Winter Activities to Enjoy Around the Cedar Valley
Post holidays can leave many of us thinking "What should we do today?" with cold temps outside. If you find yourself looking for some fun around the Cedar Valley, this blog post is for you! In this blog post we put together all the winter activities (for kids and adults) around the Cedar Valley that you can enjoy!
Hurling Hatchet: Reserving a lane in advance is recommended, but not required. Instruction is provided to make your experience enjoyable. This is an excellent group activity but can also be fun for just two people!
Golf Lab: The perfect indoor activity for golf enthusiasts, the casual golfer and those new to the game. The state-of-the-art indoor golf studio located in downtown Cedar Falls. Pricing is set hourly per simulator, no matter how many people are in your group. Golf Lab offers plenty of space to hang out!
Ninja U: An indoor park on steroids. This 8,000 square foot facility is a great place to play whether you are 2 or 82. Drop in and play anytime and you'll discover iconic obstacles (like the warped walls), along with rock climbing, a dodgeball court, a preschool play area, and a laser-timed incline hill sprint called Everest!
Get Air Sports: Jump on over to Get Air in Waterloo to enjoy a day filled with trampolines, kiddie courts, dodgeball, foam pit and more!
Ice Skating (indoors): Public skating is a fun filled atmosphere for all ages to enjoy. Public skating sessions begin in late July and run thru April. A great place to bring a youth group, or reward your employee’s with company outing.
For the One That Enjoys Puzzles, Crafts, and Museums
Cedar Valley Art & Wine: Cedar Valley Art and Wine offers an entertaining, unique and relaxing painting session. A professional artist will help participants create a masterpiece ready for hanging. Whether it is recreating a Van Gogh or painting an original idea, Cedar Valley Art and Wine will provide guided instruction to complete a painting within a given time constraint.
Hearst Center for the Arts: See their latest exhibitions, walk through the outdoor sculpture garden, enjoy lectures and performances, or sign up for a class.
Waterloo Center for the Arts/Phelps Youth Pavilion: A place for adult and kids to enjoy! New art exhibits to check our in the Waterloo Center for the Arts. The Phelps Youth Pavilion is a children’s museum filled with creative, hands-on experiences, from simple drawing and painting projects to magical high-tech adventures. With over 40 interactive exhibits, learning about art and culture has never been so much fun!
John Deere Engine Museum: Explore interactive displays, marvel at classic machines, and get an up-close look at rare John Deere artifacts. At the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum, we bring history to life. Witness our evolution from horse drawn to horsepower, and discover how the innovations of the past help to shape our future!
Hatchlings & Hens: Offers the opportunity for all to make custom creations using pre-made templates in their make and take studio. The craft studio is often open for walk-in crafting during regular business hours.
Grout Museum District: Family fun at the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium and including the Norris Corson Family Planetarium.
Make your Own Soap: Looking for a fun group activity that you will actually use? Buff City Soap in Cedar Falls is known handmade products such as laundry soap, whipped body butter, bath bombs, body scrubs & More! You can book a group visit to make your own soap or bath bombs!
Music Throughout the Cedar Valley: Check out this lineup of musicians that will be around the Cedar Valley this winter. When it comes to enjoying music, the opportunities are endless!
Victorian House Museum: Open February - December. This Italianate style home was built by Azel D. Barnum in 1863, and it’s teeming with furnishings, photographs, and everyday objects from the 1880s-1900s. Its stately cupola has watched over the Cedar River and the growing city of Cedar Falls for generations, and it remains a prominent landmark today.
Murder at the Howard Johnson: February 17-19 & February 24-26. A light and funny suspense comedy about a love triangle in a Howard Johnson Inn.
For the One That Want's a Relaxing Day
Love Local: Downtown Cedar Falls invites you to find love in all the local places during "Love Local" on Thursday-Saturday, February 9-11. During regular business hours, show your favorite downtown business some love, and you could win a basket full of merchandise that is sure to make you swoon! Each of the participating businesses (over 20 are taking part!) will be giving away a gift basket, which will include one bottle of wine plus favorite finds from shops across the district. What you find in each shop’s basket will be a little different, so we invite you to visit each location and enter the giveaways, and experience the love your local district offers. No purchase is necessary to participate, however the more purchases you make, the more entries (love letters) you can write
Blackhawk Hotel: Book a stay at downtown Cedar Falls' historic Blackhawk Hotel. Where food and entertainment is all in walking distance.
Big Woods Lake Cabins: These all season cabin lets you experience camping without pulling a trailer or pitching a tent. Walk up to views of beautiful Big Woods Lake. Downtown Cedar Falls and Waterloo and just a minutes drive away.
Sip, Sit and Enjoy: The Cedar Valley is welcome to many amazing local coffee shops. There is something about a coffee shop, warm beverage, and book that makes for a great relaxing morning or afternoon.
Ice Harvest Festival: Watch history come to life as members of the Amish community from the Fairbank area demonstrate ice cutting on the lake, with demonstrations February 4 from10:00 and 1:00. There will also be outdoor activities, photo ops, presentations, and more! Food will be available from Moment in Thyme for a free will donation, while supplies last. This event has a back-up date of February 11 if weather conditions are not favorable on February 4.
Sledding: Bundle up the kids and head to the sledding hill next to the Cedar Falls Visitor Center. The visitor center is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Ice Skating: When temps are consistently below freezing and the ground is frozen, the ice skating rink will be prepped at Gateway Park (located at Lincoln and East Main Street) in Cedar Falls. Once the layers are frozen on the rink, skating will be available and lit until the park closes at 10:30 pm. “Heated” restrooms are available and a shelter gives skaters a break from the elements. Recent weather conditions have been optimum for Parks crews to maintain the ice rink which includes pumping in water and keeping it smooth for use.
Cross-country Skiing: When the trails are covered in snow, enjoy the peace that comes from skiing wooded, Cedar Valley Trails. George Wyth State Park and Byrnes Park are groomed to support both classical skiing and skate skiing. Please mind the signs and stick to the proper side of the trail. Need to rent skis? Visit CrawDaddy Outdoors in Waverly or contact UNI Recreation Services. Want to learn to cross-country ski? Free ski lessons in classical and skate styles will be offered at no charge by Cedar Valley Nordic Skiing throughout the winter depending on weather. Be sure to read all their Facebook posts for information about renting skis and who to contact if you're interested.
Ice Fishing: Pick up your fishing license and pack your bucket, rod and jigs. It’s time to fish and one of the most popular spots is George Wyth Lake in George Wyth State Park. No matter the temperature, always check the ice. The Iowa DNR recommends a minimum of 4 inches of clear blue ice. Need a fishing license? Stop in at SCHEELS in Cedar Falls or at Cook’s Outdoors.
Fat Biking: Head out on more than 100 miles of snowy trails on your fat bike! Don't have a bike? Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, bike rentals are not available. Stop in Bike Tech, Hall Bicycle or Andy’s Bike Shop if you're interested in seeing their selections of fat bikes.
Trails Cleared after Snow Event Include
12th Street, from Birdsall Park to Union Road
Center Street, from Clair Street to Lone Tree Road
Lone Tree Road, from Center Street to Hiawatha Road
Trail connecting Pfeiffer Park to Waterloo Road
Trail from Center Street Bridge to Main Street Bridge
University Avenue from east city limit to College Street
Hudson Road From 1st Street to 19th Street connecting to UNI trail
Greenhill Road From 27th Street to east city limits