Author Archives: danaengelbert

About danaengelbert

I have too much experience in public relations and nonprofit leadership for it to be polite to ask. I love the nonprofit life and that it enables me to do what I love and do so well in service to others. I'm here to help nonprofits and small businesses excel.

I found the beef and it’s in Solon!

This weekend (July 18 and 19) the community of Solon will swell as residents return to this prideful hometown and others come to see what all the fuss is about.

Solon Beef Days features bands, pedal tractor pulls, hay bale throwing contests, carnival rides, and beef of course! Check out the website for a full schedule.

Beef Days got it’s start back in 1971 when four local organizations came together to start an “old time celebration.” Because the Johnson County Cattlemen’s Association cooked steaks for the event, it seemed like “Beef” should be in the event’s name.

Come enjoy the fun, get to meet some of your neighbors and witness another first-class community in the Corridor come together with pride.

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Inexpensive and quick family getaway

The Corridor is ideally located for quick weekend getaways. Recently, we each packed a bag and headed just two hours west to Des Moines.

We stayed at Adventureland Inn in Altoona because our 4-year old loves waterparks and the hotel has two pool areas with play features. If we had never left the hotel and just played in the water, he would have been satisfied.

One of our first stops was Graziano Bros., a family-run Italian grocery store just south of downtown. I remember visiting the store as a child and being smacked by the delicious aromas of oregano, garlic and olive oil as you open the door. I definitely wasn’t let down! Here, you can purchase olive oil in gallon containers. Delish!
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Get your art (and food and music) groove on!

So the kids have been out of school for all of about five minutes and they’re bored. You’ll find fun for everyone at the 2008 Iowa Arts Festival in downtown Iowa City from June 6-8.

 

More than 115 local and regional artists will be exhibiting and selling their works. The juried show features 30 new artists this year. From the traditional to the unusual, they’ll all be here. You can even watch art being created! Artist booths are open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday.

 

Bring an appetite for food and music. Food vendors will satisfy your taste buds and top-notch entertainment will fill your soul. Music gets under way Thursday evening with Boomer Bash hosted by the Senior Center. Catch a variety of acts from Friday evening through the close of the festival on Sunday.

 

Kids can get in the act, too. Sunday is Children’s Day at the Iowa Arts Festival! Produced by the Iowa City Public Library, Children’s Day offers free hand’s on activities for the younger set. It’s also a great time to register for ICPL’s Summer Reading Program! Activities will take place from noon – 4 p.m. on the pedestrian mall near the Library (located at Linn and College Streets). In case of rain, activities will be held in the Library.

 

Visit the website for a complete schedule. Bring the whole family to the 2008 Iowa Arts Festival for a great time!

 

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Take me out to the ol’ ballgame!

Summertime and baseball go hand-in-hand. And the Cedar Rapids Kernels know how to make it fun for the whole family. With tickets just $6 to $9, it’s also inexpensively to take in a game.

While the game is enough entertainment for most adults, those of the younger set get a little restless staying put for nine innings. A play area featuring a jumping pit, a batting cage, an inflatable version of skee-ball, and more,. is located on the concourse down the third-base line. For just $1, kids can use up extra energy jumping, playing and doing all the squirmy things kids do.

And of course, you won’t want to miss the ballpark food. Dale and Thomas Popcorn Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, home of the Kernels, features some pretty good baseball grub. Belly-Buster Mondays offer a great opportunity to sample all the traditional eats. For just $7 (and the price of admission), you’ll be able to enjoy all of the hamburgers, hot dogs, peanuts and chips you care to eat.

The team also hosts several special events throughout the season, including fireworks nights throughout the summer. Take yourself out to the ol’ ballgame … and have a great time!

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Vroom!

GPS, satellite radio, heated seats, cooled cupholders are some just some of the features available on modern autos. So step back in time to see how drivers of days gone by got by without those amenities and more.

The Antique Car Museum of Iowa displays cars and related memorabilia from the early 1900s through a more modern era. Parents of a certain age will fondly recall travelling down the highway in a wood-paneled, avocado-colored station wagon like the one displayed at the museum. One look at the International Harvester hotel-to-depot transfer and anyone will appreciate modern airport shuttles and coaches.

Co-located in the Car Museum is my 4-year old’s favorite reason for making the trip. The Hawkeye Model Railroad Club is building a working display. Kids can push buttons to send two different trains – one passenger, one freight – around the track. Lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of club members working on the display.

Also in the building is the Johnson County History Museum. Featuring a variety of displays, from wetlands to the Mormon Trail, exhibits tell the story of Johnson County history from a variety of perspectives. Currently, there is an exhibit on the history of railroads in Johnson County. A model train and a large-scale circus train are a part of the exhibit, as well as many historical photos and artifacts.

Both the Car Museum and the History Museum have suggested donations for admission. Take some time to visit this great display of history, located at the intersection of 9th Street and Quarry Road, across from the Marriott in the Iowa River Landing District in Coralville.

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The Blur

Zzzziiipp! There goes another smiling kid zooming off to the next space at the Iowa Children’s Museum. Wheeee! The squeals spin off the carousel as it spins around. Swoooosh! The skaters glide around the ice rink.

If you haven’t tried all of the family fun to be had at Coral Ridge Mall, take advantage of Family Free Friday Nights. Held the last Friday of each month, Family Free Friday Nights offer free admission to the Iowa Children’s Museum from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., free carousel rides, free child’s skating admission with a paid adult between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Iowa Children’s Museum is so full of fun that the kids won’t even realize that they are learning. A favorite of my 4-year old is the “Notion of Motion” exhibit where kids get to see golf balls do loop-de-loops and zig-zags while [subliminally] learning about the rules of physics. There also is a wooden train set in this room, so it’s where you’re likely to find any boy under 5. Other exhibits exhibits encourage sorting and public speaking. My son is a blur as he dashes between the exhibits. The name of the game is fun, so parents, be rested!

Nothing really beats a ride on an old-fashioned carousel. The carousel is fun for kids and grown ups. My son likes for the three of us to sit together on one of the benches.

My son isn’t skating yet, but we’ll definitely be taking advantage of the Ice Arena soon. We watched several families glide their way around the ice hand-in-hand.

And families can eat in the food court inexpensively. Several restaurants offer discounts on children’s meals on Family Free Friday Nights. Check it out for a smile-filled family night. The kids will sleep well!

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