Farmers Market
Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 7:30am
Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp


Upcoming Special Events

Party In the Park
Connect with friends, family and neighbors this summer at Party in the Park. The 2017 season begins Thursday, June 8 and continues every Thursday through Aug. 24. The location rotates from different parks, but the fun always begins at 6:30 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy live music, games, arts and crafts, and frozen treats. Party in the Park is a no-fee event and is open to the public. Check out the full schedule of events below.

2017 Party in the Park Schedule

Summer 2017 Recreation Activities

Take a look at all the Iowa City Recreation Division can offer you and your family this season. The Recreation Activity Guide is now available online and in hard copy at Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center, 220 South Gilbert Street; Mercer Aquatic Center/Scanlon Gymnasium, 2701 Bradford Drive; and Iowa City Public Library, 123 South Linn Street; Iowa City City Hall, 410 E. Washington Street.

View the 2017 Summer Activity Guide here:

Ready to sign up? Visit our activity registration page:

The summer activity guide will be released the week of April 17. Registration for summer activities will open Wednesday, April 26.

2017 Summer Camp Information

Looking for a fun and educational outlet for your child this summer? Look no further than the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department's Summer Camp. Camps will run weekly starting on June 12 and ending August 11. The camp day runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with optional supervised play from 7:30 – 9 a.m. and from 4 - 5:30 p.m. at no additional cost. 

Registration begins March 29, 2017. 

For more information visit our camps page:

2017 Summer Youth Drop-In Programs

K-6 Summer Playgrounds Program

Monday through Fridays • June 12-August 4 • 9:30-11:30am

Park Locations: Court Hill, Creekside, Fairmeadows, Highland, Mercer, North Market Square, Wetherby, and Willow Creek

Activities include: Games, arts and crafts, nature activities and special events for children completing grades K-6. There is no fee to participate, but children must be registered by an adult guardian on the first day of attendance at each site. Children may come and go as they please, so parents should use discretion. The Playgrounds program does not meet when it's raining and will close if rain begins after opening. The program will not be held July 4.

Teen Dynamics Summer Program

Monday through Friday • June 5-August 11 • 3-7:30 p.m. at Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Activities include: Sports, crafts, gardening, field-trips and more for youth completing grades 7-12. No fee is required and enrollment is on-going. To register visit: NOTE: A parent or guardian should accompany the participant on the first evening they attend to fill out additional registration forms.

Stories in the Park

Supplement your regular story time with some sunshine at the Stories in the Park reading series this summer. The series runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. from June 5-August 4, 2017. See the full schedule below:

  • Mondays 10:30 a.m.
    Willow Creek Park, 117 Teg Dr.
  • Wednesdays 10:30 a.m.
    Wetherby Park, 2400 Taylor Dr.
  • Fridays, 10:30 a.m.
    Mercer Park, 2701 Bradford Dr.

In the event of rain, the Monday and Wednesday story times will be held at the Iowa City Public Library and the Friday story times will be canceled. This program is a partnership between Iowa City Parks and Recreation and the Iowa City Public Library.

City Park Rides

The City Park amusement rides will open for the 65th Anniversary season on Saturday, May 27, 2017. To celebrate this important anniversary, Iowa City Parks and Recreation is hosting several special events throughout the summer. 


5/29/2017- Memorial Day
Jump into summer fun. Buy a 10-ride pass and get two rides at no additional cost.

6/21/2017- First Day of Summer
Go for a City Park amusement ride and get a free Iowa City Parks and Recreation color-changing cup – while supplies last.  

Month of July- Parks and Recreation Month
July is National Parks and Recreation Month. Show your P&R love! City Park rides are free on Sundays for current Iowa City Parks and Recreation campers who wear their t-shirt.

7/4/2017- Fourth of July
Free amusement park rides all day.

7/21/2017 – Old Fashioned Carnival
From 5-7 p.m., play carnival games and enjoy old fashioned snow cones and hot dogs – served at the end of the evening. All participants will receive one free ride on the historic City Park rides.

8/14 through 8/18/2017- Lazy Dayz of Summer
Swim at City Park pool from Aug. 14-18 and enjoy one free ride. Remember to pick up a ride card at the pool before you leave. Ride coupons are only valid during the week of the promotion, and are valid for one ride per person.

The regular season schedule is as follows:

  • Park rides are open 1-7 p.m. daily, Saturday, May 27 through Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017
  • After Aug. 20, rides are open from 1-6 p.m. on weekends only through Sunday, September 24. 

Cost is $1 per ride or $8 for a 10-ride punch card. 

To learn more about the history of the City Park Rides, view our brochure at




Arts and attractions Services
Park Services
Parks and Recreation
220 S. Gilbert Street
Iowa City, IA
Phone Number: 
Office Hours: 
July 21, 2017
Mercer Park Aquatic Center: 83°
Robert A. Lee Rec Center: 84°
City Park Pool: 77°
For pool hours, see "General Pool Info" web page.

Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center &
Mercer Park Recreation Center/ Scanlon Gym
Facility Hours:
Monday- Friday, 6:30 a.m.*- 9 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.- 8 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

*Customer service hours start at 8 a.m.

Special hours/closures notifications listed at top of P&R page.