Back-to-School Blues?

The kids are back in school. Their end of summer restlessness is finally cured, and your days are looking a lot simpler.

Cue the back-to-school blues. Your children’s initial excitement for a new classroom, new teacher, and new friends has begun to wear off. Now they’re realizing the full extent of what back-to-school means: homework and possibly stress.

Luckily, Council Bluffs has the answers to cure those back-to-school blues for the kids (and by extension you)! Here are some fun places to visit to cheer your kids up:

1. The YMCA

2. The Hub

3. Thunderbowl

4. Farms, Ranches, and Orchards

5. Fun Runs

6. The Council Bluffs Public Library

7. Broadway Skate Park

It’s Fun to Stay at the…

There’s a song about it for a reason. The Charles E. Lakin YMCA (in its beautiful new building we might add) hosts a variety of recreational events and programs for the community.

The local Y’s Vice President of Operations, Leo McIntosh, encourages families to take advantage of the YMCA’s athletic and fitness programs—especially during high-stress times like the back-to-school season.

Exercise is an effective way to de-stress after a busy work or school day. Plus, exercising as a family provides a time to bond and talk to your kids about healthy living.

The YMCA also hosts fun child-based events like “Parent’s Night Out,” “Imagination Nights,” and “Teen Nights.” You can enjoy a date night out while the kids enjoy time with their peers. It’s a win for the whole family.

These activities vary in price and depend on if you are a member or not. Visit the YMCA’s website for more information.

Catch Some Air

Bouncing from trampoline to trampoline during an intense game of dodgeball is sure to remind your kids that just because school’s back in session, doesn’t mean they can’t have a ton of fun in the evenings and on the weekends. That’s where The Hub comes in, Council Bluffs’ first trampoline park.

Kids can bounce to their hearts’ content at The Hub while enjoying dunk hoops, a jousting beam, and more! The Hub also hosts a teen night every Saturday with music and dodgeball and basketball tournaments.

Visit The Hub’s website for more information.



You can’t go wrong with Thunderbowl for a family night out—especially when the evening ends with dinner on the patio at McCoy’s Bar and Grill.

Enjoy an evening of bowling, live music (on Thursdays and Saturdays), and great food. It’s a simple night out, but one the family will enjoy.

Visit Thunderbowl’s website for more information.


As we begin to enter the fall months, a trip to a local farm, ranch, or orchard can be an exciting outing for your kids.

Usher in those early days of fall by taking the kids out to Shady Lane Ranch for a horse ride, making an appointment with Carstens 1880 Farmstead for a history lesson, or picking apples at Ditmars Orchard.

Families can also attend Carstens’ annual Farm Days event every September as a fun back-to-school tradition.

Outrun Stress

As mentioned before, exercise is a great way to reduce stress, and what better way to do that than a fun run? Fun runs provide a great way for families to bond—plus, the runs usually support a good cause and promote healthy living.

Sign up for our eNewsletter for regular event updates to see when fun runs come to town.

Events at the Public Library

Families can also look to the Council Bluffs Public Library for entertaining family events like movie screenings and educational programs.  

In addition, teens can attend regular creative workshops at the library’s Teen Central.

Jamie Ruppert, the teen services librarian, explains that the supervised space provides a creative outlet for teens after school and on the weekends.

“Teenagers need something to do that lets them explore their interests,” Ruppert says. “Teen Central [gives them a space> to do something constructive besides school work.”

For more information visit the Council Bluffs Public Library’s website.

Hip Times at the Broadway Skate Park

Soak up some of those last summer days of sunshine by taking your kids to the Broadway Skate Park after school. The park includes ramps and an eight-foot bowl, so your kids can show off all of their latest tricks—radical.

Enjoy this Season

Those back-to-school blues may seem rough at first, but your kids will get used to their routines before you know it. Getting up early and remembering to do homework is a tough adjustment for all kids after a long summer.

Be patient with them and remind them that this season brings its own exciting activities.

This post was originally published on August 29, 2018 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.