10 Things to do in iowa city

Beyond the Books: Enchanting Things to Do in Iowa City

If you’re planning a trip to Iowa City and wondering what to do, look no further. With its rich history, cultural landmarks, and beautiful outdoor spaces, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Iowa City. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

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Key Takeaways

  • Iowa City offers a range of exciting experiences for visitors.
  • The historic downtown area is filled with unique shops and delicious local restaurants.
  • The University of Iowa campus has art and natural history museums, as well as a vibrant arts scene.
  • The Iowa Old Capitol Building is a must-see for history buffs.
  • Hickory Hill Park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

Ready for an unforgettable journey through Iowa City? Scroll down for reviews of our top picks!

1. Explore the University of Iowa campus

Venture into the historic Pentacrest area, where you can immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the University of Iowa. The Pentacrest is home to iconic landmarks such as the Old Capitol building, which served as Iowa’s first state capitol.

As you stroll through the campus, take a moment to appreciate the remarkable blend of art and architecture displayed in its buildings. From neoclassical structures to modern designs, each edifice tells a unique story about the university’s evolution over time.

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For a comprehensive understanding of the university’s legacy and significance, consider joining a guided tour. These tours offer insights into pivotal moments in the institution’s history and provide detailed information about notable landmarks on campus.

The University of Iowa holds an esteemed position within academia, known for its exemplary programs and contributions to various fields. Exploring its grounds offers visitors an opportunity to witness firsthand how tradition harmonizes with innovation at this renowned educational institution.

2. Visit the Old Capitol Museum

The Old Capitol Museum in Iowa City offers a captivating journey through the state’s political history as it served as Iowa’s first capitol building. Visitors can immerse themselves in exhibits that delve into government and legislative processes in the United States, providing an enriching understanding of how these systems have evolved over time.

image of Iowa Museum in the list of places to visit in Iowa

Exploring this historical gem also presents an opportunity to relish panoramic views of downtown Iowa City from the museum’s iconic dome. This vantage point provides a unique perspective on the cityscape, making it a must-see for anyone visiting or residing in Iowa.

Moreover, delving into the museum’s offerings allows individuals to gain insights into pivotal moments in Iowa’s past and comprehend the significance of its political heritage within the United States. By headlining this attraction on your itinerary, you’re not only embracing local culture but also partaking in a meaningful exploration of American history.

3. Stroll through the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk

The Iowa Avenue Literary Walk offers a unique outdoor celebration of literature and art, featuring bronze relief panels with quotes from famous writers. As you stroll along this literary walk, you’ll be immersed in the words of renowned authors who have ties to Iowa City.

showing you the image of Iowa Avenue Literary Walk

This literary walk provides an engaging way to experience the rich literary history of Iowa City while enjoying the outdoors. The bronze panels not only showcase captivating quotes but also serve as a testament to the city’s deep connection with literature and its influential figures.

Visitors can expect to encounter quotes from celebrated authors such as Flannery O’Connor, Kurt Vonnegut, and Langston Hughes, among others on tripadvisor. These panels create an atmosphere that sparks inspiration and appreciation for the written word.

In addition to being a beautiful display of public art, the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk serves as an educational opportunity for both locals, visitors, and tripadvisor alike. It allows individuals to learn about prominent writers who have contributed significantly to literature while also highlighting their connections with Iowa City.

4. Enjoy a performance at the Englert Theatre

The Englert Theatre offers a diverse range of live entertainment, including music concerts, plays, and comedy shows. This historic venue allows visitors to immerse themselves in Iowa City’s rich cultural heritage while enjoying top-notch performances.

Local and national performing artists frequently grace the stage at the Englert Theatre, providing an opportunity for patrons to support both emerging talents and established acts. The theater’s commitment to showcasing a variety of performances ensures that there is something for everyone, from classical music enthusiasts to fans of contemporary comedy.

this is an image of Englert Theatre, Iowa

The sentence is not modified. Visitors often note the welcoming ambiance created by the dedicated staff and volunteers who strive to make each event memorable.

Attending a show at this iconic theater not only promises an enjoyable evening but also contributes to sustaining Iowa City’s vibrant arts scene. By supporting venues like the Englert Theatre, individuals play an active role in nurturing artistic expression within their community.

5. Discover local art at the Iowa City Downtown District

The downtown area of Iowa City is a vibrant hub for local art, offering a diverse range of artistic expressions and experiences.

  • Browse Galleries: Visitors can explore numerous galleries showcasing artworks by regional talents, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces. This provides an opportunity to immerse in the creativity and cultural richness of the city.

  • Experience Vibrant Street Art: The downtown district boasts colorful street art and public installations that add character to the city’s urban landscape. These captivating displays contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of the area.

  • Attend Special Events: Throughout the year, Iowa City hosts special events such as gallery walks and art fairs in its downtown area. These events provide visitors with unique opportunities to engage with artists, learn about their creative processes, and even purchase original works directly from the creators.

6. Attend a reading at Prairie Lights Bookstore

Hear from acclaimed authors during book readings and signings. This is an opportunity to gain insights into the creative process and inspirations behind popular literary works.

this is an image of Prairie Lights Bookstore , Iowa where you can read

Explore an extensive collection of literary works and bestsellers on tripadvisor, allowing for a diverse range of choices catering to different reading preferences. The bookstore’s ambiance also provides a cozy environment, making it conducive for leisurely browsing.

Engage in discussions with fellow book enthusiasts, fostering a sense of community among like-minded individuals who share a passion for literature. These interactions can lead to discovering new perspectives, recommendations, and forming lasting connections.

7. Kayak or paddleboard on the Iowa River

Enjoy a serene experience while kayaking or paddleboarding on the Iowa River. The gentle currents of the river offer a relaxing yet invigorating way to explore the area’s natural beauty.

Renting equipment for water adventures is convenient and accessible in Iowa City, making it easy for both locals and visitors to partake in leisurely outings along the river. This accessibility encourages more people to engage in outdoor activities, promoting physical wellness and appreciation for nature.

showing you the image of to men doing paddle boarding in Iowa river

While paddling along the river, keep an eye out for wildlife such as birds and turtles that inhabit the waterway. Spotting these creatures adds an element of excitement to the experience and provides opportunities for nature enthusiasts to observe local fauna in their natural habitat.

The activity not only offers physical exercise but also mental relaxation as individuals immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature. It’s an ideal way to unwind from daily stressors while enjoying picturesque views of Iowa’s landscape.

8. Savor local cuisine at the Iowa City Farmers Market

Sample fresh produce, artisanal goods, and homemade treats from local vendors. The market offers a diverse range of products such as fruits, vegetables, cheeses, baked goods, and handmade crafts. It’s an excellent opportunity to engage with the community while supporting local businesses.

Experience a vibrant community gathering with live music and entertainment. The lively atmosphere creates an enjoyable experience for both visitors and locals alike. With various activities for all ages, it’s a great way to spend a weekend morning in Iowa City.

Support sustainable agriculture and small businesses by shopping at the farmers market. By purchasing from local vendors, you contribute to the sustainability of the environment through reduced transportation emissions associated with imported goods. You directly support small-scale farmers and artisans who rely on these markets for their livelihoods.

9. Experience the nightlife on Pedestrian Mall

Discover a vibrant nightlife scene at Iowa City’s Pedestrian Mall, where you can find an array of eclectic bars, pubs, and live music venues. This pedestrian-friendly area offers a diverse selection of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants.

The Pedestrian Mall is known for its lively atmosphere and is a popular spot among locals and visitors alike. You can enjoy a night out with friends while exploring the unique charm of this bustling district.

For those seeking entertainment, the area hosts various events and performances throughout the year. It’s an ideal place to immerse yourself in Iowa City’s cultural scene while enjoying a night on the town.

Embark on an adventure through Hickory Hill Park and explore its wooded trails, natural landscapes, and scenic overlooks. This urban wilderness provides opportunities for outdoor activities such as birdwatching and photography.

Hickory Hill Park is home to diverse flora and fauna, making it an excellent location for nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful hike or hoping to capture stunning photographs of wildlife, this park offers something for everyone.

With its tranquil ambiance and picturesque surroundings, Hickory Hill Park provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking outdoor exploration in Iowa City.

10. Hike through Hickory Hill Park

Hickory Hill Park is a serene oasis nestled in the heart of Iowa City, offering an array of trails for hiking enthusiasts.

The park spans over 190 acres and features diverse landscapes, including lush woodlands, prairies, and even a small creek.

It’s home to over 8 miles of well-maintained trails that cater to various skill levels, making it an ideal destination for both beginners and seasoned hikers alike.

Visitors can revel in the beauty of native flora and fauna while exploring the winding paths that lead to scenic overlooks and peaceful picnic spots.

Nature lovers can encounter an abundance of wildlife within the park, from songbirds to deer, adding an element of excitement to every hike.

During springtime, the park bursts into life with vibrant wildflowers blooming along the trails—creating a picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts and photographers.

11. Catch a film at FilmScene on the Ped Mall

FilmScene on the Ped Mall is a must-visit for movie enthusiasts in Iowa City. Here’s why:

  • Unique Movie Experience: FilmScene offers an eclectic mix of independent, international, and classic films, providing a unique cinematic experience.

  • Community Engagement: It acts as a hub for film lovers to come together, hosting events like director Q&A sessions and film festivals that engage the local community.

  • Concession Stand: The theater boasts a concession stand offering locally sourced snacks and drinks, enhancing the overall movie-watching experience.

  • Art House Cinema: As an art house cinema, FilmScene showcases thought-provoking movies that may not be available at mainstream theaters.

FilmScene on the Ped Mall provides more than just movies; it creates an immersive cultural experience through its diverse film selection and engagement with the local community. Whether you’re into indie films or classics, this cinema has something special to offer.

12. Learn at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History is a fascinating place to explore, offering an array of exhibits and educational experiences.

  • Diverse Exhibits: The museum boasts diverse exhibits, including displays on ancient sea creatures, mammals, birds, and Native American artifacts.

  • Hands-On Learning: Visitors can engage in hands-on learning through interactive displays that bring natural history to life. This makes it an excellent destination for families and school groups.

  • Iowa’s Geological History: The museum provides insight into Iowa’s geological history with its extensive collection of fossils dating back millions of years.

  • Free Admission: One noteworthy aspect is that admission to the museum is free. This accessibility allows for a wider range of visitors to enjoy and learn from the exhibits.

  • Engaging Programs: The museum offers engaging programs such as guided tours, workshops, and lectures by experts in various fields related to natural history.

13. Take a guided tour of the Plum Grove Historic Home

The Plum Grove Historic Home offers an enriching experience for visitors, providing insights into the life and times of Iowa’s first territorial governor, Robert Lucas.

  • Historical Significance: The home holds historical significance as it was once inhabited by influential figures in Iowa’s history. Visitors can explore the well-preserved rooms and artifacts that offer a glimpse into the past.

  • Educational Opportunity: A guided tour of the Plum Grove Historic Home presents an educational opportunity for both children and adults. It provides a hands-on learning experience about early settlement life in Iowa.

  • Family-Friendly: This activity is suitable for families, offering an engaging way to learn about local history together. Children can gain a better understanding of Iowa’s heritage while enjoying a fun day out with their family.

  • Interactive Experience: The guided tours often include interactive elements such as storytelling sessions or demonstrations, making the visit more engaging and memorable for all ages.

  • Community Engagement: By visiting historic homes like Plum Grove, individuals contribute to preserving local heritage sites and supporting community initiatives focused on historical preservation.

14. Relax at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area

Terry Trueblood Recreation Area is a perfect place for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. With over 200 acres of land, this area offers a variety of activities, including walking trails, fishing spots, and birdwatching areas. The park also features an off-leash dog park where furry companions can roam freely.

Visitors can enjoy various accommodations such as picnic shelters equipped with grills, making it an ideal spot for family gatherings or picnics with friends. The lake provides opportunities for kayaking and paddleboarding.

The area is well-maintained and boasts beautiful scenery year-round. During the summer months, the park hosts events like outdoor movie nights and live music concerts that draw locals and tourists alike.

For those seeking relaxation amidst nature’s beauty or looking to engage in recreational activities without leaving Iowa City, Terry Trueblood Recreation Area stands out as an exceptional choice.

15. Enjoy live music at the Summer of the Arts festival

The Summer of the Arts festival in Iowa City is a fun-filled event that offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy live music and immerse yourself in the local arts scene.

  • Diverse Performances: The festival features a wide range of musical performances, including jazz, blues, rock, and folk music. This diverse lineup ensures there’s something for everyone to love.

  • Local Talent: Attendees can experience the immense talent of local musicians and bands while supporting the vibrant arts community in Iowa City.

  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: With its family-friendly atmosphere, this event is perfect for all ages. Families can relax on blankets or chairs while enjoying great music together.

  • Cultural Experience: Beyond just music, visitors can also explore art vendors showcasing their work and indulge in delicious food from various vendors. It’s not just about listening to music; it’s about immersing oneself in a complete cultural experience.

  • Community Engagement: The festival fosters community engagement by bringing people together to celebrate art and creativity. It creates an environment where individuals with shared interests can connect and form lasting bonds.

16. Participate in the Iowa City Jazz Festival

The Iowa City Jazz Festival is a vibrant celebration of music, drawing both local and international jazz enthusiasts to downtown Iowa City every summer.

  • Musical Diversity: The festival showcases an array of jazz styles, from traditional to contemporary, featuring performances by renowned musicians alongside emerging talents.

  • Community Engagement: Beyond music, the event offers interactive activities for all ages, including workshops, jam sessions, and educational programs that foster a sense of community involvement and appreciation for the arts.

  • Cultural Experience: Attendees have the opportunity to immerse themselves in diverse cultural experiences through food vendors offering international cuisines and artisan booths showcasing unique crafts.

  • Economic Impact: The festival significantly contributes to the local economy by attracting visitors who patronize businesses in the area. According to a study conducted by Americans for the Arts, nonprofit arts events like this generate over $50 million annually for Iowa’s economy.

  • Free Admission: One notable aspect is that it’s free admission allowing accessibility for people from all walks of life to enjoy high-quality musical performances without financial barriers.

17. Admire contemporary works at the Public Space One gallery

Located in downtown Iowa City, Public Space One is an alternative art space that showcases contemporary artwork from local and regional artists. The gallery aims to foster creativity and provide a platform for emerging talents.

  • Exhibitions: The gallery hosts rotating exhibitions, featuring a diverse range of mediums including paintings, sculptures, photography, and mixed media installations.

  • Community Engagement: Public Space One actively engages with the community through workshops, artist talks, and collaborative projects. This fosters an inclusive environment where visitors can interact with artists and gain insight into their creative process.

  • Supporting Local Artists: By visiting this gallery, you are directly supporting local arts and culture. It’s a great way to contribute to the vibrant artistic scene in Iowa City while discovering new talent.

  • Accessible Experience: Unlike traditional museums or galleries, Public Space One offers a more intimate setting where visitors can engage with art on a personal level without feeling overwhelmed by large crowds.

Admiring contemporary artworks at the Public Space One gallery provides an enriching experience that allows you to connect with the local art scene while appreciating innovative expressions of creativity within Iowa City’s cultural landscape.

18. Sample craft beers at local breweries

Iowa City boasts a vibrant craft beer scene, offering locals and visitors an opportunity to savor unique brews in distinct settings. Here are some compelling reasons why you should check out the local breweries:

  • Artisanal Brews: Iowa City’s breweries produce a diverse range of artisanal beers, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing lagers.

  • Community Vibes: These breweries often serve as community hubs, providing spaces for social gatherings, live music events, and even trivia nights.

  • Local Flavors: Many of the craft beers incorporate locally sourced ingredients, giving them a distinctive taste that reflects the region’s agricultural heritage.

  • Brewery Tours: Several breweries offer guided tours where visitors can learn about the brewing process firsthand and gain insights into the artistry behind crafting exceptional beers.

  • Outdoor Spaces: Some breweries feature inviting outdoor patios or beer gardens, allowing patrons to enjoy their drinks in scenic surroundings during pleasant weather.

19. Explore literature at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop events

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop has a rich literary history and is renowned for nurturing some of America’s most celebrated writers. It offers an array of events that provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of writing.

  • The workshop hosts readings, discussions, and lectures by established authors, providing invaluable insights into their creative processes and literary journeys.

  • Attendees can engage with these writers, gaining inspiration and learning from their experiences firsthand.

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop serves as a hub for aspiring writers to connect with established literary figures. This interaction not only fosters networking but also offers mentorship opportunities, which can be pivotal in one’s writing career.

Furthermore, these events often feature book signings and meet-and-greet sessions with the authors. For avid readers or individuals interested in delving deeper into the world of literature, this presents an excellent chance to have books personally signed while engaging in meaningful conversations about the craft of writing.

20. Play a round of golf at Finkbine Golf Course

Finkbine Golf Course is the perfect destination for golf enthusiasts visiting Iowa City. The course, managed by the University of Iowa, offers an exceptional experience for both beginners and seasoned players.

  • Scenic Beauty: The course spans over 7,200 yards with beautiful tree-lined fairways and well-maintained greens, providing a picturesque backdrop for a relaxing game of golf.

  • Challenging Layout: With water hazards and strategically placed bunkers, Finkbine Golf Course presents an enjoyable challenge to players of all skill levels.

  • Professional Facilities: Visitors can take advantage of the state-of-the-art practice facilities including a driving range and putting green to hone their skills before hitting the course.

  • Convenient Location: Situated just minutes away from downtown Iowa City, Finkbine provides easy access for locals and tourists alike.

Whether you’re looking to improve your swing or simply enjoy a leisurely day on the links, Finkbine Golf Course has something to offer everyone. It’s also worth noting that this esteemed course has hosted numerous NCAA tournaments as well as Big Ten Championships – adding prestige to its already impressive reputation in the world of collegiate golf.

21. Browse the Northside Marketplace for unique gifts

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Iowa City, visiting the Northside Marketplace is a must. Here’s why:

  • Unique Finds: The marketplace is home to a variety of shops offering one-of-a-kind items, including handmade jewelry, art pieces, and artisanal goods.

  • Local Artisans: You’ll have the opportunity to support local artisans and businesses while discovering their creative products. This adds a personal touch to your shopping experience.

  • Culinary Delights: In addition to crafts and artwork, the marketplace also features specialty food vendors offering delicious treats such as gourmet chocolates and freshly baked pastries.

  • Community Hub: Beyond shopping, it’s a vibrant community hub where locals gather for events like live music performances or art exhibitions.

  • Historic Charm: Situated in an area with historic significance, the Northside Marketplace offers not just retail therapy but also a glimpse into the city’s cultural heritage.

Whether you’re searching for distinctive souvenirs or simply want to explore local creativity, this marketplace provides an enriching experience that goes beyond typical gift shopping.

22. Take a bike ride on the Iowa River Corridor Trail

The Iowa River Corridor Trail offers 12 miles of scenic biking, running, and walking paths along the river. It provides an excellent opportunity to explore nature while engaging in physical activity.

  • Scenic Views: The trail showcases stunning views of the Iowa River, lush greenery, and diverse wildlife. This makes it perfect for nature enthusiasts and those seeking picturesque landscapes.

  • Physical Activity: Biking on this trail is a great way to stay active while enjoying the outdoors. It’s suitable for all fitness levels and ages, making it a family-friendly activity.

  • Accessibility: The trail is easily accessible from various points in Iowa City, allowing locals and visitors alike to conveniently enjoy its offerings.

  • Community Engagement: Many local events are organized along this trail, fostering community engagement and providing opportunities to connect with fellow residents or travelers.

This recreational area has become increasingly popular among both locals and tourists due to its natural beauty and diverse activities available. Whether you’re looking for an invigorating bike ride or simply want to soak in the tranquility of nature, the Iowa River Corridor Trail has something for everyone.

23. Indulge in a sweet treat at Molly’s Cupcakes

Molly’s Cupcakes is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth in Iowa City. Here are some insights to make your visit even sweeter:

  • Award-Winning Treats: Molly’s Cupcakes has won numerous awards, including the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” This recognition speaks volumes about the quality and creativity of their treats.

  • Unique Flavor Combinations: From classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate to more adventurous options like peach cobbler and crème brûlée, there’s something for every palate. The variety ensures that every visitor finds something they love.

  • Customize Your Own Cupcake: At Molly’s, you can customize your own cupcake by choosing your cake flavor, frosting, and toppings. It adds an interactive element to the experience that sets it apart from other bakeries.

  • Cozy Ambiance: The cozy atmosphere of the bakery makes it an ideal spot to relax with friends or enjoy some alone time while savoring your delicious cupcakes.

  • Community Involvement: Beyond serving delectable treats, Molly’s Cupcakes also gives back to the community by donating a portion of its profits to local schools. This philanthropic approach can make indulging in their sweets feel even more rewarding.

Whether you’re craving a classic red velvet cupcake or want to try something new and exciting, Molly’s Cupcakes offers an unforgettable experience for dessert enthusiasts visiting Iowa City.

24. Experience Hawkeye sports at Kinnick Stadium or Carver-Hawkeye Arena

If you’re a sports enthusiast, Iowa City offers the chance to immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of collegiate athletics.

  • Kinnick Stadium: Catch a game at this historic stadium, home to the University of Iowa’s football team. With a seating capacity of over 69,000, it’s an experience like no other as fans come together to cheer on the Hawkeyes.

  • Carver-Hawkeye Arena: This arena is where you can witness thrilling basketball and wrestling matches. The venue has been host to numerous NCAA tournaments and Big Ten championships.

Both venues are not only about sports; they also represent a sense of community pride and spirit that resonates throughout Iowa City.

The energy during game days is infectious, with passionate fans creating an unforgettable ambiance that embodies the heart and soul of college sports.

Attending these events provides insight into how deeply rooted athletics are within the culture of Iowa City and its residents. It’s an opportunity to witness firsthand how sports can unite people from various backgrounds under one common passion.

25. Visit the Devonian Fossil Gorge

The Devonian Fossil Gorge, located in Iowa City, offers a unique opportunity to explore ancient marine life that existed around 375 million years ago.

  • Ancient Marine Life: The gorge contains an array of fossilized sea creatures such as brachiopods, crinoids, and corals. These fossils provide a fascinating glimpse into the diverse marine ecosystem of the past.

  • Educational Experience: Visitors can learn about geology and paleontology through interpretive signs along the trails. This makes it an educational experience for both children and adults interested in Earth’s history.

  • Recreational Activities: The area also provides opportunities for hiking and picnicking. It’s a great place to spend time outdoors while discovering remnants of prehistoric life.

  • Environmental Significance: The site is not only significant for its historical value but also serves as an example of environmental conservation efforts after being uncovered due to flooding in 1993.

Visiting the Devonian Fossil Gorge allows individuals to connect with ancient history while enjoying recreational activities amidst beautiful natural surroundings.

26. Attend an event at the Johnson County Fairgrounds

The Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year, making it a must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike.

  • Diverse Events: From agricultural fairs to music festivals, the fairgrounds offer an array of events that cater to different interests. The annual county fair showcases livestock exhibitions, carnival rides, and live entertainment, providing a wholesome experience for families.

  • Community Engagement: Attending events at the fairgrounds allows you to engage with the local community. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet new people and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Iowa City.

  • Educational Opportunities: Many events held at the fairgrounds provide educational experiences. For instance, agricultural fairs often feature demonstrations on farming techniques and animal husbandry, offering valuable insights into rural life in Iowa.

  • Supporting Local Businesses: Events at the fairgrounds frequently include vendors selling locally made products and crafts. By attending these events, you can support small businesses while discovering unique items crafted by talented artisans from the area.

  • Convenient Location: Situated close to downtown Iowa City, accessing the fairgrounds is convenient for both residents and tourists. Its central location makes it easily accessible for those looking to explore what this vibrant city has to offer.

Attending an event at the Johnson County Fairgrounds presents not only entertainment opportunities but also chances for community engagement and learning experiences—all within reach in Iowa City.

27. Join a community class or workshop at The Center

Engage in various workshops and classes offered by The Center, a vibrant hub of learning and creativity. Here’s why it’s worth your time:

  • Diverse Programs: Explore an array of activities from art workshops to wellness programs, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from the expertise of instructors who are passionate about sharing their knowledge with participants.

  • Community Engagement: Immerse yourself in a welcoming environment where you can connect with like-minded individuals, fostering new friendships and networks within the town.

  • Skill Enhancement: Develop new skills or hone existing ones through hands-on experiences that provide practical insights into various areas of interest.

The Center is not just a place; it’s a world inside the town where people come together to learn, create, and grow. Whether you want to explore your artistic side or delve into wellness practices, this program provides an enriching experience right in the heart of Iowa City.

28. Take children to the Iowa Children’s Museum in nearby Coralville

The Iowa Children’s Museum in Coralville offers a diverse range of interactive exhibits and activities, providing an engaging and educational experience for kids.

  • Interactive Learning: The museum features hands-on exhibits that cover various subjects such as science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). This allows children to learn through play and exploration.

  • Engaging Activities: From building structures with giant foam blocks to exploring a pretend city complete with a grocery store and fire station, the museum provides numerous opportunities for imaginative play and creative expression.

  • Educational Workshops: The museum regularly hosts workshops and programs designed to enhance children’s learning experiences. These workshops often focus on specific themes or skills like art techniques or scientific concepts.

  • Family-Friendly Environment: With its emphasis on family involvement, the museum creates an environment where parents can actively participate in their children’s learning while having fun together.

Visiting the Iowa Children’s Museum is not only entertaining but also fosters essential developmental skills in children by encouraging curiosity, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and social interaction. It’s a must-visit destination for families looking for both entertainment and education during their time in Iowa City.

29. Unwind at the Iowa City Public Library with a good book

The Iowa City Public Library offers a tranquil escape for travelers and locals alike. Here’s why it’s worth your time:

  • Cultural Hub: The library is more than just a place to read; it hosts various events, from author readings to art exhibitions, making it an essential cultural destination in Iowa City.

  • Vast Collection: With over 240,000 books and countless digital resources, the library has everything for every reader – whether you’re into fiction, non-fiction, or academic research.

  • Relaxation Haven: It provides a serene environment where visitors can spend hours lost in their favorite books or catch up on work amidst peaceful surroundings.

  • Community Engagement: The library’s diverse programs cater to all age groups. From children’s storytime sessions to adult educational workshops, there’s something for everyone throughout the day.

In addition to its extensive collection of reading materials and engaging events, the Iowa City Public Library is conveniently open seven days a week. Whether you have an hour or an entire day free during your travels through Iowa City, this literary haven has everything you need for relaxation and intellectual stimulation.

30. Explore the natural beauty of Coralville Lake and its surroundings

Coralville Lake offers a myriad of outdoor activities, making it a hotspot for nature enthusiasts.

  • Water Sports: The lake provides ample opportunities for water-based activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. With over 5,000 acres of water surface, it’s an ideal spot for both seasoned anglers and beginners looking to reel in some fish.

  • Hiking Trails: Visitors can explore the scenic beauty through various hiking trails around the lake. The Squire Point & Linder Point Campground area features picturesque views and serene paths perfect for a leisurely walk or an invigorating hike.

  • Wildlife Viewing: The surrounding woodlands are home to diverse wildlife species, offering excellent birdwatching opportunities. Bird enthusiasts can catch glimpses of bald eagles nesting along the shores during winter months.

  • Recreational Areas: Families can enjoy picnicking at one of the many designated areas while children play in safe playgrounds nearby. There are several well-maintained camping sites with modern facilities available for those seeking an overnight adventure.

The Coralville Lake area is not only a haven for outdoor recreation but also plays a vital role in flood control efforts within Iowa City and its environs.

Final Remarks : Things to do in Iowa City

So, there you have it! With this list of activities, you’re all set to make the most of your time in Iowa City. Whether you’re a fan of the arts, outdoor adventures, or simply good food, there’s something here for everyone. Get out there and explore this vibrant city, soak up the culture, and create unforgettable memories. Don’t forget to capture those Instagram-worthy moments and share them with us using #IowaCityAdventures!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some Top Things to do in Iowa City ?

If you’re looking for things to do in Iowa City, don’t miss exploring the University of Iowa campus, visiting the Old Capitol Museum, and strolling through the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk. These iconic attractions offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and vibrant culture.

Where can I experience local arts and culture in Iowa City?

Immerse yourself in local art at the Iowa City Downtown District, attend a reading at Prairie Lights Bookstore, or admire contemporary works at Public Space One gallery. These venues showcase the diverse artistic expressions that thrive within this dynamic community.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Iowa City?

From kayaking on the scenic Iowa River to hiking through Hickory Hill Park and biking along the Iowa River Corridor Trail, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures to embark on. Embrace nature’s beauty while indulging in these invigorating experiences.

How can I savor delicious cuisine unique to Iowa City?

Delight your taste buds by visiting the bustling Iowa City Farmers Market or sampling craft beers at local breweries. You’ll also find an array of dining options offering delectable dishes that capture the essence of this vibrant culinary scene.

Are there family-friendly activities available in and around Iowa City?

Families can explore interactive exhibits at The Center or visit Coralville Lake for a day filled with natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Children will love engaging with educational displays at nearby attractions like Plum Grove Historic Home.

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