Tag Archives: outdoors

Leaf-peeping in the Corridor

Here are some pictures from the beautiful fall foliage we’ve experienced here in the corridor the last few weeks.

If you haven’t had the chance yet, get out and enjoy this beautiful October!

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Corridor Area Pumpkin Patches and Other Kid-friendly Halloween Activities

Looking for something to do this fall with your little pumpkins?  The corridor offers a ton of fun activities from apple orchards, to pumpkin patches, to safe trick-or-treating.  Here’s a list of activities I compiled.  Feel free to comment if you’ve visited any of these, and let me know if I missed any good ones!

Knight’s Farm: Pumpkin Patch
This is the one my family usually goes to every year. It’s located outside Cedar Rapids in Springville. It has a pumpkin patch, kids fun area with inflatable toys, a hayrack, and a mini-corn maze just right for the kiddos. 
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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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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

Come out to Bluesmore and get down

The blues tells a story. Every line of the blues has a meaning.
-John Lee Hooker

I’ll be the first to admit – Iowa and the blues are not synonymous.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the blues. In fact, right here in Cedar Rapids we have an annual event to show our appreciation for the blues and experience up ‘n coming as well as established blues artists.   This year’s Bluesmore will be held this Saturday, August 2, 2008 from 4:00 – 9:30 pm.

For the 14th year in a row, Brucemore and the Linn County Blues Society have joined forces to present a concert of local and national blues artists. Blues legends have performed for thousands at the Brucemore Mansion, and young and old alike come out to get down. In addition, the Bluesmore festival also offers educational music workshops are perfect for children and families.

This year’s lineup features Bernard Allison, Nick Moss and The Fliptops and Matt Woods and the Thunderbolts

Some bring some folding chairs and get ready to enjoy a night under the stars listening to some incredible music.

posted by: heatherjoy77

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The Bix – A Quad City tradition

There are tons of walks and runs to participate in during the summer in Iowa. I recently walked in the The Bix. 2008 marks the 34th anniversary of the Quad-City Times Bix 7 – in fact it’s known as one of the United States most prestigious and challenging races.

Here’s a recap of my walk…

Of the people I know about, I brought up the rear. By a lot. About 2:18 for me. That’d be two hours and eighteen minutes to walk seven miles. My 60-year old father in law ran it in just over an hour. Small children and old folks alike giggled as they passed me by. But there’s a reason! Really!

First of all, I started waaaay in the back. So I started off at a disadvantage.

I was near the Army guys in fatigues with 100lb packs on their backs. They started up Brady St. hill walking, and I kept pace. Woot!, I thought, I can keep up with these guys, and they train and like, lift weights and stuff.

Then we got to the top of the hill and they started running.

I never saw them again.

Then I got passed by Tinky Winky.

Seriously.

Then I got passed by the chicken man. But you know, he’s probably a runner in all the getup.

Then the pregnant gal breezed by me. Very pregnant. Maybe 7 months. But she was probably a runner before, so she doesn’t count.

Then the lady in the wheelchair passed me.

Then our inspirations passed me  (and his wife I presume). They were getting cheers the whole way. Truly amazing.

However, all is not lost. I did totally crush this guy in the Monty Python outfit.

So when I got home and Mallory (age 4) asked “Did you win?” of course, I said Yes!

Posted by: ericengelmann

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Filed under Celebrating the four seasons, Daytrips and Getaways, Running, Why it's great to live here

We Found Fun at The Lost Island

An overcast day in the low 70s doesn’t exactly scream water activity weather, but none-the-less three carfuls of my girlfriends and our kids made our way the The Lost Island water park in Waterloo today.  Of course, when we planned the excursion last month, we expected a Friday in late July to be hot and humid.  We debated going for a moment, till I admitted I’d already bought my tickets in advance to save a couple bucks.  So, with grey skies and the threat of rain, we put on our ‘make the best of it’ mom faces and still had a pretty good time.
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