5 Tips For an Iowa Summer Staycation

Posted on: June 07, 2017 | By: grimes

Summer in Iowa can be an exciting adventure, even for its own residents. More and more families are opting to stay close to home during breaks, and they are stunned to discover Iowa has many unique entertainment options.

If you are planning a staycation this summer, consider these tips to maximize your family experience.

  1. Check out local events. Iowa does not lack in festivals and celebrations. Some, like RAGBRAI, are so famous everyone knows about them. But there are hundreds of events you might be missing out on. Check out “Celebrate Iowa” by Carson Ode, a guide to over 100 Iowa festivals. We also recommend you visit www.catchdesmoines.com for great ideas and discount coupons for classics like Adventureland and the Iowa Cubs.
  2. Discover Iowa’s secrets. Browse the articles at onlyinyourstate.com/iowa to find fantastic out-of-the-way places in Iowa. You can also look in the travel Iowa section (917 non-fiction) for books like Iowa Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places.
  3. Try something new: Read the book, then visit the place. We have several books that are set right here in Iowa. Check them out and read them as you visit their great Iowa setting. We recommend Lila by Marilynne Robinson, A thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, and Bottomland by Michelle Hoover. Or, check out guides on Iowa’s flora and fauna, Iowa Birds for example, before going into the wilds of Iowa. Engage the family by creating a treasure hunt to see who can find what from the books.
  4. Prepare for a great (and short) road trip. Stop by the Library on your way out of town and check out car entertainment essentials such as audiobooks for the CD player, a portable DVD player and movies for the kids, WiFi hotspot (best to reserve this in advance), and of course, books!You might also consider reading a great Buzzfeed.com article called, “14 Road Trip Games Adults Will Actually Enjoy,” before heading out.
  5. Get ideas from our most recommended staycation books.For nature lovers we recommend:
    • Biking Iowa: 50 Great Trips and Trail Rides (797 Mor)
    • Paddling Iowa: 96 Great Trips by Canoe and Kayak (797.122 Hoo)
    • Great Iowa Walks: 50 Strolls, Rambles, Hikes and Treks (796.51)

    For the curious we recommend:

    • The Iowa Road Guide to Haunted Locations (917.77)
    • Iowa—Spaces, Places Faces (917.77)
    • Iowa Curiosities: quirky characters, roadside oddities and other offbeat stuff (917.77)


    Reserve your Adventure Pass today! You can now check out a pass to visit Living History Farms and Blank Park Zoo for free! Go to grimes.lib.ia.us to learn more about this great new program!