Exhibits about Iowa’s history, heritage and heroes make the Iowa Hall of Pride a great museum to take the kids to. Located at the south end of Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines, it’s a great interactive and sensory experience for both kids and parents. Here’s a guide for getting the most out of a family fun day at the Iowa Hall of Pride.
Know Before You Go
- Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; Saturday: Open by appointment; Sundays: CLOSED.
Cost of General Admission: Iowa Kids (K-12): FREE; Adults: $10.00; Senior Citizens (65+): $7.00
Parking: There is FREE parking available near the Hall’s entrance. There are also several metered street parking spaces surrounding the Iowa Events Center and parking garages are also located nearby.
- Food: Food is NOT sold inside the Hall of Pride. Water bottles are permitted and you can bring in snack food, if you are careful. If you need to take a snack break, you might want to sit out in the atrium area, have your snack and then go back into the exhibits.
- Restrooms: Restrooms are located near the entrance doors.
While You’re There
The Iowa Hall of Pride is a 26,000 sq. ft. space dedicated to telling the stories of Iowa’s communities and their heroes. This high-tech interactive museum is full of exhibits that are meant to be hands-on and engaging. There are also several interesting videos to watch about many of the Iowans and even an “arcade” to play games in, which is a great way to keep the kids entertained. The Iowa Hall of Pride recognizes accomplishments in many areas like theatre, music and agriculture, but high school sports seem to be a main emphasis.
To begin your visit at the Hall, you will pay your admission and then you will be ushered into their auditorium to watch a 12-minute film about our Iowa Experience. This propoish video narrated by Simon Estes features several prominent Iowans like Becky Whitson, Dan Gable, Zach Johnson and others, it also features several Iowa high schools and communities.
After you watch the video, you are free to check out the exhibits in the Hall of Heroes and Main Hall. On one wall of the Hall of Heroes there are pictures of famous Iowans and a cool video screen that can be slid over the pictures to provide additional information. On the opposite wall, there are several displays containing artifacts and mementos from several famous Iowans, including Shawn Johnson. At the far end of the Hall of Heroes there is an agriculture display, which includes a tractor simulator, which was a big hit with the kids.
The Main Hall features most of the more interactive displays. This is the area where kids can get on a treadmill, be filmed on a video screen shooting hoops, take a cheerleading quiz and more. My first visit to the Iowa Hall of Pride was as a chaperone on a school field trip. It was a good test to see if it could stand up to a crowd and it did. There’s enough at the museum to keep the kids busy for about two hours. It would make a great outing on an early out day.
After Your Visit
This is a great opportunity to have a conversation with your kids about your excursion. Be sure to ask your kids questions about what they learned during their trip to the Iowa Hall of Pride. Ask them what their favorite display or exhibit was and who was their favorite Iowan.
Since, the Iowa Hall of Pride is located downtown, there’s several businesses in the area to grab a snack or bite to eat or do a little shopping while you’re out and about.
Iowa Hall of Pride
330 Park Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Have you and your family been to the Iowa Hall of Pride yet? If so, what’s your favorite part?