July 3, 2017

Shady Fun at Prospect Park

At the top of the hill on Harrison Street sits Prospect Park in Council Bluffs. Almost entirely surrounded by trees, this shady park is a great escape on a hot summer day. Bring along your own water bottles though, because the water fountain wasn't working when we were there.


Prospect Parks has a picnic tables, a playground, and a swing set. Double check the slides before you do down, because the downfall to a somewhat secluded park can be mess left behind.




There were two picnic tables and plenty of grass space for picnics and rolling down hills. There also seemed to be some trails but we didn't venture down them the day we were there. There are no restrooms at Prospect Park and I'm guessing the closest places would be heading to Subway or Taco John's down the street.



 

May 30, 2017

Cool Down at Fairmount Splash Pad and Park


Council Bluffs opened it's newest water playground two years ago and it's been a hit with residents. As the weather heats up this summer, cool down at Fairmount Splash Pad and Park! Seeing how many kids loved playing in the mini splash pad at Bayliss Park, it was a smart move for the city to add Fairmount Splash Pad to the Fairmount Park project.


Fairmount Splash Pad 

Fairmount Splash Pad offers plenty of water fun, with beautiful scenery as it's surround by 100-year old Oak trees all around.

 
Fairmount Splash Pad features 14 water sprayers that squirt on a cycle that encourages kids to move all around the water playground. Tall sprayers to run under.

Shorter sprayers to run around.


Plenty of room to accommodate quite a few kids running around, and benches for parents to sit on.


There is also a covered picnic shelter where you can dry off and enjoy a bite to eat. 



Fairmount Park


In addition to the water playground and plaza, kids burn off energy at the playground. Have I mentioned the views at Fairmount Park? So pretty and this was back in October but I'm dying to get out there soon and see how colorful things are!



You may even spot a lone picnic table or two if you want to grab a bite away from the crowd at the splash pad.


There are also restrooms handy, which is helpful with a splash pad nearby.



Fairmount has really come along way from the condition it was in years ago. Families are once again returning to the area and there is plenty of fun to be had, both wet and dry. Grab the swimsuits and snacks for a day filled with family fun at Fairmount Splash Pad and park!



Vacation Bible Schools in Council Bluffs for 2017

There are lots of Vacation Bible Schools in Council Bluffs this summer. I attended many weeks of VBS during my childhood and always had a lot of fun. Friends, crafts, and lessons about the Lord, best of all it was free for my parents lol! Check out this list of Vacation Bible Schools in Council Bluffs for 2017 and get your kids registered.

Please note that most of these Vacation Bible Schools require registration which you can find by clicking the church links below.

Vacation Bible Schools in Council Bluffs

Broadway United Methodist is hosting Vacation Bible School from June 18th - 22nd in the evening. This program is designed for preschoolers - 5th grade.

Saint John Lutheran Church will be hosting Vacation Bible School from July 10th - July 13th from 5:00-8:00 PM. This program is designed for children ages 3 through 6th grade and a light dinner will be served.

First Christian Church will be having Vacation Bible School from July 12th - June 16th from 8:45-11:15 AM. This program is designed for children ages 3 through 6th grade.

New Horizon Presbitryian Church will be holding their Vacation Bible School from July 23rd - July 27th ad 5:30-8:00 PM. This program is designed for children in preschool - 6th grade and dinner will be served.



Timothy Lutheran Church is having Vacation Bible School from August 4th - 8th from 6:00-7:30PM.

If you know of other Vacation Bible Schools happening in Council Bluffs this summer, drop a comment below!

Family Fun at Narrows River Park in Council Bluffs

Located just off of North 25th Street, Narrows River Park in Council Bluffs offers tons of family fun! If you haven't visited this park before, or recently, I encourage you to plan a trip and pack up a picnic basket.


A must when visiting Narrows River Park in Council Bluffs is a picture in the giant adirondak chairs! There are two that are perfect for family photo ops.



From there you can stroll over to the covered Missouri Overlook Shelter with a gorgeous view of the might Missouri river. Plenty of planes taking off from Eppley make this a great spot for airplane fanatics as well. With a boat ramp at the park, you'll be able to watch some boaters and fishers, too.


When you're ready to play, this 36 acre park includes horseshoe pits, an archery range, table with checkerboard, playground, and volleyball net. All of which have views of the river. After playing, there are plenty of picnic tables to enjoy lunch or dinner at.




There are restrooms at Narrows River Park that have been renovated in the last few years.
I did not notice a drinking fountain but there was a water spout, as well as a marker for the 2011 flood line at Narrows.




Information about Narrows River Park in Council Bluffs


  • The park is closed November through March.
  • Regular Park Hours are daylight hours from sunrise to sunset. 
  • Park Admission is $2.00 per vehicle per day or $10.00 annual permit.
  • Park Address is 2500 North 25th Street Council Bluffs 
  • To get to the park take I-29 to exit #55, go north on 25th Street to River Road and follow the signs. 



May 3, 2017

7 Reasons to Getaway at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City

I can't believe it took me this long to get out to Nebraska City. I know the Apple Jack Festival is a HUGE deal, and trust me I will be there next year. This visit however, was for a getaway with my husband to Lied Lodge and it was exactly what we needed. Close enough to home that I felt comfortable leaving the kids, yet far enough away that I felt like I was getting away. Located just under an hour from Council Bluffs, an amazing getaway at Lied Lodge is waiting for you.


7 Reasons to Getaway at Lied Lodge 

Updated Guest Rooms and Suites


We stayed in a queen room with two beds on the 4th floor. The view was gorgeous and the architectural touches to the room, like the vaulted ceiling, were beautiful. Granite vanities and custom tile are found in each room, and we also had a TV, coffee-maker, refrigerator, and plenty of storage and hanging space.



Top Notch Amenities


Bring your swimsuit along for a dip in the Olympic-sized indoor pool or a dip in the hot tub. Work out in the fitness center, sweat it out in the sauna, and let of tension in the spa. Other amenities include Wifi, complimentary parking, hiking trails, lots of comfy seating near the fireplace, and more.



Spa at Lied Lodge


I mentioned the spa as one of the top notch amenities but it truly deserves it's own mention. Services available include Swedish massages, deep-tissue massages, bamboo fusion, mud therapy body masks, sugar scrubs, and more. I highly recommend a booking a massage at Lied Lodge - shout out to Tina and Melissa for taking fabulous care of my husband and I during our duet massage!



Award Winning Timber Dining Room


Signature selections and buffet options make Timber Dining Room a must have stop for dining at Lied Lodge. Begin your meal with started like Crab Cakes, Fried Green Tomatoes, and meaple Leaf Farms Duck Confit Egg Rolls. Dinner choices include dishes like Wild Isles Scottish Salmon, Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, and Seared 7oz Filet. You can even finish of the meal with a variety of desserts, including strawberry shortcake and an AHmazing apple pie.



Library Lounge


This on-site lounge was a favorite place for use to stop while at Lied Lodge. We went both nights we were there because the atmosphere was perfect and there were lots of conversation starters. The books shelf walls on one side are filled with books, games, and neat decor pieces. A fireplace sites in the center of the room and one side is all windows. Most importantly, drinks were strong and food was available to order - try the Timber Flat Bread and one of their signature drinks if you visit!

Weekend Wine Tasting


Friday and Saturday nights there is a wine tasting offered in the gift shop from 5-7pm. For $7.00 you can try four different Arbor Day Farm wines and you get to keep the Arbor Day Farm wine glass! They were not shy on the pours and there were a variety of red, white, and sweet wines to sample. Plus, if you find a bottle you like, you can pick it up at the Lied Lodge Gift Shop.

Outdoor Adventures


Not only is there plenty of hiking to enjoy at Lied Lodge, you can also walk over to Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure! It is an extra charge but well worth the $8 per person which includes a free tree seedling to plant at home. Check out the view from 50-foot tree house, give tree climbing a try, play at the nature playground, watch Trees in the Movies, and so much more! We had SO much fun at Tree Adventure, even though it was a gloomy weekend. We hiked the entire trail over the creek, kissed on top of the treehouse, and my husband let out his kid at heart. A stop by the Apple House Market for a bite to eat or some shopping is also a must. So many delicious eats to enjoy there as well as take back home.



I could go on and on about why you should book a stay at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City. It truly was an amazing two night getaway that was more than we hoped for. We can't wait to get back and were checking rates for a family stay before we even checked out.

Have you stayed at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City?

April 24, 2017

Playground Fun for Little Ones at Charles E. Lakin Park

I have to be honest, I'm not really sure the name of this park, but it sits behind the Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus off 16th and Avenue G. I searched the Council Bluffs Park Directory and it doesn't seem to be listed, so for now I'm calling it the Charles E. Lakin Park until I find out otherwise. Either way, the name doesn't matter because there is lots of fun to be had at this park in Council Bluffs!

 This Council Bluffs Park has a clay base instead of rocks, along with two different sections to play in. You'll find a big jungle gym with slides, monkey bars, a bridge, and all the fun stuff jungle gyms have.



The money bars are the newer circular style we've been seeing. My husband thinks it's to keep kids from climbing on top of them, and I think it's for saving space. There is also a little rock climbing wall that was a favorite of my twins.


On the other side of the jungle gym is an area for little kids, with lots of fun things to play on. This section is recommended for ages 2-5, and my twins who are 4 spent most of their time playing in this area. There are tons of cool shapes and designs to crawl under, over, around, and through that make for endless possibilities while playing.

 



 


The Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus also has a little pathway you can stroll down. It makes for a great way to wrap up the playing and get the kids to head back to the car. If you haven't been to this park, I highly recommend stopping by one afternoon or evening. Especially if you have toddlers or preschoolers!








April 17, 2017

Alamo Drafthouse Summer Kids Camp 2017

The Alamo Drafthouse Summer Kids Camp is returning for 2017! Simply your local air-conditioned Alamo Drafthouse this summer, and escape on a cinematic adventure with your family. We're talking kid friendly movies at ridiculously cheap prices, to help us escape that Midwest summer heat we know is coming!

The best part about this summer kids camp is that 100% of the proceeds benefit local non-profits! Here in Omaha, Project Harmony is one of those non-profits. This year, Alamo Drafthouse expects to donate $100,000 to approximately 35 nonprofits nationwide during Summer 2017, and you can help by buying tickets to any or all of the movies, ranging in price from $1, $3, and $5.



Alamo Drafthouse Summer Kids Camp Schedule 

June 2017

  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • Minions
  • Matilda
  • Zathura: A Space Adventure
July 2017

  • The Iron Giant
  • Trolls
  • Muppets from Space
  • The Spongebob Movie
August 2017

  • Song of the Sea
  • Speed Racer
  • Jumanji
  • The Secret Life of Pets



Picnic and Play at Kirn Park in Council Bluffs

There is no shortage on parks in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Each one offers its own unique features and reasons to visit, something our family does quite often. Situated at the top of a hill on High School Avenue, Kirn Park and Kirn Field were once the site of the city's first high school. To this day it still sees teams hitting the field and kids hitting the playground.


At Kirn Park you will find a nice playground with plenty of things for the kids to do. A jungle gym, monkey bars, slides, swings, and digging toys with a gorgeous view!  


After playing you can enjoy lunch or dinner on one of the picnic tables. Bonus points for coverage in case of rain, and a grill for cooking! 


A drinking fountain, trashcans, and a port-a-potty are also available for use. 



The track around Kirn Field is still there and usable. Several people were walking and running around it while we were there playing. As well as several different soccer teams starting practice on the field. 



I'm not sure how many and what types of games are played at Kirn Park, but the bleachers are still there and in decent condition. A plaque hanging at the entrance takes you back in time with a date of 1936! 



Plan a visit to Kirn Park in Council Bluff, and enjoy a location with history while you are having some fun!