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Home > Family Travel > Family Travel Guides > Iowa Travel Guide


Iowa Vacations Travel Guide


General Information

Baby Equipment Rentals - companies in Iowa that rent baby gear and equipment including car seats, strollers, cribs and more

Family Resorts in Iowa - resorts, hotels and other family friendly lodging

Iowa Division of Tourism - things to do, places to stay, maps, calendar of events and more.



Blank Park Zoo
7401 SW 9th St
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
Phone: (515) 285-4722
Lemurs To Sea Lions. Penguins To Prairie Dogs. Tigers To Tortoises. Monkeys And More. Do something wildly entertaining! Visit Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo where you'll find more than 800 intriguing animals nestled in 22 acres of naturalistic settings.


National Parks

Effigy Mounds National Monument
Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Phone: (563) 873-3491
Activites include bird watching, cross country skiing, hiking, nature walks, snowshoeing and stargazing.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
West Branch, Iowa
Phone: (319) 643-2541
Visit the Birthplace Cottage, Blacksmith Shop, Schoolhouse, Quaker Meetinghouse, Presidential Library-Museum and the gravesites of President and Mrs. Hoover. Hike the tall grass prairie and enjoy picnicking.



The Family Museum of Arts & Sciences
2900 Learning Campus Drive at 18th Street
Bettendorf, Iowa
Phone: (563) 344-4106
This unique, fun-packed, hands-on museum is designed for children and families of all ages to share in the joy of discovery, investigation and learning together.

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad
225 10th Street
P.O. Box 603
Boone, Iowa 50036
Phone: (800) 626-0319
Bring the family & friends, pack a picnic lunch, come early and ride the trolley and then "Catch the Train!"  Operating 7 days a week rain or shine Memorial Day weekend through October 31.  Electric trolley and Chinese steam engine operate on weekends and holidays.  Beautiful, exciting 15 mile round trip (Wolf Train 22 mile) over two great bridges and through the Des Moines river valley.

Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science
1717 West 12th Street
Davenport, Iowa 52804
Phone: (563) 324-1933
Home to over 160,000 artifacts and specimens, the Putnam Museum offers permanent and changing exhibits, dynamic public programs, plus exclusive IMAX theater and live interpretations—all in a beautiful 76,000 square foot facility—the largest museum in the Quad Cities of eastern Iowa and western Illinois!

Science Center of Iowa
4500 Grand Avenue
Greenwood-Ashworth Park
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
Phone: (515) 274-4138
Planetarium, Laser Dome, exhibits, demonstrations and much more for the kids and family.


Theme Parks, Amusement Parks & Water Parks

Arnolds Park Amusement Park
PO Box 609
Arnolds Park, Iowa 51331
Phone: (800) 599-6995 or 712-332-2183
Exciting new adventures begin at Arnolds Park Amusement Park, where your day is filled with non-stop family fun.  Live entertainment, thrilling amusement park rides and outstanding attractions await you.

Adventureland Amusement Park
P.O. Box 3355
Des Moines, Iowa 50316
Phone: (800) 532-1286
Adventureland Amusement Park contains over 100 rides, shows, and attractions including some of the country's most exciting roller coasters and thrill rides that can challenge the most avid amusement park enthusiasts. There are also plenty of rides for less adventurous guests including great water rides as well as a full compliment of children’s rides spread throughout the park. But the entertainment doesn’t stop with rides - Adventureland presents a full array of shows in the park - from live music to magic to song and dance - there’s always something to suit everyone's taste.

Kings Pointe Waterpark Resort
1520 Lakeshore Drive
PO Box 665
Storm Lake, Iowa 50588
Phone: (712) 213-4500
King's Pointe offers both indoor and outdoor waterpark fun. The indoor waterpark has over 17000 square feet of fun including three slides, toddler spray ground and in-pool play structures, water basketball for the family, climbing wall and water channel. The outdoor park has a family pool with lap lanes, diving boards and traditional swimming. Families will love the kiddie spray island and family slide...while the more adventurous can head over to the Castaway channel lazy river or five outdoor slides which offer speed, twists and more.

Lost Island Water Park
2225 E. Shaulis Rd.
Waterloo, Iowa 50701
Phone: (319) 234-3210


Family Activities

If you know of a family activity in Iowa, let us know and we will add it here.


Summer - Family Vacation Hot Spots (Beaches, Lakes, etc.)

Rathbun Lake - Sailing, fishing, swimming and camping.  In the rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, also features a floating restaurant and a fish hatchery. 85 miles southeast of Des Moines on Iowa State Route 5.

Zoos, Museums, National Parks, Theme, Amusement and Water Parks listed above.  During summer months the Winter Vacation spots listed below also offer mountain biking, golfing and other activities.  Visit the Ski resort area links below to find out summer activities.


Winter - Family Vacation Hot Spots (Ski Resorts, etc.)

Seven Oaks Recreation Area
1086 222nd Drive
Boone, Iowa 50036
Phone: (515) 432-9457
Seven Oaks has the highest vertical drop and steepest slopes in Central Iowa.  A variety of slopes will fascinate the new skiers and boarders as well as challenge the more experienced winter enthusiasts.  Night skiing and ski lessons are available.  During the summer you can take a scenic canoe ride, golf or go mountain biking.

Sundown Mountain
17017 Asbury Rd
Dubuque, Iowa 52002
Phone: (319) 556-6676
Sundown offers all of the following.  A big scenic mountain with great snow; exceptional vertical reduces lift line time; FREE timed racing daily; FREE ski corral daily; Jumbo terrain park; Full menu meals in lodges with a great view and Big Terrain Park & competition Half-Pipe served by the Quad Chairlift.

Mt. Crescent Ski Area
17034 Snowhill Lane
Crescent, Iowa 51526
Phone: (712) 545-3850
Mt. Crescent Ski Area offers nine runs spread out over 40 acres and an uphill capacity of 3,600 people, which lets you ski more instead of waiting in line.  Most of the ski area caters to the beginner and intermediate skiers.


Helpful websites and services

If you know of a website or company that is helpful to families traveling to Iowa, let us know and we will add it here.


Travel Specials & Vacation Packages

(specials are updated weekly)

Vacation Package Deals:

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