Don’t let the cold temperatures keep you from exploring and trying something new. We’ve put together a list of fun things for you to try this winter in Pottawattamie County!

1. Hit the Slopes at Mt. Crescent Ski Area!

Photo courtesy of Mt. Crescent Ski Area 

For those who enjoy winter sports, go check out Mt. Crescent Ski Area! Whether you prefer skiing, sledding, or snowboarding, there’s a slope here for you. They provide visitors with various slopes to intrigue newcomers and challenge those who are more experienced.

The ski area is set to open by December 17th and will be open for extended hours through December 30th to accommodate families during the holiday season. Night skiing hours will begin on January 4th, and select sledding time slots will begin on January 7th. Check out their website for more information!

2. Visit the Elk and Bison at Botna Bend


Looking for something to do on a cold winter afternoon? Pack the kids in the car and drive out to Botna Bend Park in Hancock, Iowa! Did you know that there are live bison and elk herds that call this Pottawattamie Conservation Park their home? 

3. Snowshoe at Hitchcock Nature Center

Explore the Loess Hills in a completely new way this winter! Rent snowshoes at the Loess Hills Lodge and embark on a snowshoe adventure. You will be amazed at how peaceful Hitchcock Nature Center is when it is covered in a blanket of snow. For snowshoe rental information, please visit Pottawattamie Conservation’s website.

4. Visit a Restaurant You've Never Tried Before

Chicken avocado salad at the Back Forty Bar & Grill in Macedonia, Iowa.

There are so many delicious restaurant options in Pottawattamie County, and you’ve probably not had a chance to try them all. Browse our list of local restaurants and let someone else do the cooking!

5. Take Winter Photos at the Pottawattamie Conservation Parks

Pottawattamie County is home to several beautiful conservation areas that can only be described as “picture-perfect.” Bundle up, grab your camera, and go take photos of the beautiful Loess Hills and the wildlife that call southwest Iowa their home. Here are some of the parks we suggest you check out:

Arrowhead Park
Crescent Wildlife Area
Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area
Honey Creek Conservation Area
Olde Town Park
Wheeler Grove Conservation Area

6. Visit an Art Gallery

The Painted Camel Gallery

Explore the works of local artists at one of Pottawattamie County's art galleries! There are several options, including Penny's Vision Gallery in Neola, A Bit of Iowa Gallery in Walnut, or The Painted Camel Gallery in Macedonia. 

7. Shop Local

B Restored in Walnut 

Whether you're shopping for a special someone, treating yourself, or looking for something to fill a Saturday afternoon, you'll find that there are great shopping options in Pottawattamie County! Be sure to check out the small town of Walnut, better known as Iowa's Antique City. The town is booming with antique stores and specialty shops. Check out favorites, including B RestoredBarn Mall, and the Antique Furniture Emporium!

Looking for More? 

Looking to see what the rest of the county has to offer? Learn about our local history by visiting one of our many museums or warm up with a delicious beverage at Nesting Grounds, the newest coffee shop in the county! 

Click here for a full list of attractions in rural Pottawattamie County!

Click here for a full list of restaurants in Pottawattamie County! 

This post was originally published on December 7, 2022 on the Watta Way blog.