GMD Updates

GMD Updates

December 2, 2020

Due to COVID-19, field trips and in-person tours are not available at this time. Instead, we are offering a virtual exhibit exploration/field trip option of our current exhibit Remember the Ladies: The Path to Suffrage. Learn more.

Tutoring is now available, free to Members, for the month of December. Learn more.

New Rentals Policy:

25 person maximum and masks required at all Snowden House events. (State of Iowa mandate effective November 10, 2020) Learn more about current rentals policies.

At Home Learning with the Grout Museum District: Discovery Kits or Teas To-Go are great ways to bring the fun of traditional Grout Museum programming to your home! Each themed Discovery Kit or Tea comes with an exclusive instructional video, craft or science experiment supplies, fun toys and more.

Learn more and purchase now.

Current Policies

Grout Museum of History and Science and the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum are currently open.

Museum Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Science demonstrations will be held in the Grout Museum's Conference Room, Saturday only, at 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:00 PM. The Planetarium will remain closed temporarily.

The Bluedorn Science Imaginarium and the Rensselaer Russell House Museum are CLOSED at this time.

The safety of our visitors and staff is of the highest concern. With that in mind, we will be enforcing the following policies:

  • Everyone in our buildings will be required to wear a mask at all times.
  • If you do not have or forget your mask, they will be available for purchase at the Museum Store for $1.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the Museum Store and at other points throughout the building.
  • Guests are asked to follow social distancing guidelines and maintain a 6 foot distance from others.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding! We are excited to safely see our patrons at the Museum.

Other Grout Museum District safety policies:

  • No Group Tours at this time
  • No on-site Outreach
  • Library Research & Artifact/Archival document donations by appointment only
  • Online Outreach (Coming Soon)

May 27, 2020

The Grout Museum District would like to remind patrons that Wednesday Morning Veterans Coffee is still postponed until further notice. We miss all of out coffee goers and will let the public know when Wednesday Coffee will resume. Thank you for understanding! If you have any questions please call 319-234-6357.

Zoom Backgrounds!

Are you missing the Grout Museum District? Pretend like you're here during your next Zoom meeting with one of our free backgrounds!

SBIVM Exterior


Lone Sailor


Grout Museum Exterior

May 8, 2020

The Grout Museum District would like to remind the community that while we did ask the public to save COVID-19 related items for possible future donation to the Museum, we can not physically accept them or meet with you until after the danger has passed. For the health of the community, the Grout Museum District will not accept anything other than digital materials before the end of the quarantine. The museum is closed to the public. If you come to the doors, you will not be allowed inside. Packages left at the doors will not be opened. We will announce our reopening date on our website and social media accounts. If you have questions regarding an item and would like to speak to Nick Erickson or Catreva Manning you can reach them at 319.234.6357 or via email. Thank you for understanding! Please stay healthy and safe!

April 20, 2020

From the Grout Museum District's Collections & Archives Staff: A Call for COVID-19-Related Materials

The Grout Museum District asks the residents of the Cedar Valley (particularly Waterloo) to please save their artifacts, documents, and digital materials relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and consider donating them to the museum after the conclusion of the nation-wide quarantine.

The goal of this community-driven effort is: To build a collection that preserves the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the disruption it brought to the lives of the people of the Cedar Valley.

We have a golden opportunity to help future historians and community members understand what it was like to be us.

The Grout Museum District has already saved the following internal materials for the collection: Fliers, programs, and brochures for educational events and programs that were cancelled. CDC posters and sanitation reminders that hung from the museum’s walls in the days before we closed on the 17th of March. Internal memos and CDC materials we received in the mail.

Can any of the examples above help you to think of something you might save? Did you purchase tickets for sporting events that were never played? Did the business you own change its operating hours and do you have a sign explaining the change that perhaps hung in the window? Do you have a letter from your employer attesting to your essential worker status? Have you kept a diary to record what you did (or didn’t do) each day? Do you have a favorite hand-sewn mask? Do you, perhaps, also have a picture of yourself wearing it?

These examples above and more will help us to make sure our story is told the way we want it to be remembered.

A Note About Public Health and Safety:

This request is to help you remember to save your COVID-19 materials until after the danger has passed. For the health of the community, the Grout Museum District will not accept anything other than digital materials before the end of the quarantine. The museum is closed to the public. If you come to the doors, you will not be allowed inside. Packages left at the doors will not be opened. We will announce our reopening date on our website and social media accounts.

Send your digital submissions and questions to: or or call (319) 234-6357.

During our closure, please find and engage with us on social media! Staff are working hard creating fun, educational and interactive videos and materials to keep everyone entertained from home. 

Visit the District's Blog for bi-weekly updates.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Our phone system is now going straight to voicemail. If you need assistance, please visit our staff email directory or leave a voicemail and staff will get back to you as soon as possible.

Monday, March 17, 2020

During this fluid and ever changing public health situation, our number one priority has always been the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. With that in mind, effective noon today, the Grout Museum District will be closed to the public until further notice. All programs scheduled to occur during this closure are cancelled. Our Rentals Department will be in touch with any affected clients.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Wednesday Morning Veterans Coffee is postponed until further notice. Keep an eye on this website and the Museum's social media accounts for updates regarding Wednesday Coffee.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Due to the close proximity and hands-on nature of the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, Grout Museum District Board and Staff have decided to close the Imaginarium to the public at this time. Board and Staff will continue to monitor the current COVID-19 public health situation and will inform all patrons when the Imaginarium has returned to normal hours.

The Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum and Grout Museum of History & Science will remain open tomorrow, Saturday, and for spring break week, Monday-Saturday, 9AM-5PM, however, Planetarium Shows will not be held for the time being due to the close quarters of that space.

This situation is being monitored on a week-by-week basis. Please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for the latest updates or call 319.234.6357.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers, and visitors is our highest priority. As concern regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States and our region is increasing, we want you to know that we are closely following official government recommendations and the advice of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Black Hawk County Health Department, and the City of Waterloo.

The Grout Museum District is following the guidance of public health officials and staying open with regular business hours. While we are operating as usual, we are also working on a contingency plan and preparing for changing circumstances. Should we decide to cancel or postpone any scheduled events, we will do our best to communicate this message to you in a timely manner. Please check our website for the latest information.

Here’s how the Museum District is responding:

•    Hand sanitizers will be available at the front desks and throughout District sites

•    Staff are regularly sanitizing high traffic surfaces

•    All staff and volunteers are washing hands frequently with soap and water as per CDC guidelines

•    We are requiring staff and volunteers to remain home if any signs of illness are present

Our recommendations for visitors:

•    Wash hands frequently with soap and water

•    Avoid touching your face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth)

•    If you were planning to visit the Museum but have symptoms of illness, please stay home

•    Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw tissues away after each use (then wash your hands for 20+ seconds!)

•    Avoid close contact with people who are sick

For other updates from the CDC visit their website:

For more information about how Iowans are being affected, visit:

We are monitoring the evolving situation closely and will announce any further changes and updates. Thanks for your understanding and support.