It’s officially March, which means kids everywhere are dreaming of warmer weather and more importantly – their SPRING BREAK plans! Fear not, money-savvy moms and dads, because we’ve got loads of Spring Break fun lined up for you without breaking the bank.
It’s called the World’s Greatest Spring Break for Kids, and it’s March 14-18 in Waterloo.
Check out these NINE amazing attractions all located within ONE square mile from each other. But wait, it gets better. Thanks to the McElroy Trust, admission is just $1 (or less) for kids and accompanying adults at each attraction. So go ahead and spend your Spring Break a little closer to home this year. It’s a win-win for you and your kids.
In fact, it's so AWESOME that Travel Iowa named it one of their "Top 5 March events in Iowa!"
1. Black Hawk Children’s Theatre
Monday-Friday | Performances at 1pm & 3pm
224 Commercial Street
During Spring Break week, kids and kids at heart will enjoy a live interactive theater performance by the Black Hawk Children’s Theatre. And, by interactive we mean they’ll be looking for audience members to participate in the fun as well. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it!
2. Bluedorn Science Imaginarium
Monday-Saturday* | 9am-5pm
322 Washington Street
Fight off Spring Break boredom with a visit to the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium. With over 80 hands-on exhibits, the kids will have no problem keeping busy at this “playground for the imagination”. Plus, it’s also home to numerous animals like a Burmese python named Athena, bearded dragon, turtle and more.
SPECIAL EVENTS: Science demos daily at 10am, Noon, 2pm and 4pm. Free with admission.
*$1 admission goes thru Saturday, March 19.
3. Cedar Valley SportsPlex
Monday-Thursday | 9-10am or 11am-Noon
300 Jefferson Street
The Spring Break experience wouldn’t be complete without a little swimming…indoors that is. Splash around at the Cedar Valley SportSplex during one of their swimming sessions and be sure to take a ride down their awesome water slide! Capacity is limited.
4. Grout Museum of History & Science / Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum
Monday-Saturday* | 9-5pm
503 South Street
From an army tank to a real Huey helicopter, kids will have a blast exploring the museums and scanning their dog tags at various kiosks along the way. They’ll learn about adventure, discovery and real-life heroes through traditional exhibits, interactive activities and more at this Spring Break stop.
SPECIAL EVENTS: Friday, March 18 | 10am-2pm. “ISU – FoodCorps” – Edible Art Party! Healthy living hands-on activities. Plus, Planetarium shows daily at 10am, Noon, 2pm and 4pm. Free with admission.
*$1 admission goes thru Saturday, March 19.
5. John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum
Tuesday-Friday | 10am-6pm
500 Westfield Avenue
See tractors of all types from the moment you enter the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. Hands-on demonstrations teach kids what it’s like to use a steel plow or generate horsepower, all while learning about John Deere’s tractor and engine history. Admission is free for children 12 & under, and $1 for ages 13 & over.
6. National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum
Monday-Friday | 9am-5pm
303 Jefferson Street
Take a closer look at the sport of wrestling and one of the greatest wrestlers and coaches of all time at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. View wrestling memorabilia and more, plus step inside the Dan Gable Teaching Center for hands-on wrestling tips and tricks.
7. Phelps Youth Pavilion
Monday-Friday | 9-5pm
225 Commercial Street
Enter a world of arts, culture and creativity at the Phelps Youth Pavilion. Here, kids will discover creative, hands-on experiences and over 40 interactive exhibits. As an added bonus, Spring Break visitors will enjoy a special $.50 admission in celebration of the Waterloo Center for the Arts’ 50th Anniversary. And, while you’re there, don’t forget to check out their newest exhibit – “Light Play!”
8. Waterloo Public Library
Monday-Friday | Mon-Thursday 9am-9pm; Friday 9am-6pm
415 Commercial Street
Yes, school’s out, but what better time to let the kids check out a book or two. They’ll even get a book of their own when they stop by the library on Monday, March 14 for “The Greatest Book Giveaway”. With support from the R.J. McElroy Trust, the Library will give away 1,000 new books (until they’re gone) during Spring Break week. One book per child.
SPECIAL EVENTS: Monday, March 14 | 10-11:30am. “To the Library & Beyond” – Let the “FUN” begin with you! Free admission.
9. Young Arena
Monday-Friday | Noon-1pm, 2-3pm, or 4-5pm
125 Commercial Street
Last, but not least, grab your ice skates (or rent them for just $1) and head to Young Arena for an afternoon of ice skating. They will be offering special, one-hour ice skating sessions throughout Spring Break week. Helmets and pads are recommended too. Capacity is limited.
Tips for the GREATEST Spring Break:
- Plan ahead. Check for special dates and times when $1 admission is available.
- Come early. Attractions will be busy, some with limited capacity.
- Supervision required. All kids must be accompanied by an adult.
- Park and walk. Parking is limited in some locations, so we recommend using the public parking downtown and walking if possible.
- Make it a vacation. Enjoy the rest of the fun downtown, including dining and lodging.
- Beth Keeney, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau
Photo Credit: Grout Museum District, Waterloo Center for the Arts/Phelps Youth Pavilion.