Student & Youth Field Trips
|Please note renovations at the State Historical Museum of Iowa are taking place now through fall 2022. Due to the construction project, the museum has updated group visit policies. Although the building will remain open during regular hours throughout the renovation, visitors may notice some temporary changes.|
The State Historical Museum of Iowa is open for both virtual and in-person self-guided visits.
Schedule a self-guided visit to the State Historical Museum of Iowa to explore Iowa history through a variety of exhibits displaying a rich collection of artifacts and documents. Students can journey through 13,000 years of Iowa history, learn about life in Iowa before it became a state, discovered what inspired more than 76,000 Iowans to fight for the Union, and much more.
The State Historical Museum of Iowa is piloting new materials for young historians to engage with Iowa history. While exploring the exhibits on your group visit, keep an eye out for the new Goldie's Tweets. Goldie's Tweets are signs found next to select objects and work with the new Student Exhibit Guide, recommended for grades 3-6. The Student Exhibit Guide and Goldie's Tweets create recommended paths for students to explore the museum exhibits and learn more about Iowa history. Copies of the new Student Exhibit Guide will be provided during the visit to the museum and are available at the Information Desk. The more in-depth Museum Exhibit Guide is still available as well.
All groups of 10 or more visitors should register in advance. Requests must be submitted through the Museum Visit Request Form at least two weeks in advance.
Museum Visit Expectations
Museums are unique public spaces, like libraries and classrooms, that require ways to behave and interact while in the building. In order to keep visiting groups and the museum's objects safe, please review and share the Museum Visit Expectations with students and chaperones prior to a visit to the museum.
This policy has been updated for the 2021-2022 school year. Due to building construction, the museum will only be able to accommodate groups of 50 people at one time, which includes one adult chaperone for every 10 students. If your group size is larger than 50 people, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss possible options.
Adult chaperones are responsible for supervising young visitors at all times during your visit to the museum. One chaperone is required for every 10 students.
|Ages 3-8||Preschool-2nd Grade||Up to 60 minutes|
|Ages 9-14||3rd-8th Grade||Up to 90 minutes|
|Ages 15-18||9th-12th Grade||Up to 90-120 minutes
(120 minutes works best with small, topic-focused groups)
This policy have been updated for the 2021-2022 school year. Due to construction, the museum is unable to provide space for group lunches. However, there are multiple outdoor locations nearby that may work for your group, including the grounds of the State Capitol across the street from the museum.
This policy have been updated for the 2021-2022 school year. Due to construction, buses or cars cannot park or wait under the portico during construction. Students may be dropped off in front of the building on E Locust St to enter the building. Bus parking is available on Finkbine Dr, which is one block east of the museum building. Free car and van parking is available in the Capitol Complex Parking Ramp.
Looking for digital materials to share Iowa’s rich history with students of all ages? Check out the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s free educator resources, which include Primary Source Sets, Read Iowa History lesson plans, and Goldie’s History Kits.
Virtual Classroom Experiences
The State Historical Museum of Iowa is working to make exhibits more accessible to every classroom in the state. The Virtual Classroom Program focuses on teaching important Iowa themes while investigating artifacts and learning the stories of Iowans who impacted history. The free virtual program is led by a museum staff member and requires advance registration although pre-recorded options are available as well.