Family Fun


Summer is full of family fun in the Cedar Valley (Cedar Falls & Waterloo, Iowa)

CAREFUL RECOVERY IS IN PROGRESS. If you plan to travel, please check websites and social media platforms of your destinations about safety procedures.

You may also want to confirm hours of operation as some restaurants and other businesses may need to change hours with little notification due to difficulties in staffing.  

Check mandates by the City of Cedar Falls HERE.


Check out these great ideas for Family Fun this summer!

There are so many places and events to enjoy, we can’t share them all here. View our Cedar Falls/Waterloo Visitors Guide online HERE to see a list of Things to Do (including Attractions, Amusements and Museums) and to find Sports & Recreation, including a list of city, county and state parks in Black Hawk County.

You'lll also find many more events on our online calendar.  

For the kids, we’ve compiled a list of 2019 events, amusements and museums. 


Enjoy Movies Under the Moon on select Fridays throughout the summer in Cedar FallsMovies Under the Moon
June 7 and 21, July 12 and 26, August 9 and 23

Overman Park, Cedar Falls
6:30 – 10:30 pm
Enjoy live, acoustic music and a family-friendly movie under the stars. Live music begins at 6:30 pm and the movie at dusk (around 9:00 pm). Bring blankets and chairs. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase and Bike Tech will have free, valet bicycle parking. To find out this year’s schedule of movies, click HERE. Free admission.

Hartman Reserve Nature Center hosts Paddle in the Park, Big Woods Lake in Cedar Falls throughout the summerPaddle in the Park
June 7, 21 and 28, July 12 and 26, August 2, 9 and 23, September 6

Big Woods Lake, Cedar Falls
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Join Hartman Reserve Nature Center at Big Woods Lake for some paddling by canoe or kayak! Hartman will provide the canoes, kayaks, life jackets (for all ages) and paddles on a first-come, first-served basis. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Questions? Visit their website HERE or contact 319-277-2187. Weather announcements will be posted on their Facebook page. Free.

Enjoy exhibits, activities and programs at the Victorian Home & Carriage House MuseumGet in the Swim of Things
August 10

Victorian Home & Carriage House Museum, Cedar Falls
2:00 pm
Hear stories about swimsuit fashions through the ages from Chris Lorenz. This is a Cabinet of Curiosity program. Free event and free admission to the museum.


Cadillac XBC in Waterloo - Xtreme Arcade, Laser Tag and Bowling! Cadillac XBC

This is “xtreme” fun! Omega Strike Laser Tag, Xtreme Games Arcade, The Grid VR and Xtreme Cosmic Bowling are all on the menu of fun at Cadillac XBC in Waterloo.  

Waterloo Bucks baseball games at Riverfront Stadium in WaterlooWaterloo Bucks Baseball

The family will find lots of fun throughout the season at Riverfront Stadium, home to the Waterloo Bucks! In addition to special nights at the ballpark, the stadium hosts Family Fun Night

Cedar Falls Public Library offers many events and activities for kids and teensCedar Falls Public Library

Children and teens will find activities all summer at the library.  Weekly Storytimes, Teen Gaming, Madcap Puppets, Teen Nights and much more! Children age 10 and under must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Check out all their events for kids and teens in the current newsletter HERE  or visit their online calendar HERE.      

Story time at the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Waterloo Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Enjoy Summer Storytime at the arboretum in Waterloo. There will be a variety of story time topics this summer with the Cedar Falls Police Department, Diane the Pioneer Woman and the Cedar Falls Public Library. Admission to the 40-acre arboretum and botanic gardens is $5/adult and $2/child (ages 5-17). Children age 4 and younger enter free.    

Bike and hike Cedar Valley Trails! Cedar Valley Trails

Pack a lunch and enjoy a family outing on the Cedar Valley Trails. The Cedar Valley is home to more than 100 miles of paved trails. Venture out to Prairie Lakes and search for Prairie Critter sculptures, work out at a Fitness Zone or just enjoy the view! 

Get Air Trampoline ParkGet Air Trampoline Park

This trampoline park features wall-to-wall trampolines, dodgeball courts, basketball dunk lanes and an obstacle course! Ask about toddler times! 

Grout Museum District in WaterlooGrout Museum District

The District consists of the Grout Museum of History & Science, Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, Rensselaer Russell House Museum, Snowden House and the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum. In addition to their exhibitions, The District hosts many events throughout the year for kids such as themed tea parties, star parties and Weekly Wonders. Visit their website for information about admission fees. They also have summer camps! 

Hatchlings & Hens in the downtown district has vintage, decor and items for toddlers as well as workshops in the sturdio! Hatchlings & Hens

This retail shop in the downtown district of Cedar Falls offers vintage, décor and items for the little ones. They even have a creative space for parties, Toddler Tuesdays and workshops like Mom & Me Learn to Sew!

John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum in WaterlooJohn Deere Tractor & Engine Museum

Experience the evolution of the John Deere tractor and engine at their museum and visit their 100th anniversary celebration June 15-16 in Waterloo. The museum has free admission and is open seven days a week!  

Lost Island Waterpark in WaterlooLost Island Waterpark

Enjoy go karts, miniature golf or the waterpark featuring nine major water slides, Maizie the Mermaid, Blue Iguana Lagoon, Tahiti Village and Starfish Cove for the little ones! Admission prices vary depending on the attraction.    (photo credit: Lost Island) 

Ninja\U in Cedar FallsNinja\U

This obstacle training gym in Cedar Falls has classes for all ages, parties for kids, Next Level Ninja Games, camps and more! Be sure to check out their website for info on class prices and open gym.  

Palmer's Family FunPalmer's Family Fun

Could it be summer without mini golf? What about go-karts, a jumping pillow and laser tag? We don't think so and Palmer's provides fun, safe entertainment for the entire family. They even have a batting cage, driving range and archery tag! Prices vary so be sure to visit their website for individual prices and packages.    

The Falls Aquatic Center in Cedar FallsThe Falls Aquatic Center

The Falls is an affordable and fun way to stay cool this summer! Enjoy the Lazy River, the Red Drop Slide at Rock Falls, tube and raft slides at Adventure Falls and the Dump Bucket at Safari Falls for only $7 (day-pass).   

Victorian Home and Ice House Museum in Cedar Falls Victorian Home & Carriage House Museum and Ice House Museum

Kids of all ages will enjoy their current exhibit, “Bear Whistles, Butter Churns & Beyond: Ceramics in Cedar Falls” at the Victorian Home. Let the kids play in the reading loft in the Kids’ Corner, complete scavenger hunts and see the William Lenoir 0 Scale train layout. Or, visit the Ice House Museum, the “coolest” museum in Iowa! Admission to the Victorian Home is free and admission to the Ice House is $5/person (children 12 and under enter free).         

Waterhawks Ski ShowsWaterhawks Ski Shows

The Waterhawks are celebrating 60 years of show skiing! This nationally ranked competitive waterski team performs at Eagle Lake in Evansdale throughout the summer. Learn more about the team and their performances on their website!   (photo credit: Waterhawks)

The Waterloo Center for the Arts and the Phelps Youth Pavilion in WaterlooWaterloo Center for the Arts | Phelps Youth Pavilion

“The Waterloo Center for the Arts stimulates inquiry, provokes dialogue and connects people through the arts.” The Phelps Youth Pavilion is “where art launches a world of wonder, discovery and learning. Kids and families will have fun exploring art and culture with two levels of interactive exhibits…”  Phelps Youth Pavilion admission is $5/person.   




And that's not the only fun to be had this summer! Parents, you can discover your creative sideenjoy a quiet morning with a friend at a local coffee or tea shopshop in the downtown district and visit the Ice House Museum. There’s a lot going on in the Cedar Valley! 

Need more ideas? Stop by the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 6510 Hudson Road and visit with staff and pick up a few brochures or contact us at 800-845-1955 (319-268-4266).