Three Iowa Spring Break Destinations for Your Family

We can see the end of winter coming soon, and spring break is right around the corner!  You’ve got about a month, so it’s time to start planning! If you need a little vacation, but don’t want to leave the state, we’ve got three great destinations within just a couple of hours of Cedar Rapids.  Whether you plan an overnight stay or just a day trip, these cities have plenty for everyone to do!

Iowa Spring Break Destinations
Dubuque, Iowa

Dubuque, IA

Distance from Cedar Rapids: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Where to Stay: Grand Harbor Resort

Things to do:

National Mississippi River Museum-interactive museum and aquarium 

Mystique Ice Center-indoor ice arena 

The Discovery Lab-interactive museum with a variety of activities 

Grand Harbor Resort-indoor water park

Why should you choose Dubuque for spring break:  The oldest city in Iowa is picturesque! Located along the Mississippi River, it provides many things to do and see just a short drive from the town. You are also just across the river from Wisconsin and Illinois if you want to expand your horizons a little!

Burlington, IA

Distance from Cedar Rapids: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Where to Stay:

Catfish Bend Inn, Hampton Inn and Suites

Things to do:

Fun City– Indoor Waterpark, Bowling Alley, Go-Kart Track, Indoor Play Area, Ropes Course, Arcade

Shug’s Tiny Town– Melissa and Doug toy store, Indoor Play area

Art Center of Burlington- Museum and some children’s activities

Crapo Park– playgrounds, walking trails, arboretum

Why you should choose Burlington for spring break:  Again, located along the Mississippi River, it is rich in history and abounds with architectural finds, exciting venues for fun, and sight-seeing along the river!  Plus, it has a Sonic Drive-In if you’re craving a Cherry Limeade! 

Des Moines, IA

Distance from Cedar Rapids: 2 hours

Where to Stay:

Adventureland InnRamada Tropics Resort

Things to do:

Pappajohn Sculpture Park– Outdoor sculpture garden and picnic area

Blank Park Zoo– Zoo with indoor and outdoor exhibits 

Hall of Pride Museum– Interactive museum celebrating Iowans 

Bass Pro Shop– Wilderness store that includes an aquarium, bowling alley and restaurant

Science Center of Iowa– Museum with interactive science themed exhibits 

Monkey Joe’s Inflatable Jumping Park– Indoor play area with inflatables 

Flix Brewhouse Movie Theater– Movie theater with table side service

Why you should choose Des Moines for spring break: It’s the closest “big city” we have, with fun for everyone. Shop at places you’ve been missing, dine out and restaurants we don’t have in Cedar Rapids, and there is plenty to do and explore for kids of all ages. 

Now that we have inspired you with three local spring break destinations, go out and create some memories with your families!  Just don’t forget to share pictures with us!  

What are you Spring Break plans? Share ideas with other local moms in the comments below!

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Meredith was born and raised in Cedar Rapids before attending Central College in Pella and settling in Vinton. She and her husband married in 2011 and welcomed their daughter, Claire, in February of 2014. Meredith is a Title 1 Reading Teacher at Shellsburg Elementary. She is passionate about her family, connecting with friends and teaching. When she’s not spending time with her daughter, you can find Meredith catching up on social media, watching reality TV or eating tacos.