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Kid Friendly Things To Do In Waterloo Iowa

Visit The Ice Cream Capital Of The World

LOST ISLAND WATER PARK | One of the best waterparks in America is located in Waterloo, Iowa!

Its unlikely that you have heard of the north-western town of LeMars. But you may have heard of their most famous export- Blue Bunny Ice Cream. More ice cream is made here in one year than in any other single place in the world!

Each year, over Fathers Day weekend, the town of LeMars swells as it celebrates Ice Cream Days, a four-day festival that includes live music, a kids cone-ival, competitions, a spectacular parade, and plenty of ice cream!

Of course you can visit LeMars year round. Its a terrific community with plenty of parks and outdoor activities of all sorts. Dont miss the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor! With its retro soda fountain feel, a menu of tasty treats, and the Wells Dairy museum upstairs, its a great stop any day!

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad & Museum

The Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad & Museum is a heritage railroad in Boone County that operates freight and passenger excursions for the public. The railroad winds through the spectacular natural landscapes of the picturesque Des Moines River Valley in the heart of the Midwest and visitors can enjoy one-of-a-kind excursions in 1920’s era coaches and elegant climate-controlled dining cars dating back to the 1950s. The museum explores the history of the railroad, and it’s steam, diesel, and electric railroad operations, and offers a selection of train rides for different occasions such as dinner, dessert, and picnic rides, as well as special events such as the Thomas The Tank Engine experience, and the Santa Express. The railroad also runs a short trolley ride and from its station close to the Union Pacific Railroad mainline.

225 10th St, Boone, IA 50036, Phone: 800-626-0319

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Entertainment And Bars In Waterloo

We dont blame you for wanting a night on the town! A fun night is ready for you in Waterloo with a variety drinks and food. Classic Date night is always on at The Brown Bottle. Speaking of classics, classic Sports bars like Screaming Eagle have your game and your burgers to kick back and relax. An ecclectic atmosphere is a great place to have wood-fired Neopolitan style pizza at Basal Pizzeria. Or try a local brew at SingleSpeed Brewing Company. Entertainment happens every weekend at Kings & Queens Club, with local and regional drag show stars. Absalom Lounge might be one of the coolest hidden gems in Waterloo. Down in a speakeasy setting youll find ShaunQuez Ketton mixing up elevated cocktails and creating an inclusive space for all people.

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Riverfront Stadium Waterloo Iowa

Built originally in 1946 as the Municipal Stadium, the Riverfront Stadium in the town of Waterloo is used primarily for the sport of baseball, acting as the home field for the local Waterloo Bucks baseball team, which plays as part of the Northwoods League, a summer collegiate baseball league. The Riverfront Stadium is able to host a maximum of five thousand people for attending games. The stadium has also served as the home of the Waterloo Hawks, a minor league baseball team and was the site of the Midwest League All-Star Game in July of 1978.

850 Park Rd, Waterloo, IA 50703, Phone: 319-232-5633

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Where To Stay In Waterloo Iowa

Lost Island: Family

We stayed in the Courtyard Marriott Waterloo Cedar Falls. This hotel was built in the historic John Deere factory and is right next to the John Deere museum and very close to downtown and the Museum District. We found it to be within easy driving distance to all other destinations on our trip.The most impressive aspect of this hotel is the sheer size. Because it was a factory before, the windows and ceilings are extra tall and our two-bedroom suite was huge! Ive never stayed in a hotel with so much extra space. We loved that there were two separate bedrooms and bathrooms so we had some privacy from the kids.This hotel had plenty of the usual amenities including a fitness center, pool, restaurant, and bistro, although there is no complimentary breakfast. The pool is rather shallow at just under 3 feet but it made it easier for our kids to play and they absolutely loved it.

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Indian Creek Nature Center

The Indian Creek Nature Center is a family-friendly nature preserve with an extensive trail system, a sustainable building with exhibits about the local fauna and flora of Indian Creek, and the importance of conservation and protection of the environment. The Indian Creek Nature Centers main building and campus center is known as the Amazing Space, which features several interactive and immersive exhibits such as an interactive watershed table, solar panels producing energy, the Bird Room, and the Creekside Shop, which sells a variety of natural products. The Hazelnut Hideaway outdoor play area offers fun for the kids, the amphitheater hosts a variety of concerts, and other activities include yoga classes and educational workshops for all ages.

5300 Otis Rd SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403, Phone: 319-362-0664

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Cypress Grove Nature Park

Cypress Grove Nature Park is a nature reserve with pristine landscapes of dense woodlands, shrubs, flowering plants, and beautiful lake views, along with an array of wildlife and birds. Located just minutes from downtown Jackson, the preserve features a mile-long elevated boardwalk that winds through a cypress forest and is a popular destination for walking and bird watching. Attractions in the park include Killdeer Pond, Wood Duck Lake, the Rockwell Observation Tower, and the Aerie Trail Raptor Center, which is a sanctuary for injured birds of prey and an educational facility that provides classes and programs on nature, wildlife and ecology.

866 Airways Blvd, Jackson, TN 38301, Phone: 731-425-8364

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Exploring Nature In Waterloo Iowa

We were blessed with gorgeous weather during our stay in Waterloo so we headed out to the Hartman Reserve Nature Center in Cedar Falls. It is a great location for gorgeous pictures.

Besides a recently remodeled nature center, we found plenty of trails to explore in a pretty wide variety of types. At the beginning of our on our nature walk, we discovered well-maintained bridges and pathways.

But as we got further we also found rustic and overgrown areas before reaching a paved road, perfect for biking or running. It was a great morning hike. Be sure to grab a map in the nature center before heading out so you dont get lost!

Science Center Of Iowa

I Dig Waterloo – John Deere Waterloo 100th Anniversary

The 110,000-square-foot Science Center of Iowa in downtown Des Moines provides plenty of space for kids to explore exhibits related to science. Kids can build and launch paper rockets, try and build a freestanding arch, attempt to securely package an egg to survive a drop, learn more about the stars in the 50-foot domed Planetarium or catch a movie on the IMAX screen.Open daily except for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission fee applies. Planetarium shows included with admission. IMAX films require additional ticket purchase.

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Challenge Yourself At An Escape Room At Escapology Escape Rooms Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls is one of the neighboring cities of Waterloo, a 10-minute drive from the heart of the city where you can find Escapology Escape Rooms Cedar Falls.

This establishment houses over five different escape rooms of varying difficulty levels to challenge how well you do under pressure!

Youll be given the opportunity to book a private room where youll be required to solve puzzles and riddles under a time limit.

Guests have the option to select team members of up to 8, where you need to work together to solve the missing codes to unlock the room!

Do you have what it takes? Book a room now at Escapology Escape Rooms Cedar Falls!

Water Slides At Lost Island

With so many water slides at Lost Island, there is truly something for everyone. One of our favorites was the family raft ride, Calypso Cascade. It seats up to five and has plenty of fast turns with high banks but still works for young children.

For water slide rides for single riders, the Tangerine Tempest stood out. My kids liked getting shot into a huge 45-foot diameter bowl as they swirled around in circles before being flushed out into a splash pool. This is one has a nice viewing area, perfect for getting fun pictures.

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Guthrie County Historical Village And Museum

Located on a beautiful four-acre complex on the southwest side of Panora, the Guthrie County Historical Village and Museum explores the history of Guthrie County from the mid-1800s to the early-20th century. Hailed as the hidden gem of Guthrie County, the Village features 12 beautifully preserved and well-maintained buildings, and a range of exhibits featuring thousands of artifacts, items, and objects donated by families in the surrounding communities. Significant features of the village and museum include a rustic log cabin that was built in 1851 a new Bethel Methodist Church dating back to 1913 with a pump organ from St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church and a collection of wedding dresses and a blacksmith shop complete with an anvil, large forge, bellows and tongs.

206 W South St, Panora, IA 50216, Phone: 641-755-2989

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Eat Italian Cuisine At The Brown Bottle

Waterloo 2021: Best of Waterloo, IA Tourism

Inside The Historical Russell Lamson Building, built in 1913, you can find The Brown Bottle, a restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine!

Serving the community with its rustic and casual atmosphere, this family-owned and operated restaurant has been one of the go-to eateries in Waterloo, with its menu that caters to all preferences.

They even have gluten-free options available to ensure that everyone has a great meal!

You can find some of the most expensive and extensive lists of wine selections at this restaurant that you can choose from.

Their meals come from family-created recipes made daily to ensure the best quality just for you!

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George Wyth Memorial State Park

On the north bank of the Cedar River, near Waterloo Regional Airport is 1,200 acres of woodland enclosing a series of scenic lakes.

The park is a haven for white-tailed deer, as well as birdlife, with over 200 species recorded here.

Summer is a fine time to be here, when you can swim at the George Wyth Beach and rent a paddleboard, kayak or canoe from Maxx Rentals Paddlesports.

With several bodies of water to choose from, the park is arguably the areas best fishing spot, with an abundance of bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, yellow bass, channel catfish, northern pike and white crappie.

There are over 5.5 miles of wooded trails, and these are connected to the 100-mile trail network spreading across Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

National Farm Toy Museum

Located in Dyersville, the farm toy capital of the world, the National Farm Toy Museum collects, exhibits and preserves vintage toys, scale models, and replicas of farm equipment dating back to the 1800s. Founded in 1986 as part of the annual National Farm Toy Show, the museum showcases the rich history of agriculture in America through exhibits of farm-focused toys created by toy companies such as Scale Model Toys and SpecCast Collectibles. Toys on show in the museum include a replica of a 1919 All-Wheel Drive tractor, a John Deere tractor made from trash by kids in Zimbabwe, Russian and Brazilian toys, and vintage pieces dating back to the 1800s. Other features in the museum include a play area for children, a 10-minute video about the history of toy manufacturing, and an exhibit on how toys are made.

1110 16th Ave SE, Dyersville, IA 52040, Phone: 563-875-2727

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Waterloo Center For The Arts

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Waterloos impressive riverside art museum has a series of indoor exhibition spaces, combined with the outdoor Riverloop Sculpture plaza.

The wide-range collection is particularly strong for American Decorative, Midwestern, Folk and Caribbean art, with what is the largest inventory of Haitian art outside of Haiti itself.

On a typical visit you can check out traveling exhibitions, works by Grant Wood and other eminent Iowa artists, Guatemalan textiles and wonderful selections from that large reserve of Haitian art.

The WCA also hosts a wide range of classes and workshops for a variety of skills and ages, while the complex houses the Waterloo Community Playhouse and the Phelps Youth Pavilion, which well talk about next.

Carl A And Peggy J Bluedorn Science Imaginarium

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The Carl A. and Peggy J. Bluedorn Science Imaginarium is an interactive science center that provides a fun, hands-on experience for children and their families. The three-floor center is a playground for the imagination with over 90 immersive science-centric exhibits that aim to make scientific learning principles. Themed exhibits focus on light and electricity, momentum, liquids, gases, and sound, and include Bottled Lightning, Hot Air Balloon, a Robotix display of how to build futuristic machines, and Plant Genomics, which examines the Earth’s most crucial living fauna and flora. The center can be rented for special occasions and functions and is open year-round.

322 Washington St, Waterloo, IA 50701, Phone: 319-234-6357

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Visit An Art Museum At Waterloo Center For The Arts

Waterloo Center for the Arts collects a wide variety of artworks and artifacts from all over the world, including American Art, Midwestern Art, and International Folk Art, for a unique educational experience combined with fun!

This museum is home to one of the largest collections of Haitian art in the nation that can give you a glimpse into the history and culture of Haiti!

One of their star collections comes all the way from Mexico, with their Mexican Folk Art set up on display for all to see.

Their carefully curated and selected collection of displays and exhibits aims to provide visitors with a culturally diverse environment.

They even feature workshops and classes for anyone above the age of 3 to learn the basics of various forms of art mediums that include painting, pottery, digital arts, and more!

Situated in downtown Waterloo, this museum has so much in store for you, so be sure to check them out!

Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center

The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center highlights the Corps of Discoverys time in the present-day Sioux City area from late July to early September 1804. Sergeant Floyds death, the only fatality on the Lewis & Clark Expedition, is the center of the story. Interactive exhibits bring history to life. The adjacent Betty Strong Encounter Center features free photo and art exhibitions that explore themes of land, rivers and people of the region.

Open Tuesday-Sunday. Free admission.

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