We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Review Highlights
If short on time skip the first floor (basement) and head up the steps

I almost made the mistake of spending too much of limited time on the first floor, where most of... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Fort Atkinson
I really enjoyed the Civil War section.

Stumbled across the museum when I was jogging and decided to go in. I am not a big history guy but... read more

Reviewed 30 October 2018
Read all 172 reviews
All photos (95)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent61%
  • Very good27%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible2%
Travellers talk about
“civil war”(27 reviews)
“iowa history”(18 reviews)
“wooly mammoth”(4 reviews)
Local Weather
Powered by Weather Underground
600 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50319-1006
+1 515-281-5111
Improve This Listing
Reviews (172)
Filter reviews
168 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews civil war iowa history wooly mammoth free admission coal mining prehistoric times native americans natural history learned a great deal three floors exhibits change john wayne interesting exhibits bridges of madison county couple of hours capitol grounds modern building
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 168 reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I almost made the mistake of spending too much of limited time on the first floor, where most of the exhibits, with the exhibition of coal mining in Iowa, could be found anywhere. But too late I discovered a second floor that has a great...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank 599tomf
Reviewed 30 October 2018

Stumbled across the museum when I was jogging and decided to go in. I am not a big history guy but I really enjoyed my visit. My favorite part was the civil war section but this is a must see if you ask me.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank summerluvn
Reviewed 17 October 2018

Covers everything from prehistoric times to today. Really neat exhibits and lots of information. I thought the Civil War and Prohibition exhibits were the best. Clean and modern facility with pleasant staff. Well worth the visit.

Date of experience: October 2018
Reviewed 6 October 2018

This museum is a fairly comprehensive history of the state of Iowa. It is well worth the stop for any and all history buffs. It is free with free parking. You can't beat that.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank cppptravel11125
Reviewed 24 September 2018 via mobile

The exhibit was amazing and really informative. A lot of fun there for adults, teens, and kids! Also felt interactive and will most definitely go again.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank jailynnb2016
Reviewed 19 September 2018

Clean and modern looking museum with friendly staff. The museum covers everything from prehistoric life and native species of plants and animals to World Wars, our Civil War, Native Tribes, famous Iowans, farm/vintage life and RAGBRAI. Well-done displays, and a children's area - for visitors...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank sybil k
Reviewed 20 August 2018

There is so much to see in this museaum, and a variety for everyone to enjoy. Went twice because the first time did not allow enough time to visit the second floor and the Native Indian collection, old paper money, and much more.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Adventurer2day
Reviewed 20 August 2018 via mobile

We visited this museum with our Des Moines family. I did not know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. We learned about the history of Iowa dating back to prehistoric times, there is even a replica of a woolly mammoth. Very cool museum.

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank tenisheat2016
Reviewed 7 August 2018 via mobile

I was really pleased to see this kind of museum in the USA. There was many of exhibitions about Iowa history and it was so nice.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Jasmina-JP
Reviewed 21 July 2018

A museum worth a visit. Many artifacts, including some interesting and unique Civil War items. The only reason I give four stars instead of five is that the descriptions on many of the artifacts were too brief, or didn't explain the item's significance adequately.

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Kurt S
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 50 nearby hotels
AC Hotel des Moines East Village
96 reviews
.27 km away
Staybridge Suites Des Moines Downtown
69 reviews
.44 km away
Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel Des Moines Downtown
1,174 reviews
.60 km away
Residence Inn Des Moines Downtown
197 reviews
1.02 km away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 637 nearby restaurants
Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
1,478 reviews
.35 km away
Iowa Taproom
156 reviews
.47 km away
170 reviews
.19 km away
115 reviews
.26 km away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 137 nearby attractions
Capitol Building
755 reviews
.46 km away
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
316 reviews
.80 km away
World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
69 reviews
.89 km away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Kat B
11 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from 67jayy | Reviewed this property |
Free. And the small restaurant is very reasonable.
5 April 2017|
Response from 67jayy | Reviewed this property |
M-s. 9-4:30 Sun 12-4:30