Like all things in this life, summer must inevitably come to an end. While children are feeling the uneasy burden that comes with knowing evenings of homework are upon them, parents look ahead with gratitude to days of cheaper daycare bills and quieter homes.

But before summer ends, there are still a couple of weeks left (sorry Nebraskans) to create summer memories with your little ones, and there’s plenty to do right here in Council Bluffs.

Visit Splash Pads and Local Pools

School may be starting soon, but the temperatures outside confirm it’s not fall yet. Cool off with a trip to Pirate Cove pool before it closes for the season on Sunday, September 1. Looking for something a little more low key? Head over to Bayliss or Fairmount parks for splash pad fun.

Go Bobbing

Bob the Bridge always gets a little bummed out when school starts; he loves visits from kids. Enjoy some sunshine and a walk with a visit to Bob. Parents, you’ll want to bring your camera to snap some pics while “bobbing” (standing in both Nebraska and Iowa on the state line found in the middle of the bridge).

Explore Our Trails

Did you know Pottawattamie County is the “Trail Capital of Iowa?” For good reason! The county has 14 unique and historic trails you can explore like the Lewis and Clark Trail, On the Trail for Stranger Things Trail, the National Loess Hills Scenic Byway. And in Council Bluffs alone, we have 41 miles of continuous trails. Lace up some running shoes or hop on your bikes to explore some of CB’s trails like the Wabash Trace, Iowa Riverfront, and Lake Manawa Recreation trails. You can also explore the trails at Hitchcock Nature Center for a fully immersive day among nature. Check out this blog post for an in-depth look at the fun to be had at the center throughout the year.

Visit the Farmers Market

Farmers Market Council Bluffs occurs every Thursday until the end of September at Bayliss Park from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Find fresh produce and handcrafted goods as well as children’s activities! We guarantee this will be a more exciting excursion for the kids than the usual trip to the grocery store.

Soak in CB History

Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County are home to quite a few museums. Treat your kids to an educational but fun day learning about WWII history at the Great Plains Wing Museum; railroad history at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, RailsWest Railroad Museum, and the Historic General Dodge House; local history at the Squirrel Cage Jail; Mormon history at the Kanesville Tabernacle; the Vietnam War with the new “Huey” helicopter on display at the Treynor Community Center; or tractor history at the Farmall-Land USA Museum.

Escape the Heat

Besides our many museums, there are other ways to escape the heat on a family day out. Try your hand at go-carting at Joe’s Indoor Karting, mini-golf at Pirate Putt, bouncing at The Hub, bowling at Thunderbowl, or solving puzzles at The Cryptic Room.

Kayak or Paddleboard

Feeling a little more adventurous and trusting of your children’s knowledge that you would never want to be tipped over into a large body of water? Try kayaking or paddleboarding! It’s a great work out and a relaxing way to spend some time out on the water. Depending on how small your children are, you can even share a board or try a tandem kayak. You can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes at Lake Manawa Beach. Need more convincing? Check out our blog about paddleboarding at Lake Manawa.

However you decide to spend these last few weeks of summer fun, we hope you have a wonderful time.

— 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

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