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vacation to cedar rapids?

USA
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vacation to cedar rapids?

My family and I were looking to do something a little different than the expense of Chicago this year. Is there enough in the Cedar Rapids area to keep a family occupied for a few days? We have three little children, one in a wheel chair. Any recomendations? Thanks!

Des Moines, Iowa
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1. Re: vacation to cedar rapids?

If you branch out a bit using Cedar Rapids as a base, I think that you could have a nice 3 day family mini-vacation in east central Iowa.

In Cedar Rapids, there is the Science Station for the kids, Usher's Ferry historical park and, near Mt. Vernon, the Abbe School House Museum, which will show your kids what a one room country school was like.

About a half an hour south, in Iowa City, there is the Iowa Children's Museum and a nice play area in Coral Ridge Mall, along with the Museum of Natural History on the University of Iowa campus. And within an hour's drive of Cedar Rapids is Kalona, which may be of interest for learning about the Amish who settled in the area.

Enjoy your trip!

Iowa
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2. Re: vacation to cedar rapids?

Hi Sydylo,

You might want to also consider spending some time in Dubuque, just an hour east of CR. The National River Museum and Aquaruim is affiliated with the Smithsonian and has wonderful exhibits and hands on activities for the kids. You could spend an entire day there. Then of course you have the Mississippi River with many excursions available. Check out this link for other activities in the city and surrounding area.

http://www.dubuquechamber.com/

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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3. Re: vacation to cedar rapids?

I was just there a couple of weeks ago and I'm still working on my TRs and reviews.

I included this area in my trip so I could visit the Amana Colonies, which are about 20 miles south of Cedar Rapids. It's a cluster of villages founded in the 1850s by a German religious minority group that left Europe to escape persecution. (They are not related to the Amish). The villages are preserved from the 19th century and you can see the traditional customs and workmanship that they have passed down, and the goods and foods they make. The Amana appliance company began there and grew into today's major producer of washers, microwaves, etc.

http://www.amanacolonies.com/

You didn't say how old your kids are, but if they are older than toddlers, there should be something to interest everyone. Seeing how people lived, worked, went to school, worshipped, and played 150 years ago without electricity or gasoline is fascinating!

There are lodgings in the villages. Some are historic hotels or B&Bs that may be less suitable for youngsters. I stayed at the Clarion at I-80 and U.S. 151, just a few minutes from the villages. It has an indoor waterpark, outdoor playground and mini golf course, and is near several small Amana shops (branches of the bigger ones in the actual villages).

4. Re: vacation to cedar rapids?

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