Summer of Fun: 16 Events in the Iowa City Area You Won’t Want to Miss

Summer in the Corridor is hard to beat! Around here, the warmer weather brings more than just lounging by the pool and dinner on your go-to restaurant patio. It also means the return of your favorite annual festivals and events!

These events are what make our community special, and we’re lucky enough to get to be a part of the action! We take pride in supporting many fun activities for all ages throughout the summer. From May to August (and beyond), here’s your guide to summer fun in the area, and events you’ll find us at all season long!

Summer of the Arts Free Movie Series

May 28 – October 8

2022 marks the 15th year of Summer of the Arts’ Free Movie Series and our 7th year as a presenting sponsor! Starting May 28th, join us most Saturday nights this summer at sundown for a free outdoor movie. This year’s lineup includes classics like Field of Dreams, Disney favorites like Raya and the Last Dragon, and new Marvel releases like Shang-Chi & the Legend of the 10 Rings. See the full movie schedule here

This year, Summer of the Arts (SOTA) partnered with Iowa City Parks and Recreation to host each movie in different parks around Iowa City.* They’re also bringing back the retro drive-in theater format at the Iowa City Municipal Airport for two of this year’s movies!

Whether it’s at a park or drive-in-style at the airport, don’t miss free popcorn for the show, courtesy of Marcus Theatres! 

*Note: the July 30th movie is at City Park in Hills—the only non-Iowa City movie location.


Iowa City Farmers Market

Every Saturday, May – October

The Iowa City Farmers Market is back in person! Every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. – noon, stroll through the Chauncey Swan parking ramp and shop locally-made and locally-grown products from 75+ vendors. 

Keep an eye out for our orange reusable Urban Acres bags, handed out by our agents at various markets throughout the year. They’re perfect for taking home your fresh produce and other goodies!


Iowa City HBA Parade of Homes

June 4 – June 12

Building a new home and need inspiration? Remodeling your current home? Just love looking at beautiful homes? Then come visit us at the 2022 Iowa City Area HBA Parade of Homes

Urban Acres is proud to be a sponsor of the Parade along with Hills Bank. We’re also excited to be representing a home in the Parade: 1269 Kona Circle in Coralville. Built by Navigate Homes and listed by The Bails Team, this gorgeous zero-entry boasts 5-bedrooms and 3,500 square feet. Luxury features include a walk-in pantry, a sunroom, a home office, heated floors in the primary bathroom, walk-in closets, and a walk-out basement. Join us on the following dates to see it for yourself!

  • Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 5 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 7 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 9 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 12 from noon – 5 p.m.


Photo Credit: Zak Neumann

Iowa City Downtown Block Party

June 25

The biggest party of the summer is returning for its 5th year! The Downtown Block Party, hosted by the Iowa City Downtown District (ICDD), transforms 14 blocks of the downtown area into a landscape of free entertainment. From crowd favorites like Silent Disco, Dueling Pianos, and Studio 13’s DragShow to new arrivals, like Iowa City Ducks Rugby matches, it’s sure to be a good time. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be the Block Party without some great local drinks! Buying a cup will get you the official event wristband, allowing you to walk around and enjoy the festivities with a wine or beer in your hand. Just stop into your favorite downtown restaurant, fill your cup, and take it with you out onto the street as you enjoy live music or one of the many other activities. (NOTE: wristband and cup required to be able to take alcoholic drinks outside of restaurants and bars).  

We’re excited to be this year’s cup sponsor. Pre-order your cup tickets for $10, on sale now, or purchase your cup tickets the day of for $15. Plus, follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep an eye out for some ticket giveaways!


Project GREEN Open Gardens Weekend

July 9 & 10

If you’ve got a green thumb or a love of landscaping, this event is for you!

Since 1968, Project GREEN has contributed more than $2.2 million to make Iowa City’s public areas more beautiful, making our community as a whole more inviting. Open Gardens Weekend is one of their biggest annual events and helps to make this mission possible. 

On July 9th and 10th, many homeowners in Iowa City and Coralville will open their carefully-tended gardens to the public. Visitors can then tour these beautiful gardens for free—no ticket required! 

As REALTORS®, we know the importance of curb appeal and a beautiful community. That’s why we’re proud sponsors of this year’s Open Gardens Weekend! Whether you’re an avid gardener yourself, an aspiring gardener, or just want to get out and take a scenic stroll, we hope to see you there. 


Courage Ride

August 13

The Courage Ride honors Seth Bailey, a young Corridor native who passed away from Sarcoma cancer in 2003, as well as other Sarcoma patients and survivors. All proceeds from the ride benefit the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center (UIHCCC) to support Sarcoma cancer research. Since 2005, they have raised more than $725,000 for the UIHCCC.

The Courage Ride draws in more than 500 bicyclists from around the area. The ride starts at Big Grove Brewery and Taproom in Iowa City. With 5 different routes—8, 38, 57, 72 and 107 miles—there’s a perfect distance for every cycling ability. Routes explore the Amish countryside around Iowa City, including Hills, Riverside, Kalona, and Frytown. Breakfast and lunch are provided, as well as rest/water stops along the route and even live music. 

Learn more and register for the ride here. Urban Acres is proud to be a silver sponsor for this event. 


HAVlife Martini Shake Off

August 17

The only thing better than a delicious martini? A martini that supports a great cause!

HAVlife’s Martini Shake Off is returning to an in-person format at the new Courtyard Marriott in University Heights. This event brings together the top bartenders from your favorite local establishments to see who can craft the best martini. Guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of Kinnick Stadium as they sip their martinis, sample hors d’oeuvres, and bid on items and experiences in the silent auction. 

All proceeds from this event benefit the HAVlife Foundation of Johnson County. This non-profit works to Prevent Lost Potential™ in local youth ages 10-15 by raising money to provide kids with the means to participate in art, music, and athletics. Since it was established in 2016, the Johnson County HAVlife chapter has awarded more than $300,000 to 40 Johnson County nonprofits, positively impacting more than 23,000 youth in the area. 

The Martini Shake Off is HAVlife’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and we at Urban Acres are proud to be a long-time sponsor of this fun event. Tickets will go on sale soon, so keep an eye on HAVlife’s website!


Live Your Best Life Virtual 5K

September 18–24

Systems Unlimited has been serving people with developmental disabilities and mental health needs in Eastern Iowa for more than 50 years. They believe that everyone deserves to feel the accomplishment of completing a 5K, which is the inspiration behind their Live Your Best Life Virtual 5K fundraiser! 

Runners of all experience levels are welcome, and all participants will receive a t-shirt and a medal. The proceeds from this event will cover home repairs for the people that Systems Unlimited serves, ensuring that they can continue to live in the communities of their choice. This cause is near and dear to our hearts, and we are proud to sponsor this event. Learn more and register for the race here


The Fun Doesn’t Stop There

Of course, we can’t end this list without mentioning a few more iconic annual events. We may not be involved directly in these as a sponsor, but rest assured that we’ll be there, volunteering or joining in on the fun along with the rest of the community! 

Iowa Arts Festival 

  • Where: Downtown Iowa City
  • When: June 3rd – 5th


Kalona Days

  • Where: Kalona
  • When: June 17th & 18th



  • Where: Downtown Iowa City
  • When: June 18th


Jazz Fest 

  • Where: Downtown Iowa City
  • When: July 1st – 3rd



  • Where: Coralville
  • When: July 1st – 4th


Blues and BBQ

  • Where: Centennial Park in North Liberty
  • When: July 9


Solon Beef Days

  • Where: Solon
  • When: July 15th & 16th


Hoover Hometown Days

  • Where: West Branch
  • When: August 5th & 6th


To Wrap Up

Our priority has always been our community, and we love being a part of these beloved events every summer, whether as sponsors, volunteers, or attendees. 

We know that summer calendars fill up fast, especially with all the great activities in the list above! If “moving” is on your agenda this summer, let us help lighten the load. Reach out to one of our agents today to get started on your buying or selling journey.

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