The first day of winter is only a couple of weeks away! 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. Visit the Elk and Bison at Botna Bend

Photo courtesy of Pottawattamie Conservation 

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? Recently a new baby bison was born and now is a great time to go say hello.

2. 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.

3. Get Takeout from 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, order takeout, and let someone else do the cooking!

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

Photo courtesy of Mt. Crescent Ski Area 

The weather is still a little too warm for snow, but once the temperatures drop go check out Mt. Crescent Ski Area! Whether you prefer skiing, sledding, or snowboarding, there’s a slope here for you. Check out their website for more information!

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

This is a winter unlike any we’ve experienced before, and we hope this list helps you find safe and fun ways to make the most of it! Share your favorite winter activities with us on our Facebook by tagging @WattaWayIowa in your winter photos.

This post was originally published on December 8, 2020 on the Watta Way blog.