From viewing rare historical artifacts, to engaging in fun, hands-on learning activities, the John Deere Attractions have something for everyone.
“Visiting one of our sites is a great way for Deere employees to show others how our hard work and contributions to the company are ultimately connected to the land," said Brigitte Tapscott, manager of John Deere Attractions. “Not only will you learn even more about our company, its history, and the products we make, but we promise you'll have fun doing it!"
The John Deere Attractions include three main facilities: the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois, the John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour, Illinois, and the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum in Waterloo, Iowa.
The Pavilion opened more than two decades ago and is a top attraction in the Quad Cities and state of Illinois. The Tractor and Engine Museum opened in 2015 and the site in Grand Detour dates back to 1837, when John Deere crafted his first self-scouring steel plow there. Several factory tours, visitor centers, the Deere Family homes, and the World Headquarters display floor in Moline round out the total John Deere experience.
New hours of operation
The attractions are currently open seven days a week, but starting Nov. 1, will feature new hours of operation. The Pavilion, Tractor and Engine Museum, and Historic Site will be open Monday, 1-5 p.m.; Tuesday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed on Sunday.
Also starting Nov. 1, the World Headquarters display floor will only be accessible during standard business hours, Monday through Friday. Access will be secured on Saturday and Sunday.
“We promote the Attractions to the public as family-friendly sites with a wide range of activities that take guests from the creation of a plow, to being wowed by today's state-of-the-art technologies," said Tapscott. “But I think it's an even more exciting experience for Deere employees, because we get to see how our individual roles with the company fit into the bigger picture of supporting those linked to the land."
The passport program
This year, the John Deere Attractions launched a new passport program, creating a totally interactive way to embark on an adventure and commemorate each visit. Guests can register for the program to collect seals and stamps in a passport booklet. When participants complete certain milestones, they earn gifts and discounts on John Deere merchandise.
“The passport program is becoming quite a success and we've had more than 3,500 people from 44 states and 25 countries enroll in the program," said Tapscott. To date, nearly 600 people completed the first milestone of visiting the three main attractions, and 23 have completely filled the passport to claim their final gift.
Randy Nyman, a Deere retiree from Waterloo, who now works as a tour guide at the Tractor and Engine Museum, recently completed the passport adventure with his wife.
“The passport was a great way for us to experience the John Deere sites," said Nyman. “We certainly learned more about the company, our products and different facilities, but the best part was discovering more about each community we visited. We had the chance to spend three or four days in places like Horicon and Ankeny and we enjoyed it very much. We plan to continue our visits, even though our passport is complete!"
The John Deere Attractions also host a variety of free special events throughout the year. The next event takes place at the John Deere Historic Site on Saturday, Oct. 12. The Fall Festival is a celebration of the harvest season, where kids decorate pumpkins, bob for apples, ride in a covered wagon, and visit with farm animals. “This is a great family-friendly event and it's only a 75-minute ride from the Quad Cities," said Tapscott.
If you are ready to plan your adventure and want more information about the John Deere Attractions, facility tours, the passport program, or the special events we host throughout the year, go to VisitJohnDeere.com.
The full line-up of places to visit John Deere include:
Grand Detour, Illinois
- The John Deere Historic Site
- John Deere Pavilion
- Deere Family Homes
- Deere & Company World Headquarters
- John Deere Harvester Works (factory tour)
- John Deere Seeding Group (factory tour)
- John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum
- John Deere Engine Works (factory tour)
- John Deere Tractor Cab Assembly Operations (factory tour)
- John Deere Drive Train Operations (factory tour)
Des Moines, Iowa
- John Deere Des Moines Works (factory tour)
- John Deere Ottumwa Works (factory tour)
- John Deere Gator Works (factory tour)