The calendar still says winter, even if the temperatures climb near 50 for Saturday’s Winterfest in the Amana Colonies and Sunday’s Coralville Winterfest in the Iowa River Landing area.

Who knows how the weather will be for North Liberty’s Beat the Bitter games and events the first weekend of February. And Coralville’s BrrrFest on Jan. 28 will be headquartered inside the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center Exhibit Hall.

So whether or not Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, spectators and players will find plenty of ways to beat the winter blahs at these seasonal celebrations.


Grab your coat and boots and head to the Amana Colonies for an old-fashioned seasonal celebration. Activities get underway with the Amana Freezer 5K run/walk, starting behind the Woolen Mill, with registration at 8:30 a.m. and the race at 10 a.m. Festivities continue all day. Activities range from miniature golf inside the Festhalle Barn to ice sculpting, a scavenger hunt, wine and beer walk, demonstrations, tours and samples at various businesses, food specials and the Snowball Dance from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Millstream Brau Haus, featuring live music, beer and food.

Date: Saturday (1/21)

Location: Amana

Times: 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Market Barn: open fire chili, 11 a.m.; ice fishing, log sawing competitions, Nagelhauen nail driving competition, Great Amana Ham-Put, pork chop slap shot and Christmas wreath toss, all from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; other contests will be going on, as well, and weather-permitting, the Eisbahn ice rink will be open for skating from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.Details:


Lucky ticketholders will be hoisting a beer this winter to help fireworks explode over the city this summer. This annual 21-and-over celebration toasts the beers of winter and the brewers who make them. The event is so popular that “Brewmaster” early-entry tickets sold out quickly, and now the general admission tickets are gone, too. But if you snapped them up in time, you can sample and buy the wares from more than 50 brewers from across Iowa, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota and Colorado. Food will be available for purchase, or you can walk to restaurants in the Iowa River Landing area. Music by Extra Credit Project will get the place hopping, with a rock, blues and country mix. Event proceeds benefit Coralville’s annual 4thFest celebration and the Iowa Brewers Guild.

Date: Jan. 28

Location: Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center Exhibit Hall, 300 E. Ninth St.

Times: SOLD OUT: noon to 4 p.m. Brewmaster tickets, 1 to 4 p.m. general admission tickets



Billed as “frosty fun for all ages,” this 10th annual festival embraces indoor and outdoor activities in the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center and the surrounding Iowa River Landing area. Among the free events: horse-drawn trolley rides, indoor snowball fights, STEM educational activities, entertainment, face painting, balloon creations, arts and crafts, fat tire bike demonstration, model railroad, photo booth, silent auction, root beer tasting, food and more.

Date: Sunday (1/22)

Location: Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center Exhibit Hall, 300 E. Ninth St. and Iowa River Landing.

Times: 1 to 4 p.m.

Admission: free; free parking, Marriott south parking lot off Quarry Road, with parking voucher from the Marriott information desk.



Break that cabin fever with a weekend of fun in the winter sun in Penn Meadows Park, 250 N. Dubuque St. The Feb. 2 craft brews and eats pairing is sold out, but plenty of activities are on tap through Feb. 5. Here are some highlights — at the park unless otherwise noted:

Feb. 3: Horse-drawn carriage rides, 3 to 5 p.m.; “Frozen” meet-and-greet with Anna and Elsa, 4 to 6 p.m.; ice carving, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., community bonfire, 5 to 9 p.m.; snow volleyball, ages 18 and up, $10, J & A Tap; fireworks, 7 p.m.

Feb. 4: Scavenger hunt around town, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 5k obstacle run, 9 a.m., $15 advance, $20 that day; bags tournament, 10 a.m., $10 per team; kickball family tournament, 10 a.m., $75 per team; kickball adult tournament, 11 a.m., $100 per team; snowshoe walk, noon to 4 p.m.; fat tire bikes, noon to 4 p.m., check-in at Sugar Bottom Bikes, 325 N. Dubuque St.; Boy Scouts chili supper, 4:30 to 7 p.m. North Liberty Community Center, 520 W. Cherry St., $5; snuggie bar crawl, 7 p.m. to midnight, sold out.

Feb. 5: Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Jump, 10 a.m. to noon, West Lakes Pond, 270th Street, adjacent to Clear Creek/Amana North Bend Elementary School. $100 per person, to benefit the NLPD K-9 Fund