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Cedar Rapids Off-Sites

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Cedar Rapids has no shortage of off-site spots that show what makes the state’s second-largest city special. Be bedazzled during a reception at a busy and beloved restored 1920s theater, savor Czech pastries during a breakout session at a world-class museum devoted to Cedar Rapids’ Czech and Slovak immigrants or breathe in fresh air during a farm-to-table meal at a serene environmental center.

Cedar Rapids’ showplace

The Paramount Theatre is a stunner from the start, as guests step into the Hall of Mirrors, a lobby where mirrors magnify the glitter of crystal and art glass chandeliers. The 1,700-seat theater is a knockout too, with gold leaf details, intricate woodwork, red seats and a dazzling dome.

The Paramount is the city’s center for Broadway shows, nationally known musicians, big-name comedians and the local symphony, and it is also a natural for meetings and receptions, given its location three blocks from the convention center. Its stage works for everything from keynote addresses to formal dinners. The Hall of Mirrors sparkles for receptions and adjoins the modern Encore Lounge, so there’s ample room to mingle. The theater’s Wurlitzer organ can kick off an evening with a rousing rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and staff are happy to help line up entertainment for an evening.

Czech out the city’s heritage

The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate that celebrates the Czech and Slovak immigrants who settled Cedar Rapids. During events, guests can wander through permanent exhibits that focus on Czech and Slovak culture, like a display of intricately embroidered folk costumes called kroje.

Located in Czech Village with its breweries, restaurants and retail shops, the museum is eight small blocks from the convention center. It can literally add Czech flavor to events with meals in its conference room that feature traditional Czech dishes or by having a nearby Czech bakery or a group of local ladies make and deliver kolaches, a popular Czech pastry, for breakfasts or desserts.

Go natural

Ten minutes from downtown Cedar Rapids, Indian Creek Nature Center fits in naturally among wildflowers, grasslands and forests. The center’s conference room is spacious, with high ceilings and abundant windows and staff are happy to make learning sustainability and the environment part of the experience. They’ll give talks about topics like beekeeping—the center has its own hives, sells its honey and even has a hive on display so visitors can see bees at work—and they can bring in red foxes, owls, hawks and other local wildlife for visits. Llamas from a nearby farm can pop over for hugs and selfies, always a big hit. A large deck works as well for yoga classes as it does for farm-to-table dinners; trails through the grasslands and woodlands are nice for leg-stretching breaks.

For more information, please contact:

Cedar Rapids Tourism Office

Julie Stow

Associate Executive Director/Director of Meetings and Conventions