You made it. You survived the holidays [insert sigh of relief] and now winter has officially set in. It’s cold. It’s snowy. And it comes with a bad case of cabin fever. What’s the cure, you ask? Well, we have a few ideas in mind, both indoors and outdoors, to help you stay active. So rather than hibernating all season long, let's embrace this winter wonderland and take advantage of all it has to offer.
There's fun for the whole family at Young Arena in Waterloo. From Waterloo Black Hawks hockey to public ice skating, you can find it all. Don't worry about buying your own skates though, you can rent them there for just $3. They also offer youth and adult hockey leagues, ice skating lessons, and public walking times.
Just blocks away from Young Arena, you’ll find one of the area’s finest fitness and recreation facilities. Along with an indoor pool, the Cedar Valley SportsPlex includes a field house, gymnasium, running/walking track, weights and fitness room, golf simulator and more. And, you don’t need a membership to get your sweat on. Daily admission passes are available too.
The Cedar Valley is also home to two great bowling centers – Cadillac Lanes and Maple Lanes. You’ll enjoy hours of entertainment with your friends and family in a great atmosphere, complete with glow-in-the-dark bowling. And, if you’re looking for other ways to let the little ones burn off some energy, check out places like Adrenaline X Laser Tag, KT’s Inflatable Park, and Thorp Family Fun.
If taking in the sights and sounds of the great outdoors is more your thing, try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing (if snow coverage permits) on one of the many trails found throughout the Cedar Valley. Both The Runner's Flat and Europa Cycle & Ski offer cross-country ski and snowshoe rental. And, if you need a little more training on how to use this type of equipment, Impact Outdoors will be holding their Cedar Valley Winterfest on Sunday, January 17. This free event will take place at Big Woods Lake, and will include demonstrations and activities like an ice fishing derby, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating and more.
Bicyclists can enjoy bicycling all year round in the Cedar Valley, of course with the proper gear and attire. Both Bike Tech and Europa Cycle & Ski have an excellent selection of fat tire bikes available to help you navigate the snowy trails. The Cedar Valley Association of Soft Trails (CVAST) and Iowa Games will once again partner to bring some competitive winter events to the area, such as the Snowshoe Races and Fat Bike Race, both held on Saturday, January 30. Following the races, SingleSpeed Brewing Co. will be hosting their "1st Annual SnowWhat? Celebration". There will be food, beer (including a special SnowWhat? brew of course), and plenty of fun to be had.
And, if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure in the Cedar Valley that’s an escape from the ordinary, you won’t have to look very far. Outdoor enthusiasts can test their abilities as they climb their way to the top of an ice-covered silo. Open to all skill levels and anyone over age 10, a visit to the ice silo wall includes all the gear you need, trained staff, plus access to the warming house for complimentary hot drinks and snacks.
Sports & Shows
When it’s cold outside, head inside to cheer on the Cedar Valley Derby Divas, University of Northern Iowa Panthers, and Waterloo Black Hawks. All three teams offer an exciting sports experience for people of all ages. Hockey, basketball, roller derby, wrestling…you name it, we’ve got it.
National Cattle Congress in Waterloo is also host to numerous indoor sporting events throughout the winter months. This year, the National Antique Tractor Pullers Association (NATPA) will be bringing their Iowa Winter Nationals to McElroy Auditorium for the very first time on Saturday, February 13. Later that month, fans can experience a classic rodeo with over 50 professional bull riders at the Coors Bull Riding Classic, February 19-20.
Or, maybe you’re already thinking ahead to spring. What better way to start planning then by attending the Iowa Boat, RV & Vacation Show, January 22-24, or the Eastern Iowa Home & Landscaping Show*, February 19-21. These three-day shows feature products, displays, seminars and ideas galore.
*Click here for a discount coupon.
And, after all that activity, what better way to relax and warm up then with a delicious cup of coffee or tea. These locally-owned coffee shops are sure to warm your body and spirit all winter long.
Cabin Coffee Company
2040 Kimball Ave, Waterloo
218 E 4th St, Waterloo
Cup of Joe
102 Main St, Cedar Falls
Laughing Tree Café
225 Commercial St, Waterloo
2215 College St, Cedar Falls
1850 W Ridgeway Ave, Waterloo
For a complete list of area coffee shops, click here.
- Beth Keeney, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau