If you consider yourself a Cedar Rapids newbie (or just visiting for the weekend!), we have the must-do list for you to complete.
Here are a handful of must-do activities in Cedar Rapids to experience during your first year in Cedar Rapids. Trust us, by the end, you will have made some pretty unforgettable memories and learned a ton about your new home.
1. Visit Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market
From mid-June through September, Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market becomes the place to go for fresh produce, baked goods, meats, dairy products, wines and artisan gifts. The market runs from 7:30 a.m.- noon on the first and third Saturdays during these four months, and about 100 vendors are featured.
2. Attend Market After Dark
You’ve experienced a regular farmers market, but now you get to see what one is like at night. Market After Dark arrives in downtown Cedar Rapids in late September each year on a Saturday night. The event, which is billed as a “unique nighttime farmers market” has a few extra activities up its sleeve. Attendees can chow down on some grub provided by food vendors, listen to bands performing, and drink beer and wine – participants 21 and older can wander the market area with open containers.
3. Savor the Cedar Rapids Restaurant Week
Savor the flavor of independent eateries throughout Cedar Rapids every February when the annual Cedar Rapids Restaurant Week showcases the city’s unique cuisine offerings. A number of different restaurants schedule special promotions and activities this week.
4. Check Out an Event at the PowerHouse
Alliant Energy PowerHouse in downtown Cedar Rapids is the premier multiuse arena for the Eastern Iowa region. Depending on your taste, you might head here for a trade show, sporting event, rodeo, convention or concert. Bands that performed at the PowerHouse in 2021 included Blue Oyster Cult, ZZ Top and Mannheim Steamroller Christmas.
5. Experience Hawkeye Downs Speedway
Before it became Hawkeye Downs Speedway, this local favorite began in 1925 as a dirt track called Frontier Park. The speedway was paved with asphalt in 1989, and today, it provides weekly Friday night stock car racing during warm-weather months. Local estimate figures show that Hawkeye Downs Speedway contributes $7 million to $10 million annually to the Cedar Rapids-area economy.