Place/Event: Forest Park Museum and Arboretum
Location: 14581 K Ave. Perry, Iowa 50220
Cost: Free/free-will donation
Grade/age range: Prek-12
Group size: Large
Stroller friendly: Yes
Pete Malmberg, Museum Curator/Historical & Cultural Resources Coordinator, is incredibly knowledgeable and the kids love his enthusiasm. The museums is home to an impressive collection of snakes and other native Iowa reptiles and amphibians.
Newly emerged butterflies were released on the prairie during our visit.
Forest Park Museum houses two large buildings full of displayed antiques, the conservation headquarters, and Mr. Malmberg’s office which is centered around a unique garden courtyard.
A concrete path leads down to the historic buildings including a log cabin and one-room schoolhouse. A paved path leads the prairie and creek to the Raccoon River Valley Trail.
Mr. Malmberg lead the children in many hands-on activities including a quiz in the schoolhouse and teaching them how to drive an oxen hooked to a plow.
The children were allowed to play hide-and-seek in the prairie. On a warmer day, they are invited back to play in the creek.
We were never able to finish all there was to see and do at the museum! Plan to spend a couple hours here and bring a picnic lunch.
Conservation headquarters is a great place to park and connect to the Raccoon River Valley Trail. Head into Perry for a fun afternoon exploring main street.
Not too far away is the fabulously famous Picket Fence Creamery.