Guide to Indoor Activities in the Iowa City Area

Winter seems to be the season that drags on and on. While outdoor winter activities can be fun, they aren’t the most ideal when the snow gets slushy, it’s too wet or muddy, or when temperatures or wind don’t make the great outdoors enjoyable. Or maybe you prefer the indoors because cold weather and winter just aren’t your thing. Staying inside may be more comfortable, but when cabin fever strikes or the kids start driving you up a wall–it’s time to get out of the house. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of ideas to keep you busy!

Iowa City

DEFY Trampoline Park

Cost: $19+, special packages and memberships available

When: Sunday-Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday & Saturday 10am-10pm

Where: 851 Highway 6 East, Ste 102

Website: Defy

What’s better than jumping around to get rid of some of that pent up energy? This has a little bit of everything from a wide area of trampoline mats, obstacle course, zipline, battle beams and even a designated area for your smallest jumper that needs a calmer place to play.


Apex Laser Tag

Cost: $15 for 90 minute session

When: Friday & Saturday 6:30pm-8pm, 8:30pm-10pm; Sunday 6:30pm-8pm for open play or check the website private booking times

Where: 1600 Sycamore St

Website: Apex Laser Tag

Get the family together for some friendly competition or let the kids invite a few friends for laser tag. There’s 14,000 square feet to explore with 15 different missions. Private bookings recommended for kids under age 10.


Pizza Ranch Funzone Arcade

Cost: Buffet purchase and funzone card activation

Where: 171 Highway 1 West

Website: Pizza Ranch Funzone

Get ready for some food and fun! Once you’ve enjoyed the buffet for Pizza Ranch’s signature pizza and chicken then it’s time to head to the arcade! Check out their variety of exciting games.


Colonial Lanes

Where: 2253 Old Highway 218 South

Head to the bowling alley to knock over some pins or practice your hole-in-one with putt putt golf. There is also an arcade and darts on site for even more fun. Check out their Facebook page or call 319-338-1573 for times and rates.


Spare Me

When: Sunday-Thursday 6:30am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 6:30am-midnight

Where: 404 E College St #101

Website: Spare Me IC

Tie those bowling shoes and get ready to make some strikes (or gutter balls), head to the arcade, or show off your skee-ball skills. Call 319-519-6350 for details or check out their website.


Roller Skating

When: 5:30pm-7:30pm most Saturdays from January 14-May 20

Where: Robert A Lee Rec Center at 220 S Gilbert St

Website: Iowa City Recreation Guide

Strap on skates for some good old fashioned roller skating fun. Kids under 11 need to be accompanied by an adult.


Tot Time at Mercer Park 

Cost: $1

When: Monday-Friday 9:30am-11:30am January 4- April 28

Where: Mercer Park Aquatic Center and Scanlon Gymnasium,  2701 Bradford Dr

Website: Iowa City Recreation Guide

The little tikes will have lots of fun roaming around this indoor play area with a bounce house, tumbling mats and small basketball hoops. For kids ages 1-6.


Indoor Swimming

Where: Robert A Lee Rec Center Pool at 220 S Gilbert St

Mercer Park Aquatic Center at 2701 Bradford Dr

Website: Iowa City Recreation Guide

Iowa City has 2 indoor pools available. Check out the Recreation Guide on their website for pool hours, rates, and details.


Iowa City Public Library

Cost: free

When: Monday-Thursday 10am-9pm, Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm

Where: 123 S Linn St

Website: Iowa City Public Library

The library has something for everyone. There is a play area for the little ones, themed storytime daily Monday-Saturday at 10:30, and activities for older kids to join. Browse their website for more information.


Sidekick Books and Coffee

When: 7:30am-6pm daily

Where: 1310 ½ Melrose Ave

Website: Sidekick Coffee and Books

Browse through their selection of books to add to your TBR list while savoring your favorite coffee drink. Treat the kids to some ice cream or cookies available in store. Little kids will love playing at the train table, finding a new favorite book, or hanging out in Sidekick’s iconic hexagon cubbies.


Dodge Street Coffee

When: Monday-Friday 6am-4pm, Saturday 7am-4pm, Sunday 7am-2pm

Where: 2790 North Dodge St

Website: North Dodge Coffee

Enjoy a cup of coffee and food made by local vendors. They have a play area so you can bring the kids while having a little “me time” or get together with a friend.


University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

Cost: free

When: Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm

Where: Macbride Hall, 17 N Clinton St

Website: Museum of Natural History

Maybe browsing a museum is more of your style. The Museum of Natural History has a variety of things to look at like taxidermied animals, fossils, plant species, etc  and it provides an opportunity to learn about the world around us.


Iowa City Recreation

Website: Iowa City Recreation Guide

Check out the Iowa City Recreation Guide for more activities. Sign your kid up for basketball, taekwondo, astronomy, fossil classes, among the variety of classes offered.



Tavern Blue

When: Tuesday-Thursday 4pm-9pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-8pm

Where: 805 2nd St

Website: Tavern Blue

Check out the corridor’s entertaining hotspot. They’ve got mini golf, foosball, darts, table games, pizza and drinks.


Iowa Children’s Museum

Cost: $10 kids and adults, under 1 is free. Memberships available

When: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm

Where: 1451 Coral Ridge Ave

Website: Iowa Children’s Museum

This place has activities for all ages. Children can go grocery shopping, become a chef at the pizzeria, or be helpful heroes at the ambulance station in the children’s village. Toddlers can wander around in Imaginacres. Other popular attractions are the blue block room, take flight room and the gravity room.


Coral Ridge Mall Ice Rink

Where: 1451 Coral Ridge Ave

Website: Coral Ridge Ice Rink

While ice skating is considered an outdoor winter activity, at the ice rink you can do it all year round in a controlled climate. Check out their website for times, rentals, or signing up for skating or hockey classes.


Coral Ridge Mall

Cost: free, carousel $2

Where: 1451 Coral Ridge Ave

Take a little break from shopping and let the kids have some fun. Little ones will love the indoor play area by Barnes & Noble. It’s also enclosed so they can’t wander off. Over by the food court and Target there is a carousel and some coin operated riding toys and vending machines.


Coralville Public Library

Cost: free

When: Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm

Where: 1401 5th St

Website: Coralville Public Library

Check out the kids toys and play area. Themed storytimes are at 10:30 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.Check out their website for more events for the whole family.


Indoor Swimming

Where: Coralville Aquatic Center at 1506 8th St

Website: Coralville Pool Information

Swim any time of the year. Visit their website for more information, times and rates.


Coralville Recreation

Coralville Recreation Guide

Check out Coralville’s Recreation Guide for more offerings. Sign up for classes and activities like a bike rodeo, soccer, and theater.


North Liberty


North Liberty Rec Center Kid’s Campisite

Cost: free

When: Monday-Friday 6am-9pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am-6pm

Where: 520 W Cherry St

Babies and smaller children will have fun at the kid’s campsite. There is a variety of soft-play structures for kids to crawl around and climb.


North Liberty Aquatic Center

Where: 520 W Cherry St

Website: North Liberty Aquatic Center

North Liberty has an indoor pool. Check out their website for details regarding hours and rates and pool rules.


North Liberty Library

Cost: free

When: Monday & Wednesday 9am-8pm, Tuesday & Thursday 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-4pm

Where: 520 W Cherry St

Website: North Liberty Library

The library has a train table and other activities and toys available. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays be sure to check out storytime at 10:30. Head to their website to view other activities and happenings at the library.


Pizza Ranch Funzone Arcade

Cost: Buffet purchase and funzone card activation

Where: 395 Beaver Kreek Centre

Website: Pizza Ranch Funzone

Get ready for some food and fun! Once you’ve enjoyed the buffet for Pizza Ranch’s signature pizza and chicken then it’s time to head to the arcade for some fun. Check out their variety of exciting games.


North Liberty Rec Center

Website: North Liberty Recreation Guide

Check out the recreation guide to browse through a range of activities offered. Register your kids for dance classes, basketball, craft activities, or see when open gym is available.


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