Explore Some Of Iowa’s 400 Museums

Six dresses worn by Donna Reed, the Denison-born, Oscar-winning actress, are on display at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. Photo: Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

Writer: Michael Morain
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

This week, during Iowa Museum Week, you could visit Matchstick Marvels in Gladbrook to see 70-some sculptures and scale models of famous structures like the U.S. Capitol and the International Space Station, all made from 8.5 million matchsticks and glue.

You could swing by the National Hobo Museum in Britt and choose a nickname for yourself, like Frisco Jack or Connecticut Slim, two of the notable hobos whose artifacts are on display.

You could visit the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines and see a new showcase of six dresses worn by Donna Reed, the Oscar-winning actress who was born 100 years ago in Denison.

Iowa boasts about 400 museums statewide, according to the Iowa Museum Association. Each year they generate approximately $384 million for the state’s economy, support more than 6,000 jobs, and attract more than 5 million visitors.

If you plan to be one of them—during Iowa Museum Week or whenever you go—be sure to check online for the latest hours and safety protocols. Most Iowa museums have reopened now that the pandemic is easing up, but visiting guidelines may change from one week to the next.

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