Posted on: June 14, 2018 | By: grimes

By: Jill Fisher

Most people go on vacation, tour new places, and see what other cities, states, and countries have to offer. But have you ever taken the time to see what Iowa has to offer? There are dozens of free and affordable tourist attractions in your own backyard, and you probably aren’t even aware of them.

Carnegie Library Museum Over a century ago, Andrew Carnegie offered Perry, Iowa a grant to build this library. It was recently restored and is now open to the public 3 days a week. See many of the library’s original holdings, and temporary, rotating exhibits.

Union Park One of Des Moines’s largest parks, Union Park is the home of the Heritage Carousel, a hand carved, hand painted turn-of-the-century replica carousel. You can also find the popular Rocket Slide and an excellent splash pad.

Historic Swanson House and Clive Depot In the historic center of Clive, you can find and tour the Swanson House, restored to the look of the old General Store and Post Office from the 1920’s. Nearby you will find the old Clive train depot and Caboose.


AdventurePass Participants—Use your library card to check out a family pass to each of 4 Des Moines venues:

Blank Park Zoo  Visit Iowa’s Wildest Adventure and Do the Zoo!

Science Center of Iowa Bring learning to life by viewing and interacting with different exhibits or visiting the IMAX dome.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden Visit the tropical and temperate gardens that make the Botanical Garden an oasis in the heart of Des Moines.

Living History Farms Spend the day in this interactive outdoors museum. Visit 19th century farms and town to learn how people lived over 100 years ago.

This free pass can be used 1 time per venue per 365 days and will gain admittance for 2 adults and 2 children. This is a fantastic option to give these fun, educational destinations a try!