Tours & Programs
The Union Pacific Railroad Museum offers a wide variety of programs and tours for every age group and interest. All tours and programs require at least two weeks advance notice. Be advised that tours and programs are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so book early, especially during the peak field trip season in the spring.
The museum is open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. Tours typically last an hour. Unless special arrangements are made, the last tour of the day should begin by 2:30 p.m.
All groups visiting the museum must be chaperoned by adults over the age of 18 and maintain a 1-10 chaperone/student ratio unless otherwise specified.
We request that your group include 10 or more people.
Guided Tour Pricing
We accept cash, all major credit cards and checks. Checks should be payable to the Union Pacific Museum Association. Receipts are available upon request.
There is no charge to self-guide.
- Children - $3
- Adults and Chaperones - $5
- Teachers and Bus Drivers - Free
Thanks to generous donors, admission scholarships are available to qualified groups. Scholarships are available year round.
Scholarship recipients are required to complete an online survey after their visit. This survey provides us with information about your field trip experience and assists us in continuing to provide exceptional group tours.
Student Programs at the Museum
Jobs on the Modern Railroad: Learn about the work people do on the Union Pacific Railroad today! Students will explore our new exhibit, "Working on the Railroad," and practice problem-solving and teamwork skills through play.
1 hour - all ages
Great Big Rolling Railroad: All aboard! This program will introduce students to learning in a museum. Students will explore the era of passenger travel while practicing skills like close looking, imaginative thinking, comparing and contrasting, and empathy.
90 minutes - Suggested grade: PreK - 2nd grade
Westward by Rail: As we approach the 150th anniversary of the meeting at Promontory Summit, come investigate: what did building the transcontinental railroad mean for this country? Did it mean the same thing to everyone? Using primary sources, we can look at this topic through the lenses of people, nature, and technology. Students will practice critical thinking skills to answer the question: what were the effects of the transcontinental railroad? (Available November 2018)
2 hours - Suggested grades 3-7 or 8-12
Track Down Lincoln: Experience Lincoln's 1859 visit as we retrace his footsteps through Council Bluffs' historic downtown. Then head to the museum where students will explore Union Pacific's own collection of Lincoln artifacts from his Presidential rail car and his Springfield, Illinois, law office. Students will receive their very own colorful Track Down Lincoln map highlighting spots Lincoln visited in Council Bluffs.
1 hour - Suggested grades: 2nd-12th
*Chaperone ratio for elementary classes MUST be 1:5 for this tour.*
Student Programs in Your Classroom
Building America: Bring history to life in your classroom with this 3D presentation! Learn about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad like never before. Students will receive 3D glasses to view the photographs that were taken during the 1860s construction.
50 min. Suggested grades: 3rd-5th, 8th- 12th
Call 712-329-8307 or email to book
Operation Lifesaver: Safety First means we all know how to act around trains; a lesson crucially important in our area. Have an interactive, grade-specific safety program in your classroom or at the UPRR Museum as part of your field trip. Additional information about Operation Lifesaver and classroom resources can be found at www.oli.org.
30 min. Suggested grades: K-12, free program
Call 712-329-8307 or email to book
Museum Highlights: Your guide to 150 plus years of railroad history. See both floors of the museum and follow the Union Pacific Railroad from its founding in 1862, though building the transcontinental railroad, the golden age of passenger travel, all the way to the railroad today.
Hidden History of a Carnegie Library: Architecture can communicate a lot about a building’s purpose, its place in a community, and the time in which it was built. Explore the language of architecture, the story of our building, and its place in local and national history. You’ll never look at this building the same way again.
Track Down Lincoln: Experience Lincoln’s 1859 visit as we retrace his footsteps through historic downtown Council Bluffs. Then head into the museum to see artifacts from Lincoln’s Presidential rail car and his Springfield, IL law office. Learn about Lincoln’s dream of building a transcontinental railroad and what role his visit to Council Bluffs played in that project.
30 minute walking tour & 30 minute museum tour.
Self-Guide: If your group or organization wants to visit the museum but does not want a tour, please reserve self-guide time so we know you are coming and can make sure no other tours are going on during your visit. There is no charge to self-guide.