Inside Fun in Council Bluffs

Updated in 2019 with new attractions. 

Rain, snow, ice, wind, subzero temperatures; we see it all in Council Bluffs! Don't let a day of bad weather in Council Bluffs give you the blues. There is lots of fun stuff to do inside, and here are just a few of our favorites:

Explore Council Bluffs History

The Squirrel Cage Jail is a hidden gem in Council Bluffs. The jail’s design and size make it a one-of-a-kind structure – it is the only three-story revolving jail ever built and is one of only three remaining jails like it in the United States. The signatures and dates of many of its infamous prisoners remain scratched into the jail cell walls. As if that isn’t creepy enough, rumor has it that the building is haunted. Museum staff say that whatever spirit is present is friendly – despite the occasional door that opens on its own, strange lights or peculiar noises, no one has ever felt frightened or in any danger. Admission to the Squirrel Cage Jail ranges from $5 to $7. Children ages 5 and under are free.

There are several other museums, too!

The Historic Dodge House, located at 605 3rd Street
Union Pacific Railroad Museum, located at 200 Pearl Street
Railswest Railroad Museum, located at 1512 S Main Street
Knock Down Some Pins

Bring the storm indoors at Thunderbowl – a bowling alley, arcade, and restaurant. Enjoy modern amenities and tons of fun at an affordable price. There’s open bowling every day until 5 p.m. and cosmic bowling after 10 p.m. on weekends. Take advantage of specials such as Two Dollar Tuesdays or the family fun package, which includes pizza, soda and 90 minutes of bowling for six people.

Test Your Skills at Pirate Putt
Council Bluffs is home to a new pirate-themed indoor golf course that is full of challenging obstacles and fun for all ages! Choose from two 18-hole courses, or do them both!

Need for Speed?

Stop by Joe’s Karting for some indoor karting in Council Bluffs. The track is perfect for “arrive and drive” racing, race classes and race leagues. There are special pricing options as well. Check out their website for more!

Jump In!

Head over to The Hub: Family Entertainment Center & Trampoline Park to get all your energy out! The trampoline park has an open bounce area, dunk hoops, dodge-ball court, and more! Meanwhile, parents can relax and warm up with coffee and a treat at The Hub Grind — a perfect day!

It's Always Fun at the...

Have a family day at the Charles E. Lakin YMCA! Take a swim, sign your kids up for a youth sports league, or enjoy a special event like Imagination Night. 

Try Something New

Iowa West Pickleball, located at the Iowa West Field House, is a new indoor six-court facility with reserved courts and open drop-in play sessions. Reserve your court and let the games begin!

Solve a Puzzle

Test your clue-finding skills in an escape room at The Cryptic Room. There are four themed rooms to choose from all with their own challenges. You'll have a limited amount of time to find clues, solve the puzzles, and get out. Do you have what it takes to escape before the clock hits zero?

Popcorn and a Movie

AMC Council Bluffs is a great place to relax and enjoy the newest blockbusters. The theatre features recliner seating, reserved seating, an IMAX, RealD 3D, a Bar, and concessions. Check their website for specials and showings.

This post was originally published on October 14, 2017 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.