Tired of trying to choose between the latest mind-numbing cartoon movie and hiring a sitter for the day? Your days of choosing between a kid-friendly activity and an activity that makes the adults happy are over.
1. Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Rd.,
This 500-acre open-air museum offers a unique glimpse into historical time periods spanning 300 years. On-site interpreters (in full costume) are there to entertain, delight, and educate.
2. Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad & Museum, 225 10th St., Boone, Iowa
Ready for the ultimate train-ride adventure? You'll cross the Bass Point Creek High Bridge. It's 156' tall and is also the tallest single-track interurban railroad bridge in the United States. Note that car seats and strollers aren't allowed on the train. Little kids will have to ride on the grown ups' laps.
3. Buccaneer Bay Indoor Water Park, Honey Creek Resort State Park, 12633 Resort Drive, Moravia
With a two-story water slide, lazy river, and a hot tub, Buccaneer Bay is a great place for the whole family. There's a snack bar and arcade, as well. Kids under 14 require adult supervision in the water park, and they'll need to be taller than 48" to go down the epic water slide.
4. Maquoketa Caves State Park, 10970 98th St., Maquoketa
Got some rough-and-tumble adventure-loving kiddos who aren't afraid to get dirty and have way too much energy? Spend the day exploring caves, hiking, and enjoying the great Iowa outdoors. There are 13 caves at this park, so pack some sunscreen, water, snacks, and your camera.
5. Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor, 115 Central Ave. NW, Le Mars, IA
Ice cream dreams don't die when we become adults. Head over to Le Mars for a throwback ice cream parlor experience that will charm the kids and the adults alike. Have a shake, an old-fashioned ice cream soda, malt, sundae or two scoops in a cone. The marble ice cream bar and 40 flavors of ice cream await.
6. Arnolds Park at Lake Okoboji, 37 Lake Street, Arnolds Park, IA
There are many family-friendly rides at Arnold's Park, and the Log Flume is a big-time favorite. For safety reasons, kids need to be over 48" to ride alone, or 36"-48' to ride with responsible person. No one under 36" permitted to ride. There are plenty of little-kid and big-kid friendly rides to keep everyone busy and happy.
7. Manchester White Water Park, 208 East Main Street, Manchester
The Manchester Whitewater Park is open to the public. Admission is free. Fishing is a lot of fun here, as is tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. If you don't have water equipment, you can rent it nearby.
8. Channel Cat Water Taxi, 1515 River Drive, Moline
Ready for a ride on the big boat? The Channel Cat Water Taxi offers a great way to enjoy the Mississippi River. The Channel Cats are open-air boats that serve as transportation across the Mississippi River to various landings. This water taxi operates seven days a week throughout the summer months. .
9. Michael's Fun World, 354 W 76th St., Davenport
This is a year-round family amusement park with a Formula 1 Go-Kart Track that's two miles long. Banked curves and tight bends make this track fun for the whole family. Two-seater go carts make little kids' go-karting wishes happen. Bumper boats, batting cages, bolingo, rock climbing, lazer tag, and a three-level maze jungle gym are all it takes to have a great time, no matter your age.
10. Gray's Lake Park, 2101 Fleur Dr., Des Moines
This is a wonderful place for an easy, well-lit, paved, 1.9-mile family bike ride. The trail encircles the beautiful lake. There are 167 acres to explore, here.
What other things are both kid and adult friendly that we should know about? Tell us all about it in the comments.
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