With Memorial Day weekend comes the honorary start to summer! As we work on our summer cocktail menu and start to enjoy patio weather on #SittinOnMain, my thoughts turn to all the fun warm-weather activities in and around the Quad Cities. I make a list every year, lest I forget something, and thought I'd share it with you here! Sure, there are the obvious things: Saturday mornings at the Freight House Farmer's Market, River Bandits games, and the many summer festivals along the way, but here are some different options for your local summertime adventures:
- Ice Cream Tour of the QC
I'll never ever turn down ice cream - it's my all-time favorite treat! And it's hard to resist all the amazing local options around town. Between Whitey's, Lagomarcino's, Country Style, Here's the Scoop, and the gelato at Chocolate Manor, you have so many places to indulge!
- Picnic at a local park with yard games
Find a nice neighborhood park, fill-up the picnic basket with goodies (all locally-sourced, of course), pack some lawn games like Bocce Ball and Croquet, and you have yourself the perfect summer afternoon!
- Concerts at Codfish Hollow Barnstormers
You've likely heard about the magical barn in Maquoketa. Don't delay in planning a visit for one of their stellar concerts this summer as many are already sold out!
- Bar Crawl along the Channel Cat route
This is a fun way to explore both sides of the river in one swoop! We usually hop on the Channel Cat in the Village of East Davenport to head to downtown Moline for a few hours. Our first stop is Bier Stube for their Bavarian Pretzels and some beers on the patio, but there are a lot of great spots to hit within walking distance. Jump back on the Channel Cat to head back to Iowa - there are a few other stops along the way - and spend some time in the East Village. Which leads me to...
- Wine Slushies on the patio at Wide River Winery
In addition to the tasting room in the Village of East Davenport, you have two other locations to choose from: LeClaire and Clinton. This has become an absolute must for us when the weather is nice!
P.S. - We're adding their "So Sue Me Sue" to our summer wine list!
- John Deere Classic
You don't need to be a golfer to enjoy this tournament! Whether you are one of many volunteers who help out or you just walk around the beautiful course as a spectator, you can feel good about attending this important community event - it has raised millions for area charities through the Birdies for Charity program.
- Quad City Symphony Orchestra Riverfront Pops concert
They are playing the music of Queen this year - enough said!
- Road Trip
Ok, so this isn't a local activity but you can act like a local wherever you go! Okoboji is one of our family's favorite destinations during the summer. If you've ever heard the story behind the name Me & Billy, then you know that my dad has been going to "the lake" since he was a kid. With busy schedules, we don't often get to visit as a group, but my dad ALWAYS finds at least one weekend to go up there - the sunset alone is worth the trip!
- Family Reunion
In my mind, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend means one thing: Mamie's annual hat luncheon. Our grandmother gets the cousins together for mass and lunch with only one rule - hats required. This year, we're doing something a little different and heading to Crawford Brew Works for crepes by none other than Cushman's Food & Engine. This is just the beginning of a season full of family reunion-type events, and what's better than time spent with family!