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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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
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.