High-Flying Adventures 4 Kids in Des Moines

High-Flying Adventures 4 Kids in Des Moines

Updated March 26, 2019. 

Believe it or not Iowa actually has a rich aviation history.  And, kids in particular seem infatuated with aircraft and other flying objects. If you’ve got a little aviation aficionado fasten your seat belt, and prepare for take-off on a fun-filled aeronautical adventure. Kids can learn more about Iowa’s aviation heritage at a variety of local flight museums.  Read on to find out how to get your high-flying journey started in Des Moines. 

Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum
High-Flying Adventures 4 Kids in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com

3704 SE Convenience Boulevard • Ankeny, IA 50021 • 515-964-4515

Located at the Ankeny Regional Airport, the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  You can also call and schedule an appointment.   The museum chronicles Iowa’s military aviation and general aviation history from pre WWII to present day through restored airplanes, artifacts and newspaper clippings.  Since the museum is staffed by volunteers, it is highly recommend that you call before your visit.

Iowa Aviation Museum

High-Flying Adventures 4 Kids in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com
Image via Iowa Aviation Museum

P.O. Box 31 2251 Airport Road • Greenfield, Iowa 50849 • (641) 343-7184

The Iowa Aviation Museum celebrates Iowa’s remarkable aviation heritage…from the state’s first recorded flight in 1910 to its native sons and daughters exploring the universe.  Kids will love viewing the Museum’s vintage aircraft that are on display.  The Museum is open April to
November, Monday through Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 pm.  Admission is $10.00 for Adults, $9.00 Seniors and $5.00 Kids.

Iowa Gold Star Military MuseumHigh-Flying Adventures 4 Kids in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com

Camp Dodge • 7105 NW 70th Avenue • Johnston, IA 50131 • (515) 252-4531

The museum’s purpose is to collect, preserve and exhibit materials that illustrate the story of Iowa’s military past from statehood to the present.  To demonstrate aviation in the military the Museum displays a replica of a WWII Flying Tigers bomber and a UH-I “Huey” Helicopter from the Vietnam War that is suspended from the ceiling.  They also have a small flight simulator with actual footage from a WW II bomber available.  The museum is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm; Saturday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; it is closed on Sundays.  Admission is FREE.

National Balloon Museum

High-Flying Adventures 4 Kids in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com
Image via National Balloon Museum

1601 N Jefferson Way • Indianola, IA 50125 • (515) 961-3714

The National Balloon Museum archives more than 200 years of ballooning. You and your family can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to providing a comprehensive understanding of ballooning and its history. General Admission is $5.00 for Adults (12 and over). Visitors under 12 are FREE. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, mornings by appointment only. The museum is CLOSED the months of January and February.

State Historical Museum of Iowa

High-Flying Adventures 4 Kids in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com
Image via State Historical Museum of Iowa

600 E Locust Street • Des Moines, IA 50319 • (515) 281-5111

The State Historical Museum is an exciting adventure: its exhibits tell the stories of Iowa’s growth and development through the exhibition of a rich collection of historic artifacts and documents. The Wings Over Iowa exhibit includes three vintage aircraft, which are suspended from the ceiling of the Museum’s atrium.  The aircraft include a Bleriot XI Monoplane (ca. 1909), Curtiss Pusher Biplane (ca. 1911) and a Benoist Tractor Biplane (ca. 1917 – dates vary in different sources).  The Historical Museum is open 9:00 am – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Noon – 4:30 pm Sunday; and admission is FREE.



Do you have a little aviation enthusiast? Which aviation museum is your favorite? Tell us in the Comments.


  1. Come on out and visit the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum. I am the President and I guarantee you will like what you see. If you are interested become a member. Only $35.00 a year. We are a 501(c) 3 Non-Profit organization so your donations are Tax deductible. If you are interested become a Volunteer! We attend many events and flight breakfasts and we host a couple events ourselves every year. We restore old Military and Antique aircraft and fly them. We have a Vintage Flying Club that is involved with the museum that fly’s some pretty cool aircraft. So come on out and see what we are all about. You won’t be disappointed.


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