DES MOINES - Families, home schoolers and anyone with an interest in history can drop in to the State Historical Museum of Iowa during spring break to discover Iowa history with fun and educational programs for all ages.
"Iowa History 101: Spring Break" kicks off with "The Secret Life of Pets" movie at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, and continues March 13-18 with programs about the last ice age, the Civil War, old-time radio and baseball. All programs are free and open to the public at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines.
"Spring break is a time when families and groups are traveling and looking for things to do together," State Historical Society of Iowa Administrator Susan Kloewer said. "Our family-friendly programs tie back to Iowa and our 'Hands-On History' gallery will appeal to younger visitors, while others can explore exhibits that highlight a wide range of Iowa history."
Following is a list of exhibits, programs and tours during this year’s spring break at the museum:
Saturday, March 11 - Family Film Day
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Join the State Historical Museum of Iowa and Des Moines Film Society for a free screening of “The Secret Life of Pets,” followed by a conversation with one of its creators, the local storyboard artist (and Emmys voter) Adam Van Wyk, whose credits include "Despicable Me," "Rio" and the "Ice Age" franchise. He'll share some of the work he did on the film and describe how an animated film goes from storyboards to a finished motion picture.
Monday, March 13 - Ice Age in Iowa
Drop in and discover the prehistoric creatures that roamed Iowa's landscape. Stand in the shadow of a replica of a woolly mammoth and learn what its life was like during the last ice age. Then get up close and examine real mammoth bones found in downtown Des Moines.
Tuesday, March 14 - Iowa and the Civil War
Discover what inspired more than 76,000 Iowans to fight in the Civil War. Tour the Civil War exhibition that features more than 300 artifacts that tell the story of life before, during and after the war. Learn about camp life and military drills and talk with uniformed Civil War interpreters from the Governor's Own Sons of Union Veterans.
Wednesday, March 15 - Iowa’s Natural History
Become an animal detective and learn about birds that make Iowa home. Explore the "Delicate Balance" exhibition to see different types of birds and other animals common in Iowa, and learn how to draw your favorite feathered friends.
Thursday, March 16 - Action! Old-Time Radio Show
Listen in and experience an old-time radio show. The Final Act Ensemble from the Des Moines Community Playhouse will demonstrate live radio sound-effect techniques with its "Sound Effects Parade" program. Two 30-minute shows start at 1:15 and 2:15 p.m., followed by a Q&A after each show. View old radios from the museum collection that were used to entertain families long before TV was invented.
Friday, March 17 - Baseball - America’s Pastime
Play ball! A player from the 1870s-era Walnut Hill Bluestockings baseball team from Living History Farms will be on hand to talk about the history of the sport. View baseball artifacts, watch clips from “Field of Dreams” and see if you can spot the ghost player uniform on display in the "Hollywood in the Heartland" exhibit.
Saturday, March 18 - The Kansas City Monarchs in Our Home Town
Sure, you've heard of Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige. But do you know about the African-American players on the Kansas City Monarchs and their connection to Iowa? In the run-up to the 90th Anniversary of the Monarchs’ first World Championship,in 1924, baseball historian and Kansas City's Negro Leagues Baseball Museum founder Phil Dixon is visiting 90 cities where the Monarchs played. At the museum, Dixon will discuss where the Monarchs played against local teams in Iowa, which included greats like Chet Brewer of Des Moines and J. W. Wilkinson of Algona.
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.