All free museums and attractions to visit in Iowa

If you are on a budget Iowa (United States) still has a lot to offer for you culturally, including free museums, free activities and free attractions. 59 museums and attractions in Iowa can be visited without charge.

Are you looking for free things to do in Iowa? These are the best places to visit:

  1. Iowa State Capitol1

    Iowa State Capitol

    Des Moines, IA
    The Iowa State Capitol, a significant historical landmark, was constructed between the years 1871 and 1886. The architectural design was the brainchild of John Crombie Cochrane and Alfred H. Piquenard. This information provides a glimpse into the historical and architectural significance of the building.
  2. Des Moines Art Center2

    Des Moines Art Center

    Des Moines, IA
    The Des Moines Art Center, established in 1948, is an art museum located in Des Moines, Iowa. It boasts an extensive collection of various art forms including paintings, sculptures, modern art, and mixed media. This diverse collection offers visitors a comprehensive view of different art styles and periods.
  3. Pappajohn Sculpture Park3

    Pappajohn Sculpture Park

    Des Moines, IA
    The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, located within Western Gateway Park in Des Moines, Iowa, spans 4.4 acres. The park, which opened in 2009, initially featured 24 sculptures, but has since added four more to its collection.
  4. Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center4

    Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center

    Sioux City, IA
    The Sergeant Floyd River Museum & Welcome Center is a historic museum boat located at 1000 Larsen Park Road in Sioux City, Iowa. This unique museum offers a glimpse into the past, showcasing the history and significance of the Missouri River and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The boat itself is a piece of history, having been built in 1932 as a utility vehicle and towboat for the Army Corps of Engineers.
  5. Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens5

    Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

    Dubuque, IA
    The Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, also known as Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Marshall Park, is a significant green space in Dubuque, Iowa. Spanning 21 hectares, this arboretum and botanical garden offers a diverse range of plant life and natural beauty for visitors to explore.
  6. State Historical Museum of Iowa6

    State Historical Museum of Iowa

    Des Moines, IA
    The State Historical Society of Iowa maintains a museum, library, archives, and research center in Des Moines, as well as a research library in Iowa City. These facilities house a wealth of information and artifacts that provide insight into the history of Iowa. In addition, the SHSI oversees several historic sites throughout the state, offering visitors a chance to experience Iowa's history firsthand.
  7. Cedar Rapids Museum of Art7

    Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

    Cedar Rapids, IA
    The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, located in the heart of downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a privately owned institution that was established in 1905. This museum is a significant part of the city's cultural landscape, offering visitors a chance to explore a wide range of art collections and exhibitions.
  8. Seminole Valley Farm Museum8

    Seminole Valley Farm Museum

    Cedar Rapids, IA
  9. Sioux City Public Museum9

    Sioux City Public Museum

    Sioux City, IA
    The Sioux City Public Museum offers a comprehensive insight into the history and culture of Sioux City, Iowa. Visitors can explore a variety of displays including a video about the city's history, Native American artifacts, pioneer artifacts, historic transportation vehicles, agriculture, industry, geology and fossils. This wide range of exhibits provides a rich understanding of the city's past and its cultural heritage.
  10. Old Capitol Museum10

    Old Capitol Museum

    Iowa City, IA
    The Iowa Old Capitol Building, once the main government building for the state of Iowa, is now a prominent landmark at the center of the University of Iowa's campus. Located in Iowa City, Iowa, this historic building holds a significant place in the state's history and continues to be a focal point for both locals and visitors alike.
  11. Charles H Macnider Museum11

    Charles H Macnider Museum

    Mason City, IA
    The Charles H. MacNider Art Museum, also known as the MacNider Art Museum, is a significant cultural institution in Mason City, Iowa. The museum was first conceived in 1964 and officially opened its doors to the public in 1966. It has since been a hub for art enthusiasts and tourists alike, offering a unique insight into American art.
  12. Farm House Museum12

    Farm House Museum

    Ames, IA
    The Farm House, also known as the Knapp–Wilson House, holds the distinction of being the oldest building on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. This historical building carries a rich history and is a significant part of the university's heritage. It offers a unique glimpse into the past and is a fascinating destination for those interested in history and architecture.
  13. Brunnier Art Museum13

    Brunnier Art Museum

    Ames, IA
    The Iowa State University (ISU) is a public university situated in Ames, Iowa. It is the primary institution of the Iowa university system. This university is a significant part of the city's identity and contributes to its vibrant academic and cultural atmosphere.
  14. Boone County Historical Society14

    Boone County Historical Society

    Boone, IA
    The Boone History Center, which was formerly known as the Champlin Memorial Masonic Temple, is a historic building located in Boone, Iowa. This building carries a rich history and is a significant part of the local heritage. It offers a glimpse into the past and provides an opportunity to learn about the region's history.
  15. Restored BN Depot & WWII Museum15

    Restored BN Depot & WWII Museum

    Red Oak, IA
    The Chicago, Burlington Northern and Quincy Depot, also known as the Red Oak Burlington Northern Depot and WWII Memorial Museum, is a historic train depot located in Red Oak, Iowa. This depot is not just a museum but a piece of history itself, having been established by the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad. It offers a unique glimpse into the past, providing a tangible connection to the history of railroads in the United States.
  16. Anamosa State Penitentiary Museum16

    Anamosa State Penitentiary Museum

    Anamosa, IA
    The Anamosa State Penitentiary Museum is situated just outside the penitentiary's walls in a stone building that was previously a barn and a cheese-making facility for the prison. The museum showcases exhibits that delve into the history of the prison, the role of prison guards, and the construction of the buildings, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the penitentiary's past.
  17. American Gothic House Center17

    American Gothic House Center

    Eldon, IA
    The Dibble House, also known as the American Gothic House, is a protected residential building located in Eldon, Wapello County, in the US state of Iowa. This historic monument is recognized for its cultural significance and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1974.
  18. 18

    StoryBook Hill Children's Zoo

    Dubuque, IA
  19. 19

    Sioux City Art Center

    Sioux City, IA
    The Sioux City Art Center's permanent collection, which began in 1938 as part of the WPA grant, primarily focuses on artists from Iowa and the greater Midwest. The collection also includes a smaller selection of work by national and international artists, offering visitors a diverse range of art to explore.
  20. 20

    Stanley Museum of Art

    Iowa City, IA
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    Living Heritage Tree Museum

    Storm Lake, IA
    The Living Heritage Tree Museum is situated in the city of Storm Lake, Iowa, in the United States. This location is easily accessible and offers a unique opportunity to explore a collection of heritage trees in an open-air setting.
  22. 22

    Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center

    Sioux City, IA
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    Jenison-meacham Memorial Art Center and Museum

    Belmond, IA
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    Vermeer Corporation Global Pavilion Museum

    Pella, IA
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    Pella Windows Museum

    Pella, IA
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    Little Red Schoolhouse

    Cedar Falls, IA
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    Cedar Falls Historical Society Museum

    Cedar Falls, IA
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    Iowa Band Museum

    Cedar Falls, IA
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    Blanden Memorial Art Museum

    Fort Dodge, IA
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    Soaring Eagle Nature Center

    Clinton, IA
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    Ankeny Area Historical Society

    Ankeny, IA
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    Lime Creek Nature Center

    Mason City, IA
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    Iowa Gold Star Military Museum

    Johnston, IA
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    Ames History Museum

    Ames, IA
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    Carroll County Historical Society and Museum

    Carroll, IA
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    Greene County Iowa Historical Society

    Jefferson, IA
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    Great Plains Wing Council Bluffs, IA - Commemorative Air Force

    Council Bluffs, IA
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    Grinnell Historical Museum

    Grinnell, IA
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    Sanford Museum and Planetarium

    Cherokee, IA
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    Montgomery County History Center

    Red Oak, IA
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    Worth County Historical Society

    Northwood, IA
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    Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

    Newton, IA
    The Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a significant botanical destination located within the serene Agnes Patterson Park in Newton, Iowa. Spanning across 6 acres, the arboretum and botanical gardens offer a diverse range of flora and fauna for visitors to explore and enjoy.
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    Mcgregor Historical Museum

    Mcgregor, IA
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    Central Community Historical Society & Museum

    De Witt, IA
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    Greene County Iowa Historical Society

    Greene, IA
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    Forest Park Museum and Arboretum

    Perry, IA
    The Forest Park Museum and Arboretum is a spacious 17-acre site located near Perry, Iowa. This location offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance, making it an interesting destination for tourists.
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    Louisa County Iowa Historical Society

    Wapello, IA
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    Shelby County Historical Museum

    Harlan, IA
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    Dover Museum & Depot

    New London, IA
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    McGregor Historical Museum

    McGregor, IA
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    Mills County Historical Museum

    Glenwood, IA
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    Lockmaster's Heritage House Museum

    Guttenberg, IA
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    Garnavillo Historical Society

    Garnavillo, IA
    The First Congregational Church, also known as the Garnavillo Historical Museum, is a significant historic building located on Washington Street in Garnavillo, Iowa. This site offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history of the area, with its roots dating back to the mid-19th century. The building's architecture and its past as a church, community hall, public library, and school, all contribute to its historical significance.
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    Fonda Museum

    Fonda, IA
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    Monroe County Historical Society & Museum

    Albia, IA
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    Taylor County Historical Museum

    Bedford, IA
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    Calhoun County Historical Museum

    Rockwell City, IA
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    Wyoming Historical Museum

    Wyoming, IA
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    National Pearl Button Museum

    Muscatine, IA

All museums in Iowa