Things To Do in Iowa: Cedar Falls and Waterloo

Lori Erickson
| January 5, 2024 | 1 Minute Read
Bridge leading to Waterloo, large buildings in background iStock


George Wyth State Park

Put on your cross-country skis, snowshoes or hiking boots to explore the 1,200-acre park between the two cities. If the snow conditions are right, you can enjoy 18 miles of groomed ski trails.

Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum

Named after the five brothers who lost their lives in the Pacific during World War II, this Waterloo museum (below) honors Iowa veterans from the Civil War to the present. Interactive activities, vintage artifacts and oral-history interviews explore the state’s role in shaping history.

Exterior view of veterans museum with statue of soldier and American flags in foreground Grout Museum District


In Cedar Falls, Escapology offers a variety of family-friendly, immersive adventure games where teams work collaboratively to escape a room before time runs out. Options include freeing yourself from a deadly curse, finding a lost treasure and solving a murder.

Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center

On the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Gallagher Bluedorn (below) presents a crowd-pleasing mix of performances. Upcoming shows include the hit Broadway musical Come From Away (Feb. 9 and 10) and the Kyiv Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra (Mar. 10).

Exterior view of performing arts center with cars and grass in foreground


Scratch Cupcakery

With locations in both Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Scratch (below) ensures you’ll never be far from a delicious cupcake. A rotating menu of creative flavors gives you plenty of choices.

Mother and daughter enjoying dessert at bakery, other customers in background Cedar Falls Tourism

Newton’s Paradise Café

For breakfast or lunch, try this Waterloo diner with a sleek design and updated versions of classic comfort foods.


In Cedar Falls, treat yourself to a special-occasion dinner at the elegant Montage, which serves an eclectic menu of steaks, pasta, chicken and seafood. Offerings include rosemary cashew-crusted chicken with orange horseradish sauce and blackberry salmon.

Courtyard by Marriott Waterloo Cedar Falls

In Waterloo, a former John Deere tractor manufacturing building has been renovated into a six-story, 166-unit boutique hotel. Amenities at this AAA Three Diamond property include a heated indoor swimming pool, fitness center and dining at the Bistro Restaurant and Starbeck’s Smokehouse.  

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