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Old 06-20-2014, 02:54 PM
 
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We will be traveling through Iowa in a couple of months on I-80. Any suggestions on things to do along this route. Our ten year old son will be with us. Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Christopher777 View Post
We will be traveling through Iowa in a couple of months on I-80. Any suggestions on things to do along this route. Our ten year old son will be with us. Thanks for your help.
Unfortunately, that is the most boring part of the state!

Someone on another message board once said "I've been to Iowa, I know what it is like, I've driven on I-80!"

It will take you through Des Moines, and right past Adventureland Park which is a great amusement park/waterpark. (I miss that waterpark!)
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
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Originally Posted by Christopher777 View Post
We will be traveling through Iowa in a couple of months on I-80. Any suggestions on things to do along this route. Our ten year old son will be with us. Thanks for your help.
Where is your destination? Are you eventually ending up north of I-80 or south of I-80? If it's north and you're heading west, you might consider tooling up north after you get to Omaha and drive on I-90 where you can go across western South Dakota. A much more scenic drive than Nebraska. You've got rolling cowboy country, the Missouri River, the Badlands, and all the sites of the Black Hills.

As to Iowa on I-80, I would recommend the Amana Colonies by Cedar Rapids. You can always see the covered bridges of Madison County by Winterset. You'll enjoy them, but the 10 year old will probably be bored senseless by the bridges. This is also John Wayne's birthplace.

When you do reach Omaha, I STRONGLY recommend the Henry Doorley Zoo. It's one of the top zoos in the United States. I guarantee your kid would love it.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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The Amanas are nice. You could always check out the Ped Mall in Iowa City. Otherwise Des Moines is literally the only interesting thing I can think of on I-80. Adventureland is okay and it fits Des Moines's needs nicely, but it's exorbitantly overpriced and nothing special compared to any substantial amusement park.

My best advice is to enjoy the green and the hills while you can before you cross into Nebraska.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
The Amanas are nice. You could always check out the Ped Mall in Iowa City. Otherwise Des Moines is literally the only interesting thing I can think of on I-80. Adventureland is okay and it fits Des Moines's needs nicely, but it's exorbitantly overpriced and nothing special compared to any substantial amusement park.

My best advice is to enjoy the green and the hills while you can before you cross into Nebraska.

I disagree. The waterpark alone at Aland is well worth the price of admission. I miss it! The waterparks here in Phoenix are more expensive for a daily pass and much smaller with less seating, uncomfortable chairs, and less to do! Then you get the bonus of a nice amusement park with generally short lines. Phoenix doesn't even HAVE an amusement park at all. Des Moines is lucky to have that park.

Everyone always says the Amanas are nice, but I have never seen the appeal, myself.
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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It's really, really, seriously not. I'm sorry but it's just not. I have been to amusement parks all over North America as well as in France, the UK, and South Africa. I have been on over 250 roller coasters. This is my field of expertise, as odd as that is, and I'm sorry but Adventureland just is not special. Dragon is unbearable, Tornado has gotten rough, and Outlaw pales in comparison to its peers. The food is terrible across the board, staff friendliness and helpfulness is all over the map. There's a smattering of decent flat rides and kids rides, the log flume is pretty good, and it's by far the best waterpark in the area, but there's nothing at all that makes the park stand out any more than that.

Sure it's better than the offerings in the Southwest, which is historically a dead zone for amusement parks anyway, but I can list twenty amusement parks in the US alone right now without thinking that are a better value than Adventureland (two of them are only three hours from Des Moines). In the Midwest alone, there's Worlds of Fun, Six Flags St. Louis, Valleyfair, Mt. Olympus, Six Flags Great America, Indiana Beach, Holiday World, Kings Island, Cedar Point, and Michigan's Adventure. Plus Waldameer and Kennywood in western Pennsylvania.

Holiday World is an especially fitting analogue for Adventureland: there's much more to do, the theming and food are excellent, three of its four roller coasters have won national and international awards, they have also won multiple awards for cleanliness and friendliness, they provide free parking, free soft drinks, free sunscreen, and free Wi-Fi, and the adjoining waterpark is significantly larger than Adventureland's and is considered one of the best waterparks in North America. And it's $5 cheaper than Adventureland.

A season pass for Cedar Point, one of the largest, most historic, and most beautiful parks in the world, is the same price as a season pass for Adventureland, a small regional park. A one-day ticket to Cedar Point is only $10 more than a one-day ticket to Adventureland.

A season pass for Six Flags (meaning free admission to all Six Flags parks for the entire year) is $50 cheaper than a season pass for Adventureland.

Adventureland isn't a BAD park by any means, there's just absolutely nothing special about it at all and it's much too expensive for what you get.

PS - You actually do have a small park in Phoenix.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:39 PM
 
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Thanks for the tips. We will be traveling straight through I-80 all the way across Iowa.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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Here is a thread of suggestions:

Any other I - 80 attractions to recommend. - Iowa Forum - TripAdvisor
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
It's really, really, seriously not. I'm sorry but it's just not. I have been to amusement parks all over North America as well as in France, the UK, and South Africa. I have been on over 250 roller coasters. This is my field of expertise, as odd as that is, and I'm sorry but Adventureland just is not special. Dragon is unbearable, Tornado has gotten rough, and Outlaw pales in comparison to its peers. The food is terrible across the board, staff friendliness and helpfulness is all over the map. There's a smattering of decent flat rides and kids rides, the log flume is pretty good, and it's by far the best waterpark in the area, but there's nothing at all that makes the park stand out any more than that.

Sure it's better than the offerings in the Southwest, which is historically a dead zone for amusement parks anyway, but I can list twenty amusement parks in the US alone right now without thinking that are a better value than Adventureland (two of them are only three hours from Des Moines). In the Midwest alone, there's Worlds of Fun, Six Flags St. Louis, Valleyfair, Mt. Olympus, Six Flags Great America, Indiana Beach, Holiday World, Kings Island, Cedar Point, and Michigan's Adventure. Plus Waldameer and Kennywood in western Pennsylvania.

Holiday World is an especially fitting analogue for Adventureland: there's much more to do, the theming and food are excellent, three of its four roller coasters have won national and international awards, they have also won multiple awards for cleanliness and friendliness, they provide free parking, free soft drinks, free sunscreen, and free Wi-Fi, and the adjoining waterpark is significantly larger than Adventureland's and is considered one of the best waterparks in North America. And it's $5 cheaper than Adventureland.

A season pass for Cedar Point, one of the largest, most historic, and most beautiful parks in the world, is the same price as a season pass for Adventureland, a small regional park. A one-day ticket to Cedar Point is only $10 more than a one-day ticket to Adventureland.

A season pass for Six Flags (meaning free admission to all Six Flags parks for the entire year) is $50 cheaper than a season pass for Adventureland.

Adventureland isn't a BAD park by any means, there's just absolutely nothing special about it at all and it's much too expensive for what you get.

PS - You actually do have a small park in Phoenix.

Castles and coasters is not an amusement park. Its mini golf with rollercoasters. Not the same.

Comparing a land to Cedar Point is like comparing Mayberry to NYC. FOR THE STATE OF IOWA AND THE SIZE OF THE CITY that park is very nice.

A season pass at Wet n Wild is more than half the cost of aland and Adventure Bay is much nicer and bigger... Plus you get admission to the amusement park too.

I have also been to amusement parks all over the US so I can make these comparisons from personal experience.

You don't like Aland, don't go. You're missing out.
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Last edited by ElleTea; 06-22-2014 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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I truly, truly don't have anything against you or Adventureland! And this is off-topic and not very productive, but I do want to just clarify that when I say I've been to lots of amusement parks, I mean I have been to every major amusement park in the United States other than maybe 5 or 6, plus most of the major parks in the United Kingdom, plus a smattering in South Africa, France, and Canada. I have followed the industry religiously since I was a kid. I am a card-carrying member of the American Coaster Enthusiasts and I have been to multiple industry conventions. I have planned vacations around amusement parks. A few years ago I visited 13 parks in 14 days. I have literally written research papers about the American amusement park industry. I'm not just saying I'm well-traveled, I'm saying I have substantial expertise.

The reason I brought up Cedar Point was to point out how immensely much more other parks offer for the same price. Holiday World is the park Adventureland should be directly compared to as they are both family owned amusement + waterparks and are very similar in physical size and market population.

I'm not at all! trying to say there's anything wrong with Adventureland! I like Adventureland a lot & have no ill will toward it beyond some doubts about their safety standards based on working there for a summer (which may well have improved, that was quite a few years ago). But they simply charge more than should for the amenities they offer, based on the standards of their closest peers. It's a very good park for a city like Des Moines, but for someone travelling cross-country on I-80, Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois or Indiana Beach in northwest Indiana is probably a far better value. That's all I'm saying! I would miss Adventureland too if I moved to Phoenix.
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