As the iconic Game of Thrones characters constantly repeat, winter is coming. For those characters, the winter season means terrifying monsters and dreadful cold, but for us in Iowa winter brings a whole slew of fun activities. With the arrival of snow comes anticipated days of hot chocolate, sledding, hiking, and wonderful views. In celebration, I have taken some of my favorite things to do during Iowa’s winter months and listed them below. Enjoy!

Cross-Country Skiing or Snowshoeing

If you are like me and enjoy hiking, these activities are for you. Unfortunately, a deep layer of snow does not make it easy to lace up your hiking boots and take to your favorite trails. Thankfully, skis and snowshoes exist to get us through until the snow melts. Try renting a pair and going for a winter hike on your favorite trail! It is a great form of exercise, and will turn into a fun adventure. If you need any tips on trails in Iowa, check out this guide.


Looking for another way to get around on your favorite trail? I would recommend Snowmobiling. There are a ton of snowmobiling clubs in Iowa, so you will have no trouble getting into the activity if you want to try it out. The clubs make sure all of your snowmobiling adventures are safe and fun, and they even encourage you to bring along your family. Whether your preferred path is flat terrain, or forest hills, Iowa has it all. Just remember to dress warmly!

Ice Skating

This is a time-honored tradition of winter, and Iowa is the perfect place to honor it. Iowa has several ice skating rinks, making it possible to ice skate wherever you are. Whether you want to show off your moves, or make your way around the rink by holding onto the side, these ice skating rinks guarantee a lot of winter fun. I would suggest rewarding yourself with some hot chocolate when you’re done.

Eagle Watching

If you’re anywhere near the Mississippi River, I would suggest keeping an eye out for eagles. These majestic birds live along the water in the winter, positioning themselves so they are shielded from ice while having maximum access to the fish they need to survive. So, grab a pair of binoculars and take your place near the river. There will be some beautiful sights to see!

Go Sledding!

You don’t have to be a kid to experience the joy that sitting in a saucer and speeding down a hill can bring. No matter your age, take a sled to the top of your favorite steep hill, of which there are many in Iowa, and hold the sides on the way down!