You might be coming to Waterloo, Iowa to see a youth or BlackHawks hockey game.
Young Area was a nice addition to out city. I think it is a lot nicer than similar areas in the area.
The area is located in downtown Waterloo by the Cedar River. There are a couple of hotels within 2 or 3 blocks for those who don't want to drive far.
If you have a morning or afternoon to spend I would recommend taking the John Deere Donald Street tour.
They will take you through all the John Deere's final assembly plant.
The tours are at 3500 East Donald Street in Waterloo. You will need to make a reservation for the tour. Call 319-292-7697 at least one day prior to the tour.
If you are going to visit the water park, Isle of Capri Casino (opens in Spring of 2007) or just in the Waterloo area, Crossroads Mall is a nice Mall. All the slots are full of retailers.
Perhaps you are staying at one of the many hotels within a few blocks of the mall, Crossroads is a great option to shop at or take in a movie.
In the winter time there is hockey (Waterloo Blackhawks) and they tend to draw a lot of fans during weekend games.
During the summer months Waterloo has Fridayloo going on. Fridays in Lincoln park (downtown) a lot of people gather to enjoy the offerings of food vendors and music.
The Isle of Capri will open in the Spring of 2007 in Waterloo.
The people and cityof Waterloo are very excited to have the Casino come to town. Certainly it will be a big asset in regards to employment and people coming to Waterloo to spend some money and have a good time.
Tour the John Deere factory. The tour is comprehensive and details what it takes to make tractors and John Deere vehicles. Part of the tour is given while riding on a golf cart, and part is done by walking. The assembly line process is fascinating to see, making this a must see in Waterloo.
While the orginal downtown Main Street is concentrated on the east bank of the Cedar River, the larger bulk of the urban core of the city is located on both sides of the river. On the east bank is an empty Masonic Lodge building, now up for sale. The First Presbyterian Church and old Baptist Church are also on the east side of downtown.
Spanning the side of a government building is a mural painted by New Orleans born Richard Thomas. The artist is said to keep a studio in town. The artwork is historical in nature, describing Waterloo's immigrants and business activity through the years.
The Cedar River has three bridges at Waterloo, connecting both sides of downtown. There is at Waterloo a low falls or rapids, and the water flows to fast for any navigation or swimming. Fishing is popular for a few along the banks of the seawalls. On the west side, near the westbound bridge is an old art deco yellow sandstone YMCA building with 4 bronzes of seated women along the river side of the building. Unfortunately, the building is no longer occupied by the YMCA and so the fate of the bronzes could be in doubt. I didn't see any plate on this building signifying it as being on the National Register of Historic Places---It should be though.
On 4th street, on the west side of downtown, there is a city block of nearly solid church architecture. There are Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Catholic building wall to wall on the south side, and on the north side there is the expansive Congregational Church. In the next block west are a Methodist and Presbyterian Church, and one block south is a Baptist Church. All of these churches are architectural gems built in the early 20th century. All appear to be still occupied by their congregations, but some are in need of repair.
Waterloo was never a wealthy city, so the evidence of wealth in residential architecture is significantly less than it's wealth of architecture in the town's churches. However, scattered here are there are some interesting specimens of wealth from days gone by. Only a few have been restored to their former glory. The residential section of town is very pleasant to walk in fall when the leaves have turned color. I watched as residents raked leaves.
The Grout Science Museum, on 4th street near the river, is a well endowed touch and experience museum that unfortunately was closed when I arrived. It is actually part of 4 museums in Waterloo's Grout Museum District. The Boys Scouts erected a painted concrete replica of the State of Liberty in a plaza on the west side if Cedar River.
A place that I would recommend families visiting is the Imaginarium. The Imaginarium has fun filled, hands on science activities that are enjoyable for children as well as adults.
What makes this activitiy really interesting is that it makes learning fun. And it also provides parents the opportunity to explore the interests of their children.