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Family Fun in Iowa: Iowa Children’s Museum

Family Fun in Iowa: Iowa Children's Museum

For my oldest daughter’s birthday last year, my family took an overnight trip to Iowa City to visit the Iowa Children’s Museum. Located in the Coral Ridge Mall, the Iowa Children’s Museum offers an active learning playground for children that measures a whopping 28,000 square feet! The facility is open every day except most Mondays and certain holidays. Admission is $9 for everyone between the ages of 1 and 59, $8 for seniors age 60 and older, and free for infants under the age of 1. The museum is a member of the Association of Children’s Museums, so my family received a 50% discount because we have a membership to another museum in the network.

Iowa Children's Museum Iowa Children's Museum Sign

Fish Tank at the Iowa Children's Museum City Money at the Iowa Children's Museum 1

My kiddos were super excited to visit the Iowa Children’s Museum. After a quick lunch in the food court of the mall, we began our explorations in City Money followed by Notion of Motion. All three of my children loved playing with the interactive physics-focused exhibits in Notion of Motion. My oldest loved the STEM meets skateboarding atmosphere of the, game-based exhibit, which taught about force, mass, gravity, and energy through problem-solving activities including a race track, magnetic wall, modular skate park, friction hill, balance boards, and game touch tables.

City Money at the Iowa Children's Museum 2 Notion of Motion at the Iowa Children's Museum 1

Notion of Motion at the Iowa Children's Museum 2 Take Flight at the Iowa Children's Museum

After the physics room, my family headed into Take Flight, which immerses kids in the four forces of flight: lift, thrust, drag, and weight. My preschooler son loved the state-of-the-art flight simulators built into kid-sized planes, which he had a great time exploring with his father. My daughters and I had fun making paper airplanes and stomp rockets. In fact, my kids loved the Take Flight exhibit so much that we went back again towards the end of the day after checking out the rest of the museum.

Courtyard of Curiosity at the Iowa Children's Museum 1 Courtyard of Curiosity at the Iowa Children's Museum 2

ImaginAcres at the Iowa Children's Museum All Aboard at the Iowa Children's Museum

After our first visit to Take Flight, my family headed upstairs to the second floor of the museum. All three kids had fun exploring the Courtyard of Curiosity. Then my oldest daughter spent some time building with LEGOs while my youngest two played in ImaginAcres. Designed for young children between the ages of birth to five, ImaginAcres recreates a typical Iowa farm environment, complete with a cow named Milkshake, garden, farmhouse kitchen, and tractor to drive. My preschooler son also loved the All Aboard! exhibit, which featured three model train systems.

Looking Down from the Second Floor at the Iowa Children's Museum Pizzeria Pie at the Iowa Children's Museum

Music City at the Iowa Children's Museum City Works at the Iowa Children's Museum

My kiddos spent the last part of the day exploring the second half of the first floor including City Grocery, Pizzeria Pie, and City Music. My oldest two loved playing among the City Grocery shelves that were filled with hundreds of food products that ranged from lemons to baked goods to canned soup. The working scanners and cash registers allowed my children to tally up grocery bills and receive payments from customers using working payment pads, which I found especially amazing. City Music was also a huge hit, especially for my toddler daughter. She enjoyed playing with all the music instruments and dancing as I sang to her.

Art Studio at the Iowa Children's Museum City Grocery at the Iowa Children's Museum 1

City Grocery at the Iowa Children's Museum 2 City Grocery at the Iowa Children's Museum 3

If you ever find yourself in Iowa City with children, I highly recommend spending the day at the Iowa Children’s Museum. Admission is absolutely reasonable for such an amazing museum. My family spent close to six hours playing in the wide array of interactive exhibits. We plan to return sometime in the future with our three children. The Iowa Children’s Museum is family time well spent!

For more information, visit the Iowa Children’s Museum website.

Imige Credits

Family Fun in Iowa: Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
Iowa Children’s Museum Sign © 2019 Heather Johnson
Fish Tank at the Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
City Money at the Iowa Children’s Museum 1 © 2019 Heather Johnson
City Money at the Iowa Children’s Museum 2 © 2019 Heather Johnson
Notion of Motion at the Iowa Children’s Museum 1 © 2019 Heather Johnson
Notion of Motion at the Iowa Children’s Museum 2 © 2019 Heather Johnson
Take Flight at the Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
Courtyard of Curiosity at the Iowa Children’s Museum 1 © 2019 Heather Johnson
Courtyard of Curiosity at the Iowa Children’s Museum 2 © 2019 Heather Johnson
ImaginAcres at the Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
All Aboard at the Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
Looking Down from the Second Floor at the Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
Pizzeria Pie at the Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
Music City at the Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
City Works at the Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
Art Studio at the Iowa Children’s Museum © 2019 Heather Johnson
City Grocery at the Iowa Children’s Museum 1 © 2019 Heather Johnson
City Grocery at the Iowa Children’s Museum 2 © 2019 Heather Johnson
City Grocery at the Iowa Children’s Museum 3 © 2019 Heather Johnson

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