Phelps Youth Pavilion – Art Museum in Waterloo

Place/Event: Phelps Youth Pavilion – Art Museum (located inside the Waterloo Center for the Arts)
Location: 225 Commercial St, Waterloo, IA 50701
Cost: $5
Grade/age range: Prek-12 (the children’s area is geared toward ages infant-12. 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

We LOVE this children’s art museum in waterloo! A friend introduced us to the museum when the kids were in preschool and we have been back a couple more times since then. 

Second Floor

Buildings and architecture are a unique theme on the second level. Children use colored panels with magnets to attach them to the steel beams of the house. 

Children build a house at Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo Iowa

My children spent over an hour putting on performances for me! They can draw their own background to project onto the wall at the back of the stage. Behind the stage is an elaborate dressing room full of costumes.


Also on this second level, are houses from around the world, play with toys, try on clothes, listen to music and see what kinds of food other cultures eat!

Child tries on clothes at Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo Iowa


Classroom space is available on the second level. Throughout the year, art classes are taught for all ages. 

Art studio space at Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo Iowa


First Floor

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 the barn or crawl through the rabbit holes under the stairs.

Children climb down tunnels near stairs at Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo Iowa

Travel through a Time Machine and enter the past! Write on cave walls, dig in rubber “dirt” for artifacts and make Egyptian necklaces. 

Cave art at Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo Iowa.

The 3rd Thursday of the month is $1 admission. There is now an outdoor water feature located along the river that children can play in and get wet during the summer months. This unique area of Waterloo offers several other learning opportunities and field trips. 

The Waterloo Center for the Arts and Waterloo Community Playhouse

Sharing the same building is the Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo Community Playhouse and Black Hawk Children’s Theatre

Art displays at Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo Iowa


Did you know there is an AMAZING Children's Art Museum in Waterloo? Find out how many hours kids can spend at this gem and when you can visit for Free. Art Museum in Waterl

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