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Indoor Activities in the Council Bluffs Area


As we eagerly await the arrival of spring in the Council Bluffs area, there's no shortage of indoor activities to keep us entertained and engaged. From unique shopping experiences to entertainment and cultural adventures, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Council Bluffs provides an abundance of indoor pursuits to pass the time until the warmth of spring arrives - check them out below! 

Local Boutique + Antique Shopping

b restored
B Restored in Walnut

Supporting local businesses is always a rewarding endeavor. The Council Bluffs area offers a variety of boutiques, each with its own distinct personality. Whether you're searching for trendy winter fashion, handmade crafts, or unique home decor, you'll find it in these charming shops. Stop by places like Dusted Charm or The Olive Branch in Council Bluffs, or The Occasional Collective in Treynor for a delightful shopping experience.

Just a short drive from Council Bluffs, the quaint town of Walnut is a treasure trove for antique enthusiasts. Peruse the antique shops lining the streets and discover vintage furniture, collectibles, and unique finds that make for perfect winter décor. Walnut's rich history and welcoming shopkeepers add to the charm of your visit.

Uncover Railroad History & More

Union Pacific Railroad Museum 

Pottawattamie County has a rich history, and now is the perfect time to dive into it. The Union Pacific Railroad Museum and Historic General Dodge House are excellent places to learn about the area's past. Walk through the footsteps of railroad barons as you explore these well-preserved historical sites.

Get Creative & Explore The Hoff

Photo courtesy of PACE 

Escape the cold and immerse yourself in the arts at the Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center. Enjoy visual art exhibits and performing arts productions, from painting and sculpture to live theater performances. Check the calendar for upcoming events by the Kanesville Symphony Orchestra, American Midwest Ballet, PACE, and the Chanticleer Community Theater! 

Race Around the Track at Joe's Indoor Karting

Photo courtesy of Joe's Indoor Karting

For the adrenaline junkies, Joe's Indoor Karting offers an exhilarating experience. Feel the need for speed as you race against your friends or family members on their state-of-the-art indoor go-kart track. It's a thrilling activity that will get your heart racing even when it's cold outside.

Learn About Our Local Ecosystem 


Take a break from Hitchcock Nature Center's great outdoors in the Loess Hills Lodge Interpretive Facility! This unique exhibit gallery features a variety of hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. Children can visit Curiosity Cove to make animal prints, build their own habitat, read nature stories, and complete a scavenger hunt! 

Sit Back and Enjoy a Movie!

@lucasjcorbett on Instagram

Enjoy your favorite flicks in comfort at one of several theaters in Pottawattamie County! In Council Bluffs, relax in unforgettable recliner seats at AMC. The theater offers reserved seating, a bar, Dolby Cinema, and RealD 3D and IMAX viewing options. In Carson, you can enjoy a film on the big screen at Dreamland Theater. This quaint 166-seat theater shows new-release movies every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. Visit them on Facebook for scheduled showings. In Neola,  visit the Phoenix Movie Theater to enjoy a movie in a restored 1913 theater! Visit them on Facebook for showtime information. 

Casino Fun in Council Bluffs!

Photo courtesy of Harrah's Casino and Hotel

If you're feeling lucky and looking for a different kind of indoor entertainment, Council Bluffs boasts three casinos: Harrah's, Horseshoe, and Ameristar. Try your hand at the slot machines, poker tables, or enjoy a nice meal at one of their fine dining restaurants. The casinos provide a warm and exciting atmosphere to escape the cold.

Explore the Kiewit Luminarium 

interior photo of the kiweit luminarium

To cap off your adventures, be sure to explore the newly opened Kiewit Luminarium on the riverfront. The science center is great for people of all ages, backgrounds, and identities to rekindle their curious spirit and learn something new. Take a deep dive into the fundamentals of physics, the environment, human anatomy, shapes, geometry, and engineering.

But Wait! There's More

Council Bluffs offers a diverse range of indoor activities that will keep you entertained and cozy. Whether you prefer retail therapy in local boutiques, exploring the area's rich history, testing your luck at the casinos, or experiencing the thrill of indoor karting, there's something for everyone. So, don't let the winter blues keep you indoors—venture out and make the most of this season. 

After a long day uncovering all that Council Bluffs metro offers, unwind with a relaxing stay in a Council Bluffs hotel. Click on our hotel options to browse and book today! 

Looking to venture outside? Check out our recreational trails page, activities to enjoy along the riverfront, and our list of dog-friendly things to do in and around Council Bluffs! 

*Cover photo taken by @sarahwmorris on Instagram

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509 23rd Ave.
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
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