With a reputation for literary excellence and a vibrant downtown, Iowa City is consistently voted one of the top college towns in the U.S. Most people find themselves in this charming town during the school year—here to learn, enjoy a Hawkeye game, or another academic endeavor. Yet many do not realize that summer, when Iowa City is at its sleepiest, is one of the best times to enjoy it.
On brand, Iowa City is an art lover’s oasis during the season of sunshine. From shopping unique artwork outdoors in June, to the sound of sweet jazz hanging in the heavy, humid air in July, you don’t want to miss Iowa City in the summertime. Here are some of its one-of-a-kind offerings:
Grab a blanket and stake out a spot in the grass to watch a film under the stars on a massive outdoor screen.
Outdoor movies will be played at locations across the Iowa City area, including parks and the airport. Most are family friendly, and some showings have UI connections, like Field of Dreams, written by Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate W.P. Kinsella (78MFA), as well as Big Hero 6 and Raya and the Last Dragon, directed by Iowa alumnus Don Hall (91BFA).
Enjoy the bounty of the season, including farm-fresh produce, eggs, and meat—along with coffee, baked goods, and newly cut flowers.
Shop more than 100 local and national art vendors. Also, enjoy regional and ethnic foods, live music, and family activities.
This outdoor celebration features dueling pianos, a silent disco, roller skating, live music, and more. Admission is free, but cups are sold that allow attendees of legal age to enjoy alcoholic beverages within the block party area.
Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy three days of live musical performances from two stages. This annual tradition, featuring well-known musicians and up-and-coming entertainers, typically concludes with fireworks that sparkle over the Old Capitol.