Getting together with a girlfriend or two is a treat! Do your planning conversations ever go like this?
“So, what should we do?”
“I don’t know. What were you thinking?”
“It doesn’t really matter to me. What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know. What’s going on around town?”
If this is your life, keep reading! There are a lot of places in the area to eat out, but sometimes I’m in the mood for something different or something that doesn’t cost much. Luckily we live in an area that has a lot of opportunities for both of these options!
Girlfriend Dates in the Iowa City Area
There are always free things going on around town, especially with the University here! Maybe one of these options would be good for your next girlfriend gathering.
All of the local libraries consistently have good programming for adults! In the past couple years, I have learned to arm knit, decorated a coffee mug, and learned more about different types of yoga. Check out your library’s website, and their Facebook page, too. Sometimes short-notice events show up on social media first!
Iowa City Public Library and their Facebook page
Coralville Public Library and their Facebook page
North Liberty Library and their Facebook page
Free events at the University of Iowa
From vocal/instrumental music and dance to theater and art exhibits, the University always seems to have interesting things going on! In addition, there are often community events held on campus or in conjunction with the U.
Make walking the dog into a social outing! Grab a girlfriend who also has a pup, and meet at the Thornberry Dog Park or Rita’s Ranch. Your doggie gets some exercise, you get some gab–a win-win in my book! Day passes are just $5 per dog, or you can get an annual pass ($40 for IC residents, $45 for non-residents).
Walking at the North Liberty Rec Center
Did you know that you can get a card that allows you to walk on the track any time? If you’re a North Liberty resident, the card is free, and it’s only $5 for non-residents. Set up a time to meet a friend or two for a nice walk. You can visit and catch up, all while getting some exercise!
Do you know about our county’s past? The Johnson County Historical Society has interesting exhibits about Iowa City and the surrounding towns in Johnson County. I especially enjoy the maps and photos of days gone by. You’ll also want to check out the Coming Together to Create Communities exhibit and the amazing collage picture! Admission is just $5, so head to the Iowa River Landing area with a friend and check it out!
I don’t know about you, but a movie is always a nice escape! Film Scene is the newest theater in the area, showing first-run movies. But they don’t stop there. Film Scene also has panel discussions, filmmaker talks, and community events in conjunction with current movies. Oh, and you can also enjoy a beer or glass of wine during your show! Ticket prices vary from $5 to $10.50 depending on the day and time. What’s better than a movie with your besties?
Have you ever been to a gymnastics meet or a swimming and diving meet? How about a field hockey match? Get your friends together and go check out some great college athletes. Tickets are generally modestly priced (football notwithstanding!), and some events are even free!
If you’ve never been to the Hoover Presidential Museum, grab a girlfriend and go! They have a permanent exhibit all about President Hoover’s life in Iowa and then as President. The museum also hosts temporary and traveling exhibits. Two of my favorites have been an exhibit of dresses from all the first ladies through history and the annual Christmas tree exhibit with many trees all decorated in a theme. A couple years ago, the overall theme was games, and each tree had a theme – dolls, board games, things with wheels, teddy bears, etc. At $10 for adults, you and your girls should check it out! Use this Guide to the Herbert Hoover Museum to get all the details you need.
Higher Cost (but worth it!)
Iowa is getting more and more into craft brewing, and there are a couple tour companies that will take you to tour several at a time. Grab an Uber, get your girls, and have a fun night out sampling local brews!
If beer isn’t your thing, how about wine? Cedar Ridge Winery is a gem in the corridor with fantastic wines (now available by the glass!) as well as cocktails made from their Distillery products. Head out on Wednesdays with the ladies for their Buy One, Get One ½ Off their wood fired pizzas with interesting and tasty toppings! Maybe you’d rather try the prime rib on Fridays. Or head to a gal pal brunch on Sundays.
Cedar Ridge does a fabulous brunch with an array of breakfast options (don’t miss the maple bourbon syrup on your pancakes!) as well as a carving station and many savory sides. Wash it all down with a bottomless mimosa or sangria, and you have all the makings of a great Sunday brunch. Brunch is $18.99 for adults and by reservation only, so make sure you call ahead!
Just down the road in the Amanas is the gem of Old Creamery Theatre. Professional and traveling actors put on a wide range of productions each year, so get your ladies together, and see some theater! Adult tickets are $31.50. You could also make an evening of it and try some pizza at P.H.A.T Daddy’s before your show!
Over the last couple of years, escape rooms have kind of been all the rage. While I’ve never tried one myself, I have heard good reviews! Did you know there’s one right in Coralville? Make a girls’ night out date to try the Outfox Escape Room. Choose Alien Gothic, The Abducted Officer, or The Magician’s Attic. Each room can have up to eight guests, and it costs $30 per person.
Maybe you and your friends are more artsy. Try your hand at painting at Brush and Barrel. Even if you don’t consider yourself a painter, you will be walked through painting your own masterpiece, all while enjoying a nice glass of wine. Choose which painting you’d like to do, and make your reservation with the girls! Cost generally ranges from $15 to $35.
This is just a small sampling of things you can do for fun in the corridor with your girlfriends. Maybe this list will get you thinking of other creative options. If you have tried any of these and love them, please share below! Also, if you have other things you love to enjoy with your girlfriends, share those, too!