by Molly Robuck
Summer is so close we can taste it and as movement experts we’ve been itching for nice weather to let us get outside and get active. If you’re looking for summer activities in Iowa look no further.
For the outdoorsy people. Iowa has a lot of hiking areas, caves to explore, parks to see, lakes to fish in, and a lot more summer fun activities. Here are just a few of the hiking trails around Central Iowa.
- Woodland Mound State Preserve – 19587 Kirkwood, Milo, IA
- Elk Rock State Park – 811 146th Ave, Knoxville, IA
- Cedar Bluffs Natural Area Trailhead – 1211 Co Highway G62, Oskaloosa, IA
- Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park – 1308 Elk Horn St, Carlisle, IA
- Brown’s Woods – 465 Brown’s Woods Dr, West Des Moines, IA 50265
Iowa also has quite a few caves you are able to go into and explore. Some of them may be a hike to get to, and some take some climbing, but they are all beautiful and well worth the trip to explore. Below is a list of a few caves that we have here in Iowa you can go explore. The top 2 are 2 of my personal favorites.
- Crystal Lake Cave – 6684 Crystal Lake Cave Rd, Dubuque, IA 52003
- Maquoketa Caves State Park – 9688 Caves Rd, Maquoketa, IA 52060
- Ice Cave – 2559-2539 Ice Cave Rd, Decorah, IA 52101
- Shrine of the Grotto – 208 1st Avenue NW, West Bend, IA 50597
- Starr’s Cave Nature Center – 11627 Starrs Cave Park Rd, Burlington, IA 52601
If you are more of a water person or just looking for something to do that doesn’t involve a lot of walking, Iowa has several fishing, kayaking, and boating spots.
- Terra Lake – 6300 Pioneer Pkwy, Johnston, IA 50131
- Gray’s Lake Park – 2101 Fleur DR, Des Moines, IA 50315
- Lake Macbride State Park – 3525 Hwy 382 NE, Solon, IA 5233
- Saylorville Lake – Saylorville Lake Cherry Glen Boat Ramp, Polk City, IA 50226
- Diamond Lake – Montezuma on Hwy 63
The great thing about all these places is camping is located either near or at each of these. Hiking, exploring, boating, fishing, kayaking, and swimming in a lake are all great outdoors activities to get you out of the house this summer and most of these places and activities are either free or not expensive.
There are lots more entertaining activities around Central and South-Central Iowa to keep you busy this summer. Below I will list of other activities Iowa has to offer.
- Living History Farms – Urbandale, Iowa
- Adventureland – Altoona, Iowa
- Pappajohn Sculpture Park – Des Moines, Iowa
- Iowa Cubs game at Principal Park – Des Moines, Iowa
- Amana Colonies – Amana, Iowa
- Iowa State Fair in August – Des Moines, Iowa
There are some indoor activities that you can do on those rainy summer days we sometimes get.
- Iowa Children’s Museum – Coralville, Iowa
- Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden – Des Moines, Iowa
- Science Center of Iowa – Downtown Des Moines, Iowa
- Playground For Kids – Ankeny, Iowa
- Kids Empire – Des Moines, Iowa
If you want some fun activities to do other than sit in the house everyday check some of these out. Either take your family, go with friends, or even just a trip out of the house alone to do something new. Whatever you choose to do please be safe and have fun!