Category Archives: Stuff for kids to do

Apple Picking and Pumpkin Patches

Recently I had the opportunity to take my Girl Scout Troop to a local apple orchard, Honey Creek Acres.  I have lived in Cedar Rapids for 8 years now, and was unaware that this great opportunity was less than 5 minutes from my home on the SW side.  

Honey Creek Acres has just recently re-opened.  The couple that previously owned the orchard didn’t have the time or energy to keep it up.   After 10 years of the orchard sitting neglected, the Pilarczyk’s took up the challenge and are running it as a family business.  Honey Creek Acres is located at 799 Swisher View Drive, in Swisher.  (If you turn at the Swisher post office, you just need to follow the road for about ½ mile and you are there.)  The orchard is open from August to October.  You can pick your own apples or purchase some that have already been picked.  By next year they hope to have the bakery open too, so it will be a one stop shop for all your apple pie, cider, honey and apple pastry needs.

The girls in my troop had a magnificent time.  They received a tour of the orchard via hayrack ride where they viewed all the different kinds of apple trees, the bee hives, and the pumpkin patches.  They also learned about what all is involved in maintaining the orchard.  After the girls took turns picking their apples they were able to eat them and explore the different areas.

By now, the orchard should have their pumpkin patch ready with games etc for the Halloween season, so if you and your family are interested in having a group outing please consider visiting this amazing local orchard for all your pumpkin and apple needs.  They also have field trips available, and the hours are located on their site.

By Kristen Everett

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Filed under Celebrating the four seasons, Stuff for kids to do

Mississippi River Museum: A fun and educational getaway for the whole family

We decided to take advantage of the long weekend and take a short trip to Dubuque.  We’d visited the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium  before when my son was two, but now at age four he really seemed to appreciate the impressive sights he was seeing.  Upon entering he rushed to the entrance way tank, following the ducks and turtles with excitement.  Then we moved on to the five large aquariums that let us get up close with the giant catfish, an alligator and an ancient sturgeon We were ooing and awing at everything, including what I think was a huge albino turtle. 

This summer’s attraction was called Venom that displayed all sorts of wonderfully colorful, intriguing and venomous creatures including Spiders, Jelly Fish, Bugs, Scorpions, Poison Dart Frogs, Snakes, Lizards and Fish. I’ll admit I was a little squeamish, but my son loved it.

We also looked through the riverboat museum, explored some wetlands, and took a tour of large 1934 steamer which included seeing the kitchen, bunk rooms, engine room and pilothouse.

TripAdvisor named the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium one of the top ten aquariums and zoos in the U.S. – and it’s right here in our backyard.  I encourage you to take advantage of it!

posted by heatherjoy77

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Filed under Daytrips and Getaways, Stuff for kids to do

Labor Day Weekend in the Corridor – so much to do it’s hard to choose!

There are a number of fun, family-friendly events to choose from this weekend. Here’s a quick rundown.

Freedom Festival Parade & Fireworks

After the flood forced the cancelation of the Freedom Festival in July, dozens of coordinators and community volunteers worked to ensure we still celebrated this fall.  This weekend the Freedom Festival returns as a “Celebration of Community.”  This Saturday (Aug 30) at 9:00 there will be a free parade at Kirkwood Community College. Continue reading

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Bike riding and Bluegrass

Central City showcases two festivals this weekend – CC Rider and the 33rd annual Bluegrass Festival.

The decorated bikes have adorned lawns and businesses for weeks. Some were spray painted purple from rim to rim, some held flower baskets, and others sparkled in the summer sun. Regardless of the artist’s intention, each drew attention and encouraged passersby to participate in Central City’s 8th annual CC Rider festival.  Finally, on Saturday, August 23rd, the bid day arrived.

The Central City Main Street organization puts on the CC Rider Community Festival and Bike Ride every year, which began in 2001. The heart of the festival revolves around a number of bike rides. Participants could choose from either a 14, 34, 62 or the new 100 mile route through scenic Grant Wood Country. The Festival also features a 5k Run/Walk for adults as well as kids. There is also a bike safety “rodeo” and scavenger hunt for the kids.
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Filed under Arts and Music, Community Events, Daytrips and Getaways, Good Eats, Stuff for kids to do, Why it's great to live here

The Iowa State Fair is Here!

Iowa is famous for a few things. Corn. The Field of Dreams. And the Iowa State Fair. Ok, we’re famous for more things than that, but I’ve traveled enough to know these are three near the top of the list.

Yesterday marked the opening day of the Iowa State Fair.

It’s one of the only places in the world you’ll see such pillars of Americana as

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Filed under Arts and Music, Community Events, Daytrips and Getaways, Good Eats, Stuff for kids to do, Why it's great to live here