10+ Family-Friendly Fun Things to Do in Audubon County, Iowa 

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10+ Family-Friendly Fun Things to Do in Audubon County, Iowa 

Iowa is full of small-town gems and I love when we come across a fun destination that is not too far away from Des Moines, Iowa. Located about 75 miles (or 1 hour and 15-minute drive) west of Des Moines, in western Iowa, is Audubon County home of two towns that offer family-friendly fun. Audubon, Iowa, and Manning, Iowa are great places to explore! Here are 10+ family-friendly fun ideas you can find in Audubon County, Iowa.

Looking for other Iowa locations to explore? Here are some other ideas!

Top things to see and do in Audubon, Iowa

The Bakery on Broadway

Address: 312 Broadway Street, Audubon, IA

Before you begin your adventures we all know we need to grab some fuel for the day. The Bakery on Broadway is located in the heart of downtown Audubon and is a great place to grab coffee and the freshest food options including breakfast and lunch. When you walk in you feel like you are right at home. The friendly staff and community members will give you a warm welcome. They also offer a large chalkboard in the back for kids to draw on while you sip your coffee. A lot of regulars hit up summer programming at the Audubon Library and walk to the bakery for lunch after. If it is a nice day, head outside to their cute little patio. This is the perfect place to enjoy your food and drink. 

Admire Audubon’s Public Art

Location: Throughout the Audubon

The wonderful thing about small towns is how easy it is to walk and explore the city. Audubon offers a lot of great public art including the John James Audubon Statue in the center of John James Audubon Plaza, a large stained-glass clock of James Audubon, a butterfly mural, and more. While you explore the art, take some time to shop the local stores on Broadway too. Support local! 

John James Audubon Plaza

Address: 401 Park Place, Audubon, IA

The John James Audubon Plaza is not only home to the statue but the city also offers free music at the amphitheater every Thursday during the Summer. You will also find the Audubon Library. The park is filled with large trees which provide a ton of shade. Grab some lunch and have a picnic (maybe from The Bakery on Broadway) in the park during your visit! 

T-Bone Trail

Location: The north trailhead begins at the church on the south side of Audubon.  

The T-Bone Recreational Trail is 21 miles of trail that runs from Audubon to Cass County and is a former railroad way. The trail is hard-surfaced which makes it great for biking or rollerblading. If you are heading to Audubon, make sure to bring your bikes and helmets and enjoy the trail. Learn more about the trail

Albert the Bull

Address: East Division St., Audubon, IA (You can’t miss him!) 

You cannot visit Audubon, Iowa without a stop to see the World’s Largest Bull! Albert the Bull was built in the Summer of 1964 and has become a fun roadside attraction for many to stop at. He is located right outside of a small campground and public pool. If you love to camp grab a camping spot for the weekend while you explore everything else Audubon County has to offer. Located next to Albert you will find a train car with pictures and history. My friend Olio in Iowa has a wonderful article on the history of Albert. Learn more

Nathaniel Hamlin Park & Museums

Address: Highway 71 Audubon, IA 

As you enter Audubon, Iowa from the South you will come across the entrance to the Nathaniel Hamin Park & Museums. This area reminds me a lot like Living History Farms, but smaller. There are short, shady nature trails (perfect for littles!), elk feeding, and a chance to view tons of items that share the story of settlement in the area. If you are a history buff, you will love this! You will also find a one-room schoolhouse, old farm machinery, and many picnic areas to relax. 

Audubon Recreation Center {ARC}

Address: 703 Southside Ave, Audubon, IA

Rainy day? Or looking to beat the heat? The Audubon Recreation Center is the place to play! The Audubon Rec Center offers eight lanes of bowling, a soft play area for the little kids, tons of arcade games, food and drinks at The Bull Pin Restaurant, pickleball, a basketball court, and more. A great place to hang out all year round! 

Bluegrass Park {Dinosaur Park}

Address: Golden St Audubon IA 

If you have a dinosaur-loving kid you will want to make a stop to play at the “Dinosaur Park”. The park offers two sheltered picnic areas and is a good option for kids to run and burn off some energy while in Audubon. 

Taylor Hill Lodge

Address: 1614 Highway 71 Audubon, IA

Plan an overnight stay in Audubon! Taylor Hill Lodge is a great option for families that offers a ton of space including six bedrooms, beautiful home decor, and breathtaking views of Iowa farmland. Taylor Hill Lodge is owned by the Manatt Family and is a century and working farm. If you are looking for a unique spot to celebrate the holidays or a family reunion, this is a wonderful place to stay. 

Templeton Distillery

Address: 209 Rye Ave, Templeton, IA

As you head to the next nearby town (Manning, Iowa) make a stop at the Templeton Distillery just outside of Audubon. While many may not think the distillery is family-friendly, the tour they offer is very interesting. Make sure you plan a visit to the area without kids so you can experience it. Reservations are highly recommended. 

Evolution of the Heartland – pop


Evolution of the Heartland

Evolution of the Heartland is a one-day event filled with immersive tours for people to learn and discover what is happening in rural Iowa. Immersive tours include a Swine Tour, Beef Tour, Templeton Distillery Tour, Audubon Historical Tour, and many more. This is a great way to experience Audubon and Manning, Iowa in a unique way to learn about investments and advancements happening in schools, hospitals, tourist attractions, businesses, and even on Main Streets. This year’s Evolution of the Heartland will take place on August 3, 2023.

Top things to see and do in Manning, Iowa

Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park

Address: 130 Heritage Drive Manning, IA

Take a tour through an original German house that was built in 1660 and shipped to Audubon in 1996. Kids will be in awe as they walk through the rooms of this old German house and learn how life was back in the 1600s. As you explore there are QR codes to scan that share more history of the buildings and space on the grounds. You can schedule a guided tour or do a self-guided tour which costs $6 for adults and $3 for kids. This price of admission gives you access to the entire grounds to explore. I would plan a half day to really take in everything this park has to offer. Pack lunch and some snacks! 

Level B Grill

Address: 805 6th St, Manning, IA 

Hungry? Make a stop at Level B Grill which offers great American food such as sandwiches, wings, salads, burgers, and more. It is recommended to try the margarita flight when you visit! They offer a kid’s menu for children 12 years and younger. 

Shop on Main Street

Location: Downtown Manning; Main Street 

Manning offers really local, specialty shops. Take some time to walk down Main Street and discover all the local shops. Make sure you stop for a sweet treat at Sweet Treats Ice Cream Shoppe

Manning Recreation Center

Address: 702 6th St, Manning, IA 

Cool off at the Manning Recreation Center which has a splash pad, mini water park, and indoor and outdoor pool. I love this little gem in Manning and it really is perfect for all ages. The pools are not too big, there are a couple of slides, a fun splash pad (which can be accessed after pool hours), and an indoor pool to swim in if you want to get away from the sun. Definitely, a must when you are visiting! 

Milwaukee Trestle Park

Location: Near the historic railroad trestle on the North end of Main Street. 

This park is so much fun and offers a ton of things to do including a sculpture park, a fun Iowa sign (definitely Instagram-worthy), a natural playground, a bike trail that goes all through the town, picnic tables, a large shelter house, a river access canoe ramp, and more. 

BONUS! Tree in the Middle of the Road

Address: 2401-2449 350th St, Brayton, IA

Have you ever seen a tree growing from the middle of the road? It’s one of those things that you just have to see! On your way to Aduubon make sure you take a little detour and visit this fun attraction.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far away is the Heritage Rose Garden located?

The Heritage Rose Garden is located in Gray, Iowa, and is about 15 minutes south of Manning, Iowa. 

How far away is Littlefield Recreation Area located?

Littlefield Recreation Area is located about 20 minutes south of Audubon, Iowa. 

How far away is Elk Horn located?

Elk Horn, Iowa is about 20 minutes southwest of Audubon, Iowa and is home to the Danish Windmill and Museum of Danish America. 


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