Welcome to IOWA!

Ever consider visiting Iowa? If not, maybe you should. There are some great family stops and a lot to do.  These are a few of our favorite stops on our recent visit.

iowa

Amana Colonies

Located 20 miles from Cider Rapids are the Amana Colonies, 7 villages that were originally German settlements in Iowa. Settled in 1855 the colonies remained self-sufficient until the 1930’s. The Amanians operated independently as a community by farming and handcrafting to maintain their own local economy. Today you can visit the villages and shop at their craft stores, eat local fair, or drink a glass of wine or beer. Antiques, furniture, home decor, clothing, and gifts you will find nowhere else create a unique shopping adventure.

iowa food

The Colonies tradition of great food is available for visitors to explore in the restaurants or specialty shops. The Amana Meat Shop and Smokehouse has over 160 years of experience offering ham, bacon, sausages, beef, and pork to visitors and online.  The Ox Yoke Inn is a fantastic place to stop for lunch, and has amazing German style food. The staff is gracious and the food is affordable and filling. The Broom and Basket Shop is exactly what you might expect, a store dedicated to selling locally handmade brooms and baskets. Another interesting stop is Iowa’s Largest Walnut Rocker, at over 650 lbs. and 11 ft. tall. Great for a family picture. These are just examples of some of the interesting sites you can wander through on a visit to the Amanas.
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Macaroni from Monkey Monkey Music with Meredith CD Release

New music is always a great way to invigorate kids and get them up and moving. Monkey Monkey Music has a new collection of songs, Macaroni, available for sale now. Parents may already be familiar with Monkey Monkey Music and Meredith LeVande (the creator). Her songs and music videos have been featured on PBS Kids, Kids Thirteen, and over 100 public television stations across the US.

monkey music

Macaroni is the title track and like many of the other songs it touches on a hallmark of childhood and creativity, all of the uses we can find for macaroni! Whether we wear it, or use it to make music, Monkey Monkey Music points out how something as simple as pasta can be transformed by imagination and ingenuity.
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