Exploring Sanborn, Iowa

Vander Haag Truck Museum
The Vander Haag Truck Museum looks very inviting from Hwy 18. We had to check out this fun spot in Sanborn, Iowa.

My girls and I had a fun afternoon exploring Sanborn, Iowa! After a morning of strawberry picking at Getting’s Garden, we headed into town for another Girls Adventure. (Be sure to check out my post about our strawberry picking adventure here.) Instead of driving by and just wondering what there was to do in town, we stopped and found that Sanborn has a lot of offer.

Our first stop was the city park. It was conveniently located a block away from Highway 18. The park had a nice variety of playground equipment and a large open shelter house. The girls had fun on the jungle gym and the many slides. After they worked up an appetite, we enjoyed a picnic which included our over-flowing flat of freshly picked strawberries!

Sanborn Playground
The playground at the Sanborn City Park was a fun place to play and have a picnic.

The Sanborn Aquatic Center was adjacent to the park and looked quite refreshing, so we explored the area by the park to let our lunch settle before swimming. There was a lot to explore in a small area. We found a big, orange train caboose at one edge of the park. At the other, we found a bear tree-carving, a small well-kept garden, and a beautiful Veteran’s Memorial.

Train Caboose
The girls had fun checking out this train caboose located near the city park.

The girls were then ready to swim. I happened to have swimsuits and water toys in our car (I remembered driving by a pool last year), so we were set for an afternoon of fun! The aquatic center included a water slide, diving boards, a water-walk, zero-depth entry, lap lanes, a baby fish slide, a tiki hut, and geysers all for $5 a person. It was the perfect size for this water-fearing mom and two adventurous 5-year olds. The girls splashed, played, and practiced their swimming skills for over two hours. They were not happy when it was time to leave. I must admit, the time flew by for me too!

Sanborn Aquatic Center
The Sanborn Aquatic Center was great place to cool off for kids of all ages!

The pool was very well kept. There were plenty of chairs for lounging and umbrellas for shade. Snacks were available for purchase during break times, and several tables were nearby for the hungry kiddos. The most impressive part to me were the very clean bathrooms. (I typically try to avoid pool bathrooms, but I wasn’t afraid of these!)

On our way out of town, we saw a quaint old-time filling station. The orange and browns of the Vander Haag’s Truck Museum were so inviting that we just had to stop. The museum is only open for special celebrations and by appointment, but we explored the grounds a bit. The girls had questions about the old gas pumps, found cute statues, and took a quick ride on a tire swing. We’d love to see inside the museum sometime and will put that on our list for another day!

Vander Haag Museum Fun
The girls just loved these little statues located near the entrance of the Vander Haag Museum. They pretended they were statues too!

If you’d like to see check out the memorabilia sooner than later, you are in luck! The museums are set to be open during Sanborn’s upcoming Railroad Days at the end of July, 2015. Another place to check out would be Miller Park which features a paved walking path, shelter house, and playground equipment. A disc golf course and a golf course and county club are also located near Miller Park and provide many recreational opportunities. Those are also added to our Sanborn bucket list. We just didn’t have enough time to see everything!

Bear Statue
This bear greets guests at the Sanborn Aquatic Center. He seems to be waving hello and good-bye to all those who visit!

I had two very tired girls on the way home. It was a quiet and peaceful trip for me. I couldn’t help but think about all the fun we had at Getting’s Garden and in the town of Sanborn. You never know what you’ll find when you check out new places!

Here are some tips for exploring towns new to you:

  • Pack your swimsuits, you never know when you may need them
  • Don’t hesitate to pull over and explore something new
  • Pack a picnic lunch, but also check out local establishments (especially if they sell ice cream!)
  • Check out local parks and recreation areas
  • Ask locals for recommendations on attractions and/or restaurants to visit; they may point you to unknown treasures
  • Keep an open mind and have fun exploring something new!

6 thoughts on “Exploring Sanborn, Iowa”

  1. Sanborn sounds and looks like a great place to explore for a day of fun. Especially liked the Kissing picture … the girls are sure having a fun summer.

    1. Thanks, Sheryl! Sanborn was very fun to explore. Small town Iowa has so many amazing treasures!

    1. It would be a great place for a family outing. There is a lot to explore for people of all ages!

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