Named as one of America’s “100 Best Small Art Towns,” the town of Cedar Falls, Iowa boasts abundant nature, a charming downtown district, and numerous art to see. This Midwest gem offers many events throughout the year, whether it's a concert or sporting event at the University of Northern Iowa’s McLeod Center or simply one of the summer movies in the park. Local eateries and shops fronted by historic brick buildings line the town’s quaint Main Street, while the Cedar River winds through Cedar Falls with the namesake falls cascading at the heart. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.UNI-Dome - McLeod Center

UNI-Dome - McLeod Center
© Goran Jakus/stock.adobe.com

The McLeod Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus was built as a replacement for the UNI Dome, which previously housed the university’s wrestling, volleyball, and basketball. The UNI Dome, however, is still home to its storied football program. Opened in 2006, the McLeod Center allows for more of a variety of events. In addition to sporting events, the university arena in Cedar Falls also brings in many entertainment events, such as concerts by artists like Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Meat Loaf, Bob Dylan, and more. This multi-purpose 7,018-seat arena has also played host to the Dalai Lama.

2501 Hudson Rd, Cedar Falls, IA 50614, Phone: 319-273-6636

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2.Hartman Reserve Nature Center, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Hartman Reserve Nature Center, Cedar Falls, Iowa
© Hartman Reserve Nature Center


The Hartman Reserve Nature Center of Black Hawk County encompasses approximately 340 acres on a wooded isle, offering unique events and programs, an interpretive center with a variety of educational exhibits, and nature trails. The trails throughout the nature reserve are open daily from sunrise until sunset. The Hartman Reserve extends down the Cedar River from an upland bluff that overlooks the scenic Cedar River Valley, and within the upland forest visitors can find an open meadow, a small prairie, vernal depressions, backwater, and gravel pits. The Interpretive Center connects to the forest through a series of bridges and trails.

657 Reserve Dr, Cedar Falls, IA 50613, Phone: 319-277-2187

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3.Ice House Museum, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Ice House Museum, Cedar Falls, Iowa
© Ice House Museum

The Ice House Museum is the only museum of its kind in the United States that shares the ice harvesting story within an original ice house. This unique museum contains several interactive displays designed to help tell the story of ice harvesting, as well as show the area’s Cedar River shaped daily life, culture, and business. The 1921 round building also houses tools formerly used to cut the ice from the nearby river. Visitors can watch videos and interact with hands-on activities to experience the international and life-changing industry responsible for providing the world with fresh food.

121 Center St, Cedar Falls, IA 50613, Phone: 319-266-5149

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4.Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls, IA

Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls, IA
© Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center


Located on the University of Northern Iowa campus in Cedar Falls, the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center consists of three different performance halls, offering seating for as many as 1,680 guests inside the Great Hall. More than three hundred performances are held in the performing arts center every year, including a variety of international and national touring shows and performers, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, and UNI School of Music student productions. The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center’s Artist Series brings in a wide array of internationally acclaimed programs and artists, with events ranging from classical to comedy to Broadway.

8201 Dakota St, Cedar Falls, IA 50614, Phone: 319-273-4849

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5.Hearst Center for the Arts, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Hearst Center for the Arts, Cedar Falls, Iowa
© Hearst Center for the Arts


The Hearst Center for the Arts showcases hundreds of pieces of artwork by regional and local artists. During the springs the art center also displays artwork by local high school and elementary school students. Visitors can also stroll through the Hearst Center’s sculpture garden or attend one of the seasonal events. For families with young children, one such example of events is Messy Morning, during which children can take part in creative art activities. Daily admission to the Hearst Center for the Arts is free and the center is open every day except for Mondays and major holidays.

304 W Seerley Blvd, Cedar Falls, IA 50613, Phone: 319-273-8641

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5 Best Things to Do in Cedar Falls, Iowa



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