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12 Free Things to Do In Cedar Rapids

Who doesn't love a free outing now and then? Whether you need an idea for a date, outing with the kids or a few ideas for yourself, here is a guide to free things to do in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area!

1. Czech Village: Browse the antique, retro and vintage shops along 16th Ave. SW.  

czech village

2. Grant Wood Studio: Visit the quirky art studio where Grant Wood painted the famous American Gothic. Open April to December on Saturdays and Sundays 12-4 p.m. Free admission.

grant wood studio

3. Cedar Rapids Museum of Art: On the first Thursday of every month from 4-8 p.m. admission is FREE. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art houses more than 7,200 works of art spanning many eras-from Roman antiquity to the present.  The collection is particularly strong in American art, especially from the first half of the 20th century.  There are a number of artists the Museum hold in great depth- including the world's largest collection of works of art by Grant Wood. 

cr museum of art

4. Grant Wood Window: In the Veterans Memorial Building you can see the only commissioned stained glass window by Grant Wood, which is dedicated to soldiers. Located at 50 2nd Ave. View it from the inside during the week days Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. or see it from the outside back lit during the evenings.

grant wood window

5. National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library: Free First Saturdays for Students - Students of all ages (preschool through college) are invited to visit the NCSML’s exhibits for free on the first Saturday of each month during regular museum hours. College students must bring a current school ID card. Regular admission rates still apply to non-students. Members of the NCSML are always free.

czech and slovak museum

6. NewBo City Market: At NewBo City Market—a dynamic public space where local entrepreneurs create an environment of fresh, wonderful food, products and experiences— you’ll find live entertainment throughout the year. For example, on Thursday evenings May through September come out for free exercise including walking, biking, running, yoga and cardio. Open Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 

newbo city market

7. Five Seasons Ski Team: The Five Seasons Ski Team performs a free show every Thursday night at Ellis Park in Cedar Rapids, June through Labor Day. Special shows are performed for various communities and festivals.

five seasons ski team

8. Indian Creek Nature Center: Indian Creek Nature Center’s grounds and trails are available to explore at no charge. Trails are open daily from sunrise to 10 p.m. Stop into the Nature Center and Creekside Shop Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m.- 4 p.m. 

indian creek

9. Wickiup Hill Learning Center

New this year to Wickiup Hill Learning Center is the Wickiup’s Wandering Woods—a new children’s outdoor natural playscape open year round from sunrise to sunset. Children are encouraged to build, create, climb, balance, move and get messy with natural materials. Go inside to explore Oliver & Ava’s River Raft Adventure Exhibit, designed around a story of a school-aged boy and girl who follow a magical dragonfly on a learning adventure related to Native American history, nature and watersheds.

wickiup hill learning

10. Linn County Parks Challenge: Take the Linn County Parks Geocaching Challenge and explore 25 Linn County parks, preserves and historic sites. Whether you are a seasoned geocaching expert or just learning, this is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors. Visit the website LinnParksChallenge.org to download the passport and get started today.

linn county parks

11. Old MacDonald’s Farm, Bever Park’s Children’s Zoo: Old MacDonald's Farm in Bever Park is maintained and operated by the Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department. Admission is free to the public. Enjoy the farm exhibit daily from late April to mid-October.  Hours are from 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.  A minimum donation of $1 is recommended. Farm animals may vary each season. Animals typically found on the farm include: Chickens, Calves, Ducks (Waterfowl), Goats, Lambs, Piglets, Rabbits

zoo cedar rapids

12. Iowa Masonic Lodge & Museum Grand Lodge of Iowa: The Iowa Masonic Library is reputed to be the largest in the world, and is at least one of the top five, with over 100,000 volumes. The Museum also contains three exhibits including: the Masonic gallery featuring an original Grant Wood painting and a Civil War flag from an Iowa regiment; the non-Masonic gallery with Asian armor, Native American weapons and pottery; and the small Swab gallery with a family collection of fine china, jewelry and decorative arts from around the world. Free admission. Call ahead for a guided tour. Open Monday- Friday 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1-5 p.m.

masonic lodge cedar rapids

GO Cedar Rapids Passport: Get perks, deals and a list on the go of free things to do with this FREE mobile passport! Find more information at gocrpassport.com


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NewBo City Market is a year-round public market in the heart of Cedar Rapids' New Bohemia neighborhood, a place for shopping,…

Czech Village Association Inc.

Czech Village Association Inc.

Cedar Rapids is a city that has been home to thousands of Czech, Moravian and Slovak immigrants and their descendants since the…

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