Skip to content

Latest Blogs

Pin to Trip

Free or Cheap Things to do in the Council Bluffs Area

Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County offer a plethora of budget-friendly activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're interested in history, outdoor adventures, or simply relaxing in a beautiful park, this list provides a starting point for exploring the area without breaking the bank. 

1. Trails and Parks:

Enjoy the great outdoors with the county's numerous parks and walking/biking trails, such as the FIRST AVE Trail, Botna Bend Park, and Arrowhead Park.

2. See a Movie at a Small-Town Theatre:

Spend an evening watching the latest blockbuster hit at affordable prices at the Dreamland Theatre in Carson or the Phoenix Movie Theater in Neola.

3. Relax by the Water:

Spend a day at Lake Manawa State Park, where you can swim, fish, have a picnic, or relax by the water.

4. Free Community Events:

Keep an eye out for free community events, such as festivals, concerts, and outdoor movie nights that often take place throughout the county. They're listed on our community calendar! 

5. Learn About Our Local Heroes:

The Stars and Bronze Tribute Trail takes you through each community in Pottawattamie County to see fourteen Eagle of Honor statues that pay tribute to our military veterans.

6. Art Tour:

Explore local artwork through a self-guided tour of 12 works of outdoor public art through the Otocast App. This app gives you directions to each piece and allows you to hear directly from the artist.  

7. Fishing:

Grab your fishing gear and head to Lake Manawa, Carter Lake, or the West Nishnabotna River Water Trail for a relaxing day of angling.

8. Historic Downtowns:

Stroll through the historic downtown areas of Council Bluffs, Avoca, Walnut, and other communities to admire architecture, browse shops, and enjoy a meal or coffee at a local eateries.

9. Local Farmers' Markets:

Support local agriculture and artisans by visiting the county's farmers' markets, such as the one in Council Bluffs, Avoca, Treynor, and Underwood.

10. Historical Sites:

Explore the county's rich history by visiting local historical sites like the Union Pacific Railroad MuseumSquirrel Cage Jail Museum, Historic General Dodge House, Pioneer Trail Museum, or the Walnut Creek Historical Museum, all with modest admission fees.

More Free or Cheap Activities to Enjoy:

Let's stay in touch. Subscribe to our e-Newsletter
Let us show you around. Explore our visitor guide
509 23rd Ave.
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
844-271-6909 | 712-256-2577
©2024 Council Bluffs CVB | Accessibility | Legal | Privacy Policy