Welcome to the city of Five Seasons. And if you are wondering why Cedar Rapids is nicknamed the city of five seasons, stick around.
Cedar Rapids is the county seat of Linn County and the second largest city in Iowa.
With outstanding theater, live music, and museums, Cedar Rapids is renowned as a Center for the Arts and culture.
Asides from that, the city is renowned as a center for culture, it is also the world’s largest metropolis for processing corn.
The city is bustling with a wide range of restaurants and nightlife options, exciting events, specialty shops, and interesting attractions.
The advantages of a big city are offered in a special way in Cedar Rapids.
Because of the additional time available to citizens and guests, Cedar Rapids has earned the moniker “The City of Five Seasons.” Which signifies that they have time to enjoy life and all the other seasons during this fifth season.
So if you’d love to take a break from hustling and bustling and just have a good time, Cedar Rapids is the place to be. Here are the top things to do in the city.
Things to do in Cedar Rapids
1. Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
Home to the world’s largest collection of Grant Wood, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art is located in Downtown Cedar Rapids.
You should visit here if you fancy art. In fact, the building’s architecture alone makes the journey worthwhile.
The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art features 16 galleries filled with magnificent works of art and a consistent schedule of exhibitions.
With consistent art exhibitions here, there’s always something to see here whether it be vivid and humorous prints, renowned Grant Wood paintings, or current regional artists.
Furthermore, you will encounter a lot of art from the renowned 20th-century artist, Grand wood.
You will be able to view grand wood pieces every day, including sketches, paintings, jewelry, and a bench that has been sculpted.
The Museum also houses different collections of works by other eminent artists, including those of Wood’s friend and accomplished cloud painter Marvin Cone.
Make sure to stop by the Museum Store before you leave for the most distinctive selection of gifts in the area, including original artwork, cards, books, jewelry, and much more.
Finally, both the variety of kid-friendly things and the merchandise related to the many exhibitions that are on display at the Museum change frequently.
Additionally, there is a sizable reading space with cozy chairs and a wide selection of art books to peruse.
Address: 410 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, United States
2. Indian Creek Nature Center
Whether you want to hike some trails, learn about nature, or let your kids play, the Indian creek nature center is just the right place.
The mission of the nonprofit Indian Creek Nature Center (ICNC) is to advance environmental education and year-round appreciation of nature.
Indian Creek Nature Center offers four miles of well-maintained trails through grasslands, forests, and wetlands. So immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of nature.
Furthermore, you have countless opportunities to explore and learn new things.
Unwind in the Bird Room, learn about the watershed interactively, visit the Energy Portal and get some raw honey or maple syrup from our Creekside Shop.
Best part? Tails are accessible 365 days a year, and snowshoes can be rented in the winter.
There are also year-round hours for indoor exhibitions and Creekside shops, so you can check their website to confirm the schedule.
Address: 5300 Otis Rd SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403, United States
3. National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
How about a visit to the national museum to learn some history, yes?
Located in Cedar Rapids, the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library is the premier American organization for gathering, exhibiting, preserving, and interpreting Czech and Slovak history and culture.
The huge museum with a ton of exhibits accurately depicts the Czech and Slovak cultures, music, dress, history, etc., as well as their fight against Communism.
The migration of Czech and Slovak immigrants to the Midwest is also chronicled in this museum.
Traditional clothing is showcased and captured in photographs in the museum.
Experience both ongoing exhibits that change throughout the year, such as Faces of Freedom and an actual immigrant home from the 1890s.
Additionally, you can listen to audio accounts of immigrants’ voyages to America.
Visit the Immigrant House, which is situated on the grounds, as well. A Czech family owned this house until the 1980s. How this family and other families of the era lived is described during a guided tour.
A store selling gifts that are made by Czech and Slovak artisans all over the world.
In fact, tens of thousands of visitors from all over the nation and the world come to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. So, if you want to learn about Czech & Slovak cultures, you should definitely be here.
Address: 1400 Inspiration Pl SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, United States
4. Grant Wood Studio and Visitor Center
If you find yourself at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, then you should definitely visit Grand wood studio and the visitor center.
Visit the actual residence and workspace of American artist Grant Wood to enter a world of art!
The second floor of a carriage house built in the late 19th century houses Grant Wood’s Cedar Rapids studio.
The studio tour is intriguing, and it starts off with a potent movie that provides a summary of Grant Wood’s life.
From 1924 to 1935, Grant Wood, the well-known artist from Iowa, shared this little workshop and residence with his mother.
Furthermore, he created a variety of works here, including “Woman with Plant,” “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” “Young Corn,” “Daughters of Revolution,” and “American Gothic,” one of his most well-known works.
In short, his talent, inventiveness, and imagination are obvious all over the studio.
From April through December, the studio is open on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4 PM. The studio is free to the public, and knowledgeable docents will provide tours.
Visit the location and see where Grant Wood painted “American Gothic,” one of the most recognizable paintings in existence today, and see where he spent the ten most prolific years of his life.
Address: 810 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403, United States
5. Ushers Ferry Historic Village, Cedar Rapids
If you need a family outing in Cedar Rapids, then the usher’s ferry historic village is a great place to be.
Located in the lovely Seminole valley park, Ushers Ferry historical village is a collection of 20 historic structures that depict life in a small Iowa town between the years 1890 and 1910.
Ushers Ferry Historic Village offers residents of Cedar Rapids and Eastern Iowa a location for kid- and family-friendly events and programs.
In addition to the ancient structures, you will also find a bandstand, picnic area, and banquet hall with room for 300 guests at tables and chairs.
The village is accessible for weddings, corporate or private party rentals, special events, and educational activities throughout the year.
Furthermore, Ushers Ferry Historic Village offers a variety of indoor and outdoor venues for events.
A lodge, gazebo, patio area, and church are available for weddings and other special occasions in Ushers Ferry Historic Village.
Visitors can tour Ushers Ferry from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, from June through August.
Address: 5925 Seminole Valley Trail NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52411, United States
6. African American Museum of Iowa
The African American Museum of Iowa doesn’t even need much introduction, as the name suggests.
In fact, it is the only museum in the state devoted only to preserving Iowa’s African American history.
The museum is adjacent to the Cedar River and two of Cedar Rapids’ top tourist destinations: the renovated NewBo neighborhood, Czech Village, and the Czech-Slovak Museum.
You will have the opportunity to view a permanent display that touches on a number of subjects, such as slavery, the Underground Railroad, segregation, and the Civil Rights Movement.
Furthermore, you’ll also learn about the distinctive history of Iowa’s African American communities, the richness of Western Africa, and the deplorable conditions on a slave ship.
Address: 55 12th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, United States
7. Brucemore, Cedar Rapids
Built-in a Queen Anne-style palace, Brucemore is a historical site that is still operational today.
It is endowed with a dramatic gabled roof, several chimneys, turrets, and formal gardens, and this site is a must-visit if you are in Cedar Rapids.
The 26-acre estate’s grounds, gardens, and mansion’s 21 rooms are all open for exploration, as are its history and background.
Visitors are drawn to the estate by the changing beauty of nature in each season, which offers fresh experiences.
In addition, events like concerts, plays, festivals, garden walks, holiday gatherings, and tours liven up the location and honor the local heritage.
The museum chronicles the lives of three families: the Halls, who donated it to the neighborhood, and the Douglases, who renovated it. It was built by the Sinclair family.
These families’ extraordinary riches gave them the leeway to pursue their artistic and charitable pursuits. At Brucemore, each of these families built a house that embodied their interests.
At Brucemore, you may read and hear about the daily lives of these families.
Furthermore, the wide grounds, including a pool, a pond, a sizable front lawn, and agricultural and botanical facilities, are open to visitors for free.
A fantastic guided tour of the majority of the mansion’s chambers is also available for a little price. However, you can first become familiar with the estate by going to the ticket office, museum, and gift shop, where the history of Brucemore is depicted in pictures and short films.
Address: 2160 Linden Dr SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403, United States
8. Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street
Thanks to its architecture and beautiful setting, Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street Is a great place to visit. In short, if you have some hours to spend here, do.
Just one block south of the national Czech/Slovak Museum, the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District was established in 2009.
The district was established to aid in the restoration and reinvigoration of this historic area of Cedar Rapids after experiencing economic decline and a devastating flood in 2008.
The area has since experienced tremendous growth and revitalization.
If you stroll around The District, you can’t help but notice the unique and interesting stores that call the Czech Village and New Bohemia neighborhoods home.
In fact, a stop here will complete your day.
Grab freshly baked Kolach or other genuine goods from this multi-generational family business to start your taste journey there.
You can also warm up in true Prague style by stopping at the meat market for freshly produced real Czech goulash accompanied by Czech beer.
You can spend the afternoon browsing the gorgeous, glittering gifts in the Village Fins Czech gift shop.
Make your way through the assortment of regional arts and crafts stores, the Czech antique shop, and various other treasure shops.
Address: 329 10th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, United States
9. Cedar River
Cedar River is a lovely location to unwind in Cedar Rapids.
There are pathways along most of the river as it meanders through Cedar Rapids.
Its expansive surroundings include a sizable parking lot, a variety of restaurants, and riverside strolling paths.
Some of the activities include skating, walking, and bicycling.
There are also several fishing sites to choose from, or you can select a spot in the city center or the harbor and do nothing but relax and observe the passing of the hours.
You can even just stroll near the old bridge.
Address: Cedar Rapids, United States
10. Cedar Rapids Public Library
Cedar Rapids experienced a catastrophic flood in 2008 and many of the city’s most recognizable public buildings, including the old Public Library, were also destroyed.
Many references and adult books were lost in the flood. However, a new building was constructed, and it’s a beautiful piece.
The new 95,000-square-foot library is intended to be a bustling, multipurpose destination and a place where the community can interact and work together.
Views of the interior of the structure frame the rhythmic arrangement of the library stacks in contrast to a bustling and energetic Children’s Collection.
Similarly, the coverage of the Library ranges from African American to European and American literature, books on applied science and biosciences, the economy, commercial books, and more.
The first and second levels of the collection spaces include substantial glass surfaces in keeping with the principles of transparency and openness.
There are also vistas into and out of the collection areas from almost every location inside the new library.
Address: Cedar Rapids, United States
11. McGrath Amphitheatre, Cedar Rapids
McGrath Amphitheatre is one of the best places to go in Cedar Rapids if you want to experience a wonderful concert experience.
Located in downtown Cedar Rapids, the 6,000-seat stadium, which opened in 2014, is intended to hold both community programming and events.
The McGrath Amphitheatre is tucked away in Kingston Village, close to the city’s bustling center.
Similarly, the amphitheater has three entrances: along H Street SW, along 3rd Ave SW, and along 1st Street SW.
A permanent stage with rigging capabilities and a fabric covering can be set up as a fully reserved seated design or with some seats and a general admission grass facing a large, sloping lawn.
Address: 475 1st St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, United States
12. NewBo City Market
One of the “happening” places in Cedar Rapids is NewBo.
Located in the center of Cedar Rapids’ New Bohemia area, NewBo City Market is a year-round public market where you may shop, eat, socialize, and have fun.
The greatest locally produced and prepared items Iowa has to offer may be found at the NewBo City Market.
Similarly, there are stores where you may buy products from nearby farmers and business owners, including produce, specialized foods, meats, and fisheries.
In addition, several startups and early-stage companies with a clear focus on local goods are housed inside the Market.
Singing competitions, flea markets, and frequent visits from “big” names are just a few of the events that appear to be going on all here.
The market is open on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m.
Address: 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, United States
13. Veterans Memorial Stadium, Cedar Rapids
This stadium is a terrific location for families as well as individuals to have a good time.
It is home to the Cedar Rapids Kernels, a Minor League Baseball team of the Midwest League.
Veterans Memorial Stadium was constructed in 2002 and took the place of the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ former home from 1949, which had to be demolished.
In addition to a triumph wall proudly exhibiting the service symbols in granite, the park also features an airplane, tank, mobile gun, ship’s anchor, benches, and other granite monuments.
Furthermore, veterans’ bricks, which are lined around the sidewalk, are part of a program that was started. Just before Memorial Day each year, more bricks are erected.
They even have a Kids Zone where kids can have fun before the game in inflatable bouncey-type sections.
Large, comfortable seating, a variety of food and beverage options, the post-game pyrotechnics, and the zany antics of the mascot Mr. Shucks are all included here.
Additionally, they provide birthday packages and three locations for business sponsors so that their staff members can watch the game.
Events for high school football and track are held at the nearby Kingston Stadium.
Address: 950 Rockford Rd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, United States
14. Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids
An excellent location for plays, concerts, and other types of entertainment is the Paramount theater.
The Paramount Theatre is a stunning performing arts venue in downtown Cedar Rapids.
The Theatre, which was severely damaged in the 2008 floods, underwent major repairs to restore its historic grandeur with top-notch amenities.
As soon as you go inside, the modest facade gives way to the extravagant gilded excesses of the 1920s.
In addition, the main auditorium’s seating is arranged in a way that allows for good views from nearly every angle.
This multipurpose space is a great place for touring concerts, comedic performances, Broadway, and family shows.
It is also great for opera, symphony, theatre, organ recitals, community productions, gatherings, meetings, and weddings.
Address: 123 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, United States
15. Bever Park
Bever Park is a wonderful location for a family gathering or picnic.
The park is home to beautiful playgrounds, a public pool, and Old McDonald’s farm.
Old MacDonald Farm is located in a lovely setting. Although the farm is small and it is more of a petting zoo, it is a great place to spend some time.
Furthermore, the animal enclosures are accessible for exploration and interaction. The farm features duck, pigs, calves, chickens, bunnies, and hens.
Children and adults may engage with animals and learn about them.
There is also a sizable duck pond there where you may watch ducks of all breeds. It’s excellent for running or walking.
Although free admission is offered, however a donation of at least $1 is encouraged.
Address: 2700 Bever Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403, United States
Visit Dubuque if you are a thrill-seeking person or just want a perfect family vacation.
16. Lindale Mall
Situated along Collins Road, Lindale Mall is one of the best spots and Cedar Rapids to shop for clothes.
With great retailers, like Buckle, Von Maur, and Hot Topic, you will find this place enjoyable.
Nearly 100 local and national stores, and entertainment venues, as well as a number of events and activities throughout the year, can be found in Lindale Mall.
There are also numerous dining options, such as Maid-Rite, Subway, and Pretzelmaker (which is awesome).
This might even be a wonderful place to hang out in the winter when you want to go out but don’t want to make a huge plan, especially if you have kids.
In addition to clothes and food, you can even shop for presents here.
Address: 4444 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402, United States
17. The History Center
One of the best free things you should do in Cedar Rapids is visit the historic center. Come learn about the history and past of Cedar Rapids.
Housed in the refurbished Douglas Mansion, the history center is a cute little museum that talks about the history of Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area.
Furthermore, the History Center is a special community resource that connects people of all ages to Linn County’s present and future and preserves and shares the stories of our past.
Despite the building’s modest size, there is a lot to see and discover about Cedar Rapids’ past.
Additionally, the center presents tales of notable locals, common citizens, the wealthy and the needy, and people of different races who have lived in Linn County.
The history center is available for visitation four times a week. It is open at 12 pm – 4pm on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. While it is open from 4 pm to 8 pm on Thursdays.
Address: 800 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403, United States
18. The Fun Station Cedar Rapids
If you need an excellent location for children to burn off some energy in Cedar Rapids, then the fun station won’t disappoint.
The Fun Station has been a Cedar Rapids institution for more than three decades.
Furthermore, the station has been offering both tourists and locals a fun, active, and secure indoor family play area ideal for any occasion all year long.
For kids 12 and younger, the Station is a creative, three-level playground that is 12,000 square feet in size.
On the interactive playground, parents are welcome to play with their kids alongside them.
There are also arcade games, a sizable dining space with pizza and munchies, and an arcade-style laser maze on-site.
Children of all ages can put on their grip socks and spend hours running, jumping, climbing, sliding, swinging, and exploring their way around this multi-level gigantic maze.
Additionally, a fun room with video games, ski balls, etc. is also available.
After a long day of playing, visit the BOX CAR CAFE, which is conveniently located inside the Fun Station, to satisfy your hunger or thirst.
You get to enjoy a variety of flatbreads, wraps, pizza, sandwiches, wings, appetizers, an all-you-can-eat salad bar, and other dishes.
When you’re just keeping an eye on the kids as a parent, you only have to pay for the children.
In addition to all the entertainment and games, there are a number of kid-friendly birthday party packages and year-round special events.
Address: 200 Collins Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402, United States
19. Hawkeye Downs
Here’s a place adrenaline junkies will love.
Hawkeye downs is the only permanent asphalt track in Iowa, hosting weekly race nights in the summer as well as other special occasions
For almost a hundred years now, Hawkeye Downs Speedway and Expo Center have served as a major attraction in Cedar Rapids.
It has a weekly motocross racing series and a 1/2-mile, a 1/4-mile paved racing track that draws 10,000 visitors a year.
Additionally, the Center holds bingo games twice a week and frequently sponsors events like concerts, trade exhibitions, and conventions.
There is also a rentable 35,000-square-foot expo center to organize wedding receptions, birthday parties, or just other special events.
Address: 4400 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, United States
20. Masonic Library & Museum, Cedar Rapids
If you love history, then the masonic library and museum should be on your list of things to do in Cedar Rapids.
The Masonic Library & Museum is one of the largest Masonic libraries in the world.
It is accessible to the public and contains more than 150,000 volumes.
Furthermore, a list of available books can be obtained online, and the collections include both Masonic and general books.
Address: 813 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402, United States
21. Crab Attack Cajun Seafood Shack
Perhaps you need to grab something to eat, come to this eatery, and enjoy delicious seafood.
The ingredients and recipes for Cajun cuisine are available here.
You can choose to have your meal mild or extremely hot!
The crabs are cooked to perfection; the shrimp are just delicate, and the garlic butter sauce is to die for.
Address: 1117 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402, United States
22. Ellis Park Golf Course, Cedar Rapids
Ellis Park Golf Course is a great option for your routine rounds of golf while in Cedar Rapids.
In fact, the golf course is one of the state’s oldest and most difficult courses.
Travel through stunning scenery and take in breath-taking vistas of the course. Ellis will provide you with a fantastic golfing experience with its large fairways and difficult greens.
Additionally, Ellis Park Golf Course‘s well-maintained fairways and greens keep the course challenging without being unfriendly.
Every golfer enjoys playing on the “Crown Jewel” of the Cedar Rapids municipal golf courses because of its modern design and historical appeal.
Address: 1401 Zika Ave NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405, United States
23. Cedar Rapids Scottish Rite
Built-in a Classical Revival style, Cedar Rapids Scottish rite is a historical structure in Cedar Rapids and if you appreciate historical structures, you will love it here.
It is also known as the Scottish Rite Masonic Center.
Henry Hornbostel, a well-known Pennsylvanian architect, designed it, and Loomis Bros. Construction constructed it in 1927.
The public is welcome to use the auditorium, dining rooms, and kitchens of the facility for weddings and other events.
Come appreciate the structure and, of course, catch an event or two here.
Address: 616 A Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, United States
Now that you know why it is called the city of five seasons, won’t you like to have a taste of all this city has to offer?
Asides from all the adventures, there are also Family-friendly sports teams like baseball and hockey available in the city.