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Things To Do In Iowa City With Kids

Halloweek At The Iowa Childrens Museum

Things To Do In Iowa City — University of Iowa Natural History Museum

The Iowa Childrens Museum is continuing with HalloWEEK, its weeklong Halloween festivities.

The museum has a variety of spooky activities, from Halloween-related crafts to a Halloween I Spy scavenger hunt.

On Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., the museum will have a Halloween-themed sing-along.

On Halloween, the museum will be hosting sensory-friendly activities ideal for those who still want to have fun, but in a space that meets the needs of those with sensory issues. The activities begin at 6 p.m., featuring art projects, pumpkin bowling and more.

The Iowa Regional Autism Assistance Program will be present and make bookmarks as part of the activities.

For this event, admission is free for those with children who have special health or sensory needs, but tickets must be reserved on the museums website.

Costumes are encouraged, and staff will be in costume as well. Admission to the Iowa Childrens Museum is $9 for adults and children. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Fun Things To Do In Iowa: Adventureland Park

Adventureland Park is an amusement park in Altoona. The family-owned park features over 100 rides, attractions, and shows. Some of the tallest and fastest rides in the country include The Monster and The Storm Chaser, which are sure to get the blood pumping in even the most thrill-seeking guest.

Family-friendly rides include the classic Tilt-A-Whirl, a sky ride through the tree tops, bumper cars, a carousel and more. Even the smallest thrill-seekers wont be left out at Adventureland, with a variety of kiddie rides to keep them entertained for hours. Adventure Bay is the parks water section and includes the largest wave pool and longest lazy river in the state of Iowa as well as many other attractions.

305 34th Avenue NW, Altoona, IA 50009, Phone: 515-266-2121

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Food Vendors At The Fair

Like any good festival, there are plenty of food options for people to choose from. There’s the delicious Caribbean flavors from Caribbean Kitchen, local favorite Hamburg Inn No. 2, fried chicken from Harold’s Chicken, Indian cuisine from Masala, barbecue from Mosley’s and Rodney’s Jamaican Jerk and pizza from The Wedge. Those are just a few of the 15 food vendors who will be stationed throughout downtown for the festival.

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Top 10 Fun Things To Do In Iowa With Kids

Iowa? I could have sworn it was heaven.

That famous quote from the movie Field of Dreams resonates with many Iowans, both native and transplanted. But beyond our borders, many see us as a fly over state, or worse, confuse us with Idaho or Ohio.

What many dont know is that there are so many fun things to do in Iowa with kids!

It wasnt long ago- the mid 1800s- that Iowa was considered quite advanced and the last civilized stop before pioneers began their treks along the Oregon or Mormon Trails.

Though Iowa is a very rural state, where pigs outnumber people and corn grows tall, visitors will be surprised by the unique opportunities and great places to visit in Iowa. Here is what you wont want to miss on your Iowa vacation.

You Will Easily Find All Of These Fossils:

Top 8 Premier Attractions in Iowa
  • Brachiopods
  • Cephalopods
  • You will be walking along some small pools of water.

    When we visited the first time it was in the evening and we heard frogs and saw water bugs.

    The next day we went in the late morning/early afternoon, and saw a snake and some type of fast-moving rodent.

    Be sure to pick up a pamphlet before you go down so that when you see the numbers, you will know they types of fossils you can find.

    Be eco-friendly and return it when you leave if you wont use it again.

    You will enjoy seeing the large dam and across from it is the site you will love exploring.

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    Iowa City Pedestrian Mall

    Iowa Citys downtown area is a fabulous one, filled with many attractions. One of them happens to be the Ped Mall, alternatively known as Iowa City Pedestrian Mall. It stretches from Burlington Street to Washington and from Clinton Street to Linn Street and is quite close to the campus of the University of Iowa. One of the most preferred gathering places for students, locals and tourists, it is filled with restaurants, bars, stores and other businesses – not to forget, a park for children, a beautiful fountain and shaded trees dispersed all over the place.

    This lively place gets even livelier at night, as lights, music and the delicious smell of food fill the air. Apart from Old Capital, the Ped Mall is undoubtedly the best gathering area in Iowa.

    Best Things To Do In Iowa

    Bordered on two sides by the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, Iowa is a Midwestern agricultural state filled with unique small towns, wedding venues, caves, flea markets, lakes, resorts and roadside attractions. Home to President Herbert Hoover and western film icon John Wayne, Iowa has its share of historical homes, monuments, and parks. Cultural attractions include world-class art museums such as the Figge in Davenport and the Brunnier in Des Moines. Iowa has an exciting array of attractions and cities just waiting to be discovered, including Dubuque, Iowa City, Ames and Cedar Rapids. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

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    What To Do At Devonian Fossil Gorge

    The really fun thing to do at Devonian Fossil Gorge is to look for fossils.

    Adults and kids will be amazed seeing these fossils and exposed earth from approximately 350 million years ago.

    All of this is free.

    There is parking very close to the site to see the fossils.

    Once you get out, you will see there are nice displays so you can learn about the area and the fossils you will see.

    There is a small water feature and a slowly declining ramp past large boulders which have hundreds of fossils on them.

    So if someone in your cant walk on the actual ocean floor, he or she can still see all the fossils on the boulders. If you proceed down the ramp you will be walking on the actual layers of earth that are covered in fossils.

    Some are in broken off pieces and some are on intact slabs.

    Its truly magnificent to discover so many types of fossils in real life.

    Its was remarkable to never have heard of this site and that its in right in Iowa!

    Iowa Tourist Attractions: Living History Farms

    Summer Fun in Iowa City

    First opened in 1970, Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa, is an outdoor interactive history museum that tells the story and celebrates 300 years of Iowa’s history of agriculture. The museum exhibits showcase the lives of farm folks in 1700, 1850, and 1900, when they were engaging in a range of agricultural activities. The visitors are brought from the town by a tractor-drawn cart to the entrance on the west side of the museum. The exploration starts at the 1700 Ioway Farm then proceeds to the 1850 Farm, the 1900 Farm, and the Wallace Exhibit Center, before returning to the town. The 1875 exhibit depicts the town of Walnut Hill, with several structures, such as the original Martin and Ellen Flynn Home and Barn. The 1700 Ioway Indian Farm exhibit portraits the farming techniques and lifestyle of the Ioway Native Americans. The guides, or the presenters, are dressed in period clothes and are available to answer any questions visitors might have.

    11121 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, IA 50322, Phone: 515-278-5286

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    Filmscene Iowa City Iowa

    FilmScene is a compact movie theater that shows first-run films, classic movies, film series, and workshops. The theater is located on the downtown pedestrian mall and features a cafe and a rooftop patio. The theater is operated as a nonprofit business. Each year the small, single-screen theater shows more than 200 feature films.

    In addition to simply showing films, many of the shows feature dialogues with filmmakers, panel discussions, and more, creating a robust experience for film lovers. FilmScene is devoted to the community, involved in a variety of organizations, and also hosts many community events throughout the year.

    118 E College Street, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-358-2555

    University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History

    The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History is a museum located on the campus of the University of Iowa. The museum was established in 1858 and houses an extensive collection of mammals and birds as well as Native American artifacts.

    The museum follows approximately 500 million years of Iowa’s history and explores the disciplines of geology, culture, and ecology. The Mammal Hall showcases the evolution, adaptation, and diversity of almost every mammal species. Similarly, the Hall of Birds displays more than 1,000 bird specimens. Guided tours are available with prior reservation and self-guided tours may be taken during opening hours.

    17 N Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-335-0480

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    Devonian Fossil Gorge Iowa City Iowa

    Devonian Fossil Gorge is a unique geological site where visitors can explore a former seafloor from approximately 375 million years ago. Long ago this section of Iowa was covered with a warm shallow sea and many fossils from that time period provide evidence of this past. Floods in 1993 and 2008 washed away several layers of soil and rock, exposing the fossils in the bedrock.

    There are 17 points of interest in the park including the entry plaza, which interprets the site and features displays related to the nearby dam, the fossils, and the floods. A map detailing all of the sites is available online and at the park’s entry plaza.

    2850 Prairie Du Chien Road NE, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-338-3543 ext. 6300

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    + Fun Safe Things To Do In The Iowa City Area This Winter

    12 Best Things to Do in Iowa City, Iowa

    With Thanksgiving behind us, its officially time to face the start of another Iowa winter and the holiday season.

    As temperatures continue to drop, the possibilities of social distancing outside through walks, bike rides, and outdoor dining are greatly reduced. But even as the weather urges us indoors and the pandemic causes many of our favorite local holiday events to change, there are still plenty of ways to have fun in the Iowa City area! Weve compiled a list of creative, social-distanced approved things to do this winter.

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    Surf Ballroom And Museum

    The Surf Ballroom and Museum is located in Clear Lake and is a historic Rock and Roll landmark. The Surf was the location of the last performance of Rock and Roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson, also known as The Day the Music Died. The Surf Ballroom is almost 100% original, with some necessary additions for modern technology.

    The onsite museum features music memorabilia and a wall of fame which includes many of the artists who have performed at the Surf over the years. The Surf souvenir shop sells memorabilia and apparel related to the Surf Ballroom and the history of Rock and Roll.

    460 North Shore Drive, Clear Lake, IA 50428, Phone: 641-357-6151

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    Visit Effigy Mounds National Monument

    While youre at Pikes Peak State Park, head 15 minutes north to Harpers Ferry where youll find the incredible Effigy Mounds National Monument. The monument area is made up of more than 200 mounds of earth, all shaped like animals. They were built by American Indians as ceremonial and sacred sites.

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    Herbert Hoover National Historic Site Iowa

    Herbert Hoover National Historic Site is a park that houses the birthplace and childhood home of the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. The park includes several buildings that were created to allow visitors to experience what the grounds were like when President Hoover lived there.

    Included in these buildings is a recreated blacksmith shop, a schoolhouse, and a Quaker meetinghouse. The graves of President and Mrs. Hoover are also located at this historic site. The Presidential Library and Museum housing memorabilia and presidential papers of President Hoover is also located nearby.

    110 Parkside Dr, West Branch, IA 52358, Phone: 319-643-2541

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    Jeremy Kittlel Trio Live


    The Jeremy Kittel Trio is built around the spellbinding speed and creativity of fiddle player Jeremy Kittel. Bouncing back forth between bluegrass, classic Celtic folk and jazz, the virtuoso violin player has recently played along with “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” house band.The trio will perform at 5 p.m. Saturday and 2:45 p.m. Sunday on the main stage.

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    Pose In Front Of The Most Parodied Window In The World

    American Gothic House | Photo by Carol

    In the south-east corner of the state sits a rather plain house with a single distinguishing feature- a large Gothic window which painter Grant Wood described as pretentious for such a small house. The portrait Mr. Wood went on to create, titled American Gothic, featured the people he imagined would live in such a house.

    In the years following, American Gothic has been parodied many times with such distinguished characters as Garfield and Odie, Barbie and Ken, and even Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

    Visitors to the American Gothic House today will find a visitors center filled with memorabilia and parodies, as well as a complete assortment of overalls, aprons, and pitchforks to create your own American Gothic photo.

    Having your children pose in front of those house for a classic Instagram shot is is one the most hilarious things to do in Iowa with kids.

    Hickory Hill Park Iowa City Iowa

    Hickory Hill Park is a large park in northeast Iowa City. The park contains 190 acres of abandoned fields, forests, prairie, wetlands, and more surrounding Ralston Creek and other streams. The park is home to a variety of amenities, including several picnic shelters, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, water fountains, and multi-use trails.

    The park is available for public recreational use and is a popular destination for nature lovers who wish to enjoy the outdoors, study nature, or take a hike or run. The park is open all year round with winter activities such as sledding and cross-country skiing being popular cold-weather activities. The trails in the park are dog-friendly as well.

    800 Conklin Street, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-356-5000

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    Devonian Fossil Gorge In Iowa City Ia

    To think we almost didnt stop here actually upsets me as this was one of the highlights of our entire month-long vacation.

    We were driving along I-80 toward Cedar Rapids when I read about the Devonian Fossil Gorge.

    Our kids enjoy fossils so when we saw a sign I told my husband to take the exit.

    It was almost dusk as we followed our way to the site.

    We saw some beautiful homes, lush landscape and several deer.

    Approximately 375 million years ago, the Devonian sea covered most of the United States.

    This site was uncovered in 1993 when flooding overtook Coralville Lake.

    You will be able to see, touch and even walk on the ocean floor covered in fossils from 200 million years BEFORE the dinosaurs.

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