Zoos in Iowa with kids

It’s animal time in Iowa, and they are calling YOU!

For those families who LOVE those animal encounters, look no further than Iowa because The Hawkeye State has plenty of them!

We have to start with zoos. These are the most iconic way to experience wildlife, and great to visit with children. They offer animal encounters, and kids can experience creatures from all across the globe.  

Farms are a great alternative for a more hands-on experience with petting zoos and barnyard fun. Wildlife sanctuaries offer kids an invaluable lesson in conservation, and animal-specific attractions let kids really immerse themselves in their favorite creatures!

Whatever wildlife experience you choose with children, you know they will walk away filled with memories and knowledge that can’t be replaced. They’ll have a ROAR-ing time! 

Showing results 1 - 35 of 78

Filter by: Zoos
Show all
  • Blank Park Zoo

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Des Moines

    The Blank Park Zoo manages 49 acres of land. Of that, 22 acres have been developed into animal exhibits or facilities. One of the many fun family places to visit if you're looking for things to do in ...

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Planet Fun Family Fun Center

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Cedar Rapids

    We offer the largest selection of activities in the area from our under water adventure mini golf course to our 2500 ft laster tag arena we are able to entertain all ages. One of the many fun family ...

  • Pirates Cove Mini Golf

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Arnolds Park

    Putt your way through the world of 18th century pirates-- under cascading waterfalls, across a natural stream and past pirate ship ruins! Nestled in a naturally beautiful landscape, this 18-hole ...

  • Pzazz Fun City

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Burlington

    A 70,000 square foot water park, full-service restaurants, award-winning bowling center, large indoor speedway, golf course, laser tag arena. One of the many fun family places to go if you're looking ...

  • Playground For Kids

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Polk

    Indoor party and play center with over 9,000 SF of inflatables and our huge treehouse play structure will wear out even the most energetic kids! No arcade games here, lots of energy burning fun.

  • Play All Day

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Sioux City

    Offer over-the-top fun for under 10s with awesome inflatables and age zoned play stations that engage young imaginations and exercise little bodies!

  • The Playstation

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Cedar Rapids

    3 level indoor playland in Iowa, to entertain and exhaust kids under 12 with all the classic features like crawl tubes, climbing nets, slides, balls, tunnels and more!

  • Pump It Up Urbandale

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Urbandale

    A bouncingly fun experience for kids who enjoy being active and of course bouncing!

  • Monkey Joes

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Davenport

    offers a large facility filled with inflatable adventure from giant slides and obstacle courses to classic bounce houses and beyond.

  • Des Moines Botanical Center

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Des Moines

    he Des Moines Botanical Center is one of the most popular cultural attractions in Iowa, providing educational, recreational, and community resources to thousands. Its goal is to provide botanical ...

  • Iowa Arboretum

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Madrid

    A visit to the Iowa Arboretum's 378-acre facility located in scenic Boone County is an experience you won't want to miss. This site offers 40 acres developed as a 'Library of Living Plants' ...

  • Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Prairie City

    Spend the day driving through a 700 acre enclosed area and witness amazing bison and elk, as well as hiking, birding and mushrooming in this nature filled family day out adventure in Iowa!

  • Effigy Mounds National Monument

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Harpers Ferry

    There are numerous opportunities for you to enjoy a self-guided tour or join a ranger for a hike, walk, talk or historic demonstration. Most trails are moderately strenuous, however, there are some ...

  • Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Sioux City

    A visit to Stone Park would not be complete without a visit to the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. The center features a variety of interpretive displays, including a "walk-under" prairie, a 400-gallon ...

  • Marble Beach State Recreation Area

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Spirit Lake

    Marble Beach\\\'s campground is the largest in the Iowa Great Lakes region.Spirit Lake is the largest natural lake in Iowa and provides some of the best fishing in the state. Crandall\\\'s Beach ...

  • Wilson Island State Park

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Missouri Valley

    Historic, and teeming with wildlife and adventure, this Iowa State Park gives you hiking and skiing trails, picnic areas, river activities and camping - all ready and waiting to join in your outdoor ...

  • Grimes Conservation Farm

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Marshalltown

    Partly a nature preserve, partly a farm, partly an education center, and partly a recreation area, Grimes Farm is an unusual public space that combines a working agricultural operation with the ...

  • Woodbury Conservation Area

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Sioux City

    Welcome The Woodbury County Conservation Board invites you to explore nearly 5,000 acres of unique conservation lands. You will find a tremendous variety of outdoor recreational opportunities ...

  • Indian Creek Nature Center

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Cedar Rapids

    Vast 210 acre site with hiking and biking trails, educational centre with numerous natural history exhibits, fishing, and more.

  • Jester Park Natural Playscape

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Des Moines

    A beautiful and unique natural playscape in Jester Park for kids over 5 years where their creativity will be challenged!

  • Gray's Lake Park

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Des Moines

    167 acres in the heart of Des Moines where families can enjoy walking, biking, and outdoor fun!

  • Pappajohn Sculpture Park

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Des Moines

    Stroll through sculptures from 22 amazing artists in this beautiful Des Moines park, with 4.4 acres to explore.

  • The Lost Island

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Waterloo

    Water fun in Waterloo at The Lost Island! With slides, a lazy river, and even go karting and 18 hole mini golf! Great family fun in Iowa.

  • Kings Pointe Waterpark

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Storm Lake

    Indoor and outdoor fun for all ages at this Iowa waterpark next to Storm Lake. All year round swimming fun!

  • Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Dubuque

    25,000 square feet of indoor waterpark in Iowa, with daily admission, and tons of water fun to be had!

  • Clarion Amana Colonies & Wasserbahn Resort

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Williamsburg

    Get soaked and stoked on our frontier-themed custom rides and attractions! Make The Wasserbahn your personal family playground!

  • The Beach Ottumwa

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Ottumwa

    The Beach Ottumwa is a beautiful indoor / outdoor waterpark located in Ottumwa Iowa. The facility encompasses 13 acres and over a million gallons of safe family fun.

  • Cascade Falls Aquatic Center

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Ankeny

    A family friendly outdoor aquatic center in Iowa with heated water, kiddie slides, lap pools and water slides!

  • Fort Custer Maze

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Clear Lake

    Not just a family thing - it's a MAZE thing! Fort Custer Maze is 2 miles of maze for kids to challenge themselves in, as well as a Jump-A-Roo inflatable! What a way to spend the family's day in Iowa!

  • Airline Amusement Park

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Waterloo

    Bumper cars, goofy golf, a driving range and batting cages are all on offer at this fun family park. One of the many fun family places to visit if you're looking for things to do with kids in Iowa

  • Heritage Carousel

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Des Moines

    This turn-of-the-century replica carousel is hand carved from basswood, hand painted and ridden to the sound of an old-fashioned band organ. Through this the Heritage Carousel supports a nostalgic ...

  • Cedar Rapids Science Station

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Cedar Rapids

    Interactive science fun including an Early Childhood Exploration Area which provides entertainment for children 2-8 years old, and an Elementary Gallery provided for children 5 years and up.

  • Center Grove Orchard

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Cambridge

    Fruit, farm, animals, mazes...yes please! A fun farm filled day out for kids in beautiful Iowa!

  • Palmers Family Fun

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Waterloo

    Outdoor family fun for kids of all ages in Iowa, with zooming Go Karts, mini golf and even a driving range.

  • Bloomsbury Farm

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5

    Atkins

    So much more than a farm for this family day out, as the kids will love the petting zoo, haunted houses and an adventure play park!