Looking For The Best Staycation Ever
You don’t have to travel to give your kids the most AMAZING spring break experience. The World’s Greatest Spring Break for Kids offers admission and activities to Waterloo’s premier cultural, recreation, and arts attractionsfor just $1 per child or adult!
The McElroy Trust has sponsored this event since 2010, and over 10,000 people enjoy it each year.
All of the participating venues are conveniently located within six blocks of each other. Free parking is available at each venue, as well as at the centrally located lot across the street from the Veterans Museum, next to the highway.
New for 2022! Add this digital pass to your phone for an easy and convenient view of locations and hours. Sign-up today and get ready for Spring Break!
*Mobile pass not required for entry.
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
President Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa, in 1874. Today, you can visit the house where this American politician spent his early years.
You can visit the Birthplace Cottage, the blacksmith shop where Hoovers father worked, his old schoolhouse, and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.
President Hoover and his wife are buried here as well if you want to pay your respects. You can also hike the Hoover Nature Trail.
Maquoketa Caves State Park
If you are looking for some natural things to do in Iowa, you will want to explore Maquoketa Caves State Park. This park has the largest concentration of caves in the state and is a place to wonder about nature.
There are six miles of trails to hike which will take you through forests and amazing rock formations. You will have a relaxing experience becoming one with nature.
There are thirteen caves to explore. Some are easily accessible and can be walked into. Others, however, require people to be adventurous spelunkers.
No matter how you enter the caves, though, you will find cool stalactites and stalagmites.
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Mama Nicks Circle Pizzeria Waterloo Iowa
Serving the local Cedar Valley community for over fifty years, Mama Nicks Circle Pizzeria has long held a time-honored tradition of offering quality pizza, sandwiches, and pasta. The restaurant uses only high quality ingredients piled on top of their made-to-order pizzas, such as fresh ground sausage and beef mixed with family spices, freshly chopped vegetables and sliced meats, real mozzarella cheese, and the pizzerias secret seasoning. Other menu options included hand-breaded pork tenderloins, sandwiches on fresh baked French bread, and fresh-cut French fries. There is also an all-you-can-eat buffet available for lunch with a wide variety of food.
1934 Washington St, Waterloo, IA 50702, Phone: 319-233-3323
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What Is There To Do In Waterloo Today
Lets explore the best things to do in Waterloo : Enjoy the outdoors. and the indoors. Play a round of golf. Source: Bill Hertha / Flickr. Stare at works of art. Source: www.theclayandglass.ca. Wander around campus. Go on a historic walking tour. Drink like you would in Germany. Head to the mall. Ride a steam train.
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Visiting Des Moines Is One Of The Best Things To Do In Iowa
Des Moines is the capital and largest city in Iowa. This is a must-visit place if you are planning on touring Iowa. This city is full of pretty parks, art museums, and awesome architecture.
The first thing you need to do in Des Moines is visit the State Capitol. Dating back to the late 1800s, this gorgeous building stands regally over the city. You can take a free tour of the building and the grounds.
When you are done admiring the 23-caret gold leaf dome at the State Capital, walk through the East Village. Here you will find museums and locations on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you are traveling with kids, you might have fun at the Blank Park Zoo. Art lovers will want to go to the Des Moines Art Center and wander through the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. It is easy to say there are a lot of things to do in Des Moines.
Crossroads Mall Waterloo Iowa
The Crossroads Mall in Waterloo, Iowa is conveniently situated near the intersection of US 20 and Interstate 380, about one mile from the Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino and the Lost Island Waterpark. In addition to being surrounded by several quality hotels and restaurants, just outside of Crossroads Mall is the Crossroads 12 Theatre. Popular shops located within the mall include Bath & Body Works among several others. Other shops surrounding the Crossroads Mall include Bed, Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Super Target, Best Buy, Hobby Lobby, DIcks Sporting Goods, TJ Maxx, and Super Walmart.
2060 Crossroads Blvd, Waterloo, IA 50702
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Packing Tips For Visiting Attractions In Iowa
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when visiting Iowa attractions. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can place it under your hiking clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
This configuration comes with enough credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
Best Things To Do In Waterloo Iowa
The town of Waterloo, Iowa features a vibrant and fun downtown district full of locally-owned and operated restaurants, award-winning museums, shops, and even a riverside amphitheatre. In addition to downtown, Waterloo also boasts several other things to do for visitors and locals of all ages, such as exploring the Cedar Valley Nature Trail or George Wyth State Park, catching a game at the Riverfront Stadium, shopping at the Crossroads Mall, or grabbing a slice of pizza at the Mama Nicks Circle Pizzeria. The town also hosts several events throughout the year. 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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Grotto Of The Redemption
In West Bend, Iowa, you will find the Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption. It was built by German immigrant Father Paul Dobberstein in honor of the Virgin Mary who he had prayed to while sick with pneumonia.
The Grotto is made up of a variety of materials that the Father had collected. This religious site is considered both the largest grotto in the world and the largest collection of minerals, fossils, shells, and petrifications in one location.
Construction began in 1912, and it took forty-two years to complete. If you are looking for unique things to do in Iowa, then you need to come to take a tour of the Grotto.
This is also a very religious place to visit since the Grotto depicts many scenes from Jesus life.
Cedar Valley Nature Trail Waterloo Iowa
Spanning across sixty-seven miles, the Cedar Valley Nature Trail connects Ely to Evansdale, running through a number of small towns along the way. From the town of Evansdale to the McFarlane Park, the surface of the trail is asphalt, however, from McFarlane Park to Center Point, the surface is made of compacted limestone. The trail also connects the metro area of Linn County to the town of Waterloo, traveling through farmland, forest, and wetlands. While the limestone section of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail can be easily used to travel by a bicycle with narrow tires, watch for muddy conditions.
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Pikes Peak State Park
Another of the best state parks in Iowa is Pikes Peak State Park found where the Mississippi River and Wisconsin River meet. This is a beautiful area perfect for hiking and camping. You will have so much fun exploring here!
As you hike the scenic eleven miles of trail, you will find flowing waterfalls, cool Native American effigy mounds, and awesome fossils. There are also many bluff overlooks where you will need to snap a selfie for Instagram.
This is one of the best things to do in Iowa with kids since they will have a blast discovering all the park has to offer. Bring a picnic and spend time learning about nature with hands-on experiences.
Iowa might be considered a fly-over state, but for people who live there, it is home.
There are so many fun Iowa attractions that should not be passed over.
If you are coming to this Midwest state, plan on enjoying time in nature, exploring cute towns, strolling through art museums, and seeing where famous people were born.
When packing to visit the attractions in Iowa, packing lightly and efficiently is very prudent.
Things To Do In Iowa: The Ultimate Bucket List
July 30, 2021 by // by Midwest Explored
Looking for fun and interesting things to do in Iowa?
While Iowa can be an underappreciated state, it is worth a visit and should not be ignored. You do not want to miss out on what this great state has to offer!
Whether you already live in this Midwest state and are looking for cool Iowa day trips or are planning on coming through sometime soon, you might be searching for some Iowa attractions. We have you covered!
In Iowa, you will find many famous homes, beautiful nature scenes, and cool cities. Whether you are traveling as a family or wanting a romantic weekend getaway, Iowa has something for everyone.
Get ready to save some places on Google Maps because these are the best things to do in Iowa!
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John Deere Tractor And Engine Museum
Location: 500 Westfield Ave, Waterloo, IA 50701
If youre looking for free things to do in Waterloo Iowa, look no further! I was surprised when I found out that the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum was free to visiteven more so when a guided tour is free too ! I arrived just as a tour was leaving so decided to tag along. It lasted almost 2 hours! Even though I dont come from somewhere with a huge farming industry I found the museum interesting to see how it has changed and evolved across the years.
Waterloo Is For Outdoor Lovers
There are many fun things to do in Waterloo, Iowa, for outdoor lovers and anyone who likes to explore small towns. The downtown district is vibrant and has plenty of local restaurants and shops to check out.
If you are looking for natural attractions in Iowa, then Waterloo has you covered. The Cedar Valley Nature Trail spans sixty-seven miles, going through farmland, forests, and small towns. Hike or bike here for a fun time in nature.
You can also go to the nearby George Wyth Memorial State Park to spend time in the woodland. In summer, you can hike and bike the trails or spot deer. In the winter, this is a place to go skiing and snowmobiling.
The Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is a great place to explore in the spring. You can visit the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum and learn about military service from the Civil War until today.
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What To Do In Cedar Falls This Weekend
Top Attractions in Cedar Falls Big Woods Lake Recreation Area. 50 reviews. Cedar Falls Main Street. 161 reviews. Hartman Reserve Nature Center. 11 reviews. UNI-Dome / McLeod Center. 53 reviews. Ice House Museum. 6 reviews. Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. 6 reviews. The Falls . 4 reviews. Black Hawk Park. 6 reviews.
Things To Know About Lost Island
You can take cameras on the rides but Id make sure if you plan on recording, make sure you can do it HANDS FREE. I had my GoPro strapped to my wrist, Id start recording at the top and wouldnt touch it again until I got to the bottom. Unlike rollercoasters, there are no restraints holding you in so its important to keep hold of the grip handles at ALL TIMES.
You can also wear water shoes as long as there are no rivets. The majority of the slides have tubes so water shoes can be worn quite comfortably. On a hot day, the concrete does get hot, so this may be an option youd want to consider!
Lost Island Waterpark: One of my favourite things to do in Waterloo Iowa!
There are lockers available to hire, as far as Im aware they only take card payments now. I hired a small locker for $5. It was enough for 1 bag, a pair of shoes and changes of clothes for 2 people. You can access it throughout the day using a 4 digit passcode that you choose .
If you bring an empty bottle, there are free drinking fountains that can be used to re-fill it.
Lost Island Water Park is open during the Iowa school breaks between June and August. Opening hours are 10.30am 6.30pm and tickets work on height rather than age, over 48in start from $26.40 online or $27.80 on the gate. For more information visit the Lost Island Water Park website!
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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.
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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Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum
The Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum in Waterloo, Iowa was established to honor the sacrifice and service of all veterans from Iowa, dating back to the Civil War up through to present day. Visitors can learn about their stories through the electronic Wall of Honor, interactive activities, and traditional exhibits. The museum includes more than thirty-five interactive exhibits that share the stories of veterans, as well as more than 1,500 interviews with veterans collected through the Voices of Iowa Oral History Project. The Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum is open from 9:00am until 5:00pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
503 South St, Waterloo, IA 50701, Phone: 319-234-6357