How to use your library’s Adventure Pass for free family fun

How to use your library’s Adventure Pass for free family fun

Photo courtesy of Blank Park Zoo via Facebook.

By Katie Giorgio

June 26, 2024

Libraries are a key component of summer fun for families all across Iowa. An Adventure Pass makes it that much better.

From their summer reading programs (who doesn’t love getting prizes for reading great books?!) and a whole host of interesting and engaging free educational programs, storytimes, and activities, libraries know how to keep kids busy during the summertime.

But, wait … there’s more! Did you know you can check out an “Adventure Pass” from the library that will give you great discounts and free admission to great attractions and museums all around the state? It’s true. This partnership between many Iowa public libraries and museums, parks, and other attractions is such a great opportunity to make summer fun more affordable for all.

Make plans to check out an Adventure Pass at your local library this summer and it will be the key to all sorts of free family fun!

How to use the Iowa Library Adventure Pass

Using the Iowa Library Adventure Pass is pretty simple.

The first requirement is that you are a resident in the city of the library you plan to check out the pass from. You must also be 18 years of age to check out a pass and have a valid library card (with less than $10 in fees on your card as well).

The passes are subject to availability so do some planning in advance. They are valid only on the day you check them out for and must be printed off (no showing a screenshot from your phone) to show to the attraction you are visiting with the pass. Keep in mind that you can only check out a pass to a specific location once every 365 days, so be sure to not only check your own calendar but also check the hours and dates of operations at the attraction you wish to visit.

The pass is good for two adults and two children when you visit the specified destination. If you are bringing more people along, standard admission prices will apply. But the great part is that you can reserve the passes any time (24/7!) through your library’s website. 

How to use your library’s Adventure Pass for free family fun

Courtesy of Des Moines Public Library via Facebook.

Where you can visit with the Adventure Pass

Here’s a list of the places you can visit for free with the Adventure Pass:

  • African American Museum of Iowa–located in Cedar Rapids, this is the state’s only museum dedicated to telling the history and culture story of African Americans. It just reopened after an extensive remodel. 
  • Blank Park Zoo–located in Des Moines, this is the state’s premier zoo, home to more than 800 animals to view and learn about.
  • Brenton Skating Plaza–located in Des Moines, this is more likely a destination you’d want to consider visiting in the winter for ice skating fun. Just remember it is part of the adventure pass, which can be checked out year round!
  • Des Moines Children’s Museum–also located in Des Moines, this children’s play museum is a great place to escape the summer heat for indoor fun with interactive, creative play spaces.
  • Figge Art Museum–located in Davenport, this renowned art museum makes for a fun visit to explore the regional art collection and traveling exhibitions.
  • Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden–located in Des Moines, the Botanical Gardens offers a great way to explore 12 acres of gardens along the Des Moines river and a very cool conservatory to wander through.
  • Grout Museum District Buildings–located in Waterloo, this collection of cultural institutions includes the the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, Grout Museum of History and Science, Carl A. & Peggy J. Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, Rensselaer Russell House Museum, and Snowden House. 
  • The History Center–located in Cedar Rapids, this museum explores the history of Linn County through permanent and temporary exhibitions. 
  • Quad Cities Fun Bundle–this bundle features admission into several attractions located in the Quad Cities area, including Niabi Zoo, Quad Cities Botanical Center, and the Putnam Museum & Science Center.
  • Reiman Gardens–located in Ames, this 17-acre public garden is a beautiful spot to view plants, insects, and the beauty of the natural world right on the campus of Iowa State University. 
  • Science Center of Iowa–located in Des Moines, this is the perfect museum to visit to explore all things STEM through a variety of hands-on exhibits. There’s also a planetarium on site. 

Libraries that offer the Adventure Pass

The pass is currently available at the following libraries:

  • Adel Public Library
  • Algona Public Library
  • Altoona Public Library
  • Ames Public Library
  • Anamosa Library & Learning Center
  • Ankeny Kirkendall Public Library
  • Bertha Bartlett Public Library (Story City)
  • Bondurant Community Library
  • Camanche Public Library
  • Carlisle Public Library
  • Cedar Falls Public Library
  • Clinton Public Library
  • Clive Public Library
  • Coralville Public Library
  • DeSoto Public Library
  • Des Moines Public Library
  • Dike Public Library
  • Drake Community Library (Grinnell)
  • Eddyville Public Library
  • Eldon Public Library
  • Eldora Public Library
  • Ericson Public Library
  • Fairfax Public Library
  • Fort Dodge Public Library
  • Gowrie Public Library
  • Granger Public Library
  • Grimes Public Library
  • Gutekunst Public Library (State Center)
  • Indianola Public Library
  • Iowa City Public Library
  • Jesup Public Library
  • Johnston Public Library
  • Kendall Young Library (Webster City)
  • Kling Memorial Library (Grundy Center)
  • Knoxville Public Library
  • Lacona Public Library
  • Le Grande Pioneer Heritage Library
  • LeCompte Memorial Library (Corydon)
  • Leonard A. Good Library (Ogden)
  • Linden Public Library
  • Madrid Public Library
  • Manson Public Library
  • Marshalltown Public Library
  • Mary J. Barnett Library (Guthrie Center)
  • Melbourne Public Library
  • Melcher-Dallas Public Library
  • Milo Public Library
  • Montezuma Public Library
  • Montgomery Memorial Library
  • Nevada Public Library
  • New Virginia Public Library
  • Newton Public Library
  • North Liberty Library
  • Norwalk Easter Public Library
  • Oskaloosa Public Library
  • Ottumwa Public Library
  • Pella Public Library
  • Perry Public Library
  • Pleasant Hill Public Library
  • Polk City Community Library
  • Prairie City Public Library
  • Reinbeck Public Library
  • Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library (Iowa Falls)
  • Roland Public Library
  • Runnells Community Library
  • Toledo Public Library
  • Urbandale Public Library
  • Van Meter Public Library
  • Waterloo Public Library
  • Waukee Public Library
  • Waverly Public Library
  • Webb Shadle Public Library (Pleasantville)
  • West Des Moines Public Library
  • Williams Public Library
  • Winterset Public Library
  • Woodward Public Library

For more information, you can visit the Adventure Pass website or call your local library to learn more. Now go have yourself a summer adventure!

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.How to use your library’s Adventure Pass for free family funHow to use your library’s Adventure Pass for free family fun

  • Katie Giorgio

    Katie Mills Giorgio is a freelance writer, editor, and nonprofit professional living and working in her hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She’s written for a wide variety of publications, including,, and U.S. News & World Report. 100 Things to Do in Cedar Rapids Before You Die, her first book came out in October 2022. Learn more at or follow her on Instagram at @ktmgiorgio.

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