Phelps Youth Pavilion – Art Museum in Waterloo


Place/Event: Phelps Youth Pavilion – Art Museum
Location: 225 Commercial St, Waterloo, IA 50701
Cost: $5
Grade/age range: Prek-12 (the children’s area is geared toward ages infant-10. There are other areas of the museum showcasing art which would appeal to older students)
Group size: large or small
Hands-on: Yes
Stroller friendly: Yes
Bathrooms: Yes
Food: limited – not kid friendly

We LOVE this children’s art museum! A friend introduced us to the museum few years ago when the kids were in preschool and it was so much fun! I have been dreaming of an opportunity to go back. My 1st graders had a blast and we spent 4 hours at the museum.

My kids spent over an hour putting on performances for me! They could draw their own  background and project it onto the wall at the back of the stage. (Stage curtains are closed in the picture) Behind the stage was an elaborate dressing room full of costumes.

Grant Wood and Iowa farm life is a central theme on the main level. Children can drive a tractor into a digital Grant Wood painting, milk a cow in a barn or crawl through the rabbit holes (pictured). Buildings and architecture are a unique theme on the second level. Children can use colored panels (see along the back wall on right-side of picture) with magnets to attach to the steel beams of the house. My kids built 3 houses!

Visit houses from around the world. Play with toys, try on clothes, listen to music and see what kinds of food other cultures eat!

Go through a Time Machine and enter the past! Write on cave walls, dig in rubber “dirt” and make Egyptian necklaces. You can also visit the Caribbean for an island flare.

AND MUCH MUCH MORE… Comment and tell me – what was your children’s favorite area to play?

***Did you go on the 3rd Thursday of the month for $1 days? If so, was it overly crowded or still a blast?


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