It’s that time of year. No, not the most wonderful time of the year. For me, it’s the opposite. This is the un-festive part of winter, when all the cheerful December activities have been over for weeks and it’s just the cold, bleak part of the season–without the fun.
By the middle of January, it’s been dark and cold for so long. It’s hard to drag myself out of the house unless I have to for work or because the grocery situation gets really desperate. But I’ve found that if I get my family out of the house and force us to try and have some fun, we’re always glad we did. There’s not as much to do during this bleak and cold part of the year, but the area still has a variety of indoor as well as outdoor activities (if you are brave!)
Jump at Planet 3 Extreme Air Park in Iowa City. Kids 6 and under can come to KidJump every Monday-Saturday from 9-10. You can also jump at one of the TWO indoor trampoline parks in Cedar Rapids: SkyZone and AirFX. SkyZone has Toddler Time from 10-11 on Friday and Sunday and AirFX has Junior Jumpers from 9-11 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 10-12 on Sunday.
Arcade + Climbing
Head over to Pizza Ranch FunZone Arcade for games and all-you-can eat pizza. Bonus for parents: there’s a live feed of the game room that airs on the dining area screen!
Have an arcade game challenge at The Play Station or Chuck E Cheese. The Play Station also includes a three-level play zone, a lazer maze, a climbing wall, and a restaurant. Chuck E Cheese has rides, entertainment, and pizza!
Sign up for a youth scuba class at Diventures. Children aged 8-12 can sign up for Scuba Rangers and children aged 12-14 can sign up for Junior Open Water Diver. Students can also participate in the monthly scuba diving events.
Check out Mammal Hall, Bird Hall, and Iowa Hall at The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History on the Pentacrest.
Spend a day at The Iowa Children’s Museum shopping at City Grocery, making pizza at Pizzeria Pie, creating a masterpiece at the art studio, and more!
Catch a movie at FilmScene, New Strand Theatre, Coral Ridge Cinema, or Sycamore Cinema. FilmScene offers The Picture Show, a family and children’s movie series. Coral Ridge and Sycamore offer $5 Tuesdays.
Pretend it’s a summer day at Wasserbahn Waterpark. The waterpark includes two water slides, a vortex pool, a kiddie pool, a hot tub, a game room, and more!
Make your own pottery creation at Renee’s Ceramic Cafe, take a class at Big Picture Gallery and Studio, or paint a masterpiece at Brush and Barrel. Check the calendar for Little Monet and family classes.
Bowling + Mini Golf
Spend an afternoon bowling or playing miniature golf at Colonial Lanes.
Tour the Brucemore mansion and get a taste of local history!
Take in a Cedar Rapids Roughriders hockey game.
Have lunch and explore the shops at NewBo City Market.
Go out for a fun hibachi dinner as a family at Konomi Grill.
Build your own pizza at Red Vespa.
Check out our guide to when and where kids eat free or cheap!
Indoor Play Places
Burn off some energy at one of the indoor play places in the area.
Beat the Bitter
Participate in one of the Beat the Bitter events, taking place around North Liberty from January 25-February 1. Activities include ice skating, ice fishing, and even a Dive-In showing of Moana at Diventures. The Fire & Ice celebration on January 26 includes trolley rides, carnival rides, ice carvings, a bonfire, fire performances, fireworks, and more!
Ski + Snowshoe
Go cross country skiing or snowshoeing at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area.
Experience the wonders of an Iowa winter at Coralville’s annual WinterFest on Sunday January 12. Enjoy winter-time demonstrations, indoor and outdoor hands-on activities, entertainment, food, and frosty fun for all ages.
Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt
Snap pics, race against the clock, and put your navigation skills to the test as you roam through Iowa City on the Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt. The City of Literature has it all! Download the Let’s Roam scavenger hunt app and start exploring today!
Amana Colonies Winterfest
Embrace and enjoy winter at the Amana Colonies Winterfest on Saturday, January 25. Both indoor and outdoor events are featured including a 5k fun run, winter mini-golf, best beard contest, open fire chili, a Snowball dance, a wine and beer walk and more.
Indian Creek Nature Center
Escape into the beauty and wonder of nature at Indian Creek Nature Center, featuring more than five miles of well-groomed trails through prairies, woodlands and wetlands. Go birdwatching at one of their many Project Feederwatch events, or investigate the wonders of winter at their Trail Trekkers events for preschoolers.