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About Us

Mission:

The mission of The Iowa Children’s Museum is to inspire every child to imagine, create, discover, and explore through the Power of Play.

Vision:

An inclusive, collaborative community where children are valued, their right to play is championed, and their future is nurtured.

The Iowa Children’s Museum is where play and learning go hand in hand. We spark children’s curiosity and creativity through interactive exhibits and programs. In the museum and out in the community, we create kid-powered play spaces that encourage families to have fun together.

Located in Coralville, Iowa, our museum features 18 exhibits designed to provide open-ended, self-directed experiences. In our space, kids have the freedom to explore their interests, solve problems, and build important life skills such as confidence, critical thinking, and communication. We also offer a variety of educational programs and events, including camps, family workshops, and field trips.

We believe in the power of play and its ability to help children thrive and grow into healthy, happy adults. In today’s world, children face many pressures that can decrease the amount of time they spend playing. We are dedicated to inspiring more play and providing resources for parents and caregivers to support their child’s playful learning.

The Iowa Children’s Museum strives to create a welcoming and inclusive environment that fosters creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the support of our community to continue providing high-quality educational experiences for all children.

Quick Facts:

  • 28,000 square ft museum
  • 18 permanent exhibits
  • 5 educational initiatives underlying everything we do
  • 150,000+ visitors each year
  • 2,000+ member families
  • 1 turtle mascot named Pete

Awards

2023 Award Winner (Family Fun, Kid’s Party Places, Summer Camp, Tourist Attractions) –  Locals Love Us

2021 Best Place for a Kid’s Birthday Party – Little Village’s Best of the CRANDIC awards

2020 Coolest Place to Work – Corridor Business Journal

2018 Nonprofit of the Year – Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce

2010 Nonprofit Innovation Award – Corridor Business Journal

Our Team

We know playing is a science! That’s why our PLAYology team is made up of creators of cheer, technicians of tomfoolery, and scholars of all things silly! We’re the experts in fun and love to help kids imagine, create, discover and explore in our space.

our Board of directors

Thank you to these fantastic community leaders who volunteer their time, talents, and resources to our mission!

  • Kristen Shaffer (Chair), Shuttleworth & Ingersoll
  • Pam Ehly (Past Chair),  ICCSD (Retired)
  • Celeste Yoder (Treasurer), MidWestOne Bank
  • Charlie Goetzinger (Secretary), Jefferson High School
  • Nick Mahon (Chair Elect), GlobalTranz Enterprises
  • Lissa Bern, Collins Aerospace
  • Kim Jones, Scattergood Friends School
  • Carolina Kaufman, Museum Professional/Educator
  • Laura Kivlighan, UI College of Law
  • Jackie Kleppe, UI Health Care
  • Ellie Moore, Community Foundation of Johnson County
  • Erin Nelson, University of Iowa
  • Dan O’Neil, General Mills
  • Chace Ramey, Iowa City Community School District
  • Ben Russell, Urban Acres Real Estate
  • Bri Swope, UI Therapeutic Recreation and Child Life
  • James Wachendorf, GreenState Credit Union
  • Amanda West, Community Volunteer

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