With its great location and emphasis on recreation, entertainment, arts and dining, Grinnell is brimming with activity.
Annual events, many sponsored by the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce, include Happy Days—a look back to the 1950s with classic car shows, a cruise night, music, Central Park entertainment and vendors, carnival rides, and more. Ag Appreciation Day pays tribute to local farmers with one of Iowa’s largest displays of restored classic farm machinery. Activities include a parade, auction, tractor pull, petting zoo, exhibitions and food vendors.
The annual Jingle Bell holiday is held the first Friday in December and includes strolling musicians, a live nativity, a lighted parade, carriage rides, and Santa’s kitchen, with appearances from Mrs. Claus and old St. Nick himself.
Spring brings Kites over Grinnell to town, a favorite of children and adults alike. Kite-building workshops, along with indoor and outdoor flying demonstrations, give way to an afternoon of kite-flying competitions and a lighted night-flying session. This American Kitefliers Association sanctioned event takes place in May.
Other local events include weekly summer music performances, vintage auto shows, weekend athletic tournaments, downtown festivals and community theatre productions.
The Iowa Speedway, located just 20 miles west of Grinnell on I-80, boasts a Rusty Wallace Signature Series Track and is quickly becoming a major venue to racing sponsors, drivers and fans. State-of-the-art facilities host 12 competitive race dates from May through September, music concerts, and year-round facilities for corporate meetings and dining.
The Faulconer Gallery, Roberts Theatre, and Sebring-Lewis Hall, all located within the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts at Grinnell College, present major exhibitions of significant historical and contemporary art on a rotating basis, guest speakers, artists in residence, recitals, concerts, and theatrical performances free to the public.
With unique architecture, surroundings, specialty shops, fine and casual dining venues, and cultural events, Grinnell is a perfect destination for bus tours, family weekend getaways and day trips. Visitors to the area have a variety of accommodations available to suit most needs. Cozy bed and breakfasts offer guests quaint retreats in historic and charming surroundings while quality hotels and motels offer modern conveniences and business-travel amenities.
The Strand Theatre, Grinnell’s recently restored tri-plex movie theater, boasts first-run movies for daily matinees or evening entertainment.
Bicycling and nature trails, fishing, boating, and hunting areas, a county conservation center, and several surrounding lakes offer fun and education for residents and visitors alike.
Poweshiek County boasts 11 park and wildlife areas that encompass over 2,173 acres of land dedicated to public use and enjoyment. Rock Creek State Park and the Jacob Krumm Preserve, which both lie within minutes west of Grinnell in Jasper County, offer camping, boating, hiking, swimming, and fishing.
Carroll's Pumpkin Farm has been run by the Carroll family each fall for nearly 20 years. More than just picking pumpkins, the farm has something for every member of the family. Kids can play in the grain barn, swing in the straw barn, feed the goats, ride the Cow Train, milk Maizie the cow, and race on the TMX tricycles. Mom can shop in Carroll's Country Store and Gift Shop, check out the famous mums, and take advantage of the many photo opportunities. Dad can try out the pumpkin catapult launch or the newest attraction: Corn Cannons! Shoot corn into the bean field—up to 200 feet—with a heavy-duty corn cannon. Eat a snack together while watching a magician perform and top off the day with a hayride out to the pumpkin field to search for your pumpkins.
Owners Danny and Joy relate their favorite part of the pumpkin farm is watching families make memories. They invite you to share in the country fun with a great fall experience for your family.