on Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Spend the weekend experiencing fall in the Cedar Valley. Enjoy fall events and farmer's markets. Trails and fall foliage. Pumpkin patches and Halloween haunts. Spectacular sports, golfing and more. Here's some fall-inspired activities we hand-picked just for you. Happy fall y'all!
1. Fall Fun. Kick off the fall shopping season, September 15-17, with great deals from over 20 businesses in downtown Cedar Falls. Pick up your Fall Shop Hop card and discover new fall merchandise, fashions, gifts and home decor. Plus, enjoy specials, giveaways and treats at participating businesses. Make a return visit with the whole family on Saturday, October 15 for their Fall Family Fun Day. Enjoy a day of FREE, fall-themed fun...face painting, pumpkin decorating, kid's activities and more. Downtown Cedar Falls will also be hosting a Witches' Walk later that month, which will include shopping, dining and wicked good specials!
2. Bicycle Rides. Hop on your bike and visit three different farms on this year's Cedar Valley Farm Ride. This 37-mile bicycle ride will take place on Sunday, September 18 from National Cattle Congress. And, there's always lots of fun to be had at the Spooks, Spokes, Sneakers & Cycles event happening on Saturday, October 8. Choose from a Halloween bike ride, powder fun run or motorcycle poker run. Food, fun and music will follow at Gateway Park in Cedar Falls.
3. Pumpkin Patches. Stop by Heartland Farms from September 23-October 31 for pumpkins, squash and decorative gourds. This family-friendly attraction features farm animals, a giant jumping pillow, bounce houses and much more. Don't miss their famous Punkinator too! A Family Market Place will also have their pumpkin patch set up on the beautiful grounds of the Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens this year.
4. Fun Runs. Strap on your running shoes and check out one of these fall fun runs...Glow Stick 5K, Pink Ribbon Run, Trick or Trot, and Indee Zombie Run 5K Obstacle Course.
5. Oktoberfest. Celebrate Oktoberfest September 23-24 at Waverly's Kohlmann Park. This new event will feature two music venues, including their new Shades of Rhythm Amphiteater, food and beverage gardens, plus a family fun zone. You can also celebrate Oktoberfest on College Hill in Cedar Falls. Beer will be flowing from the Iowa Craft Beer Tent, along with sausages and soft pretzels. Make plans to be there on Saturday, October 15!
6. Haunted Attractions. Experience haunted houses for all scare levels throughout the Cedar Valley. Choose from Harris Haven, Heart of Darkness (multiple versions), Haunted Hayrides, and Panic Park* - or visit them all. Haunted houses open in late September and continue until Halloween. If you're looking for something a little lower on the scare scale, head to the Waterloo Public Library on Friday, October 28 for their "Haunted Library". Kids will make creepy crafts, mix scary snacks, and take a tour of their haunted halls.
*Due to flooding, Panic Park will not be open for the 2016 Halloween season.
7. Horror Films. See some of the best in Horror films, every Tuesday in October at the Hearst Center for the Arts. Be prepared to be spooked as you watch classics like "Dracula", Frankenstin", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", and "The Mummy".
8. Nature Hikes. Bring the whole family on October 5-7 for a Halloween Hike through a candle-lit trail. You'll visit a variety of fun forest characters on this (non-scary) walk and enjoy some hot cocoa when you're done. Or, spend an autumn afternoon at the Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens with arborist and historian, Paul Kammerdiner. Experience the beautiful fall colors of the Arboretum during their Fall Tree Hike on Sunday, October 16.
9. Cemetery Walks. Join the Cedar Falls Historical Society and Grout Museum District in Waterloo for their annual cemetery walks during the month of October. Costumed actors will tell the tale of former residents as you stroll through the paths of Cedar Valley's past.
10. Tricks & Treats. Bring your little ghosts and goblins to downtown Cedar Falls and Waterloo in late October for fun and FREE trick-or-treating events. Plus, don't forget to stop by the Phelps Youth Pavilion on Thursday, October 27 to discover "The Spooktacular Lives of Pets". Enjoy (non-scary) animal skits performed by the Black Hawk Children's Theatre, fur-tastic art activities and refreshments.
For a full listing of events taking place in the Cedar Valley, check out our events calendar. Plus, share your fall photos with us or tag them with the hashtag #IDigWaterloo. You can find Travel Waterloo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Beth Keeney, Waterloo Convention & Visitors BureauPhoto Credit: Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, Grout Museum District, Hartman Reserve Nature Center.