Wells Fargo History Museum – Des Moines

Place/Event: Wells Fargo History Museum
Location: 666 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA 50309
Cost: Free
Grade/age range: All ages are welcome.
Group size: Small & large groups. Guided tours available.
Hands-on: Yes
Stroller friendly: Yes
Bathrooms: Yes
Food: No

We have been hearing about the Wells Fargo History Museum for a while now and finally ventured over for a visit. The museum did not disappoint! With over a dozen hands-on-exhibits geared toward all ages, visitors can easily spend an hour enjoying the displays.

The most famous display is the interactive stage coach. Children can dress up in period costumes, ride inside the coach while watching a video about 1800’s travel, or try their hand at holding leather reins and driving.

Children in Stage coach at Wells Fargo History Museum Des Moines Iowa.

Nearby is a life size stage coach with stunning detail. A perfect photographic backdrop. Take a picture with the “old fashion” camera and have it emailed to you.

Stage Coach at Wells Fargo History Museum Des Moines Iowa.

I find that when visiting a smaller museum, the children learn more because there is a specific focus. Instead of spending a lot of time running around trying to “see everything” that some larger museums offer, the children spend more time on a few high quality exhibits.

The Wells Fargo History Museum has several unique interactive exhibits including a Morse Code machine and telegraph display which are connected to other Wells Fargo museums around the country.

My children enjoyed punching all the buttons and trying out the different devices. Detailed signage explains the machines and their uses.

Boy plays with machine at Wells Fargo History Museum Des Moines Iowa.

The Wells Fargo History Museum is located in the front portion of the downtown bank. However, even though customers were arriving to conduct their banking business, this did not interrupt our time at the displays which are located off to the sides of the main entryway.

Wells Fargo History Museum Des Moines Iowa is located in the front lobby area.

Customers and museum visitors alike use the main street level doors to access the bank and museum. Elevators also connect the bank and museum to the skywalk system.

Downtown Des Moines has recently undergone a new parking plan. Find out more information for parking here.

Snowy day lookig out of skywalk to the entrance of Wells Fargo History Museum Des Moines Iowa.

Make it a fun day in downtown Des Moines and visit Cowles Commons Fountain in the summer time, or the State Historical Museum. There is plenty to do, see and learn in the metro!

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    1. Same thing Teresa for a larger museum. If we get a season pass and make smaller focused visits, we learn more. 🙂

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