going through the exhibits at a leisurely pace, then returned the next day to see the rest. Even then we didn't get to see quite everything. We found the the extensive materials and displays related to early Iowa and the section on preservation techniques especially interesting. Should be something here... More 

Helpful?
Thank travelerneedsclean

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?