Winter weather can keep folks at home while the temperatures stay low and the potential for snow remains – but Iowa City’s communities offer many events that embrace the season, especially for families. Read on and plan your winter getaway with the whole gang.
Coralville WinterFest on January 22 is an afternoon of free winter-themed activities. Since it began in 2008, people have enjoyed a showcase of demonstrations, indoor and outdoor hands-on activities, entertainment, treats and frosty fun for all ages.
Beat the Bitter returns to North Liberty for its second year, with more events spanning two days. Fire & Ice Family Friday on February 3 will consist of a Winter Weatherdance (bringing frozen foams to life – have you ever seen that before?), horse-drawn carriage rides, photos with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna, ice carving, bonfire and winter fireworks. Whew! That’s a lot of activity – and best of all, it is completely free! The following day includes the “Nearly Impossible Scavenger Hunt” throughout the entire community and a 5k obstacle run with Polar Potholes, Alpine Terrain, and Cavern Chasm obstacles, just to name a few. If that weren’t enough, a bags tournament, kickball tournament, fat tire bike riding and snowshoeing will follow. You can pack all the best winter games into one day.
One Book Two Book is an annual children’s festival that celebrates student writing. The festival’s biggest day is Saturday, February 25, which will feature events from 10am to 4pm in the hotelVetro ballroom. It will include a talk by guest cartoonist and graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, a book fair, crafts, and workshops. This festival is also free to attend and perfect for lovers of children's literature.
Check the schedule for University of Iowa winter athletic events to cheer on the Hawkeyes. Wrestling, basketball, gymnastics – whatever is your favorite to watch, find your seat and snap some photos in your black and gold.
While enjoying all of these winter happenings, don’t forget to taste some of the best comfort food you can find! Enjoy the creamy mac and cheese at BlackStone, shepherd’s pie from Rocky O’Brien’s Public House or the soup of the day at Monica’s. Stay on the look out for special menus for Valentine’s Day at our local restaurants also.
For all the resources you need for your cold-weather stay, visit IowaCityCoralville.org.