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What to Do

Whether it is history, culture, athletics or music you are looking for, Ottumwa has it all. You'll find something new and exciting to do every day in Ottumwa where there is always a new adventure awaiting on the other side of the bridge. Search by keyword or view all listings below.
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Airpower Museum
22001 Bluegrass Rd [Map]
Blakesburg, IA 52536
(641) 938-2773
antiqueairfield@sirisonline.com
www.AntiqueAirfield.com
Visit this 20,000-square-foot museum on 30 acres of an antique airfield. It features various periods of aviation via models, engines, propellers, photos and original art. Approximately 20 aircrafts are on display, including World War II models. The adjacent Antique Airfield hosts the annual Antique Aircraft Association/Air Power Museum Invitational Fly-In over six days concluding on Labor Day. AAA members are invited to attend. The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed the week before Labor Day and major holidays.
American Gothic House & Visitor Center
300 American Gothic St [Map]
Eldon, IA 52554
(641) 652-3352
theamericangothichouse@gmail.com
www.AmericanGothicHouse.net
Iowa artist Grant Wood sketched this house on a 1930 visit and that summer depicted it as the background for his world-famous painting, American Gothic. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Center includes exhibits such as American Gothic paradies, gift shop, and media room with educational films about Grant Wood. The center is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday-Monday, May-September; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1-4 p.m. Saturday-Monday, October-April. Free admission. Closed major holidays. -Voted Favorite Historical or Cultural Experience by locals as a part of Go Where We Go.
Blakesburg Community Museum
205 North Main St [Map]
Blakesburg, IA 52536
(641) 777-5092
www.BlakesburgHPS.org
This small museum is curated by the Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society. Located in the original US Post Office and with a focus on preserving the history of the community. The Museum's principal displays are artifacts, items and records relevant to the community's descendants, identity and cultural heritage.
Bridge City Bowl
1527 Albia Rd [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 684-9250
www.BridgeCityBowl.com
Located on Ottumwas south side, Bridge City Bowl offers open bowling and league play. Bundles for league play and birthday are available. Brooklyns Bar & Grill is located on site providing a variety of food and beverages. Call for hours of operation.
Bridge View Center
102 Church St [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 684-7000
www.BridgeViewCenter.com
Bridge View Center is one of southeast Iowa's premiere performing arts venues. The center is home to a state-of-the-art 655 seat theater and 30,000 square foot expo hall. Audiences have enjoyed Jason Pritchett, Hairball, Florida Georgia Line, symphony concerts and performances of Ottumwa Community Players, Ottumwa Community Children's Playhouse and the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival. Visit their website to view a full calendar of events.
Cedar Creek Golf Course
13120 Angle Rd [Map]
Ottuwma, IA 52501
(641) 683-0646
cedarcreekgolfcourse@yahoo.com
www.CedarCreekGolfCourse.com
Cedar Creek proclaims itself as The Best Public Golf Course in South Central Iowa with 18 holes of golf in excellent condition. It features a driving range with lasered yardages, a pro shop with a complete line of golf equipment and a GPS system on its golf carts. In addition, the clubhouse provides a full service 19th Hole restaurant.
Champion Bowl
2601 Roemer Ave [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 682-8005
Champion Bowl offers daily open bowling, along with league bowling. It is also home to a pro-shop and Papa Techels Grill with a variety of food and beverages. Birthday party packages are available. Hours vary by season, call for specific information.
Chief Wapello Gravesite & Memorial Park
6899 Chief Wapello Rd [Map]
Agency, IA 52530
(641) 937-5749
cddcrd@pcsia.net
Visit Chief Wapello Memorial Park, original site of a Native American Agency and the place where chiefs of the Sac and Fox Nation and representatives of the territorial and federal government signed a treaty for the purchase of Iowa lands. Located in the park are gravesites of Chief Wapello and General Joseph M. Street, first administrator of the Indian Agency. Park is located on land deeded to Streets widow by the Sac and Fox.
Des Moines River
At the center of Ottumwa, you will find the Des Moines River, the heart of our community. It is where business, nature, recreation and entertainment meet. Stroll along the levee trail which starts just across the street from the Bridge View Center and winds its way along the river for just over a mile. Fishing from the banks of the river is a popular summertime activity. If you prefer boating, the Black Hawk boat ramp can be found just off Quincy Avenue.
Eddyville Historical Museum
101 South 3rd St [Map]
Eddyville, IA 52553
(641) 696-5391
This small, quaint historical museum is located in the heart of friendly downtown Eddyville. It is a small but growing museum that gladly welcomes visitors to explore the ever-changing displays which depict their history for future generations. Call for hours.
Eldon Carnegie Library
608 W Elm St [Map]
Eldon, IA 52554
(641) 652-7517
www.Eldon.lib.ia.us
The Carnegie library is on the National Register of Historic Places having been dedicated on May 9, 1913 upon its completion. In addition to being one of Eldons stately historic properties, it serves genealogists on their quest for information. Open Monday-Saturday, call ahead for specific hours. Closed major holidays.
Freedom Rock
102 Church St [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 684-4303
In 1999, the original Freedom Rock was created by a young Iowa artist, Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II, after seeing the film, Saving Private Ryan. It wasn't long before Sorensen decided to spread The Freedom Rock message to all 99 counties and hence was born "The Freedom Rock Tour." Although these rocks may be smaller than the original, the message is equally powerful. Sorensen arrived in Ottumwa on September 22, 2014 to create a patriotic rock mural unique to Wapello County. The Ottumwa Arts Council raised funds for the project and suggested several ideas such as a Gold Star Banner, American flag, bald eagle, Tuskegee Airmen, National Guard Unit 833rd and Naval Air Station Ottumwa. The quality of Sorensen's work speaks for itself.
Greater Ottumwa Park
US Hwy 34 & IA Hwy 149 [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 682-7873
www.CityofOttumwa.org
At the center of the city are 340 acres of green space and lagoons providing an ideal place for enjoying the outdoors with picnic tables, shelters, fireplaces, tennis courts, playground equipment, baseball/softball diamonds, basketball courts, paved trails, soccer fields, camping hook-ups, and sand volleyball courts. For shelter reservations, call (641)-682-7873. Information for the campground can be obtained at (641)-682-1307 (May-Oct).
Historic Hills Scenic Byway
304 S Maple St #101 [Map]
Fairfield, IA 52556
(641) 472-6177
info@pathfindersrcd.org
www.iowabyways.org
The Historic Hills Scenic Byway takes travelers on a journey through Wapello, Appanoose, Davis, Van Buren and Lee counties. Following the winding roads of the byway will introduce you to the people and scenery of southeastern Iowa. The 110-mile scenic byway begins from the North on Wapello County Road T-61 at U.S. 34 north of Blakesburg. It curves southeasterly on back roads past farmsteads near the communities of Drakesville and Bloomfield in Davis County where Old Order Amish go about their traditional ways. The newest section is on Appanoose County Road J-3T in Moravia and runs southeasterly to the current byway route in Drakesville. The route then wanders through Troy in Davis County and the historic villages of Keosauqua, Bentonsport, Bonaparte, and Farmington in Van Buren County. From Farmington, the route goes to Donnellson in Lee County where it ends. Spend a day enjoying southern Iowa countryside while exploring quaint communities and unique businesses that you'll discover along the byway.
Market on Main
331 E Main St [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 682-0261
director@marketonmainottumwa.com
www.MarketOnMain.com
The Market on Main serves as a business incubator and a community meeting place offering a unique shopping and retail destination to the community. The Market partners with local and regional educational agencies and groups to offer classes, seminars and other educational events at an affordable cost to the community. Also, the Market on Main is home to the Artist in Residence program sponsored by the Ottumwa Area Arts Council. Hours are Tuesday-Friday from 11:00 AM-7:00 PM and Saturday from 8:00 AM-4:00 PM.
McHaffey Opera House
414 W Elm St [Map]
Eldon, IA 52554
(641) 652-7510
www.cityofeldon.org
Eldon's century-old opera house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with a grassroots group hard at work to restore it. Irish immigrant David McHaffey built the McHaffey Opera House in 1891 during the citys days as a thriving railroad town. The stately building was on the New York Circuit and all the latest plays and performances were brought such as Vaudeville acts and Shakespearean plays. Hours are Monday-Saturday from 8:00 AM-Noon or by appointment.
Memorial Park
E Park Ave & N Jefferson St [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 682-7873
www.CityofOttumwa.org
The 47-acre park includes picnic tables, shelters, fireplaces, restrooms, playground equipment, baseball/softball, tennis, football/soccer, drinking fountains, trails, bridges, cabins, ponds and benches. The park recently opened a four-mile Mountain Bike Trail.
Ottumwa 8 Movie Theatre
1215 Theatre Dr [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 682-4935
www.CECTheatres.com
The Ottumwa 8 is a CEC Theatre offering eight state-of-the-art theatres with newly-released films, stadium seating, hearing-assisted listening devices, digital sound, 3D digital projection. Titles and times available online or by calling the movie line. -Voted Favorite Date Night by locals as a part of Go Where We Go.
Ottumwa City Park System
Ottumwa, IA 52501
www.cityofottumwa.com
Ottumwa's City Parks offer a wide variety of opportunities: camping, fishing, bicycle and pedestrian trails, baseball and softball diamonds, children's playgrounds, disc golf, volleyball courts, picnic areas, tennis and basketball courts, performance stage areas, skate park, soccer fields and much more!
Ottumwa Public Library
102 W Fourth St [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 682-7563
www.OttumwaPublicLibrary.org
Genealogists and fans of historic architecture will find a treasure in Ottumwas Andrew Carnegie library building built in 1901. It offers childrens activities, a reading center, Internet access, genealogy room, and reference desk.
Ottumwa Skate Park
River Dr & S Market St [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
This free park features mini-ramps, a spine ramp and a street course with boxes, rails, banks and quarterpipes. The facility is open 24 hours a day, and pads are not required - just recommended.
Pioneer Ridge Nature Center
1339 US Hwy 63 [Map]
Bloomfield, IA 52537
(641) 682-3091
co90conserv@lisco.net
www.WapelloCounty.org
This two-story nature center, with displays and a full-time naturalist, has four stocked ponds open for public fishing. There are also 12 miles of hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails and a half-mile, paved, handicapped-accessible trail. The Wapello County Conservation Board also offers cabin rentals, camping, special events, and environmental programs. A shelter is available to rent for gatherings and reunions. The center is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Closed major holidays. Free admission. -Voted Favorite Scenic Route by locals as a part of Go Where We Go.
Rock Island Train Depot
Fourth St & KD Ave [Map]
Eldon, IA 52554
(641) 777-6656
www.EldonDepotMuseum.org
The historic Rock Island Train Depot in Eldon is a railroad museum with numerous displays and serves as a meeting place for city-wide activities. In its day, the depot served the needs of local travelers and the US Postal Service. The depot is home to an engine, flat car and a refurbished Chicago Central & Pacific caboose. The depot is open May-September from 1-4 p.m. or by appointment.
The Beach Ottumwa
101 Church St [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 682-7873
www.BeachOttumwa.com
Ottumwas 13-acre family outdoor water park features a wave pool, thrilling 20-foot speed slide, 340-foot body slide, kiddie play area, sand volleyball, and basketball. The indoor facility is open year-around and features an 8-lane competitive indoor pool and a 100-foot tube slide. Private-party park rental is available. Outdoor water park is open at 12 p.m. Memorial Day-Labor Day, weather permitting. Admission fee charged. -Voted Favorite Place to Play by locals as a part of Go Where We Go.
Wapello County Courthouse
101 W Fourth St [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 683-4630
www.WapelloCounty.org
The Wapello County courthouse is used for court functions and county administration. The cornerstone was laid on September 28, 1892, and the five-story building was dedicated on May 17, 1894. Rough cut sandstone (rusticated stone) was used for the Richardson Romanesque style structure. A large clock tower was part of the original design; however in 1950 the clock tower was removed and with it about 450 tons of bricks which alleviated a great deal of structural stress. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, the court house is part of Central Park which includes Ottumwa Public Library and Ottumwa City Hall.
Wapello County Historical Museum
210 W Main St [Map]
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 682-8676
wchs@pcsia.net
www.WapelloCountyMuseum.com
Located on the second floor of the Amtrak depot, the museum offers interactive displays that illustrate life in Wapello County during the 19th and 20th centuries. Don't miss the scale replica of the 1890 Ottumwa Coal Palace and early fire station including a completely restored 1925 America LaFrance fire truck. Programs offered throughout the year. Open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday noon-4 p.m. Closed major holidays. Admission fee charged.
Wapello County Trails
www.WapelloCountyTrails.com
Enjoy the scenic Des Moines River from the Ottumwa Levee Trail. Walk, run, bike, rollerblade or eagle watch along the 13.6 mile asphalt trail. Signature portions of the trail include the historic Wabash Bridge across the Des Moines River and the Ottumwa Sculpture Trail which features several sculptures adjacent to Bridge View Center and the Market Street Bridge. -Voted Favorite Scenic Route by locals as a part of Go Where We Go.
Wildwood Park
Shaul & Finley Streets [Map]
Ottumwa, Ia 52501
Seventy-three acres with picnic tables, shelters, disc golf, fireplaces, restrooms, playground equipment, baseball/softball, basketball, tennis, drinking fountains, trails, bridges, birdhouses, cross country skiing and sledding.
Website Sponsored in part by Central Iowa Tourism Region, Wapello County Board of Supervisors, and Wapello County Foundation.