No matter the reason for your trip, check out the fun things to do in Pella (IA) before heading out so you don’t get bored. We’re sure you’d like your vacation to be nothing short of fun!
Pella is a city deep in Dutch history, with nice attraction parks, including Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest lake, which offers exceptional water sports like fishing, paddle boarding, and more.
You can also experience Dutch culture by participating in the annual Tulip Time festival every first Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in May.
Declared by USA Today, Pella has been named the 3rd best place to live in the USA; safety won’t be an issue of concern. Shall we get to explore these attractions already? Bet you’re as excited as we are!
Fun Things To Do In Pella (IA)
1. Visit the Vermeer Mills
While in Pella, take a tour of the Vermeer Mills to have a closer look at North America’s tallest working windmills, a wonderful landmark in Pella. It was named after the Harry and Bernice Vermeer family, who dreamed of having a mill in Pella.
Lukas Verbij designed it in Hoogmade, the Netherlands, and he disassembled it and shipped it to be re-assembled in Pella in 2002. The core of the Pella Vermeer Mill is significant to the Netherlands, having a mill in every small town.
You’ll be fascinated by this 1850s-style ‘Koren mill’ or grain mill, and also explore its five floors, including the base where the grains were brought in and the top floor where it was milled, and make sure to step on the deck to view the lovely views of Pella.
Address: 714 E 1st St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
2. Visit Klokkenspel
Still located on Franklin St is another marker of Pellan history; the glockenspiel features 8-feet mechanical figures portraying the moments and people in Pella’s history; Pella’s Klokkenspel brings the Old World to Pella in a musical way. Performances are held daily from 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, and 9 pm.
Behind the tower are flower beds, arched niches, and stone benches—all with Dutch tile scenes. Meanwhile, on the north side of the Klokkenspel, you can see four figures, including Maria Scholte, a Blacksmith, Wyatt Earp, and Dominie Hendrik Scholte.
You can’t also miss the figures on the south side of Klokkenspel that feature Tulip Time. Your Dutch Experience won’t be complete without seeing the flower girls, the wooden shoemaker, and the street scrubbers.
Address: 625 Franklin St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
3. Visit Lake Red Rock
Another massive landmark to stop by in Iowa for some exciting moments is Lake Red Rock, the largest lake in Iowa and is home to 35,000 acres of land and 15,000 acres of water. You can experience various recreational opportunities here, including camping, fishing, boating, and hiking.
The reservoir gathers runoff and drainage from a 12,320 square mile area in Iowa and southern Minnesota. This protects cities and agricultural lands downstream from the Red Rock Dam. It is situated on the Des Moines River, only 45 miles southeast and downriver of Des Moines, Iowa.
On both sides of the lake, the Elk Rock State Park and the White Breast Recreation Area, Wallashuck Recreation Area, Ivans Recreation Area, North Overlook Recreation Area, and the Howell Station Recreation Area are nearby.
And if you want to float on the Des Moines River down to the Red Rock Dam, you should try the Red Rock Water Trail.
Address: 1105 N. Hwy T15 Knoxville, IA 50138.
Things To Do At Night In Pella (IA)
1. Hit the Cabaret Bar and Patio
Designed to provide a sophisticated entertainment experience, the Cabaret Bar & Patio features an array of live performers and DJs. Private VIP party rooms are available with bottle service, and the bar offers signature cocktails.
Cabaret Bar and its reputation have flourished as the place to meet friends, eat great all-time American food classics, enjoy an expansive selection of finely crafted cocktails and brews, and watch premier sporting and entertainment events.
Beers on tap are the biggest attraction of this place, where you get to drink as much as you would love to; the great atmosphere and friendly staff make you comfortable, and it is affordable.
Cool off your evening here alone or with friends and have an awesome time; check this place out when you hit Pella.
Address: 2785 N Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
2. Play Golf at Nederlanders Tap and Golf
The Nederlanders Tap and Golf Bar is another amazing place to cool off after a long day; a great place with a lovely atmosphere and friendly staff.
Nederlanders Tap & Golf features indoor golf on 70+ courses worldwide. Enjoy your round of golf in a laid-back atmosphere, complete with a full-service bar, gourmet hot dogs, and plenty of big-screen TVs!
Not a golfer? No problem; Nederlanders is still a great spot to meet with family, friends, and colleagues. Book your tee time today or drop in for one of the gourmet hot dogs, craft and domestic beer, and other delicious cocktails.
They also have adult beverages and tap beers, which you can enjoy. They’ve got hot dogs on their menu to give you a nice treat for your meal.
This is a lovely place, stop by and have a blast in an amazing night experience.
Address: 514 1/2 Main St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
3. Car Display On Thursday Night
“Thursdays in Pella” is a weekly community event on Thursday evenings each summer. The shops are open late, with activities and live entertainment to enjoy. The Schonesland club has been invited to display our Porsches on the square during the event on July 28. We’ll occupy a designated closed section of the street.
Cars can arrive as early as 4 pm. Join the car display of Porsches on Thursday from 6 – 8 pm on the square in Pella to view the amazing fleet of the Porsche car.
“Thursdays in Pella” is a weekly community event on Thursday evenings each summer. The shops are open late, with activities and live entertainment to enjoy.
It’s a thrilling experience as you get to watch different models of Porsches displayed if you’re a car lover, you’ll be fascinated as it is usually a lovely sight.
Address: 608 E. 13th St., Pella, IA
Things To Do In Pella (IA) For Couples
1. Explore the Sunken Garden Park
I was wondering where to spend a lovely time with your better half. The answer is the Sunken Garden Park.
The park derives its name from the main focal point, a sunken pond shaped like a wooden shoe. The rest of the park showcases various formal tulip beds, trees, a windmill, turn-of-the-century benches, and light poles.
This park is a year-round tourist attraction, especially in the spring, with its 13,000-plus tulips in bloom. Ice skating is enjoyed by many during the winter months.
Enjoy its relaxing ambiance as you see a wide variety of tulip beds, light posts, benches, trees, and a windmill.
You can visit and explore the park year-round, but it is best seen in the spring when more than 13,000 tulips bloom in the season.
Address: Pella, IA 50219, USA
2. Enjoy the Tulip Time Festival With Your Partner
Pella hosts the Tulip Time Festival each spring, celebrating the city’s Dutch heritage and the blooming of thousands of tulips.
As one of the year’s most anticipated events, Pella’s Tulip Time festival celebrates Dutch culture and traditions with activities like carnival rides, live music and shows, food stands, and much more.
Grandstand shows begin at 1:00 pm each day with Bleacher’s seats available, as well as park seating. Park tickets provide shaded seating and are an excellent option for guests in wheelchairs and walker seats.
The afternoon Grandstand show features Dutch dancing and singing, the Parade of Provinces (a historic Dutch costume style show), a presentation of the Tulip Queen and her Court, the famous street scrubbing and cheese market, and more.
Visitors can also try traditional Dutch food and crafts and a parade featuring floats adorned with tulips. It’s a city-wide celebration perfect for families and friends alike, as there are plenty of things to do and enjoy.
Address: 507 Franklin St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
3. Test Your Skills at the Bos Landen Golf Club
The Bos Landen Golf Club on Bos Landen Drive is a great skill test for all players, and the beautiful scenery will make you want to return for more.
Designed by architect Dick Phelps, this place is an 18-hole championship golf course featuring five sets of tees for various playing levels. You’re up for a unique experience here as the course has been named Iowa’s No. 1 public golf course from 1997 to 2001.
Bos Landen, about 40 miles outside of Des Moines, is Dutch for “Land of the Woods.” The name is self-explanatory. On 190 highly forested acres, the stunning course offers a variety of shot-making holes.
It was also ranked among the top 75 Most Affordable Golf Courses in the US by Golf Digest. It’ll be a lovely time out here with your partner as both bond more over playing together.
Address: 2411 Bos Landen Dr, Pella, IA 50219, United States
Things To Do In Pella (IA) For Kids
1. Go Swimming at White Breast Recreation
The White Breast campground is not too far from Pella, about a 17 minutes drive. Whitebreast Point Shelter is a day-use facility located within Whitebreast Campground.
The shelter is situated on Iowa’s largest lake, Lake Red Rock. It is 15 minutes from Knoxville, the world’s center for sprint cars, and is renowned for its Dutch roots. Boating, fishing, hiking, motorcycling, and wildlife viewing are popular local pastimes.
On the lake’s south side, Whitebreast Campground provides 124 reservable campsites, access to a boat ramp, a swimming beach, playgrounds, a hiking trail, a fish cleaning station, numerous picnic shelters, and shower facilities.
Whitebreast Heights camping loop has two areas available for group camping, Group One and Group Two, including sites 114-125 (12 sites), and Group Camp #2 includes sites 126-132 (7 sites).
Whitebreast Recreation Area brings bonding opportunities for the entire family, and you are most welcome here as it is fun in Pella, Iowa.
Address: Knoxville, IA 50138, United States
2. The Wyatt Earp Experience
This Experience is a historical exhibit that features the life of the person of the same name, from his childhood and relationships to the legacy he left behind.
The brothers B.H. and J.H.H. Van Spanckeren constructed Wyatt Earp’s childhood home in 1855. They lived there and operated a merchant-tailor shop out of it.
The architecture is rare in the Midwest; its 18th-century Dutch style is normally only seen in the Netherlands or the eastern United States.
Go on a tour exploring the rooms in the house where he lived in the early 1860s. The home where Wyatt grew up is still in its original spot, now part of the Pella Historical Village.
And each year, the Pella Historical Museums celebrates the life of the town’s most infamous resident through the Wyatt Earp Days.
Address: 507 Franklin St, Pella, IA 50219, USA
3. Experience the Ironside Axe Throw
The Ironside Axe Club on Washington St can teach you the tricks of axe throwing, and it is a fun place with things to do in Pella, Iowa.
Whether you want to throw to compete or just for fun, this place offers indoor family fun for team building, open throwing, leagues, corporate outings, and tournaments.
Ironside Axe Club in Pella, Iowa, is now open and offers a great indoor family-friendly activity, open throwing, team building, leagues, tournaments, corporate outings, Parties, and Student Specials. You can check on their website to book your axe throwing now.
There are a lot of axe coaches who can help you with your throw. You can relax knowing this is a safe environment to enjoy throwing an axe.
Address: 2700 University Ave #100, West Des Moines, IA 50266, United States
Indoor Activities For Adults In Pella (IA)
1. Visit Cardinal Lanes For Bowling
If you are looking for the best bowling competitions or have a nice time with your family or friends in IA, this bowling alley is a good choice that will not disappoint you.
You may want to learn more about this center and how to get there. It’s very simple: tap on the button below this text to review the full contact information.
This is a nice indoor setup where you get to unwind after a long day sightseeing with friends and an avenue to meet new people. Check it out, and you’ll surely love it.
Cardinal Lanes is a great place to stop by, so you have no issues; it is clean, safe, and secure.
Address: 1300 South 5th Ave E, Newton, IA 50208, United States
2. A Visit to Jasper County Historical Museum
Jasper County Historical Society collects, preserves, and exhibits the agricultural, commercial, industrial, and societal history of Jasper County.
In 1989 an addition was added to the building doubling the museum’s size. The museum campus now includes the Ag Building, 1875 Barn, Blacksmith Shop, Smokehouse, and the Engine House, which houses our Minneapolis Steam Engine.
There have been, and continue to be, changes at the museum, and all of us who value our history owe a debt of gratitude to all the previous volunteer board members, docents, executive directors, and others who built this outstanding presentation of Jasper County History.
Special recognition must be given to Neal Deaton, the Deaton Studios, and especially Herman Deaton for their efforts over many years.
Industrial exhibits include the Washing Machine Center of the World, with agricultural exhibits showcasing wind power displays and antique woodworking tools.
Maytag and three other major manufacturers produced a percentage of the world’s machines. There are also several smaller companies on display.
Address: 1700 S 15th Ave W, Newton, IA 50208, United States
3. Go Winetasting at the Sugar Grove Vineyard
At the beautiful Sugar Grove Vineyards, guests will enjoy the incredible view of rolling hills and wildlife as they drink delicious wines. Events include dinner shows, outdoor concerts, and private parties.
Enjoy nature’s upscale feel as you explore these beautiful sceneries, very spacious and attractive sites. You can make new friends, too, if you’re a social bee. It is fun here. Drop by here if you can.
You can bump into a private party or chill along the vineyard, and it is a cool spot for some time out as well, just admiring the beautiful vineyards.
Address: 6602 Ginger Ave, Newton, IA 50208, United States
Romantic Things To Do In Pella (IA)
1. Catch a Performance at the Pella Opera House
Visit the Pella House, a historic Franklin St building made possible by Herman Rietveld. It replaced the previous opera house destroyed in a fire sometime in the late 19th century.
The Pella Opera House is a historic building in Pella, Iowa, United States. Herman Rietveld, a local businessman and promoter, was the main backer for building the opera house, which the Pella Opera House Association underwrote.
The opera house opened in November 1900 and regularly served its intended purpose for only a few years. After that, it sporadically hosted stage performances until 1918.
This historic facility is committed to social events and great music. Today, the Pella Opera House remains a premier performing arts facility that attracts patrons from the state and throughout the country.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it opens its doors to groups that want to tour its facilities.
Address: 611 Franklin St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
2. Visit the Tuttle Cabin
The Tuttle Cabin is a collaboration between the Historic Pella Trust and the City of Pella and connects the Sunken Garden Parks and the Tuttle Cabin.
Situated between these two local landmarks, it features six learning stations about Pella’s history.
These include Pella and the Civil War, why the Dutch left their homeland, the land before the Dutch, Pella’s early years, Tulip Time and Sunken Gardens Park, and the Dutch influence on Pella today.
They designed the landscape, which emphasizes Pella’s history through the use of native plant massing of perennials, plants, and trees, which tells Pella’s history.
Address: 608 Lincoln St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
3. Take a Walk on the Volksweg Trail
Volksweg Trail translates to ‘people’s path’ in Dutch. This trail of 12.5 miles sticks to the rolling hills from Lake Red Rock to the town of Pella.
From Lake Red Rock to Pella, the meandering Volksweg Trail largely follows the undulating hills and picturesque vistas. The Volksweg Trail, Dutch for “people’s path,” earned its name because Dutch immigrants arrived in this attractive area of Iowa in the middle of the 19th century.
It’s interesting to note that eagles can be seen frequenting the tailwater area just below the dam, especially during the winter months. About 2.5 crooked miles down the trail from the Wallashuck trailhead, you will pass by a well-equipped playground right before the landscape opens up to the North Overlook Recreation Area park and beach.
Awesome trail. Uphill rides into Pella. Don’t forget to stop at the Peanut Pub across from a great bike shop for a craft beer. Perfect Experience. On other days, you can experience exciting outdoor recreational activities such as swimming, kayaking, camping, picnicking, and boating.
This is a lovely site for romantic dates, and it’s surely one of the fun things to do in Pella (IA).
Address: Iowa, USA
Free Things To Do In Pella (IA)
1. Tour the Replica of the Dutch Canal at the Molengracht Plaza
Head out to the downtown business area of Pella and see the stunning Molengracht Plaza, feeling the vibe of the plaza as it is a cool attractive point and a fun thing to do in Pella, Iowa.
The Molengracht plaza in the Pella downtown business area was built to replicate an authentic Dutch canal and is over 100,000 square feet. The better of two worlds, the Molengracht complex combines a 21st-century entrepreneurial spirit with Old World charm.
Enjoy Pella’s charming boutiques, stores, bakeries, and meat markets…all within a few blocks. In addition to a working drawbridge and an original canal, The Molengracht has expanded since its grand opening in January 2001 to include a movie theater, casual and fine dining, offices, residential condominiums, and retail/office space for lease.
The Molengracht Complex is a ‘better world’ because it combines old-world charm with a 21st-century entrepreneurial spirit. Roam around and see boutiques, meat markets, bakeries, and stores that are easily accessible as these are within just a couple of blocks.
Address: 700 Main St #203, Pella, IA 50219, United States
2. Visit the Pella House
The Pelle House was a popular form of entertainment during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture restored to its former glory. Due to its popularity, it stood the test of time, allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty of the building and experience a unique piece of history.
Visitors can enjoy a guided building tour or catch a show in the stunning 324-seat auditorium. The place is also available for rent—you can host parties, conferences, and other special events in one of the most beautiful venues in town.
This historic site is a center for Pella Theater, where you can watch amazing local performances and enjoy and further learn about the Pella culture.
Address: 611 Franklin St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
3. Tour the Global Pavilion Museum
Pay a visit to the Global Pavilion Museum, as this is free, and get familiar with the history and culture of Pella. They have artifacts showing the old century display and how life was in the early days.
Vermeer Corporation directly impacts how important work gets done by manufacturing high-quality industrial and agricultural equipment backed by localized service and support.
Visit the museum to see where the innovation began, how their equipment improves the world, and the teams behind the important work.
It is an educating time out in the Pavillion Musem as you get to see and experience life from centuries past; it will surely be a fun time here.
Address: 2110 Vermeer Rd, Pella, IA 50219, United States
Cheap Things To Do In Pella (IA)
1. Visit Scholte House Museum and Gardens
Built in 1848, the 175-year-old house tells the story of Dominie Scholte and his wife Maria through the objects they owned and the house they loved.
Built by Hendrik Scholte for his wife Maria in 1847 and 1848 over just six months, the home sits on what is now the north side of Pella’s square, a testament to the craftsmanship and care of our founding fathers and mothers. Visit the Scholte House for more history of the Scholte family and their home.
The first edition was the room we now call the Rose Room, which was originally the carriage house but was later converted to living quarters as the family’s needs changed. What started as a few rooms grew to approximately 26-30.
Enjoy a Dutch coffee time at Maria’s Tea Room (fee applies); beautiful gardens behind the home are free and open to the public.
Address: 728 Washington St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
2. Watch a Movie at the Pella Cinema
Pella Cinema is a quaint theater located in Pella. Locals enjoy taking in a new film on one of the theater’s three screens while enjoying refreshments from the snack bar.
Stop by here to have an experience watching a movie on these gigantic screens, and meet new people while making friends, too. This new theatre is a little different from most theatres and is in a little different town than most towns.
The Pella Cinema is a spacious building that allows easy access within the front row, allowing easy movement during and after the movie show.
The Pella Cinemas, of course, has a Dutch design to it. Operated by Dream Star Cinemas, it has stadium-style seating and Digital Surround Sound. It opened in about 2002
Check this place out on your next trip, as you’ll love it.
Address: 708 Main St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
3. Satisfy Your Cravings at Pella Bakeries
You can’t visit Pella without stopping at a bakery for fresh, hand-made pastries and bread! And, of course, you’ll want some extra Dutch letters to take home.
The Jaarsma Bakery has been a local, family-owned business since 1898! Homemade Dutch pastries are their specialty, but they have a little of everything. They are located right in the town square.
The Vander Ploeg Bakery, a local bakery since 1847, sells the most delicious homemade pastries, bread, donuts, and more!
The Cranberry Stone Bakery has everything, from unique cakes and cupcakes to cheesecake and Dutch letters!
The Bread Board, although new, isn’t left out – with more than pastries and bread. Stop by for your favorite bakery item and stay for lunch!
Address: 727 Franklin St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
Cool Places To Visit In Pella (IA)
1. North Creek Antique
Rusty, chippy, well-worn, and well-loved. Words that would describe items you’ll find at North Creek Antiques.
Pieces that remind you of a life lived at a slower pace. Pieces saved from old homesteads—doors, windows, cast iron tubs and sinks, woodwork, stairway pieces, registers, porch posts, and shutters.
Farm items, such as old machinery, tools, wagon wheels, windmill sections, barn doors, chicken roosts, scales, pumps, cupolas, tractor seats, wagons and wheelbarrows, gates and fencing, galvanized buckets, and wash tubs.
Kids trike, bikes, and scooters. Car and truck hoods, fenders, and license plates date back to the 1930s.
Old metal chairs, wooden swings, metal advertising signs, and street signs. Wooden chairs, tables, cabinets and cupboards, pictures, mirrors, crocks, kitchen gadgets, cast iron cookware, enamelware, old jars, and bottles. It is located three miles east of Pella on Highway 163.
Address: 1245 IA-163, Pella, IA 50219, United States
2. The Cellar Peanut Pub
If you love beer and enjoy trying locally-produced brews, the Cellar Peanut Pub is the place! Great, knowledgeable staff who are happy to assist you in making choices based on your taste and preferences. They are also known for their Bloody Mary using locally produced vodka.
Enjoy the award-winning Gezilling beers on tap at the patio/garage bar anytime. The beer and service are outstanding.
What a neat bar and atmosphere to stop by, and the people behind the bar are so friendly and helpful—a lot to choose from. Great beers. When you are in Pella, Iowa, you must stop in. Great beers are recommended, and you get to have a sample too.
The 50 and more Craft Brews on tap are amazing. The selection rotates out frequently, so there’s always something new and always something to suit your tastes and exploration. Order Pizza from George’s across the street and make it a meal.
Address: 629 Franklin St, Pella, IA 50219, United States
3. Frisian Farms
Experience the cheese-making process and try out several samples of flavors from the great Frisian Farm, including fresh curds at the new Frisian Farms Cheese House!
The Frisian Farms cheese is just off Hwy 163 between Pella and Oskaloosa. You will love the Gouda cheese; it is a semi-hard cheese named after a Dutch town in the province of South Holland and accounts for more than 60% of cheese produced in Holland.
The Frisian Farms have a lot of cheese products to choose from; make your choice and enjoy yourself as you make your vacation count.
Here, the cheese is made using the original technique mastered in Holland over many years, with cheese produced reflecting the result; try to check it out and trust it is surely one of the fun things to do in Pella, Iowa.
Address: 2098 Fisher Ave, Leighton, IA 50143, United States
Why not take advantage of our list of fun things to do in Pelle (IA)? In this article, we have perfectly curated the right list for you to make your vacation here everything you’ve dreamed of and more.
From parks to art galleries, cinema halls, and shopping complexes, Pelle has it all! What better city to spend that much-needed vacation than Pelle? Pin this post as your guide as you navigate through this awesome city.
Have the best of times, and don’t forget to tell us all about it via the comment box!