It’s that time of year again, the weather is getting colder, the streets are getting busier and Loras Students are getting anxious for their holiday breaks. But what is there to do while you wait to head home and stuff your face with home cooked food and finally catch up on sleep? Well, Dubuque has some sweet holiday traditions to keep you jolly and holly until finals week. Here are eleven things to do this fall and winter season in Dubuque, IA.
1. Indoors Farmers Market- That’s right, when the outdoor farmers market closes in Dubuque, a new one opens. The Indoors Farmers Market opens the first weekend of November and is located in the former Colts Center (1101 Central Avenue). Around 25 vendors will be offering different produce, foods, crafts, baked goods, etc. This market also offers new breakfast options from Holliberri Icelandics and coffee by Verena Street. Cost: $5-25.
2. Pumpkin Patches- Dubuque has a number of Pumpkin Patches open to the public during the fall season. The most famous is Schuster’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. This patch offers pumpkin spice goodies, pumpkin pickings, crafts, and difficult corn maze. Cost: $5-20.
3. Apple Orchard- Czipars Apple Orchard was opened in 1940 right outside of Dubuque. There are tons of free activities to keep you nice and warm on a cold fall day, but the best thing to warm up with is their homemade apple doughnuts. There’s popcorn for those who want to skip to delicious dessert, arts and craft, art displays, apple picking, and a store full of goodies to pair nice with your freshly picked apples. Cost: $0-15.
4. Dubuque Fighting Saints Game- Hockey is back and the Fighting Saints are back in full strength. The USHL team plays every weekend, and will give you the surefire entertainment you’ve been looking for. They have beer, food, and different promotions for every game. Tickets start at $10.00 and can be purchased on or before game day. Cost: $10-$50.
5. Ice Skating- So you went to the hockey game and want to see just how hard it is to skate on that slippery ice. Well, good news for you. The Dubuque Fighting Saint’s home ice, Mystique Community Ice Center, offers open public skating daily. The hours vary depending on the arena’s schedule. Listen to music, laugh with your pals, and maybe fall on your butt a few times. Cost: $3-$15.
6. Food and Wine on the River- November is coming up quick and Dubuque is ready to serve you the best food and wine the city has to offer while enjoying the view of the Mississippi River before it begins to freeze. Dubuque Food and Wine on the River is set for their 5th annual event on Nov. 3 – 5. The event takes place at different river locations. Learn more at dbqfoodandwine.com
7. Guys in Ties- Nov. 11 is a night of laughter at the Bell Tower theater. Every November the improv comedy show, Guys in Ties hits the stage for one very special, hilarious night. Nothing is staged, just pure comedy. belltowertheater.net Cost:$20
8. Sundown Mountain Resort- Glide down the hills of Dubuque at our ski and snowboard resort. Don’t have your gear at school? That’s okay! Sundown offers rental and lessons for all your skiing and snowboarding needs. Check to see when they open on their Facebook page: Sundown Mountain Resort. Cost: $25-$100.
9. Reflections in the Park- Dubuque features a beautiful, almost magical Christmas light display in Murphy Park starting right around Thanksgiving. The light show’s money goes to Hillcrest Family Services. Companies, families, schools, and medical institutions all design and donate these bigger then life light displays. Pile up in your car, bring blankets, and enjoy some hot chocolate and candy canes while listening to old time Christmas music favorites while cruising through the park. Cost: $10 a car.
10. Christmas Candlewalk- Bluff Street transforms into the North pole on Nov. 24. The street is decorated with candy canes, candles, wreaths, elves. The air smells like cookies, peppermint and hot chocolate. At the end of the night, Santa Claus and his misses arrives down the 4th street elevator. Cost: Free.
11. Festival of Trees- The Roshek Building hostess the Ohnward Fine Arts Center Festival of Trees every November and December. The festival features festive and elaborate Christmas trees, music, silent auction and delicious holiday favorites. Featuring our very own Loras College Chamber Choir.