Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 has presented many changes to our normal routines. All decisions made by the Parks and Recreation Department are made to keep you, our users of the City's parks as safe as possible during this pandemic.

We’ve been there for your family for a lot of your firsts. First swim in the pool, first TKD class, and first home runs. We have a lot more firsts to offer your family, but to get from here to back where we want to be, we need to all wear our masks.

*Please Note: Playgrounds and other park equipment are not disinfected by operations staff. When using park facilities consider the following precautions:

  • Practice good hand hygiene, using hand sanitizer frequently when soap and water are not available.
  • Recreate safely in groups of 10 or less and physically distance yourself from others by at least 6 feet.
  • Wear a face covering.

For all Iowa City COVID-19 news, updates and resources, visit our web page at

Closed Facilities & Programs

These facilities and programs are closed/discontinued until further notice to discourage large gatherings and encourage physical distancing and/or an inability to sufficiently clean at an acceptable frequency, or lack of staff available to maintain them.

  • Activity Guide - No guide, follow social media for program updates
  • Athletic Fields & Courts
  • Restrooms
  • Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Open Facilities & Programs

  • Dog Parks
  • Mercer Park Aquatic Center Pool - Available for preregistered lap lane swimming and water walking. Call or register online.
  • Mercer Park P&G Room - Available M-F for small group rentals. Call for availability.
  • Parks
  • Playgrounds*
  • Scanlon Gym - Available for preregistered singles basketball, pickleball, walking, and Tot Time. Call for availability.
  • Shelters - Call for availability.
  • Terrell Mill Skate Park
  • Terry Trueblood Lodge and Ned Ashton House Rentals - Call for availability.
  • Trails

Iowa City Parks & Recreation Commission

The Parks & Recreation Commission meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m.


Thornberry Dog Sweater Pawty

We are hosting a Dog Sweater Pawty at Thornberry Dog Park! Sweaters and costumes may be homemade or store-bought, but as always, creativity will be key! Each dog may be entered into one category and will be registered upon entrance. There is no registration fee. A prize will be awarded to the winner of each category. All attending dogs must be current on their rabies vaccinations and must be capable of adhering to the rules of the dog park.

  • Saturday, March 6, 2021
  • 1-3 pm
  • A socially-distanced dog sweater contest will begin at 2 p.m. and will include three judged categories.
    • Most (P)ugly Sweater
    • Most Unique Sweater
    • Best Friends Costume (Dog+Human Combo)

Earth Fest

It is time to think green! Celebrate Earth Day all month long by participating in our FREE virtual Earth Fest event! Are you interested in learning about fun environmental activities and demonstrations? Then this is the event for you!

  • Sunday, April 11, 2021 - Friday, April 30, 2021
  • Virtual Facebook Events

Follow Us on Social

Stay up to date on by following us on our social media platforms. We will be communicating changes, updates, and providing activities you can do from home. 

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Contact Us

Questions? Please contact us at or 319-356-5100


Arts and attractions Services
Parks Services
220 S. Gilbert Street
Iowa City, IA
Phone Number: 
Office Hours: 
Pool Temperatures
Mercer Park Aquatic Center: 83 - 85°
Robert A. Lee Rec Center: 79 - 81° - CLOSED
City Park Pool: Unheated

For pool hours, see

Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center &
Mercer Park Recreation Center/ Scanlon Gym
Facility Hours:
Monday- Friday, 6:15 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Saturday, 6:15 a.m.- 8 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

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