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Walking Tours

The History Center offers fun and informative walking tours January through October. Special walking tours may occasionally be scheduled, so keep an eye out for any announcements. Private walking tours are also available for your group or special occasion, click here for more information on private walking tours and presentations.
Tour Admission
$5.00 for History Center Members
$7.00 for General Public

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To view our severe weather guidelines, click here

Please note: For the safety of guests and staff, walking tours will be postponed when the temperature or heat index is 100 degrees or more.

HISTOURY HOPPER

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If you are interested in joining multiple tours this season or planning to bring the whole family, our histoury hopper is a great way to save money. It also makes a great gift for history buffs of all ages.

Available for purchase at The History Center
Walking Tour

Walking Tours

Skywalk North
March 7, 2023
10:30 AM

Learn about the history and architecture of downtown Cedar Rapids from the Skywalk. The North Route Skywalk tour looks at areas between 4th Avenue and First Avenue. 

Tour Guide: Jenny Thielman

Meeting location: Second floor of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Avenue SE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Skywalk South
March 28, 2023
10:30 AM

Explore the South Route of the Downtown Cedar Rapids Skywalk system starting from the Cedar Rapids Public Library. This route focuses on viewing areas along Fourth and Fifth Avenue SE between the train tracks and the Cedar River from the special viewpoint of the skywalk system. This tour showcasing architecture and history features sections of the Wholesale District as well as areas redeveloped over the past 35 years that are not seen on the North Route Skywalk Tour.

Tour Guide: Jenny Thielman

Meeting location: Second floor of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Avenue SE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Museum Week!
Downtown Cedar Rapids

June 6, 2023
6:00PM

Discover the oldest section of the city!  This walking tour includes information on the development history of the evolving city center, its famous retail past as “Eastern Iowa’s Shopping Center”, railroads and streetcars, and the area known as Greene Square.

Tour Guide: Kyle Patrick

Meeting location: Third Avenue side of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Museum Week: Downtown Walking Tour

Kingston Village
June 20, 2023
6:00 PM

Experience the area that was originally the town of Kingston before being annexed as West Cedar Rapids in 1870. Highlights of Kingston Village include a rare Art Deco former police station and the famous Louis Sullivan designed Peoples Bank building. This tour has now expanded to include a look at the first Westside High School Building.

Tour Guide: Kyle Patrick

Meeting location: 101 Third Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

First Avenue & A Avenue North Downtown
August 7, 2023
6:00 PM

This tour begins at the “Tree of Five Seasons,” the location where Cedar Rapids began with one log cabin in 1837. From there, a close look at the history and special architecture from the past and present along both First Avenue and A Avenue NE in the downtown area. Highlights include the earliest central retail shopping areas and the old theater and entertainment districts as well as a look at the oldest structure standing in the center of the city.

Tour Guide: Kyle Patrick

Meeting location: Tree of Five Season at First Avenue and First Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Linwood Cemetery
September 5, 2023
6:00 PM

Experience the history of the oldest cemetery on the west side of Cedar Rapids. Highlights include visiting the final resting site of some of the infamous Cherry Sisters and a look at the memorial to many of the victims of the May 1919 Douglas Starch Works Explosion in Cedar Rapids. Participants are invited inside the funeral home for refreshments and a short presentation on the history of Murdoch Funeral Homes.

Tour Guide: Jenny Thielman

Meeting location: Linwood Cemetery, 520 Wilson Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Central City
Rescheduled for
September 19, 2023

6:00 PM

This tour explores the town center of Central City, one of five Linn County communities within the National Main Street Preservation and Economic Development Program. The longtime home of the Linn County Fair, Central City has tremendous downtown history, including the famous Sawyer House.  

Tour Guide: Jenny Thielman

Meeting location: Sawyer House, 337 E Main Street, Central City, IA 52214

Creep the Alley
October 17, 2023
6:00 PM

Downtown alleys reveal a great deal of history about Cedar Rapids buildings and they can be a little spooky too! Come explore the dark side of downtown architecture with this unique historic alley tour. 

 

Included are stories of how alleys function as service and utility access, how they provided secret entrances for Prohibition era businesses as well as clever retail store designs. There will be a few surprises along the tour as well! Please wear alley appropriate footwear.

Tour Guide: Jenny Thielman

Meeting location: Town Centre Plaza, Third Avenue & Third Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Creep the Alley
October 24, 2023
6:00 PM

Downtown alleys reveal a great deal of history about Cedar Rapids buildings and they can be a little spooky too! Come explore the dark side of downtown architecture with this unique historic alley tour. 

 

Included are stories of how alleys function as service and utility access, how they provided secret entrances for Prohibition era businesses as well as clever retail store designs. There will be a few surprises along the tour as well! Please wear alley appropriate footwear.

Tour Guide: Jenny Thielman

Meeting location: Town Centre Plaza, Third Avenue & Third Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Walking Tours are generously sponsored by:

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Outdoor Tour
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