9 FREE Activities to Take Advantage of when Traveling to
Mason City, Iowa
Whether you’re visiting Mason City for one of our many attractions or just visiting family and friends – Here are 9 inside secrets to get the biggest bang for your buck while staying in Mason City.
Visit Mason City Information Center
Located on 2021 4th St. SW – This is one stop you don’t want to miss when starting your adventure here in Mason City. At the Visitors Center you will find an array of brochures FREE to the public for attractions, entertainment and even local community events. A friendly staff member will greet you at the door and point out must sees, lodging, direction information, dinning /shopping options and so much more! Grab a Mason City Travel Guide and look for a FREE survivor coupon- HINT, HINT. The Visitor Center is open 24/7 and staffed: M-F 8-4:30
Prairie Playground East Park
Prairie Playground, located at East Park, East State St. is the largest outdoor play area in Mason City. The wooden maze will be sure to burn off energy while the shelter areas make a perfect place to eat a sack lunch or have a picnic.
After burning off some energy and with a full tummy, walk over to the Cannonball 457 east side of Prairie Playground (East Park, East State St), before exiting the park. The Cannonball 457 was built in 1912 and is the last remaining Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway steam locomotive- No. 457. The “Cannonball” has been restored to reflect its appearance in the late 1920’s. Mason City is also home to Iowa Traction Railroad, the only remaining organization that still uses electric locomotives to haul freight in regular service in the United States. Visitors can see an electric freight-hauling locomotive in operation on almost any day while traveling on 19th St. SW / County Rd B 35. The Cannonball 457 is a fun site for any age – take pictures and admire this historical site!
Music Man Footbridge/ Meredith Wilson
Music Man Footbridge is named in honor of native Mason City’s Meredith Wilson an internationally renowned composer. The Footbridge is located on 2nd St. SE in Mason City over Willow Creek – connecting River Heights Drive and South Connecticut Ave. While this Foot Bridge has a historic background it’s a prime location for a ‘selfie’ or a family photo as you have a beautiful background on the bridge.
Charles H. MacNider Art Museum
Calling all art, puppet and ceramic enthusiasts to check out this museum when you are in town. Admission is FREE for a self-guided tour, and is located on 303 2nd St. SE. The Charles H. MacNider Art Museum houses a permanent collection of American art, the famous Bil Baird Puppets and an impressive range of ceramics. The museum offers changing exhibits, films, studio classes, special events, Imagination Playground and a museum shop.
Prairie School Architectural Tour
Want to take a nice walk? Want to see the largest group of Prairie School designed homes on an unified site? Well you’re in luck when you’re visiting Mason City! The best part it’s FREE (for a self guided tour). Prairie School Tour encompasses 14 blocks and the Historical Tour is an additional 13 blocks beginning at 303 2nd St. SE. Explore and be amazed when walking in the Rock Crest & Rock Glen area. Architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Burley Griffen, William Drummond, Francis Barry Byrne and more. Download the Enlarged Mason City downtown map featuring an overview of the self guided walking tour.
Mason City Veterans Monument in Central Park
Located in Central Park (West State St.) is the Mason City Veterans Monument. This monument in Central Park honors over 3,300 veterans with Mason City connections. Standing 8 feet high and weighting 4,000 pounds it features 12 Black India Granite stones!
River City Sculpture on the Plaza
Sculptures on the Plaza are located at various parts of downtown Mason City. This is an exciting exhibit of outdoor sculptures displayed year-round. Self guided tour starts in downtown and loops through the cultural crescent which includes historical architecture, art museum, public library and the Music Man Square. Tour routes can be found at the Visit Mason City Center. Take a group of friends and enjoy the afternoon of seeing amazing works of art!
Lime Creek Nature Center
If you are headed North on your way out of Mason City be sure to stop by Lime Creek Nature Center; located at 3501 Lime Creek RD; HWY. 65 N. The Nature Center features a variety of displays about the wildlife and natural resources of North Iowa. An outdoor amphitheater, hands-on nature displays and over nine miles of trails through prairie, forest and wetland habitat provide fun experiences for everyone. FREE Admission with an unlimited amount of fun and learning!
After your day or days visiting Mason City we hope you found this helpful, as there are many other attractions to see and do. But, sometimes it’s nice to have a couple FREE activities in the itinerary. For more information on what all Mason City has to offer and lodging information please visit: http://www.visitmasoncityiowa.com