There has never been a better time to visit Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, whether you are visiting for the first time or coming back to see us again! Vesterheim is located in Decorah, Iowa, a charming small town in Northeast Iowa with lots to see and do. Please go to visitdecorah.com for information about the Decorah area or to view their free visitor’s guide.
Vesterheim Museum Information
- Location and directions
- Hours and admission prices
- Ongoing exhibitions in museum's Main Building
- Special exhibitions
- Open Air Division
The museum’s Main Building is open year-round and features new and exciting special exhibitions on a regular basis. In addition to those special exhibitions, the Main Building also showcases highlights from the collection as part of its ongoing exhibitions.
Vesterheim’s Open Air Division is a collection of 12 historic buildings located behind the Main Building. The Open Air Division is open from May 1 to October 31, and guided tours of the Open Air Division occur daily at 1:30 p.m., included with your admission purchase. (These tours are subject to guide availability and may occasionally take place at different times or, on rare occasions, be canceled. Please confirm tour departure place and time with a desk attendant upon your arrival at Vesterheim.)
Duane K. and Eileen M. Bruening Visitor Center
Vesterheim is pleased to announce that the new Bruening Visitor Center is now open! Thanks to a generous donation from Duane and Eileen Bruening, the visitor center is the newest addition to the Vesterheim complex. Located in the Westby-Torgerson Education Center at 502 W. Water Street, the Bruening Visitor Center is a great place to start your visit. At the visitor center, you can:
- purchase admission.
- get brochures, maps, and all sorts of information about the museum.
- explore the collections in depth through a computerized catalog.
- access virtual galleries and videos on a touch screen computer.
The Bruening Visitor Center also features murals and painting by Sigmund Aarseth and his longtime collaborator Sallie Haugen DeReus. This beautiful room is not to be missed, so please stop by during your visit!
The Bruening Visitor Center keeps the same hours as the Main Building. Please go here to see those hours.
Vesterheim welcomes special groups and bus tours, and tour guides for the museum's Main Building and the Open Air Division are available by advance appointment. We can customize a private tour for you, including our behind-the-scenes storage facilities, and make all of the arrangements just to your liking. Guided tours and storage facility tours are subject to guide and staff availability. We cannot guarantee any specialty tour options with less than two weeks notice.
Contact Vesterheim at 563-382-9681 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for group reservations and specialty tour options. Groups larger than 14 people qualify for group rates. Reservations are required to receive group rates. Please make your reservation at least 2 weeks in advance. Group reservations made less than a week in advance are subject to an additional $1 per person fee.
All areas of the Main Building, Westby-Torgerson Education Center, Amdal-Odland Heritage Center, and the Bethania Church are wheelchair accessible. However, some of the buildings in the Open Air Division are not accessible by wheelchair. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please let us know if any member of your party requires special accommodation or assistance.
Visitors are permitted to take photos of the museum’s collection for personal use, but please no flash photography. Thank you for helping us to preserve and protect our collection!
High-quality images of artifacts are available for a fee. For further information, please contact Alison Dwyer at 563-382-9681 or email@example.com.
Vesterheim's Bethania Lutheran Church is available for rent for your wedding, check here for information.