A Winter Family Adventure in Cedar Falls, Iowa

posted on Monday, January 15, 2024

Take a break from technology and enjoy time together. With outdoor activities like snowshoeing, fat biking, ice fishing, and indoor attractions, Cedar Falls has plenty of options to keep the whole family entertained and engaged. Pack up the car and head to Cedar Falls for an adventure you'll never forget. 

In this article 

Family Friendly Hotels

Holiday Inn Pool Table

Games area @Holiday Inn and Suites

Choose from 11 family-friendly hotels, 8 with pools. Comfort Suites boasts a heated, zero-entry pool, a water play zone for kids, and a complimentary hearty breakfast. The Holiday Inn and Suites features a lounge area with pool table, perfect for families with teens. Cedar Falls is also home to 8 pet-friendly hotels. Check the Area Hotel Directory for individual hotel guidelines. 

Outdoor Fun

Glide through snowy landscapes on cross-country skis, snowshoes, or a fat bike through the Cedar Valley Trails or Hartman Reserve Nature Center. For ice fishing, head to George Wyth Lake for a fishing hotspot. Remember your license, and check the ice thickness for safety. Need a fishing license? Stop in at SCHEELS or Cook's Outdoors.


Cedar Valley Winterfest

This annual celebration in February embraces the season with various activities for the whole family. Lace up your snowshoes and join a guided night snowshoe hike through the trails, sign up for the Iowa Games Snowshoe and Fat Bike Championships, or warm up with the Chili Cookoff, where local chefs and chili enthusiasts compete for the title of the best chili in town. 

Indoor Fun

In March, high school teams from Iowa and neighboring states will participate in this annual FIRST Robotics Competition. Teams will have invested over six weeks in designing, constructing, and programming their robots to compete against other teams in the McLeod Center.

Gallagher Bluedorn

@Gallagher Bluedorn

Unleash your energy at Ninja U, an indoor park featuring iconic obstacles and a laser-timed incline hill sprint called Everest. Sign up for a workshop at the Hearst Center for the Arts, or catch a live theatre performance at the historic Oster Regent or Gallagher Bluedorn

UNI Botanical Center

Colombo @UNI Botanical Center

Walk through the greenhouses at the UNI Botanical Center to see tropical plants thriving in northern Iowa, from towering bamboo & sugarcane to banana and papaya. Don't forget to look for their two pet parrots, Colombo and Chiquita!


@Chilitos Mexican Grill


Enjoy tacos, chips, and other family favorites at Chilitos Mexican Grill, or add a playful twist to dinner time with a round of Skee-Ball between courses at Pizza Ranch and FunZone Arcade. For a more interactive dining adventure, head to Sakura Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar, where chefs showcase their skills around a Hibachi grill.

  • For more dining options, check out our restaurant directory, including buffets, quick takeout, and sports bars. 

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