Plan Your Visit


Current hours: Friday & Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Hours beginning June 1st, 2022: Wednesday - Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday - Tuesday: closed to public; some special arrangements via our Visitor Services Coordinator
Closed National Holidays

During open hours guests are invited to enjoy self-guided tours of the museum via panels throughout sharing the history of our state and the building. We also offer in-person or virtually guided tours led by the Pentacrest Museums student docent team.

Schedule a visit outside of regular public hours: HERE

How to get here

The museum is located in Macbride Hall on the University of Iowa Pentacrest in downtown Iowa City, Iowa.

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Admission to the Pentacrest Museums is always free. To ensure we can keep admission to our museums free a suggested donation of $5.00 is appreciated.

Transportation & Parking

Cars: We do not have our own parking lot.  We recommend parking in one of the many downtown or east campus parking ramps operated by the City of Iowa City or the University of Iowa (Iowa Memorial Union Ramp, Old Capitol Town Center/Capitol Street Ramp, or Clocktower Plaza Ramp). In most cases prices range from $0.75 to $1.50/hour. Most street parking in downtown Iowa City is metered and limited to 1-2 hours.  Free street parking is possible outside the central downtown area, but often hard to find. 

Bicycles: Bike racks are located on the Jefferson Street side of the building, at the northeast corner. Riding bikes on sidewalks on the Pentacrest is prohibited.

Passenger drop-off: There is a passenger loading/unloading zone on Jefferson St., just north of the museum. Do not park or leave vehicles unattended in the loading zones, and do not block the bus stop.

Public transportation: We are close to several Iowa City, Coralville, and UI Cambus stops for many bus routes (the Bongo system can help you find routes and bus stops.)  The Downtown Interchange (Bongo stops 0001 and 0002) is a block and a half away, on the south side of the Pentacrest. The Macbride Hall (Bongo 0120), Clinton & Iowa (1030), Clinton & Jefferson (7207), and Pappajohn (1021) stops are less than a block away.

School buses and tour buses: Drop off groups in the bus zone on Jefferson St. just north of the Museum of Natural History.  Buses can be parked in the commercial loading zone on Jefferson St. slightly east of the museum if a driver stays with the bus.  Unattended buses may be parked in the university's Recreation Center Lot (Lot 11) at the corner of Madison and Court Streets.

Scheduling a Tour

We are currently scheduling some group tours. Please visit our Group Visits & Tours page to learn more about our offerings.


The Museum is handicapped accessible through an entrance on the east side of Macbride Hall, adjacent to the stairs leading up to our main entrance. An elevator provides access to all Museum galleries. 

Please note that the aisle through the balcony of Macbride Auditorium, which is often used for university classes, is the only path between the elevator and Hageboeck Hall of Birds on the north end of the third floor. Visitors who need to use the elevator are always allowed to cross the auditorium, even during classes.  If this is a critical issue for you, please email (click or copy/paste) or call 319-467-1373, and our staff can inform you about the auditorium schedule and help you plan your visit to the museum.

Once You're Here

We recommend picking up a gallery map from the front desk or from the racks inside all our building doors.  We share space in Macbride Hall with six other university departments, plus classrooms, and our galleries are not all connected to each other.  Museum galleries are on the first floor (Iowa Hall); third floor (Hageboeck Hall of Birds, including the Laysan Island Cyclorama; Biosphere Discovery Hub; Mammal Hall), and ground floor (Diversity of Life exhibits).

Our front desk and gift shop are located in the Iowa Hall exhibit gallery, just inside the east doors.

Macbride Auditorium is in the center of the second floor of the building, with the balcony on the third floor.  To get to the auditorium, take the stairs or elevator to the second floor and go through the big double doors.