15 Best Things to Do in North Liberty, IA

North Liberty, IA
Isabella Skrbich / shutterstock.com

Nestled in Johnson County, Iowa, the city of North Liberty is a place that has a small-town charm and an educated population.

Founded in 1913, the city went by “Big Bottom” or “North Bend” due to its location near the Iowa River’s bend.

North Liberty became one of Iowa’s fastest-growing cities between 2000 and 2020.

Today, outdoor recreation awaits you inside and outside the city.

Check out its nature parks, hiking trails, and other recreation areas.

North Liberty is also a hub of education, recreation, and entertainment with plenty of events happening year-round.

If you’re visiting this city, check out the best things to do in North Liberty, Iowa.

Play Sports in Penn Meadows Park

If you’re bored of staying inside, Penn Meadows Park is a great place to spend time with your family and friends.

Penn Meadows Park is the city’s third and biggest park, named after proposals from North Liberty residents in 1985.

This 37-acre park features softball and baseball fields, playground equipment, soccer fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and picnic shelters.

On the weekends, the park usually buzzes with kids playing around and families having a picnic.

Penn Meadows Park is a fun little spot in the city to stretch your legs or enjoy a cone of ice cream on a lovely afternoon.

Practice Your Swing at Quail Creek Golf Course

Quail Creek Golf Course is a premier nine-hole golf course that measures 3,523 yards from the back tees.

The golf facility offers nine golf courses designed with different layouts to challenge players.

The well-balanced courses provide a suitable introduction for beginners while challenging seasoned golfers.

Quail Creek Golf Course also hosts numerous golf leagues where you can watch or join if you want.

Moreover, they offer an indoor or outdoor banquet area, beer carts, and buffet-style catering services.

They can also give you administrative help, and scoring for your next business event or gathering.

If you want to improve your swing or hang out with your best pals, bring them to Quail Creek Golf Course!

Run with Your Dogs in Red Fern Dog Park

Dog parks are beautiful places where you can have fun with your furry friend while enjoying a nice day outside.

Red Fern Dog Park is one of the dog parks around the city where you can bring your dogs to run around and socialize with other dogs.

This 5.1-acre park has three sections: two for all types of dogs and one for tiny dogs.

The dog park also includes two picnic shelters, trails, and a 20-stall parking lot for you to enjoy your experience.

Before going to the dog park, read all the information and restrictions for your dogs and humans.

Your dogs will love this chance to run freely with other dogs, so come and visit Red Fern Dog Park.

See a Concert in Ranshaw House

Built in 1908, the Ranshaw House, or the Samuel and Emma A. Ranshaw House, is a historic site north of the North Liberty Community Center.

During the construction of the house, the city was still a small and flourishing farming community.

The Ranshaws were prosperous farmers.

Local architect and contractor B. A. Wickham designed and built the historic home.

In 2012, the National Register of Historic Places added the house to its record.

They renovated the Ranshaw House in 2021.

Today, it serves as a venue for community gatherings.

You can attend several events on the lawns of the Ranshaw House where you can socialize and catch up with your friends.

See a live performance by local musicians every Friday on the house's front porch while having a picnic or drinking a glass of wine.

The Ranshaw House is not just a dull old house.

It is a house with history and a venue for entertainment.

Explore the North Liberty Recreation Trail

The best way to enjoy the shining sun and chirping birds is to hike on the North Liberty Recreation Trail.

The 3.3-kilometer North Liberty Recreation Trail starts at the Fox Run subdivision and extends south to Forevergreen Road, where it joins with the Coralville trail.

In 2006, they expanded the trail to 3.5 kilometers and now includes many sections.

These sections include the Creekside Commons and Liberty Centre Pond.

Then, you have the North Trail addition from Liberty Centre to the Deerfield subdivision, and the North Trail extension.

The North Liberty Recreation Trail is ideal for walking, running, or riding a bike while enjoying nature.

If you get tired of exploring the trail, you can take a break at the bike shelter.

You can find the bike shelter northeast of the community center and features a drinking fountain, restrooms, and picnic tables.

Splash in the Waters of Pacha Aquatics Center

North Liberty’s weather can get intense, but don’t worry because the city has a public swimming pool to help you cool off.

Situated along Cherry Street, Pacha Aquatics Center is a swimming facility with an indoor and outdoor pool.

The indoor pool, open all year, is a six-lane, 25-meter lap area with diving boards and an observation deck.

On the other hand, the outdoor pool is only available during the summer.

It has two massive water slides, a splash bucket play feature, and interactive play features.

The Pacha Aquatics Center also offers swimming lessons for people of all ages.

Go to the center if you need swimming lessons, a workout, or a little fun in the water.

Pick Your Pumpkins in Colony Acres

The rural setting of Colony Acres will give you a relaxing and tranquil experience you won’t get anywhere else in the city.

Colony Acres has grown pumpkins, squash, gourds, and sunflowers in its sizable fields since it opened 90 years ago.

Choose your pumpkins, wander through the corn maze, and let your kids join kid-friendly activities.

Additionally, they hold an “Annual Feast in the Flowers Farm Dinner” to start the sunflower season and make the fields available for photo shoots.

In the fall, you can go to the pumpkin patch during the day or to the corn maze at night to experience it under the stars.

Colony Acres is a fun place to have a little getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Have a Bite of a Delicious Meal at Bobbers Grill

Bobbers Grill offers the best of both worlds by satisfying your senses with spectacular lake views.

Situated at the end of the Scales Bend road, you can find Bobbers Grill sitting next to Coralville Lake.

The lakeside restaurant serves traditional American fare and has a full bar, live music, karaoke, and a large patio.

From time to time, you shouldn’t miss the various events in the restaurant, like DJs and live bands.

With a delicious meal, excellent service, and unmatched scenery, you’ll have the best experience at Bobbers Grill.

Hang Out with Friends in Reds Alehouse

Walking through Reds Alehouse's doors, you won’t find any mass-produced beer on tap.

However, looking at their menu, you’ll find something you’d like to try.

The business opened in 2009.

Since then, Reds Alehouse has become a local hangout spot.

They serve craft beers and food and have an outdoor patio where you can sit back and relax while drinking high-quality beers.

If you want to try something new, their knowledgeable staff will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect beer.

They also host special events such as tap takeovers, beer dinners, and more to make your experience even more special.

Visit Reds Alehouse to make lasting memories with great food and drinks, excellent service, and a friendly atmosphere.

Set up a Tent in the Scales Pointe Campground

Scales Pointe Campground is the ideal place for your weekend getaway and your home away from home.

This beautiful and well-maintained campground is along Scales Bend Road, near Coralville Lake.

It features 91 full hookups, water and electric campsites, and plenty of grounds to set up your tents.

You can also find light sand volleyball courts, two playgrounds to do recreational activities, and a shower house and horseshoes.

The campground also provides courtesy boat docks and a boat ramp with trailer parking for boaters.

If you need anything, a store around the campground sells general camping supplies and snacks.

Scales Pointe Campground will help you make lasting memories while visiting North Liberty.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Broaden your horizons and try to explore the best places to visit outside North Liberty’s limits.

You will also find many must-visit attractions and activities that will keep you entertained for days.

Here are some of the nearby places you can visit just minutes from North Liberty, Iowa:

Watch the Birds in the Hawkeye Wildlife Management Area

If you’re a bird enthusiast or an outdoor lover, you should enjoy this sanctuary outside North Liberty.

The Hawkeye Wildlife Management Area is a ten-minute drive away from North Liberty.

You can find the preserve in Oxford, Iowa.

It is a premier birding destination in the area, with more than 300 species of birds found on the vast 14,000-acre property.

It is also home to various habitats such as grassland, marshland, flood plain, and many more.

The Hawkeye Wildlife Management Area features different trails where you can find a variety of bird species and picturesque views.

Some popular species you can see here include wood thrush, green heron, lark sparrow, blue grosbeak, and others.

Bring your fancy telescopes so you can observe birds in their natural habitat.

You might even hear some singing.

Search for Fossils in the Devonian Fossil Gorge

You will feel like traveling back 375 million years ago when you walk through the Devonian Fossil Gorge.

The Devonian Fossil Gorge is an exposed ocean floor filled with fossils dating long before the dinosaurs.

You can find this gorge in Iowa City, Iowa, 12 minutes from North Liberty.

The gorge offers kids a fun opportunity to explore and search for fossils, which are easy to find and identify.

Stop over and see the fossils in the gorge before proceeding to your destination.

The Devonian Fossil Gorge is a must-visit attraction in Iowa, and you should put this place in your itinerary.

Let Children Play in the Iowa Children’s Museum

The Iowa Children’s Museum is in Coralville, Iowa, only an eight-minute drive from North Liberty.

The children’s museum inspires the little ones to create, socialize, and be creative.

At the Iowa Children’s Museum, children can learn about the world while playing with other children.

Each exhibit in the museum sparks the imagination and creativity of the children.

If you have little kids, you can bring them here so that they can have a fun time and make new friends.

Learn about Vintage Cars at the Antique Car Museum of Iowa

The Antique Car Museum of Iowa is a museum in Coralville, Iowa, 11 minutes from North Liberty.

It’s a place for curious minds and automotive enthusiasts.

The museum is home to more than 80 vintage cars dating from 1899 to 1965 and an authentic Skelly gas station.

They also feature a vast collection of Iowa license plates and a gift shop inside the museum.

The exhibits offer the chance to see some of the rarest and most distinctive automobiles ever built.

Likewise, the museum provides more information about the history of each vehicle on display.

You can also have your meetings, events, parties, or any gathering here in the museum.

The Antique Car Museum of Iowa offers a creative space for a memorable experience.

Have a Picnic in Lake Macbride State Park

Waterfalls at Lake Macbride State Park
Aria_RJWarren / Shutterstock.com

Lake Macbride State Park is an outdoor recreation spot in Solon, Iowa, just 21 minutes from North Liberty.

This 2,180-acre park has so much to offer its visitors.

From its shores to the campgrounds, the park will keep you occupied.

You can find campgrounds, picnic areas, a beach, boat rentals, boat ramps, and the park office.

Cascades at Lake Macbride State Park
Aria_RJWarren / Shutterstock.com

You can also try popular recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, camping, boating, swimming, and whatever else you can think of.

Lake Macbride State Park has everything you need, so don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind place in Iowa.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that North Liberty is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year.

Whether you want to explore, learn, relax, or enjoy the moment, this city has everything you need.

Check out the best things to do in North Liberty and see what adventure awaits.