We visited the Quad Cities last summer and enjoyed ourselves. So much, that we found ourselves here again for a weekend getaway. On our must-see list was the Putnam Museum that we didn't have a chance to check out last time.
Nitty gritty: Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for youth. Plenty of parking. Definitely stroller-friendly. Not crowded at all.
The fun: Putnam is a mid-sized museum with plenty to see. There's the small, but equally impressive exhibit featuring 2 mummies and also an Asian gallery with a Shinto shrine. Or, learn all about the Quad Cities' history.
I was not expecting the museum to be as interactive as it was. There are areas located throughout the museum where the kids could take a break and read or play with puzzles. As my husband noted, "This museum is a lot more interactive than some of the children's museums that we've been to." I couldn't have agreed more! At the recreated trading place, Uwe Warumi, kids could step back in time by dressing up in clothing of that era, playing games and reading books. Though the big hit with my boys was the huge drum that they could have beat the entire time if we let them.
Other interactive highlights include the Ocean Experience where my boys were particularly fascinated with the recreated sub. Plus, what kids can't resist looking at the "fishies" swimming in their tanks?
The science section on the lower level may have been small, but fun no less! Try on NASA space gloves. My husband and youngest were having fun learning (or playing) with the tennis ball machine, while the oldest was learning about gravitational pull or, rather, placing items on a spinner and seeing the discs fly out of control.
Bottom Line: If you are in the Quad Cities, make sure to stop by. With an abundance of interactive exhibits throughout the museum, kids will no doubt have a wonderful time.
Tip: Don't miss the huge crochet reef display! It is truly a splendid feat.
Disclosure: Our family was provided complimentary admission to the Putnam Museum. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own.
How many museums in Iowa have a mummy on display, let along two?
The Putnam is a very nice museum and is just the right size for young kids. If you take young ones to places like Chicago's Field Museum or Science and Industry, you will have a wonderful time ... until you get maybe half-way through and the kids are exhausted and melting down.
My favorite room is the B.J. and Mabel Palmer room, which contains the two mummies, Egyptian collection and Asian collection. The Palmer's were part of the founding family of chiropractic (Palmer College of Chiropractic, the first chiropractic college in the world, is only a couple miles away), and they traveled the world, acquiring many fascinating items.
The rest of the museum is very nice, and they get some interesting traveling exhibits. The Putnam also has a Giant Screen theater (they formerly had an IMAX).
I really forget often what is in this museum, when I go back again I realize why - its pretty forgettable. They have LOTS and some pretty cool stuff, but there really is nothing out of the ordinary or astounding about the displays. They have a small animals exhibit with lots of taxidermy but again, there are like raccoons, a goat, and I believe they have a bear - a few African animals... It's really not that impressive - the Imax is great though
Science museum and IMAX theatre. Musuem has the following permanent exhibits: Hall of mammals, Big River-Black Earth (history of animals of the area), Ocean Adventures (play submarine, octopus climber, fish tanks, sand castle blocks and etc.) tree house climber and puppet show, old fashioned house play area, gem/rock gallery, egyptian and mummies gallery and history of the area gallery. It also has a science lab, gift store and traveling exhibits throughout the year.
A fun place to spend and afternoon or morning. Check out their website as they have frequent special events going on, often for free.
There is a snack area by the IMAX that sells food for a meal. Also across the parking lot is a park with picnic tables and the small Fejavary zoo.