If you need some inspiration for where to take your kids during spring break (and St. Patty’s Day while you’re at it), the Iowa City area has options that are both fun and affordable.
1. The Museum of Natural History continues its “Night at The Museum” event lineup Friday, March 11 with Gadgets and Gizmos: Engineering is Elementary. Children grades 1-5 will enjoy the fun when the lights go off! Each child will receive an official MNH Miner Helmet with a head lamp to keep as the group explores the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the night’s activities. The cost is $35 per student (meal included); pre-registration is required.
2. The Iowa Children’s Museum is taking you around the world! Learn about five different countries during Spring Break Camp, one country each day – sign up for one or them all! Each day’s programming runs from 9am – 4pm.
- March 14: Italy - Learn about the fun and amazing contributions to Western culture by famous Italians like Marco Polo, Galileo and Michelangelo. Spend the day learning about stars and planets, creating Renaissance-style masterpieces and making homemade pasta!
- March 15: Mexico - Explore the food, art and vibrant culture of Mexico through hands-on activities that challenge your senses and creativity. Learn about the rich history of art, create your own masterpiece, and make a favorite traditional food dish.
- March 16: New Zealand - Skip the 13 hour plane ride and visit Aotearoa, home of Middle Earth, at The Iowa Children’s Museum. Campers will have heaps of fun learning about the native people, the Maori and what it means to be Kiwi. Explore culture through crafts, games, and food.
- March 17: Japan - Explore the great country of Japan! Campers will be immersed in the Japanese culture by using the same traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. Activities include woodblock printmaking inspired by the art of Hokusai, origami, carp kits, shibori (indigo tie dye) and learning to make udon noodles.
- March 18: Africa - Learn techniques that kids from Mali and Ghana use to continue the tradition of passing on stories. We have all had a story read to us from a book – but not all stories are written. Imagine using music or cloth to say something about yourself and to tell your history. Come discover the storyteller within you.
3. The Iowa City Public Library has wonderful free programming for the whole family. Here's the week's lineup:
- To start the week, there will be a showing of The Lion King on March 14 at 2pm.
- On March 16 at 10:30am, a special spring break show-and-tell program will feature a visit by folks from the Blank Park Zoo. Participants will be able to meet a zoologist, see zoo animals and listen to Ruby the Reading Red Panda.
- On Thursday, March 17, the library will host a St. Patrick’s Day concert at 7pm – Dunlavin Green, a group of four musicians, will perform traditional Irish music. The Coralville Public Library will be showing the movie Minions also on this day, starting at 2pm.
- Finally, Tom Pease will perform during the Music is the Word Spring Break family concert March 19 at 2pm. What a full week!
4. The Coralville Center for the Performing Arts will open the stage to “The Beggarmen,” an Irish music ensemble that started in Iowa and has traveled throughout the Midwest to perform throughout the past 15 years. Ticket costs range from $10 to $15.
5. The Johnson County Fairgrounds will host its free, bi-weekly indoor farmers market from 11am – 2pm on March 20. It’s the first day of spring!
However you choose to spend your spring break, make it a memorable one for the whole family.