These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things…

Things to Do in IC Area Graphic ThumbnailHooray! It’s the last day of May and school gets out for the summer next week! Even though it hasn’t felt much like it lately, summer is here!! We’re all excited now, but the temperatures are going to get hot soon, and the kiddos are inevitably going to get restless. At some point you’re bound to hear those 2 favorite words: “I’m bored.” Never fear: the ladies of Iowa City Moms Blog have put together a few of our favorite things to do and places to go in the Iowa City area just for you! We have a variety of suggestions: indoor and outdoor activities, as well as some of our favorite restaurants and local landmarks. Keep the list handy and choose something from it the next time you’re looking for something fun to do as a family, on a date with your spouse, or by yourself!


  • fountain girlsIowa City Farmer’s Market: Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30-12…get fresh produce, buy the kettlecorn, and enjoy some yummy food while you’re there!
  • Enjoy live music during the Friday Night Concert Series downtown in the ped mall. While you’re there, grab a Marco’s grilled cheese and let the kids play on the playground and in the fountain!
  • lake macbride beach closeGet some ice cream and check out the great shops in the ped mall
  • Take a picnic and enjoy the sunshine on the Old Capitol lawn
  • Pack up the family for a day at Lake Macbride. You can swim at the beach, rent kayaks and paddleboats, walk out to the “knob”, hike the trails, play disc golf, investigate the raptor center…the possibilities are endless!
  • JuliaMay2013-Blogtest06If Lake Macbride is a little crowded for you, make the drive out to Kent Park in Oxford. They have an awesome beach, great playground, picnic shelters, and it’s not as busy.
  • Head to the pool…North Liberty, Coralville, City Park, Mercer Park Wading Pool, Wetherby Splash Pad
  • airplane city park ridesGo for a walk or bike ride along the river, or along one of the numerous local trails
  • Take a picnic to lower City Park and let the younger kids ride the amusement rides
  • Go to the Arts Festival in downtown Iowa City in June
  • Jazz Festival in downtown Iowa City in July
  • Go the the NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids
  • kinnick stadiumTailgate and head to an IOWA game at the end of the summer. Even better, why wait for football season? Head over to Kinnick Stadium and let the kids check out the statues and take a peek through the gates at the stadium…it’s a simple activity, but will seem like a big deal to them!



  • Tara children's museumIce skate or watch a hockey game at the Coral Ridge mall, followed up by a ride on the carousel
  • Stay cool and have a blast at the Iowa Children’s Museum
  • Do some bargain shopping at Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Stuff, Etc.
  • Take in a movie at Sycamore or Coral Ridge
  • Make pottery at Renee’s Ceramic Café
  • Take a class at Sweet Feet Yoga
  • Enjoy storytime and pick up some great books at one of the local libraries
  • Head to one of the rec centers and take a class or take part in open gym 
  • Ride a Cambus…summer is the perfect time because they’re not packed with students!


  • Pick up some ice cream at Heyn’s, Dane’s, or Whitey’s. If you’re into frozen yogurt, go to Yotopia or Orange Leaf!
  • kaia molly'sMolly’s Cupcakes
  • Happy Hour at Red’s Alehouse or Quinton’s (best baked potatoes…and great margaritas!)
  • Pizza at Pagliai’s
  • Bread Garden…definitely get a spot on the patio!
  • Go to Shorts or Micky’s for a burger
  • Midtown Family Restaurant for homestyle meals
  • Saloon…a great place to sit outside and enjoy chips & dips while listening to the Friday Night Concert Series!
  • Devotay for tapas
  • Z’Mariks for pasta
  • Blackstone for saganaki
  • Hamburg Inn…best breakfast around!
  • Wig and Pen…you’ve got to try their Flying Tomato pizza!

**These are just a FEW of our favorite things to do, places to go, and places to eat around town! We’d love to hear some of your favorites…please share them with us in the comments sections!



Iowa City Moms Blog
At Iowa City Moms Blog we’re a group of local moms who are passionate about connecting other moms to one another and to our community! Whether you’re an experienced mom, a newbie, expecting, or aspiring to be a mom someday, this blog is for you! Join us as we navigate this journey that is motherhood in the Iowa City area!


  1. Collins Road Theaters in Cedar Rapids does a kids free movie each week during the summer. Each week is a different movie, and they show them M-Th mornings. Kids are free, and adults are only $1. They have a full schedule on their website! It’s great for rainy days!:). We also love Bever park in Cedar Rapids- along with the great playground, they also have a fun little farm area to walk through with a few different animals!:)

    • Thanks, Abigail! Those are great suggestions!! I’ve heard great things about Beaver Park-I haven’t made it there yet but hope to soon!

  2. My kid loved the Play Station in Cedar Rapids and the play area in Coral Ridge Mall along with the Children’s Museum when we visited Iowa. Can you please let me know of any cool water parks around the area and or playgrounds with sprinklers and beaches around the area?

    • Hi Abby! Those are great suggestions as well! I just fixed the formatting of the post, so hopefully it’s easier to see now…we’ve included the Iowa City area pools and splash pads, as well as Lake Macbride and Kent Park. If you click on those names they are linked to the specific websites. If you go to Corridor Parents, they have a great list of all the local outdoor spaces, including pools and splash pads, as well as playgrounds!

  3. Just stumbled across this awesome blog. What a fantastic resource for families!

    Indoor idea: MacBride Hall Museum of Natural History on the Pentacrest is always a favorite for IC kids. Check out Rusty, the eleven foot tall giant sloth (made of thousands of cow tails!) and amaze the little ones with the fact that animals like him roamed over Iowa, along with mastodons whose molars you’ll also find on display. Cupcakes at Molly’s across the street after your visit.

    Outdoor idea: Devonian Fossil Gorge at the Coralville Reservoir (or Rez, as the locals say) is a chance to see the floor of an ancient seabed exposed by the Flood of 1993, walk the creek looking for frogs and tadpoles, and see how Coarville got its name as you search for the many varieties of coral that abounds. If you head to MacBride Hall later, you’ll see a depiction of the giant sharks that once swam right here in landlocked Iowa.

  4. Thanks for this post! I just saw this because I googled things to do in Iowa City for kids. I have never been there before and I am driving 5 hours to visit my mom with my 2 year old and 4 month old – yikes! It will be fun, but I definitely need a playground and some yummy places to eat, so this post helped SO much – thank you!

      • Thanks! My mom will be working during the days, so I will be adventuring by myself, are there any events going on that are kid-friendly? 🙂


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