Going Back in Time at The Sioux City Museum

The 'El Toro-Angry Bull Sculpture' in front of the Sioux City Public Museum is part of the 11th Sculpt Siouxland exhibition which currently has 19 permanent plus 9 visiting sculptures on display in Downtown Sioux City.
The ‘El Toro-Angry Bull Sculpture’ in front of the Sioux City Public Museum is part of the Sculpt Siouxland exhibition which currently showcases over 20 sculptures in Downtown Sioux City.

Looking for a fun way to explore Northwest Iowa history? Head on over to the Sioux City Public Museum, in Sioux City, Iowa. We recently spent an afternoon in the downtown, state-of-the-art facility. The hands-on and interactive displays made learning about local and regional history a lot of fun.

Once inside the museum, we were transported back in time. Sioux City’s rich history is fascinating, and even if you don’t live in the area or aren’t a history buff, you’ll find something that catches your attention. The photos of the cattle-filled stockyards and a video of a devastating Christmas-time fire in downtown Sioux City were just a couple of my favorite exhibits. A full-size fire truck, air plane, and tipi were also impressive.




Inside the museum, you can take have a photo of you in the Iowa Corn Palace taken and emailed to you as a complementary keepsake!
Inside the museum, you can take have a photo of you taken in the Sioux City Corn Palace and emailed to you as a complementary keepsake!

There is something for people of all ages at the Sioux City Public Museum. While my husband and I enjoyed reading about the different historical moments and checking out the artifacts, the girls found entertainment in the interactive displays. They put together puzzles and pushed buttons all while learning about history.

'The Big Dig' was a perfect hands-on activity for this busy 5 year old.
‘The Big Dig’ was a perfect hands-on activity for this busy 5 year old.

The girls’ hands-down favorite exhibit was ‘The Big Dig,’ which replicates a fossil dig site. They had fun getting their hands dirty (one was covered in the sandy-rock substance) and discovering dinosaur bones. One of the girls could have stayed there all afternoon (the dirty one, of course)! She had fun pretending to be a paleontologist for the day.

This little one wasn't nearly as impressed as I was to see fossilized dinosaur eggs!
This little one wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was to see fossilized dinosaur eggs!

The museum houses many amazing permanent exhibits; more than I can share about here. You’ll have to check them out for yourself! The museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibits spotlighting local and regional history. We enjoyed the antique and vintage fashion exhibit as well as an exhibit showcasing an impressive collection of fossils, meteorites, and much more. I’m pretty sure my inner child was channeled when we found fossilized dinosaur eggs! In person. In Iowa. How awesome is that!

These photos and the sound of auctioneers in the background, transported you back in history.
These photos and the sound of auctioneers in the background, transported you back in time.

Did I mention that the Sioux City Public Museum is completely free? Unbelievable for what we got to see and do! After nearly two hours of exploring, we checked out the gift shop and fed the donation cow before leaving. When planning your visit, be sure to check out the Sioux City Public Museum’s website here for hours, parking information, and a list of current exhibits.

Before we even made it out the door, the girls had to sample their goodies! It was a sweet ending to an afternoon of exploring Sioux City history.
Before we even made it out the door, the girls had to sample their goodies! It was a sweet ending to a fun afternoon exploring Sioux City history.

Our adventure wasn’t quite over though. You can’t explore Sioux City history without stopping at the Palmer Old Tyme Candy Shoppe. The shoppe, known for the making the Twin Bing, houses a small candy-making museum plus rows of amazing, sugary goodies. With mouths watering, we picked out a few treats to take home. I also enjoyed checking out the great selection of gourmet food items. If you are in need of an unique gift or a just a treat for yourself, you must check out the Palmer Candy Company in

It was interesting to learn how candy has been made at Palmers for nearly 140 years
It was interesting to learn how candy has been made at Palmer’s for nearly 140 years

downtown Sioux City. As their tagline says, they have been ‘Making Life Sweeter Since 1898!’

*Take a look at more photos from our Sioux City history adventure here.

2 thoughts on “Going Back in Time at The Sioux City Museum”

    1. And, we have only just begun finding adventures in Sioux City! There’s still the Sioux City Art Center, Trinity Heights, Stone State Park and the Dorthy Pecaut Nature Center, LaunchPad Children’s Museum (opening later this month), IBP Ice Center, Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center/Betty Strong Encounter Center, Sgt. Floyd River Museum & Welcome Center, and The Railroad Museum Sioux City to explore. Not to mention the hockey and baseball games and many preforming arts venues. I’m sure I’ve not covered everything. There truly is so much to do in Northwest Iowa!

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