What to Do in Winter in December

This staying home thing was kinda cute in March and April but has become pretty monotonous as we move into December. While we Iowans are pretty good at Netflix-and-chili hibernation, other options will be more limited and stay-at-home offerings remain an important mitigation tool until vaccines have been widely vaccinated.

In the coming months, with the COVID-19 pandemic nipping at our mask-covered noses, we’ll offering some safe, fun things to do between now and warmer weather, and we’ll highlight offerings at the start of each month because staying safe means limiting interactions to your household.

Remember that warm clothes and layers go a long way to making outdoor spaces comfortable and fun places in any weather, and simple-to-do-at-home crafts help keep kids engaged (and offer an alternative to screen time).

Calls from Santa

For the health and well being of Santa and everyone this year, we are holding our annual chance to talk to Santa virtually where kids can tell the jolly old elf exactly what they want for Christmas from the comfort and safety of their own home. Two options to connect with Santa: a two- to three-minute call for free or a five- to 10-minute Zoom call for $10. Registration is open now for calls between Dec. 1 and Dec. 10.

Stay Home Stay Active

The Recreation Department has partnered with local instructors to provide free home workouts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instructors have generously volunteered their time to help keep you active. Videos will broadcast live in the discussion section at the time of the event. Feel free to follow along live or watch the video at any time after the event that works for your schedule.

Through December, instructor Sandi Cook will offer Body Sculpt and Body Blast, and all fitness levels are welcome. We’ve also archived a variety of other classes on YouTube.

Make It Mondays

Each week the Recreation Department will offer a new to-go pack with a hands-on activity, coloring pages and other fun in its weekly themed kits.  The program is scheduled to last until Spring Break. To participate in the program, simply stop by the North Liberty Community Center, 520 W. Cherry Street, and pick up an activity kit while supplies last. Kits are free. Additionally, materials will be available online.

ONE Packs

We’ve updated our online Outdoor Nature Education Packs — activity kits to help you explore our parks — to include some winter activities and games. Go bald eagle watching, hand feed chickadees, ID evergreens and more.

Recreation Trails

Even in winter, our parks team clears our trail system — all 25 miles of it. And with recent years’ emphasis on expanding and connecting, it’s even easier to find a route that suits you and your family. Our trail system offers safe places for beginning bicyclists riding with their families, connects to the larger trail system throughout the county, and provides an alternative to the treadmill. You can get a map of the North Liberty Trail Corridor Network or the larger regional trail system online.


Get off the beaten path at nearby hiking trails. Squire Point and Woodpecker trails, just east of town, are a popular destination, but there are other trails nearby maintained by the Bur Oak Land Trust, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Johnson County Conservation, and the University of Iowa.

Recreation Facilities

Members can use the Recreation Department’s facilities at 520 W. Cherry St. by appointment, and memberships for North Liberty residents start at free for an indoor-track pass. Other memberships, sold by the month or by the year, include options for the indoor pool, cardio and weight equipment and individual activities in gyms. Masks are required when in the facility. Current hours are weekdays from 6:15 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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