Family Fun

Outdoor Winter Fun


posted on Friday, January 4, 2019

Are you getting cabin fever? Do you have the post-holiday winter blues? Do the kids need to get outside and burn off some energy? Below is a list of fun outdoor activities and events to keep you active all season long.

Winter Actiities_Snow shoeing
Hartman Reserve Nature Center, Cedar Falls/Waterloo


Cross-Country Skiing & Snow Shoeing
Snow will be coming at some point this winter. When it does, why not try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing? Visit the Cedar Trails Partnership website for information about the snow trails. No skis or snowshoes – No problem. You can rent or buy them at Europa Cycle & Ski. Snowshoes can also be rented at Hartman Reserve Nature Center, where you can hit the trails right outside their door.

Ice Fishing

Love to fish? Why wait for spring? There are several locations in the area to give it a try, including George Wyth State Park, Big Woods Lake, and Prairie Lakes. Be sure to always check the ice first and follow the Iowa DNR ice safety guidelines.

Ice Skating

Did you know that Young Arena has open ice skating times? Skate rental is also available if you don’t own any ice skates.

Winter Activities_Fat bike
George Wyth State Park, Waterloo/Cedar Falls


Frosty Bun Series

The Frosty Bun Series is compiled of three different events. You can do them all or pick your favorites.

  • Iowa Games Snowshoe Race is January 12 at Hartman Reserve Nature Center (657 Reserve Dr) in Cedar Falls. The race starts at 9am. Visit the Iowa Games website to register.
  • Winter Warrior Duathlon is a snowshoeing and fat bike race. It will take place on February 2 at Eagle Lodge (2588 Hawthorne Ave) in Janesville. The race starts at Noon. Register online by clicking here.
  • The Sticky Stride is a timed 5K, 10K and kids 2.5K run held on March 2 at River Hills School (2800 Grand Blvd) in Cedar Falls. The race starts at 8am and will be held rain, shine or snow! Register online by clicking here. When you’re finished, head on over to the Maple Syrup Festival at Hartman Reserve.


Impact Outdoors will host Cedar Valley Winterfest 2019 on January 27 at South Prairie Lakes (located at the corner of Hudson and Viking Rds) in Cedar Falls. You can enjoy family activities like ice fishing, skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more.

Winter Activites_Fishing
George Wyth State Park, Waterloo/Cedar Falls

Ice Harvesting Festival

The Cedar Falls Historical Society is planning an Ice Harvesting Festival. The festival will be held on February 2 from 10am-3pm at Big Woods Lake (1501 E Lake St) in Cedar Falls. There will be ice harvesting demonstrations, ice carving and more. Admission is free.

Fat Bike Race

The Iowa Games Fat Bike Race will take place on February 9, starting at 1pm in George Wyth State Park (3659 Wyth Rd) in Waterloo. Participants will ride their bike around a snow-trampled course.

Maple Syrup Festival

This year’s Maple Syrup Festival is March 2-3 at Hartman Reserve Nature Center. The all-you-can-eat pancakes are made fresh and you can top them with maple syrup made right from Hartman Reserve's maple trees.

When you are all done having fun outdoors, why not stop at one of the area's local coffee shops for a hot drink to warm you up. Waterloo coffee or tea shops include Cabin Coffee, Fat Cup Coffee Company, Laughing Tree TeaLincoln Perk, and Sidecar Coffee.

- Annette Freeseman, Experience Waterloo
- Photo Credit: Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Center

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