Quad Cities Summer Bucket List | 2023


Summer can be bursting with activities and travel or it can be filled with long lazy days of doing much of nothing. I prefer a combination of both. We’ve got lots of options for a terrific Quad Cities summer!

2023 Quad Cities Summer Bucket List ideas

  1. Go to the Food Truck Fight in Galena, Bettendorf or Muscatine! There will be live music, lots of fun, and of course FOOD!
  2. Plant a raised bed vegetable garden
  3. Check out the Summer Movie Clubhouse for $1.50 movies at Cinemark!
  4. Ride the Channel Cat Water Taxi! Boats will be running starting Memorial Day weekend
  5. Visit Niabi Zoo!
  6. Go for lots of walks and hikes along the river
  7. Head to the Maquoketa Caves
  8. Attend Red, White & Boom (July 3)
  9. Check out Nahant Marsh – an urban wetland boardwalk
  10. Pick some strawberries
  11. Walk around the shops in LeClaire – along the river or downtown
  12. Fly a kite
  13. Get out the sidewalk chalk and bubbles
  14. Check out the Family Museum in Bettendorf
  15. Visit the Quad City Botanical Center
  16. Check out Quad City Arts’ Chalk Art Fest (June 24-25)
  17. Attend Sunflower Days at Pride of the Wapsi (mid-July)
  18. Check out Black Hawk State Historic Site
  19. Visit a splash pad
  20. Run through the sprinkler at home or have a water balloon fight
  21. Check out Whitewater Junction Aquatic Center
  22. And view local pools and aquatic centers
  23. Check out the Figge Art Museum
  24. Watch the Backwater Gamblers (water ski club – free family fun in the Quad Cities has shows on Wednesdays and Sundays in the summer)
  25. Head to Fryexell Geology Museum – located on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island – one of the largest and finest collection of rocks and minerals in the Midwest
  26. Have an outdoor movie night with friends (or go to the Highway 61 Drive-In!)
  27. Have a scavenger hunt or play nature bingo
  28. Go to Empire Park in East Moline
  29. Walk the Skybridge in Davenport
  30. Check out Wild Cat Den State Park in Muscatine, IA
  31. Pick out some fresh produce at a Farmers’ Market
  32. Play Frisbee Golf (Courses in the QC: West Lake Park in Davenport, Middle Park in Bettendorf, Eastern Avenue Park in Davenport, Devils Glen in Bettendorf, Prospect Park in Moline, and Camden Park in Milan)
  33. Make your own Summer Reading Program and join in at the local library’s
  34. Go to West Lake Beach for some fun in the sun and sand! Opens Memorial Day weekend
  35. Go camping – we love Scott County Park!
  36. Check out the Mississippi Valley Fair (August 1-6)
  37. Get to a River Bandits baseball game at Modern Woodman Park
  38. Enjoy the many trails the Quad Cities has to offer
  39. Visit the fountain at Vander Veer Park
  40. Practice yoga in the park by taking your mats and an iPad to watch a virtual teacher
  41. Take a bike ride by the Mississippi River
  42. Visit a State Park in Iowa or Illinois (16 within a couple hours of the QC!)
  43. Stroll through the Village of East Davenport
  44. Hit up Schweibert Riverfront Park
  45. Eat some Whitey’s Ice Cream
  46. Make snow cones at home
  47. Enjoy Kurbside Kona Ice when possible (you can check the schedule with the zip code)
  48. Go on a day trip (these are some options!)
  49. Stargaze – or go to the Augustana Planetarium
  50. Have a picnic in the yard or at one of our local parks… simple can still be fun!
  51. Go bowling… kids bowl free at certain centers this summer!

There are so many options in the QCA – let us know your favorites!


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  1. Hey, QC Moms, thanks for the shout out to summer reading programs! Our Reading Colors Your World summer information, including the downloadable summer guide and a list of reading ideas, is available at our website in the link below. We’re kicking things off Tuesday, June 1, from 3:30 to 6 pm with an outdoor “Curbside Colorama Kickoff.” It’s free and open to anyone. We hope to see some of you!

    Lisa Lockheart, Rock Island Public Library, 309-732-7303

  2. Follow the Summer Library Trail! Pick up a trail guide at one of nine participating libraries, collect stamps by visiting the libraries or attending free library programs, and turn it in by August 27, 2022 for fun prize drawings for all ages.

    Participating libraries: Bettendorf Public Library, Clinton Public Library (Iowa), Davenport Public Library, DeWitt Community Library, East Moline Public Library, LeClaire Community Library, Moline Public Library, Moline, IL, Rock Island Public Library, Scott County Library System. Grab a Summer Library Trail Guide to discover some special Summer Reading Program related events at area libraries, or check library websites.

    All library events are free and open to anyone, regardless of where your library card is from.


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