These cool autumn days are usually my favorite time of the year, especially when spent with my girlfriends. Long, scenic drives, pumpkin patches, and apple orchards, hayrides and campfires, craft fairs, and seasonal shopping — so many options to choose from. While fall activities will look and feel different this year, I’m committed to not allowing 2020 to completely rob us from creating memories we cherish.
As the train wreck we otherwise refer to as 2020 has rolled on, my girlfriends and I have had to get creative with ways to get out of the house, enjoy grown-up, stress-free companionship, all while making the most of our local treasures. The list below touches on some of my personal favorites.
Soak up the patio and outdoor space before the days shorten and our sunlight diminishes. Here are a few “Girls’ Night Out” locations always at the top of my list:
Black Sheep Social Club
At #1 in my book, Black Sheep offers an urban-chic environment, unique drink menu, and puts a local spin on cuisine sure to leave your taste buds reeling! The outside patio features spacious, comfortable seating options with visually pleasing, heat-providing torches.
Need to catch a game or have a more traditional menu in mind? 30hop takes the bar/grill far up a few notches while retaining a fun, aesthetically pleasing environment. Outdoor patio options are plentiful.
Reopening this summer, Villas Patio is my #1 go-to for Mexican cuisine. The remodel created a dramatic shift in both the external façade and internal ambiance. And, they have the best barrel margaritas in town!
Not sure what mood you’ll be in? Try hitting up one of our area social districts for an array of options:
- NewBo/ Czech Village offers many, including NewBo City Market, Caucho, Parlor City Pub & Eatery, Kickstand, Aces and Eights, and more (https://crmainstreet.org/)
- Marion’s new outdoor café space linking several businesses, such as The Snug, Brick Alley Pub, Urban Pie, Bistro 3 Nineteen, and more (https://uptownmarion.com/)
Fall is the perfect time to take in the beautiful views and landscapes, while taste testing at a local winery, brewery or cider houses.
Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery
If you haven’t stopped by already, you’re truly missing out! Wine, whiskey, dining, and gorgeous views of our rolling Midwest hills are sure to offer your group a pleasant, comfortable, and relaxing environment for quality girl’s time.
Lion Bridge Brewing Co.
Are you looking to stay in town? Have a preference for a hoppy drink selection? Lion Bridge Brewing offers a spacious patio setting, surrounded by the expanding Czech village, providing you with both an opportunity for a casual beverage flight and local shopping.
Clock House Brewing
Located in a convenient spot (attached to The Black Sheep Social Club), you and your gals can wrap up your delectable dinner and head to the back half of the Club for another option — sampling brews. Spacious outdoor seating also available.
A new discovery for us this year, Sutliff Cider quickly found a place in my heart. Located alongside the highway, nestled into the local surroundings. This treasure offers a wonderful mix of entertainment options, some of the best locally made cider (in my opinion), and free roasted peanuts — watch out, these pack a spicy bunch! Weather permitting; their outside seating is a delight.
Support our local arts organizations with a girls’ trip to one of the following:
- Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (https://www.crma.org/)
- Paramount Theatre (http://paramounttheatrecr.com/)
- African American Museum of Iowa (https://blackiowa.org/)
- National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (https://www.ncsml.org/)
- Giving Tree Theater (https://givingtreetheater.com/)
Finally, if cold weather turns you into more of a homebody (like me!) there are numerous ways to cautiously extend the comforts of home to a small number of close friends. In our home, we particularly fond of
- Movie Night (in-side or outside with projector)
- Game Night
- Craft Corner
- Theme/Costume Night (think Ugly Sweater!)
- Book Club
- TV Viewing Party
Here’s to enjoying the splendors of the season … safely! I know my general happiness and overall mental health depends on it. I NEED MY GIRL TIME!
Where do you go for Girls’ Night Out in Cedar Rapids? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!
Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive Cedar Rapids Moms posts in your inbox. While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms events and promotions!!