Place/Event: Iowa Gold Star Military Museum
Location: 7105 Northwest 70th Avenue, Johnston, IA 50131
Grade/age range: Prek-12
Group size: large or small
Stroller friendly: Yes
The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum is a gem right here in central Iowa, IF you can find it! The museum can be seen while driving along NW Beaver Drive on the west side of Saylorville Lake (there is a place to pull over along this road for a photo-op with a few different retired army vehicles) but you have to enter through the Camp Dodge check point on 70th Ave and you’ll need to make sure to have your ID with you. Camp Dodge is an active military base. Once through the gate, drive all the way north toward the end of the camp and then up to the right to find the museum. Everyone there is super friendly, so just ask for directions!
The museum houses an impressive collection of retired military vehicles, a large gun display room and several hands-on activities.
You can sit in the back of an army truck, walk through a submarine and more!
For an extra fun day – we did face paint with the kids at home before going to the museum! This museum is on my list to revisit when we start studying American history. This is will be a place I bring the kids back to again and again to help them learn and remind them of the great price for their freedom.
On a regular basis, and often when I am outside enjoying our beautiful backyard, I feel deep gratitude for our men and women, and their families, who serve or have served our country and given us Freedom! I feel so blessed to live in a nation where my children and I can run carefree through our grass in summertime sunshine without fear or trembling! As a general practice, the kids and I try to always stop and say thank you when we meet a veteran. Each life matters and we are indebted to those who have given theirs!
***Do you have a personal connection to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum? I would love to hear your family member’s story of service!