10 Things to Do in Cedar Falls That You Shouldn't Miss

March 18, 2018 Darleen Reid

Cedar Falls is a city in Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 39,260 and has the smaller population of the two principal cities in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metropolitan area. It is home to the University of Northern Iowa, a public university.
Restaurants in Cedar Falls

1. Cedar Falls Main Street

Main Street, Cedar Falls, IA
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 151 reviews

Cedar Falls Main Street

Reviewed By Patricia F

Cedar Falls Main Street is full of cute shops and quality restaurants. The vintage buildings add charm, but the shops are "current." Photographers are often seen shooting portraits here. Don't miss The World's Window free trade store for unique gift and home goods, with a purpose. We recommend the Cottonwood Canyon (Jamaican) and Ginger Thai restaurants. And Scratch Cupcakery has become a destination location!

2. John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum

500 Westfield Avenue, Waterloo, IA 50701 +1 319-292-6126
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 111 reviews

John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum

Reviewed By _iaholic57 - Waterloo, Iowa

Our visit to the John Deere Tractor Museum was a very pleasant surprise!! It was very informative & especially enjoyable. There was slot to view, see & experience. We loved it & will go back again!!Thanks and be sure to visit again!

3. Big Woods Lake Recreation Area

North_ Big Woods & Lake Street, Cedar Falls, IA +1 319-433-7275
Excellent
65%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 37 reviews

Big Woods Lake Recreation Area

Reviewed By Russell C - Storm Lake

Our son took us here to enjoy a warm Saturday early spring walk at the Big Woods Lake Rec Area. We walked into a wooded area on a paved bike trail and saw three deer on the trail and four others in the woods staring at us. We walked further and saw three Eagles flying and perched in trees looking for food. We of course saw the annoying geese who are loud and leave droppings all over the path. Beautiful place to walk, bike, long board, or even fish.

4. UNI-Dome / McLeod Center

2501 Hudson Rd, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0014 +1 319-273-3664
Excellent
70%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 49 reviews

UNI-Dome / McLeod Center

Reviewed By Irishjudge - Cedar Falls, Iowa

The UNI-Dome seats about 15000 and there is not a bed seat in the house for a football game. The McLeod Center is a fine venue for basketball and, again, not a bad seat in the house. We have season tickets to UNI men's basketball and always have a good time. The McLeod center is also used for volleyball. Occasionally both venues are used for concerts. These sites are a credit to the University and great for the Cedar Valley community at large.

5. Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum

503 South St, Waterloo, IA 50701-1517 +1 319-234-6357
Excellent
73%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 79 reviews

Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum

Reviewed By Roy C - Whispering Pines, North Carolina

This museum is very nice, commemorating not only the five Sullivan Brothers who all died after the sinking of their ship during World War II, but all military as well, in particular those from Waterloo and environs. A very nice gentleman discussed the statue of the brothers, explaining that the wife of the only married brother wanted his likeness to be made the most handsome.

Some of the Sullivan family home is replicated at the museum, showing what life was like in the early 1940s when America entered the war. There also is a tank into which children (or limber wives, for that matter) may climb. There also is the front part of Huey helicopter, used extensively in the Vietnam war, and a P-51 Mustang from the World War. It hangs at the entrance to the museum.

Don't miss the statue to the "Lone Sailor" before entering the museum.

It is a very nice museum, not to be missed if you are passing through Waterloo or if you live near there.

There is a parking lot at the side of the museum, but we did not know if we could use it. It seemed to be for employees only, though the signage wasn't very clear on that point. We did use it, rather far from the employee door, with no problems.

6. SingleSpeed Brewing Co.

128 Main St, Cedar Falls, IA 50613-2644
Excellent
62%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 23 reviews

SingleSpeed Brewing Co.

Reviewed By ttphotography - Cedar Falls, Iowa

What a fun place to meet friends, and share a beer.

This is a cozy corner establishment, with bar, long high top tables, regular tables, and a couple window tables for people watching.

Great brewed beer menu available, with detailed descriptions.

Sampling available if you're unsure of what you want.

They also have a few wines, for non-beer drinkers.

7. Phelps Youth Pavilion

225 Commercial St, Waterloo, IA 50701-1313 +1 319-291-4490
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 31 reviews

Phelps Youth Pavilion

Reviewed By ificouldonlyfly - Yankton, South Dakota

We spent most of a snowy afternoon here - there is plenty to do, and engage the children's imaginations. My 5 y/o had fun with everything and spent time at every station. The stage and puppet theater upstairs, was especially enjoyable. I thought the rooms from around the world was really cool, showing you a glimpse of life from other countries. We've gone to many children's museums, and this was one of the best, and their stuff was different from what I've seen elsewhere. Even my teenager had fun playing here!

8. Escape Cedar Valley

115 E 4th St, Suite 101, Cedar Falls, IA 50613-2863 +1 319-290-7498
Excellent
81%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 21 reviews

Escape Cedar Valley

Reviewed By JunkerFam

Good escape room establishment. Located close to downtown cedar falls so you can walk to entertainment afterwards if you plan a full night out. Two rooms currently available. Professional set up and organized. A lot of these have been popping up around the country and some are better than others. The actual riddles could have been a bit better, but is definitely worth going to if you enjoy these types of places.

9. Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center

8201 Dakota St, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0801 +1 319-273-7469
Excellent
75%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 4 reviews

Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center

Reviewed By mjrg59 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Sign up to receive emails about the season's schedule and be sure to get tickets as it will delight you.

10. Black Hawk Park

2410 W Lone Tree Rd, Cedar Falls, IA 50613-1093 +1 319-433-7275
Excellent
50%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Black Hawk Park

Reviewed By Daniel B - Cedar Rapids

Having never before been here I was pleasantly surprised by my findings. I made a beeline for this place after work the other day. Being a typical March day, it was mid50s the day I visited. Cool, crisp air greeted me when I finally found this place. I was told by a local that this place is one of the largest county parks in the state. Seeing as I consider myself a "park" guy in this state I had to go and see for myself. Yes, it IS quite a large park. It affords over 1400 acres. You can camp here at one of two different campgrounds. No reservations are required. They offer a first come first served policy. Rates are low(for now but will rise when the season starts). Many sites come with electricity and there are 21 with full hook-ups.They have four shelters that you may rent for gatherings or just to have lunch. Parking is available at all shelters.Drinking water and showers; flush toilets; Equestrian and hiking trails;biking; fishing;boating; there is a ball field here; archery is made available; winter sports; they have a shooting range here. You know for shooting clay pigeons. Haven't seen this option given at some of the larger state parks in this state, so nice touch.Regular hunting is permitted but check with the office on where/season. All the places I visited that day were wheelchair accessible.Saw a few deer nearby but what caught my eye was the number of wild Turkey that just ambled by me. The just walked right out of the wooded trail I was on and crossed my path without a care in the world. I counted two toms followed by eight hens. Cool, I thought. They were only a few yards ahead of me, too. I was the lone hiker that day but I did see a few vehicles parked at various places all over the park. I would have to agree, this is by far one of the largest county parks I have ever been to. The original 325 acres was purchased by the BlackHawk conservation board in 1957. The remaining tracts of land were added later.In my opinion, this place is worthy of your attention. It took me only a few hours to hike all the trails and most were typical for this time of year: muddy and yucky. Wear jeans and waterproof boots and some rain gear if need be. I always wear a hat too. No worries about bugs at this time of year. This trail surprised me at just how spread out it is. Very easy to navigate the trails and to just drive around. The road in was easy as well. Signs guide you from all directions. I make it a point to access the entrances from every point once I get to a place. I also first drive around(if possible) just to get my bearings. This place is well thought out and where to go and do things. Please come and see for yourself. The campgrounds do close by December 1st each year then re-open in the Spring(or when appropriate).

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