It may still be fall, but after already experiencing a couple of snows, winter is clearly upon us. Luckily, there are lots of exciting and fun ways to spend winter days in Pottawattamie County — even in the cold! Here are seven things to try this winter in and around Council Bluffs:

Christmas at the Orchard

For the first time, Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard is staying open through the holiday season with their new events, Christmas at the Orchard. Every weekend from Nov. 30 to Dec. 22 will feature photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a drive-by and walk through display of lights, and holiday treats like hot apple cider, pies, jams, and more. Learn more on our calendar at UNleashCB.com/events.

Get-Togethers on the 100 Block

As we near the holidays, you’re likely to have several mandatory friends and family get-togethers for gift exchanges and holiday well wishes. The 100 Block’s many restaurant options mean you can meet there several times with different groups of friends and family members and eat somewhere different each time! Catch dinner and drinks with your friends coming in from out of town at Barley’s, a holiday lunch with the in-laws at Caddy’s Kitchen and Cocktails, gift exchanges with your girlfriends over drinks at Lincoln’s Pub, and more!

Visit Elk & Bison at Botna Bend

You can visit the elk and bison at Botna Bend any time of the year, but there’s something magical about watching the majestic animals prance and frolic in the snow. Though, be sure to come back in the spring — that’s when the calves are born!

Holidays at the Historic General Dodge House

You know those Christmas decorations covered in scenes of a late 1800s/early 1900s Christmas? A dapper gentleman and elegant woman are escorted through snowy streets in a horse-drawn carriage? A Victorian-era neighborhood is covered in snow while light and warmth twinkle from each home and church’s windows? Experience that era come alive with a visit for the General Dodge House during the Christmas season. Be on the lookout for events like Breakfast With Santa and A Day With the Dodges.

Snowshoe Hike at Hitchcock Nature Center

Who says hiking is just for warmer months? Stay fit this winter with a hike through Hitchcock’s winter wonderland. Hikers can see winter birds not seen in other seasons, animal tracks in the snow, and more. Snowshoes can be rented from Hitchcock’s Loess Hills Lodge Welcome Desk.

Pick a Tree at Dappen Tree Farm

You could pick a Christmas tree up in a store parking lot, or you could make a day of it, walking amongst a practical forest of Christmas trees to choose from at Dappen Tree Farm, 20873 Greenview Road. The farm is home to Scotch, White Pine, Spruce, and Firs of all sizes. After you find your perfect tree, just flag down the staff and they’ll cut it for you. Plus, there’s free hot chocolate! The farm officially opens the weekend following Thanksgiving. Check out our associate director of content’s experience at the farm last year on our blog at UNleashCB.com/blog.

Escape the Cold — Go Indoors!

Looking for a break from the cold? Check out The Cryptic Room escape room, Pirate Putt, The Hub: Family Entertainment Center & Trampoline Park, the Charles E. Lakin YMCA, or Thunderbowl! Check out our Inside Fun in Council Bluffs blog for more ideas at UNleashCB.com/blog.

For more ideas of things to do this winter, visit UNleashCB.com!

— Ashley English is the content manager for the Council Bluffs Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. For more information about events and happenings in Council Bluffs, go online to unleashcb.com.

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