About the State Historical Society of Iowa

Visit the Museum and Research Centers

Experience Iowa history at the State Historical Museum of Iowa and State Historical Research Centers through collections, exhibits and programs. Stop by the information desk on the first floor for a map, children’s activities and information about exhibits, programs and historical research. Also check out the State Historical Society of Iowa's eight historic sites across the state.

Locations & Hours

State Historical Museum of Iowa

600 E Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 281-5111

Monday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 4:30 p.m.
Closed State Holidays (Sept. 7, Nov. 11, Nov. 26-27, Dec. 25)
Complimentary Admission

State Historical Society
Research Centers

Des Moines
600 E Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 281-6200

Iowa City
402 Iowa Ave.
Iowa City, IA 52240
(319) 335-3916

Holiday Hours 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Jan. 16, Closed

Memorial Day: May 28, Closed

Fourth of July: July 2, Closed

Labor Day: Sept. 3, Closed

Veteran's Day: Nov. 11, Closed

Thanksgiving Week: November 21 – 26

  • Open
    Nov. 22-23
    9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed
    Nov. 21, 24-26

Christmas Week: December 19-25

  • Open
    Dec. 21-20
    9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed
    Dec. 19-20, 24-25

New Year's Week: Dec. 26-Jan. 1

  • Open
    Dec. 28-30
    9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed
    Dec. 26-27, Dec. 31, Jan. 1

State Historical Building Parking

Parking is available in the garage across the street from the museum at the corner of Grand Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave. Metered street parking is also available.

Museum Tours

Groups and Schools

The museum offers a variety of exhibits and programs to create an exciting experience for students and groups. Learn more and register for a visit.


Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the museum cares for and stores thousands of artifacts. The hour-long walking tour will take you through the climate-controlled collection storage area. Book your tour at least one week in advance.

  • Group Size: 4 – 15
  • Ages: 10 and up
  • Cost: $10 per person


The museum is wheelchair accessible–a limited number of wheelchairs are available for use during your visit.

Food and Drink

No food or drink is allowed in the exhibit galleries or research center. You may eat and drink in the building atrium or enjoy lunch at Baratta’s Café from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday on the third floor. Vending machines are available on the second floor of the east wing of the building.

Rental Information

The State Historical Building offers a variety of event spaces to accommodate a group size from 10–400. The sky-lit atrium is perfect for receptions, holiday gatherings and more; consider the auditorium for film screenings, presentations and lectures or book one of the multiple classrooms for your meetings or luncheons. Learn more.

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