A Mom’s Guide to: Things to Do in Cedar Rapids

My family moved from North Liberty to Cedar Rapids a year ago. (You might be thinking “What?! A Cedar Rapidian on the IOWA CITY Moms Blog?!?!” Yup! There are actually 2 writers that live in CR and several writers in surrounding communities.)

I am still slowly learning where to go and what to do in CR.  Truth is, with little kids we don’t get out like we used to. And sometimes we get stuck in a rut doing the same things and going to the same places. It is easy and comfortable to just go where you know.  But there are so many more places out there just waiting for us to visit.

I am challenging my own family and yours  –  Try New Things!  Maybe once a week or even once a month, try a new restaurant or take the kids to a different park.  Or take a trip up to Cedar Rapids!


To help you out with your CR adventures, I am sharing a list of family-friendly activities and date night places. Some of these places my family has actually been and the rest are recommendations from fellow Iowa City Moms Blog writers and friends.  There are several spots that I can’t wait to check out with my family! And I think my hubby and I are TOTALLY due for a date night! (We’ve only been out to ONE restaurant ALONE in the past YEAR.)

Just so we’re clear, this is NOT all there is to do in Cedar Rapids.  So please comment if you can recommend any fun places to add to the list!  And if you can suggest family friendly dining options that would be awesome! (I have no experience in that department.)

Family Activities in CR

Cedar Rapids has TWO Indoor Trampoline Parks!  AirFx and Sky Zone.  Both parks are a blast for kids and adults!  Plus, it’s great exercise and wears the kids out (maybe the parents too!)  Visit their websites to fill out waivers ahead of time, reserve jump times, and find out about specials.  Jump socks are available for purchase at each park.   Both parks offer special jump times designated for little ones 6 and under (so they can jump anywhere in the park and not get trampled by big kids.) At Sky Zone it’s called Toddler Time and at AirFx it’s Junior Jumpers.  (AirFX has a Kids Zone for 48 inches and under if you go with littles during regular hours.)


The Play Station : Indoor play zone for kids. (Closed Mondays)  Tot Tuesdays from 10 AM – 2 PM for toddlers age 1-4.  You can purchase tickets on their website and check for coupons!

Wickiup Hill Learning Center : Indoor and outdoor activities focused on nature.  Check their events calendar for programs, camps and special events.  Fun for little ones: Toddler Toadstools (Ages 1-6, Free) and Science for Squirts (Ages 3-6 and siblings are welcome. There is a small fee and pre-registration).


Old MacDonald’s Farm at Bever Park: Kids love to see the farm animals and it’s Free!  Open Daily 10 AM – 7 PM from April 25 – Oct. 4, 2015.  Tip: When you enter the park from Bever Avenue, drive through the parking lot as it curves around until you reach the farm. (First time I went, I was a little lost!)


Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation : The city offers many activities to keep your family busy including 96 parks and trails!  Check out the Play! guide for more info.  Morgan Creek Park was suggested to me and is on my to-do list!

Collins Road Theaters : Locally owned movie theater offering 2nd run movies at cheap prices! $4 matinees and $5 evening tickets. Plus cheaper concession prices and real butter popcorn!

NewBo City Market: Food, Vendors, Farmer’s Markets, Events… There is so much going on here. Personally, I was a huge fan and can’t wait to go back – there is so much to try! (On my 1st visit, I had a delicious burger from Saucy Focaccia, a yummy cupcake from That One Cupcake Place.  And took home a bottle of tasty wine.) Open Thursday – Sunday.  Be sure to check their website for hours and follow on Facebook so you don’t miss all the happenings!


Cedar Rapids Farmers Markets: In addition to NewBo, there is the Noelridge Farmer’s Market and Downtown CR Farmer’s Market at Greene Square Park.  Check out Mina’s: Meet Me At the Market post for all the details.

Theatre Cedar Rapids :  Attend local productions or get involved yourself! Check their website for upcoming shows and to purchase tickets.  Plus, Summer Camps are offered for K-12.

US Cellular Center : Date night opportunity! Go see a concert or a comedian.  Kid friendly shows come to town too.  (We just saw Sesame Street Live.  But sorry that’s been here and gone!)  Check their Events page for the upcoming schedule.

Cedar Rapids Kernels: Summer and baseball just go together.  Get out and see a game!  Fun for the whole family.  Check their website for the game schedule, promotions and tickets.

Cedar Rapids Titans: Check out an Indoor Football League game at the US Cellular Center.  Their season runs February – June.  The Titans also offer kids summer football camps for ages 6-14.

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders : See a hockey game at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.  The team’s schedule runs October through April.

Cedar Rapids Ice Arena : Public skating times available (check the schedule on their website).  Plus they offer programs like learn to skate classes and hockey.

Parlor City Ice Cream : Ice cream? Yes, Please! This is a local, family owned Ice Cream shop.  What a special treat for the kids. And you!

Kathy’s Pies : Speaking of treats…Kathy’s Pies offers quite the selection of delicious goodies.  In my opinion, they make THE BEST frosted sugar cookies EVER!  They are open Monday – Friday 7 am – 5:30 pm and Saturdays 8 am – 1 pm.

Date Night in CR

Zeppelin’s : This is the ONE place I’ve been on a date night! And I’d love to go back… which conflicts with my “try new things” challenge. But, I really want to go back! I had the Salmon Victoria and it was amazing, and my husband enjoyed his burger too.

As for the rest of the list, they are suggestions from friends.  There is a variety of restaurant styles. Check out the links to see what you like or play a fun game of eeny-meeny-miny-moe and pick your next date night!

Parlor City Pub

Cobble Hill

Butcher Block Steakhouse

White Star Ale House


QDogs BBQ Company


Rock Bar : Btw, I hear they have a mechanical bull!

If you’ve never ventured around Cedar Rapids, now you have a whole list of places to explore.  Or if you regularly go out and about in CR, I hope you’ll try a new place!

Have fun getting out to Try New Things!

Mommas: What other places would you add to the list?

Shari is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband Mark, 2 boys and a pug named Yoda. Her toddler and preschool age boys keep her very busy. She loves warm Iowa days for playing outside with her family. In her "spare time" Shari enjoys quiet activities like crafting, browsing Pinterest, learning photography, creating family photo books and watching favorite shows with her husband. She also loves Iowa City Moms Blog and her MOPS group for the connections with other mommies!


  1. Thanks for all the idea..I googled things to do for kids in Iowa at holiday time and I read this. I was trying to find ideas to do with kids, one thing that I found and sounds great is polar express in Boone, Iowa. Do you know of anyone who does old fashion sleigh rides or any other memorable event in Iowa around Christmas time?

  2. I’m from out-of-town and came to spend the day with my niece. This information was greatly appreciated and we had a wonderful day. Thanks so much!
    -One grateful Aunt

  3. At the end of the day if you take all then items off this list that include a date and a time like plays and sporting events….or trampoline parks you can do in any town… there appears to be very little to do in Cedar Rapids with children that is unique to this city. I am going to try the Indian Conservatory or something I read about today. It looks like CR has some work to do.

  4. Emil’s Hideaway DEFINITELY deserves to bed I the list! If recommend NOT Saturday night for a big family of children simply because the wait could be long. But nice atmosphere and amazing service and food! We just recently found this hidden gem (off first ave behind 2nd wind excersize store) and I can’t wait till we go back! AMAZING FOOD

  5. Please reconsider promoting the trampoline parks. A multitude of kids (and adult parents) come through the ER with wicked injuries needing surgery. I have no personal conflict, none of my family has been injured, as we don’t go. Just recurring observation, major injuries over and over. i’m not talking about wreckless jumping. Yes, you sign a waiver, but i think the risk is swept under the rug. These injuries will change the lives of those individuals forever, stiff sore joint, limp, functional limitation. As a mother, please do the research. Tramp parks (and their legal team) will downplay any public stats, so look at the hospital ER data nationwide. In medical circles tramp injuries are a leading cause for ER visits in this country, yet recently quoted as one of the fastest growing sectors. Please use your platform to provide other mothers with the facts, then they can decide themselves for their own families. Not sure there is an accurate public awareness.


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