If you live in the northeastern part of Iowa or plan to be in the area this summer, you will probably need some great options to entertain both the kids, and the rest of the family. There are so many incredible regional activities to enjoy this time of year!
Here are 4 fantastic ideas!:
Established in 1935, this gorgeous park has 77 campsites and most are first-come-first-served. This is a great place to take the kids for outdoor activities. It has a picnic area, trails to hike, and a playground for the little ones. It is very well kept and clean, with majestic views and a friendly staff. Pikes Peak is a great place for photographers-- it's teeming with plenty of wildlife, and a great place to photograph trains and barges. Spend some time at this area gem, where Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers come together.
(Location: 15316 Great River Road, McGregor. Telephone: 563-873-2341)
This regionally unique and wonderfully interesting museum is the property of the Dubuque County Historical Society. It was established in 2003. The aquatic elements of this museum will have the kids LOVING this one, and there are new exhibits being added all the time! Currently, there is a new Titanic exhibit, open May 23rd through through Sept.7.
In addition to having great information on Mississippi river ecosystems and waterways, the museum also tells the history of those indigenous to the area. The location boasts a compelling combination of artifacts, live exhibits, and films-- something for all ages. Come watch eagles, explore the "Lock and Dam Splash Room" for the younger kids. As an added bonus for weekend travelers, the Grand Harbor Hotel and Resort is within walking distance.
(Location: 350 East Third Street, Port of Dubuque, Dubuque. Telephone: 800-226-3369. Museum hours: Sunday through Saturday 10am to 5pm. Ticket prices are $21 for adults, $16 for youth, $19 for seniors, and $6 for members.)
This museum is about 45 minutes northeast of Cedar Rapids, with easy access from Highway 64. For a place that doesn't look like much on the outside, this museum is full of surprises.
Founded in 1989, they now has over 400 motorcycles. Check out cycles once owned by the likes of Evel Knievel, Steve McQueen and Peter Fonda, in addition to those used in famous television and film. All in all, there are paraphernalia and motorcycles from Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, as well as America.
For the last fourteen years, The National Motorcycle Museum has raffled off a new motorcycle annually. This helps to maintain the museum. This year, they are raffling off a 2015 Indian. With the proceeds, the organization hopes to erect a new building.
(Location: 102 Chamber Drive, Anamosa. Telephone: 319-462-3925 Hours: Monday thru Sat open 9am to 5pm Sun 10am to 4pm.)
This important environmental education center was established in 1970. It was the first nature center in Iowa, and thousands come to visit each year. Come explore 120 acres of protected wetlands, green prairie, and have a lovely, eye-opening Iowa experience.
(Location: 6665 Otis Road SE, Cedar Rapids Telephone: 319-362-0664. Hours to visit the barn are: Tuesday through Thursday from 9am to 4pm, Friday from 9am to 8pm, Saturday from 9amt to 4pm, and Sunday from noon to 4pm (closed Mondays. Visit the trails and grounds every day of the year from sunrise until 10pm . Admission is free.)
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.