Tour Information

There is no admission charge to visit Old Capitol Museum. Reservations are required for group tours.

To schedule a tour call (319) 335-1508.

Chaperone policy

The Museum has a chaperone requirement for all tour groups. Adults are responsible for their group’s behavior. If this policy is not followed, groups will be asked to leave. We also ask all chaperones to turn their cell phones to a silent setting during the tours.

For elementary through high school groups: 1 adult for every 10 children
For preschool groups: 1 adult for every 5 children

Group size

Old Capitol Museum tours can accommodate no more than 30 people in a tour at one time.  While one group receives a tour at Old Capitol, other groups may visit the Museum of Natural History next door (with an advance reservation) and tour Iowa Hall or visit Hageboeck Hall of Birds, Biosphere Discovery Hub, and Mammal Hall for self-guided tours.

Gift shop

The museum gift shop is located in the first floor of the museum. It offers educational and history-related items, and all proceeds go toward funding educational programs. If you are not allowing your students to visit the gift shop, please advise museum staff in advance.

Staying on schedule

Please be a few minutes early for your scheduled tour. If your group is late, your tour will be shortened to keep on schedule, as there may be another tour following yours.

Tour Schedule (example uses 10:30 tour time):

10:30--Tour begins at East entrance inside Old Capitol
11:15--Tour ends in ground floor rotunda
11:15-11:25--Visit gift shop, restrooms, and drinking fountain (all located in ground floor)
11:25--If visiting the Museum of Natural History, depart through ground floor exit

Museum manners

Please review museum manners with your class prior to your arrival and plan to supervise your class during their visit.

  • Please stay in front of the barriers, which control the flow of traffic in the rooms.
  • Keep the members of your group together while touring the building.
  • Smoking is prohibited, and food and beverages are not allowed.

Worksheets

If your students are bringing worksheets, each should bring a clipboard or notebook.  Exhibits, exhibit cases, and glass are NOT to be used as writing surfaces.

If you want docents to cover worksheet questions in the tour, please send us a copy prior to the tour. Otherwise, we ask the students to not work on things while the docent is speaking.

Lunches

If your class will be bringing sack lunches, you may use the lawn around Macbride Hall (weather permitting) or walk to the Iowa Memorial Union (one block down Jefferson Street).  If weather is bad, the ground floor hallway of Macbride Hall may be used, as long as students do not obstruct those passing through the building.

Other local tours and field trip destinations

Parking instructions

For car parking suggestions, see our visitor information page.

Buses may discharge passengers in the bus loading and unloading zone on Jefferson Street, next to Macbride Hall.  Buses may stay in the commercial loading zone on Jefferson Street if the driver remains with the bus.  Do not stay in the bus stop area, which is used by university and city buses.

Unattended buses may be parked in the university's Recreation Center Lot (Lot 11) at the corner of Madison and Court Streets.