Hotels in Northeast Iowa

Have a blast with 91 hands-on experiments at this imagination playground. Situated in the Grout Museum District in Downtown Waterloo, this three-story museum brings science to life with interactive exhibits and entertaining demonstrations. From high-tech electric experiments to wonders of the natural world, this family-friendly attraction offers hours of educational fun.

Kids can play with a hot air balloon, pet a 12-foot Burmese python, and experience lightning in a bottle. Fire an air cannon and make your own laser light show. Touch, see, and feel how science impacts your everyday reality through experiments with electricity, light, momentum, sound, liquids, and gasses. Gaze up at giant robots and real airplanes. See live demonstrations every day June through August, and on Saturdays the rest of the year (museum is closed Sundays and Mondays).

Science Center in Waterloo

Science Center in Iowa

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Fun Festivals and the Buchanan County Fair

There’s always a reason to celebrate in Northeast Iowa. Enjoy seasonal festivities including the Music & Monarch Festival, the Maple Syrup Festival, and Art by the River. The biggest event of the year is the Buchanan County Fair, which takes place every summer in Independence. From thrilling Midway rides and carnival games to animal shows, crafts, and beer gardens - this classic fair offers old-fashioned fun for the entire family.

Effigy Mounds in Iowa

Ancient History: Effigy Mounds National Park

Nestled along the Mississippi River near Harper’s Ferry, Effigy Mounds National Park tells the story of the region’s Native Americans. This intriguing archaeological site features 206 mounds built between 600-1150 AD, many of which are in the shape of bears, birds, and other animals. This enigmatic prehistoric site is situated in a picturesque part of the Upper Mississippi River Valley that is considered sacred by several nearby tribes.

Girl in a Museum in Iowa

Art, Culture, and Natural History

Discover a surprising collection of culture, history, and science museums in this corner of Iowa. Waterloo’s Grout Museum District is home to several interesting attractions, including the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, Grout Museum of History & Science, Rensselaer Russell House Museum, Snowden House, and the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum. Book lovers will enjoy the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park in Burr Oak. Visit a 1909 Little Red Schoolhouse in Cedar Falls.

Science Center in Iowa

Hands-On Science Center

Ignite your imagination at the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, located in Waterloo’s celebrated Grout Museum District. Learning is fun at this interactive playground, which features three floors of hands-on science experiments. Shoot an air cannon. Create your own laser dance show. Touch a giant python. Discover all the fascinating ways that science effects your everyday life.

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Discover Best Western Hotels in Iowa

With 18 Best Western locations in Iowa ~ you're bound to find something new where you're headed.