Think there’s not much to do in the winter? You may be surprised with all the choices - read on for a guide to winter-time activities. Be sure to also check out our Curious Communities Blog for inspiration from locals.
Art & Music
Support local theatre by attending a show at Riverside Theatre, performing “The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy” through February 10th, or at the Old Creamery Theatre, presenting a murder mystery dinner in February and March. There is an abundance of live music to be heard at venues from Hancher and the Englert to Big Grove Brewery & Taproom and Vue Rooftop. Take a seat and enjoy some tunes performed by talented musicians. For an interactive experience, try out Brush & Barrel, an instructor-led painting session for all skill levels. Enjoy wine and beer should you so desire as you paint and leave with your own work of art.
Participate in a writing workshop hosted at the Iowa Writers’ House. The colder months could be the perfect time to share your thoughts by putting pen to paper. Workshops are open to writers of all skills levels and writing styles. Attend a book reading at Prairie Lights to hear from authors firsthand as they share their processes and individual experiences. Or, keep your nose in a book in the store’s café or a coffee shop.
Head to Coral Ridge Mall during Family Free Friday for free admission for skating on the ice arena, free carousel rides and free admission to the Iowa Children’s Museum. The museum’s more than 12 interactive exhibits inspire children to discover through play. Located in Macbride Hall, the Museum of Natural History’s exhibits will excite young minds as they explore Iowa Hall, the Hall of Birds and more. Night at the Museum is a monthly evening of pizza and fun when kids, equipped with a head lamp, explore the darkened galleries.
Did you know there is a museum inside University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics? Explore the history of medical advances over the years at the Medical Museum on the 8th floor. For more history, visit the Johnson County Historical Society Museum in the Iowa River Landing to see see how the land, people and business has evolved over the years. Be sure to see the antique car collection while there. Take the kids to be part of LitFlicks, the Coralville Public Library’s monthly screening of a film based on a book. You can also settle in to a Friday Flick at the Iowa City Public Library to see a free family movie.
Take to the basketball court constructed from the historic Iowa Field House flooring at the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum. This interactive space is part of the three floors of exhibits, documenting the best of University of Iowa Athletics over the past 100 years. It’s also prime time to attend a Hawkeye wrestling meet, basketball game or other athletic event.
Do a local brewery tour to see the varieties in your go-to beer style. All the food lovers out there (we know there are many) can also participate in Foodie February this winter. Support a local restaurant and share photos during the month of February using #ICFoodieFeb. Whether it be your favorite sandwich at Reds Alehouse or a sweet treat at Molly’s Cupcakes, it’s a great time to support homegrown dining establishments.
Out of the Box
Have you jumped on the hatchet throwing train? Now is the time. Try out Hatchet Jack’s with a group of friends to see what it’s all about - and have a great time while you’re at it. Or, spend the night in a local bed and breakfast - you might just learn some something you didn't expect from your host about the history of the city and the people who traveled through over the years.
For year-round itineraries, click one of the links below.