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Area Attractions

Historical Donna Reed Performing Arts Center

(712) 263-3334

The Donna Reed Performing Arts Center contains the Donna Reed Theater, The Donna Reed Museum and Reiney's Soda Fountain at the corner of Broadway and Main Street uptown.

The building was originally built in 1914 as the Deutsche Operahaus Gessellschaft von Denison.  In 1912 a group of investors raised $50,000 to build the opera house.  Many celebrities of the time, including Mary Pickford, entertained area residents from the Poerahaus stage.  The Operhaus was later converted into the Ritz Movie Theater, but in the late 1980s the building was in expreme peril.  Plaster was falling down from the ceiling because of an out of town owner refusing to repair the roof.  Grover Asmus (the widower of Donna Reed) and a local business each donated $55,000 to acquire the building in 1988, then local citizens raised over $600,000 to resotre it to its former glory.  Volunteers donated thousands of hours of their time to restore what is now the Donna Reed Performing Arts Center.

The Donna Reed Museum is now operated by the Donna Reed Foundation, and has a memorbillia shop within.  Many unpublished photos, personal items and movie mementos from Donna Reed's life are also on display.

Even before the Deutche Operahaus was built, a soda fountain was operating on this central corner of Denison.  Whiel the building was closed for a period in the 1980s, unfortunatelym the original soda fountain was sold.  Later, when the building was being renovated some citizens of Denison learned of a 1907 soda fountain for sale in dowtown Chicago, in Fat Moe's Deli.  The owner wanted to to go where it would be reinstalled as a working soda fountain, so within a week a purchase price was established and paid.  The citizens rented a truck, traveled to Chicago and shipped it back to Denison.  It was reinstalled in the exact location of the original soda fountain in the Donna Reed Theater and is now called Reiney's Soda Fountain.  On permanent display at the Soda Fountain is a miniture replica of Bedford Falls, the town from the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life."

Building tours are available, which often include personal stories from long-time area residents.  For more information call the Donna Reed Performing Arts Center.

Website Contact: Molly Paulsrud

Historical Historical House Walking/Driving Tour

(712) 263-5621
Take a walk or drive past the historic homes in Denison featuring the varied architectural designs dating from 1870 to the early 1900s.
Website Contact: Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County

Historical The Little Red Schoolhouse

The schoolhouse opened in 1882 and closed on May 29, 1953. The Little Red Schoolhouse was moved to the Jim and Ramona Laubscher ranch in 1975.  The building has been restored and furnished with pieces dating back to the early 1900's.
Contact: Ramona Laubscher

Historical The McHenry House

(712) 674-3750
The McHenry House was built in 1885.  It is owned and maintained as a museum by the Crawford County Historical Society Crawford County Memoriabilia, including the Academy Award won by Donna Reed for her performance in "From Here to Eternity are on display. It is located at 1428 First Ave. N. in Denison IA.  Tours are available to the public on Sunday and Thursday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment, Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Contact: Crawford County Historical Society

Things To Do Aquatic Fun Center

(712) 263-8130
The Aquatic Fun Center is located at 710 North 16th Street and includes a large six-lane indoor pool, complete with easily accessible stairs.  Also featured is our climate-controlled Sauna and Spa with hydro jets.  The outdoor area includes Children's Activity Pool with a frog water slide, a fountain and five bubbly geysers.  It also includes a spacious sun deck, two 150 foot water slides.  The slides plunge into a roomy pool that waterfalls into a beach area which slopes down to the swimming area and diving boards.  There is also a 18 hole miniture golf course and a sand volleyball court.  The Aquatic Fun Center is handicap accessible and Certified Life Guards are always on duty.
Contact: Patti Boettger

Things To Do Crawford County Cinema 4

(712) 263-8777

The Crawford County Cinema 4 hosts four state of the art movie theaters.  For more information or show times and movies please call the theater.

Contact: Fred Saunders

Things To Do Crawford County Speedway

(712) 263-8221.
The Crawford County Speedway was once a horse track and was transformed into a half-mile premier dirt racetrack.  Crowds from all over Iowagather to come to the races with featured cars and trucks.  This is one of Iowa's finest with its recent renovations and future renovations to improve the grandstands and concession areas.
Website Contact:

Things To Do Lucky Lanes Bowling

(712) 263-9850
Lucky Lanes Bowling Alley is a 12 lane bowling center with automatic scoring, rental balls and shoes available.  Men's, women's, mixed and junior leagues.
Contact: Joe Brunghardt

Things To Do Majestic Hills Golf Course

(712) 263-5194
The Majestic Hills Golf Course is a challenging 18 hole golf course in the rolling hills of western Iowa.  The well-groomed golf course features a panoramic view with watered fairways and large rolling greens.  Five different tee settings provide a challenge for golfers of all abilities.  Along with an 18 hole golf course, you will find a driving range and a friendly atmosphere.
Contact: Tim Kinsey

Things To Do Neal Moeller Environmental Education Center

(712) 263-3409
The Neal Moeller Nature Center houses exhibits and various displays, all promoting environmental education.  A fill-time Naturalist devises programs to educate area youth and the general public on how to respect and conserve the environment in which they live.
Contact: Kelli Sonnichsen