Ahhh . . . summer in Iowa City. Time for sun, fun, and more! Get to the pools and splash pads, parks, or farmers’ markets and get ready for a whole host of festivals, activities, and fairs to attend. There are just too many to include them all, but here is a good start. Go grab your calendar, fill in those empty spaces, and make the most of this glorious season!
Ongoing Summer Events
Friday night Concert Series – Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy FREE live music outside the Sheraton Hotel in Iowa City, every Friday, all summer long.
Saturday Free Movie Series – Snuggle up and enjoy FREE movies outside Macbride Hall on the University campus.
Party in the Park – Connect with neighbors this summer at the FREE Party in the Park events with live music, games, arts and crafts, and frozen treats.
City Park Rides – Head to City Park for the train, carousel and other fun rides. Cost is $1 per ride or $8 for a 10-punch card.
Rock the Block Concert Series – Over at NewBo in Cedar Rapids enjoy a FREE concert series featuring local bands, locally-crafted food and drinks, and games.
Movies on the Riverbank – Head to the McGrath Amphitheater in Cedar Rapids and enjoy the moonlight, movies, food, and family fun under the stars.
Kernels Baseball – Have some baseball fun and support our very own Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Park it at the Movies (June 2) – Coralville offers an outdoor family movie night each summer. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks and enjoy a free movie night.
Arts Fest (June 2-4) – Downtown Iowa City hosts art, music, kid’s activities, great food, and more.
Free Fishing (June 3) – Head to North Liberty for a FREE day of fishing with Take A Kid Outdoors.
Fire Department Street Dance (June 3) – For a small town dance, enjoy the live music of the Drama Kings in Hills.
Iowa Renaissance Festival (June 3-4) – Amana Colonies hosts this annual event with comedy, swordplay, music, magic, and horseback jousting. Don’t forget to explore a marketplace full of unique merchandise and enjoy tasty treats and drinks in the royal food court.
Great Iowa River Race (June 10) – Recreational and competitive canoers, kayakers, and SUPers are invited to compete in this 9 mile race on the Iowa River in Iowa City.
ICReate (June 10) – Come to NewBo to this FREE arts event for all ages that welcomes you to actively engage in the “creative process” with local and regional artists in the disciplines of film, photography, musical performance, and painting.
Kids’ Day (June 12) – The Coralville Farmers’ Market hosts balloon animals, a bounce house, games and activities with The Iowa Children’s Museum, and more!
Museum Week (June 12-18) – Celebrate in Cedar Rapids by attending special events and programming. It is a fun-filled opportunity for family and friends to get out and explore all the arts and cultural amenities this community has to offer.
Freedom Festival (June 15-July 4) – Cedar Rapids will celebrate our nation’s birthday for a nearly 3-week festival.
Pride Fest (June 17) – Come to the Pride Fest in Iowa City to help build community, teach acceptance, and celebrate diversity.
Kalona Days (June 17) – Enjoy a day of fun-filled activities for the whole family with a parade, food, games, Fun Run, entertainment, red tag event, and more.
Wurst Fest (June 17) – Celebrate all things sausage at the Amana Colonies with samples, games, and contests.
Trek Fest (June 23) – Held annually in Riverside, this themed event hosts contests, family friendly games, live music, a demolition derby, 5k race, ball tournament, parade, and more.
Block Party (June 24) – The first annual Downtown Iowa City Block Party will be Iowa City’s biggest night event. Details coming soon.
Linn County Fair (June 28-July 3) – Head to Cedar Rapids for carnival rides, grandstand events, and livestock shows.
Jazz Fest (June 30-July 2) – Come to Iowa City for a three-day weekend of live Jazz performances, delicious dishes, and fireworks over the University of Iowa’s Pentacrest lawn.
Family Fun Day (July 2) – Stop in to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art for this FREE event. New watercolor-themed exhibitions and make-and-take art projects of your own.
4th Fest (July 1-4) – Coralville’s annual 4th of July celebration includes a 5K run/walk, entertainment, food, free concerts, a carnival, parade, and fireworks.
Heritage Days (July 6-8) – Mt Vernon hosts this parade, fireworks, live music, kolache tent, and a talent show. Also come for the beer tent, bingo, live music, carnival games, car show. and more.
Asian Fest (July 8) – The 4th annual Asian Fest is a FREE, fun festival for families to come and experience the flair, fusion, and flavor of Asian cultures. Rich performances, delicious cuisine, and live music are offered in Cedar Rapids.
Blues & BBQ (July 8) – North Liberty hosts live music, mouthwatering barbecue, Iowa craft beer, and family fun.
Taste of Farmers Market (July 12) – Enjoy free samples of in-season fruits, vegetables, and baked goods provided by the Iowa City Farmers Market vendors.
Cedar County Fair (July 12-16) – Head to Tipton for carnival rides, grandstand events, and livestock shows.
Kids’ Day (July 17) – The Coralville Farmers Market hosts balloon animals, a bounce house, games and activities with The Iowa Children’s Museum, and more!
Muscatine County Fair (July 19-23) – Head over to West Liberty for carnival rides, grandstand events, and livestock shows.
Sidewalk Sales (July 20-23) – The Downtown Iowa City’s Annual Sidewalk Sales will have a three-day savings extravaganza; come down and see what the downtown merchants have to offer.
Beef Days (July 21-22) – Solon hosts this two-day celebration with a delicious foods, live music, run event, parade and more.
Johnson County Fair (July 24-27) – Iowa City hosts carnival rides, a tractor pull, great food, talent shows, livestock, and more.
Kinderfest (July 22-23) – Amana’s weekend long event dedicated to children and families will have games, crafts, learning, and fun.
Nature Play – Join PLAYologists at Kent Park in Oxford for this FREE active learning event. The whole family can get involved in scientific exploration and observation by investigating the power of water.
Creek Fest (July 28-29) – Tiffin hosts this two day event filled with kid friendly fun, live music, fireworks, and more.
Bloomsbury Farm Artisan Fair and Flea Market (July 29) – Visit Atkins for the first Artisan Fair and Flea Market for a wine tasting, gift shop, concessions, and live music.
Sweet Corn Feed (July 31) – Coralville’s annual event returns with fresh sweet corn, delicious BBQ, family-friendly activities, and live music.
Mississippi Valley Fair (August 1-6) – Davenport will host agriculture, antiques, great food, live music, rides, and more!
Hoover Hometown Days (August 4-5) – West Branch celebrates its most well known resident with music, food, rides, and the world championships of Hooverball.
Seize the Carp (August 5) – Come to Iowa City for fishing, raptors, yoga, canoeing, kayaking, learning about CARP and other geeky, outdoor fun!
Sweet Corn Festival (August 11-13) – Cedar Rapids brings in over 25,000 ears of corn for this great event. Enjoy this and other delicious foods, bingo, shopping, races, silent auction events, and more.
Iowa State Fair (August 10-20) – Road trip to Des Moines for the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. Come for a variety of entertainment, rides, food, the butter cow, and more.
Festival of the Arts (August 12) – Amana will host and feature sales of fine arts, crafts and traditional Colony folk arts. Enjoy demonstrations and observing of woodturning, quilting, tin-smithing, basket making, spinning, and painting.
Kids’ Day (August 14) – The Coralville Farmers’ Market hosts balloon animals, a bounce house, games and activities with The Iowa Children’s Museum and more!
Farm to Street Dinner (August 17) – Iowa City hosts this event to include a multi-course meal prepared by Iowa City Downtown District chefs with food sourced from local producers. Tickets go on sale in July.
Salute to Summer (August 19) – North Liberty Firefighter’s Foundation will be hosting their annual fundraiser with food, junior firefighting activities, inflatables, facility tours, and a silent auction.
Back to School Night (August 19) – West Liberty Raceway will host this event that includes kid friendly activities. Previous events have included giveaways, nickle toss, and ride alongs.
Taste of Iowa City (August 23) – This annual event celebrates the culinary diversity of Downtown and Northside restaurants with sample portions from more than 40 menus.
Woodfest (August 25) – Handcrafted wood items, tools and equipment, demonstrations and sales. Shop, browse, learn from and visit with regional and national woodcrafters and wood product vendors in Amana.
Kalona City Celebration (August 26) – Enjoy live music and activities for kids at this annual event.
What did we miss? What are your favorite summer events in the area?