When our family travels cross-country, one of our favorite things to do is to check out science museums in places we visit. Armed with our ASTC reciprocity card, we’ve visited museums from Pennsylvania to Texas and many places in between. Of the 20+ science museums we’ve visited, one of our favorites is the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines.
Our first taste of SCI was several years ago, when we happened to stop there near Halloween. Our kids were delighted to receive trick-or-treating bags for collecting treats in the various exhibits. The real stars of the show, though, were the exhibits themselves. From the planetarium shows to hands-on electricity and light areas to the special area just for toddlers, it was a science museum that we enjoyed with young children.
We returned more recently and met friends there, and this time we spent hours making and testing rockets, protecting and dropping “eggs,” and playing with balls and tubes. We pulled the kids away from this room to see the reptiles and take part in a staff presentation, where the brave among us got to touch various animals. The time we had to visit never seemed long enough.
Science Center of Iowa is located in downtown Des Moines in a building that’s quite new yet often updated. In addition to its regular exhibits and IMAX theater, special limited-time exhibits rotate through the museum; currently a Da Vinci exhibit is featured. For those planning to spend the whole day, there’s a snack bar in the museum and several restaurants within easy walking distance.
The Science Center of Iowa is a stop our family makes whenever we visit Des Moines, and I recommend it to friends who are visiting the area. If you’re traveling through Iowa, I hope you’ll consider a visit to SCI as part of your itinerary.
Science Center of Iowa
401 W Martin Luther King, Jr Parkway
Des Moines, IA
Open 7 days a week
See website for details.
Photo credit: cwwycoff1 on Flickr Creative Commons
Linda (minnemom) writes about family travel at Travels with Children.