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Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo

#8 of 13 in Things to do in Waterloo
Art Gallery · Hidden Gem · Shopping
The Waterloo Center for the Arts' purpose is to initiate and further awareness, appreciation, and support of the arts by a diverse audience. Located within the Art Center is the Phelps Youth Pavilion our Children's Museum.

Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm

Cost: Galleries are Free; Phelps Youth Pavilion: $5/person

Located on the banks of the scenic Cedar River in downtown Waterloo, the Art Center offers outstanding indoor and outdoor rental facilities.

Visitors enjoy changing exhibitions in addition to a significant permanent collection including Mexican Folk Art, Midwest Art, American Decorative Arts, International Folk Art and the world's largest public collection of Haitian Art. Galleries are free and open to the public.

Art classes and workshops for all ages and levels are offered throughout the year. Visit: for our current class schedule.

Events, festivals and concerts take place indoors and outdoors throughout the year at the Art Center, RiverLoop Amphitheatre and Expo Plaza.

The Center houses a Gift Store, Cafe, Waterloo Community Playhouse/Black Hawk Children's Theatre and the Phelps Youth Pavilion. The Youth Pavilion is an interactive children's museum featuring over 40 hands-on exhibits for ages 12 and under to explore. Milk a life-size cow, drive a tractor through a Grant Wood painting, explore the music, language and culture of other countries, and more! Mark's Park splash pad and playground is located next to the Youth Pavilion and open seasonally.

Waterloo Center for the Arts is supported by:

City of Waterloo

Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

Friends of the Art Center

Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

RJ McElroy Trust

Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau Hotel-Motel Tax Fund

Waterloo City Council Discretionary Hotel-Motel Tax Fund

Numerous private donors
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Waterloo Center for the Arts reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
21 reviews
  • My daughter and I had a great time going to the musical. She didn't believe that she would enjoy it. It sounded strange and set in the future. It was fun.  more »
  • Held a wedding reception here in August for my son and his bride and came back in October to see a play  more »
  • This museum/arts center has a rotating art exhibit from visiting artists, as well as an extensive permanent collection of Hatian art. The rotating exhibits are on both floors. It also has a room for hosting plays and another multi-purpose room for hosting various art programs, including large choirs and ballroom dancing. On the two floors are rooms for children's classes in various arts. Also there is a coffee/tea cafe and a gift shop. A nice place to visit frequently.
  • We had so much fun here with my kids 2, 3 and 5 years old. The adults had fun too! There are so many areas and levels of engagement. I really was surprised that something so nice exists in a relatively small city.

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