10 Best Ways to Experience Marshalltown, Iowa as a Family

Sharing is caring!

10 Best Ways to Experience Marshalltown, Iowa as a Family

If you are looking for a quick and fun getaway head to Marshalltown, Iowa! Marshalltown may be a small town, but it is filled with culture, parks, awesome eats, and fun things to do. Located northeast of Des Moines, Iowa about 40 minutes is a great place to get away. Grab the family and enjoy the 10 best ways to experience Marshalltown, Iowa as a family.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase. I worked in partnership with the Marshalltown Visitors Bureau. Learn more by reading the disclosure and privacy policy here.

Create a Keepsake

Address: 9 W Main St, Marshalltown

Located in the Central Business District on Main Street is an art lovers’ dream, Create a Keepsake. Your family will have a great time picking out a piece of pottery from hundreds of pieces and painting. This is the perfect activity for a rainy or very hot day. Do not forget to pick up your piece of artwork in a couple of days. You will be amazed by the transformation it makes after being fired.

Grimes Farm and Conservation Center

Address: 2359 233RD St Marshalltown

The Grimes Farm and Conservation Center is an awesome place to explore the outdoors and take in crop fields and farmland of Iowa. You can easily spend an entire day exploring the many trails, a natural playscape, and climbing to the top of Mildred’s Tower. The elements of the farm include something for all ages such as a story walk, short trails to hike, hands-on activities in the natural playscape, and an indoor nature center.

The nature center is a great place to cool off after spending time playing outside. You can grab a scavenger hunt at the door and cross off all the things you find inside including fossils, animal skins, turtle shells, and so much more. Pack a picnic (or grab some lunch to go at Sub City) and make a day of fun at the farm and conservation center.

Take a look at my full review of this fun farm.

The Grimes Farm and Conservation Center offers kids programming, camps, live music, food trucks, and other events throughout the year. Keep an eye on their Facebook page to see all of the fun that is coming up!

Linn Creek Trail

While in Marshalltown you will notice that many of the parks include biking and walking trails. The Linn Creek Trail is what connects Grimes Farm and Conservation Center to the heart of Marshalltown and other parks in the area such as Mega-10 Park and more. Along the trail, you can view flowers, marshes, prairie grasses, and even a covered bridge near May Street and 6th Ave. A great reason to pack your bikes when you make a visit to Marshalltown!

Take a look at the map below that shows bike routes through Marshalltown beginning at Grimes Farm and Conservation Center leading to the aquatic center, Mega-10 Park, and other popular stops in the area.

Bike route map found: https://www.marshalltown-ia.gov/DocumentCenter/View/610/City-Bike-Route-Map

Marshalltown Family Aquatic Center

Address: 212 Washington St, Marshalltown

Swimming and splashing at the Marshalltown Family Aquatic Center is a wonderful way to cool down on a hot summer day. The aquatic center is located next door to the YMCA-YWCA and offers fun slides, a water structure for little kids, diving boards, and more. This is a fun place to play on a hot summer day in Iowa. It is reasonably priced for families and they offer water walking and Aqua Zumba too!

Mega-10 Park

Address: 802 Third-Sixth St., Marshalltown

Mega-10 Park is definitely a favorite for our family. The 15.5-acre park is located near the Marshalltown YMCA-YMCA and Aquatic Park and offers several features. The favorite? The safe thrills of the zipline! In addition to the zipline, there is a large climbing structure that includes slides, swings, and more. At the entrance of the park make sure you stop to check out the bright yellow caboose. The caboose was placed at the park in memorial of Stan Brown a formal Mayor who played an important role in bringing the caboose to the park.

Take a look at my full review of this fun city park!

Before you go take a walk through the Children’s Discovery Garden. This garden was created to offer activities for children, plants, flowers, a reading nook, and more. The discovery garden is surrounded by local artists from Woodbury School who painted their own pickets for the fence.

Smokin’ G’s BBQ

Address: 25 W Main St, Marshalltown

When we arrived in Marshalltown we made our way to the downtown historic district for lunch at Smokin’ G’s BBQ. This locally owned and operated BBQ joint offers some of the best BBQ and their sides are out of this world. Dine-in and carry-out, offer a ton of options for all sizes. The perfect place to fuel up before a day of exploring the Historic Downtown District.

Taylor’s Maid-Rite

Address: 106 S 3rd Ave, Marshalltown

If you love a good loose meat sandwich make sure you stop at Taylor’s Maid-Rite. This Iowa tradition is a favorite by all. The perfect stop for lunch or dinner while you are experiencing the best things in Marshalltown.

Wayward Social

Address: 1101 S 6th St, Marshalltown

If you love bowling and arcade games you will want to make sure to spend an afternoon or evening at Wayward Social. This newly renovated bowling alley, which used to be called Totem Bowl, offers a fun ambiance and 20 lanes to bowl. Enjoy games of bowling while catching a game or watching old music videos on the screens above. Their food menu offers some tasty and unique options and Alien Alley Arcade may be the highlight for the young ones offering hours of fun arcade games!

Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA

Address: 108 Washington St, Marshalltown

The Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA offers many classes and activities for several ages. Even an indoor pool with a slide! The kids had the chance to learn how to play pickleball and give CrossFit a try!

Pickleball has become super popular in our area and until we made a visit to Marshalltown we had not had a chance to give it a try. We were blessed to meet two amazing volunteers who took time out of their day to share in’s and out’s of this popular game. We now are ready to challenge others to a pickleball game! Who is up for a game?

CrossFit 641 is a part of the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA and offers kids’ classes. The kids took a test run through a class and enjoyed the entire experience. It was fun to learn how they tailor their regular classes for kids so they can gain strength and endurance.

Zeno’s Pizza

Address: 109-111 E Main St, Marshalltown

Zenos’s Pizza has been serving up pizza in Marshalltown for 70 years and it is definitely “out of this world”. This is one of the best places to enjoy pizza night after a day of fun at the aquatic center. The kids will get a kick out of the vintage decor and their pizza menu that includes Zeno’s special, Bacon Cheeseburger, or build your own!

What are your favorite things to see and do in Marshalltown, Iowa?


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *