fieldtrips

The Old Capitol Museum is proud to offer tours to our campus and community. Use this page to explore our offerings and schedule a visit.

Types of Tours:

Self-guided Tours

All guests are welcome to embark on a self-guided tour by roaming our galleries and using the informational history panels throughout during open hours. The self-guided tour focuses on the restored and rejuvenated building examining its' role in state legislative and then University history. 

In-person Tours

Our in-person, Docent-led tours focus on the restored and rejuvenated building, featuring history of our national historic landmark which served as Iowa's first state capitol from 1846-1857 and the University of Iowa's founding building. Our knowledgeable staff lead you on a journey through time.

Virtual Tours

We've virtually adapted our galleries to offer our Docent-led tour in a whole new way. This option covers the same material as our in-person tour, features live space web interaction with a Docent, and creates access all from the comfort of your own home or classroom. Let us bring history to you.

Which tour is right for you?

Make our museums part of your school year. We invite K-12 schools to reserve a visit to one or both of our museums.

K-12 school groups can explore exhibits and collections in the following ways: 

  • Self-Guided Visit: Schedule an independent, self-paced exploration.

    • Tour Length: self-determined 
    • Cost: No charge; museum admission is always free 
    • Available Galleries: Old Capitol Museum
    • Reservations: Thank you for scheduling your visit if you are a self-guided group of more than 10. We require a minimum of 3 weeks' notice for scheduling.
  • In-person Guided Tour: Take a museum adventure with one of our gallery guides. This experience is conversational and interactive. 

    • We are able to accommodate groups of up to 10 at a time 
    • Groups larger than 1- will be split into smaller groups to provide the best visit experience
    • Tour Length: 45 minutes 
    • Cost: Educational tours for K-12 students are free of charge 
    • Available Galleries: Old Capitol Museum
    • Reservations: Required; We require a minimum of 3 weeks' notice for scheduling.
  • Guided Virtual Visit: Take an interactive field trip with a gallery guide right from the comfort of your classroom. 

    • We are able to accommodate groups of up to 200 at a time 
    • Larger groups may be split into multiple groups to provide the best experience
    • Tour Length: 45 minutes 
    • Cost: Educational tours for K-12 students are free of charge 
    • Available Galleries: Old Capitol Museum
    • Reservations: Required; We require a minimum of 3 weeks' notice for scheduling.

Note: camps, daycare centers, after-school programs, and community organizations please see "General Public" option below

schedule a tour 

Expand your college classroom with a visit to one of our galleries or collections spaces. Lead your own lecture or choose from guided tours; we're here to collaborate and support.

College groups can explore exhibits and collections in the following ways: 

  • Self-Guided Visit: Schedule an independent, self-paced exploration.
    • Instructors often reserve gallery spaces to lead their own lecture, letting our exhibits illustrate their teaching goals & objectives. These spaces include Old Capitol Museum.
    • Cost: No charge; museum admission is free and educational gallery reservations for instructor-led presentations are free of charge
    • Available Galleries: Old Capitol Museum
    • Reservations: Thank you for scheduling your visit if you are a group of more than 10. We require a minimum of 3 weeks' notice for scheduling.
  • In-person Guided Tour: Take a museum adventure with one of our gallery guides. This experience is conversational and interactive. Our standard tour can be tailored to best meet the goals objectives of your curriculum.
    • Tour Length: ~45 minutes
    • Cost: Educational tours for college classes are free of charge
    • Available Galleries: Old Capitol Museum
    • Reservations: Required; We require a minimum of 3 weeks' notice for scheduling.
  • Guided Virtual Visit: Take an interactive field trip with a gallery guide right from the comfort of your classroom. Our standard tour can be tailored to best meet the goals and objectives of your curriculum.
    • We are able to accommodate groups of up to 200 at a time
    • Larger groups may be split into multiple groups
    • Tour Length: 45 minutes
    • Cost: Educational tours for college students are free of charge
    • Available Galleries: Old Capitol Museum
    • Reservations: Required; We require a minimum of 3 weeks' notice for scheduling. 

Schedule a tour  

Public visitors are individuals or groups including camps, daycare centers, after-school programs, and community organizations. We invite you to reserve a visit to one or both of our museums.

Public groups can explore exhibits and collections in the following ways:

  • In-person Guided Tour: Take a museum adventure with one of our Gallery Guides. This experience is conversational and interactive.
    • We are able to accommodate groups of up to 10 at a time 
    • Groups larger than 10 will be split into smaller groups to provide the best visit experience
    • Cost: $20 per group tour
    • Available Galleries: Old Capitol Museum
    • Reservations: Required; We require a minimum of 3 weeks' notice for scheduling.
  • Guided Virtual Visit: Take an interactive field trip with a Gallery Guide right from the comfort of your home. 
    • We are able to accommodate groups of up to 50 at a time
    • Larger groups may be split into multiple groups
    • Tour Length: 45 minutes
    • Cost: $20 per group tour
    • Available Galleries: Old Capitol Museum
    • Reservations: Required; We require a minimum of 3 weeks' notice for scheduling.
  • Self-Guided Visit: Enjoy an independent, self-paced exploration.
    • Tour Length: self-determined
    • Cost: No charge; museum admission is always free
    • Available Galleries: Old Capitol Museum
    • Reservations: Thank you for scheduling your visit if you are a group of more than 10. We require a minimum of 3 weeks' notice for scheduling.

Schedule a tour 

Adults 62 and older may take advantage of any "General Public" offerings, listed above.

If you are over 62 or are organizing a tour on behalf of older adults and senior living communities (SLC) in Iowa, a grant funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services has made some tour offerings possible at no cost.

Connected for Life: Object-based Digital Programming to Foster Active Minds for Senior Living Communities delivers virtual programming coordinated delivered by four world-class museum and library units at the University of Iowa (UI): The Pentacrest Museums, Stanley Museum of Art, Office of the State Archaeologist, and UI Libraries. Of many offerings in this program focusing on art, archaeology, natural history, and historical archives, some of our guided virtual tours are available at no charge for qualifying registrants.  

Visit the Connected for Life website to learn more about the menu of offerings in this program, or return to offerings for General Public, listed above.