January 8, 2019

How To Get Free Drinks In Omaha

I’m past the days of bar hopping. I’m more into finding great places for a meal or a drink. There’s a new, local app that totally gets me. The app, called Libate, is designed to get people out exploring neighborhood bars and hip restaurants around Omaha and Council Bluffs. The best thing about Libate? You get free drinks with it.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Libate. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

Want to get a free drink the next time you visit a new restaurant in Omaha? There's an app that gets people out exploring new bars and hip restaurants all the while enjoying a free drink. #Libate #partner #Omaha #Nebraska

How To Get Libate

Libate is an app you download to your phone. The app is available to download on iOS and Play stores. You get a free drink just for downloading the app. Then you have two options: Use the free version or become a member.

The Libate app logo and "Drive Adventurously" tagline

The free version gets you one free drink a month. You choose which place to get that free drink from a list of participating establishments.

The member version is $10 a month. As a member, you get one free drink at each of the establishments every month. It’s a steal.

And good news: Oh My! Omaha readers get their first month free! Use promo code OHMYOMAHA after you download the app to claim your free month. Download the app from iOS and Play stores.

How Libate Works

Using the Libate app to get a free drink at Herbe Sainte in Omaha
I used Libate to get a free frozen cocktail at Herbe Sainte. The flavor? Frosé, which is a frozen rosé. Beware: Some on the waitstaff at this restaurant do not think the app is accepted at Herbe Sainte. The app’s designer confirmed in January 2019 that the restaurant is, indeed, participating, but in February 2019, it was again refused.

I talked with Mike Roth, the app’s designer, about Libate and what inspired him to launch it. You see, Roth is a firefighter in Council Bluffs, so it’s not like he’s a restaurant owner hoping to bring in customers. Roth saw a similar app in New York, where people could get a free drink, and he thought it could work in this market.

“Libate to encourage people to get out and visit new places and try new drinks,” said Roth. “Drink adventurously.”

That’s my kind of app. I like finding new places, but trying new drinks…I’m always a little reluctant to buy a new drink in case I don’t like it. But, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone, and this has zero risk since that drink is free. It reminds me of the time a bartender at Spirit World proved that I could actually like a drink with gin as an ingredient.

A draft beer on the bar at Stirnella. It's a participating restaurant in the Libate app.
Stirnella, a restaurant in the Blackstone District, allows Libate app users to get a draft beer or tap wine for free, up to a maximum of $8. Photo courtesy Libate

Libate has about 30 restaurants and bars participating so far, plus one brewery. Once you download the app onto your phone, you can check out the list. There are quite a few I’ve been to–and love–around Omaha and Council Bluffs. Here are a few restaurants I can’t wait to return to for that free drink:

  • Stirnella
  • Herbe Sainte – It should be noted, both times I tried using the app at the restaurant, the waitress said it wasn’t accepted there. In January 2019, I was told by the app’s founder that the owner of Herbe Sainte confirmed they were participating, but a month later, I had a waitress refuse to accept it. Just beware you may not get your free drink here.
  • 712 Eat+Drink (Council Bluffs – featured on 8 Great Places Breakfast Spots In Council Bluffs)
  • Cellar 19 Wine & Deli (Council Bluffs)

Roth sought out a great variety of places right from the start. The places I listed above are a bit more upscale than some of the others on the list, but they all have their charm. Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s are place for it.

Interior of 712 Eat + Drink in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It's a participating restaurant in the Libate app.
712 Eat + Drink is a participating restaurant in the Libate app and allows users to get a free drink, excluding shots, worth up to $8. It’s my brunch pick for Council Bluffs, in case you were wondering.

In the Old Market? You can get a drink at Brickway Brewery. Seeing a concert at CHI Health Center? You can choose between Nosh Wine Lounge or Moe & Curly’s Pub. Headed to the historic 100 Block in Council Bluffs? You’ve got a free drink waiting at Barley’s Bar.

“We want people to try new things, that’s our mission,” said Roth. “Use this app as an excuse to go to different places.”

Each restaurant and bar experience is going to be different. Some establishments may impose limitations, like limiting the your complimentary drink to costing between $5 or $10.

Other places may limit app users to getting a specific cocktail or a class of cocktails, or maybe just a glass of wine or pint of beer. The app will communicate the limitations. For instance, for Cellar 19 Wine & Deli, their limit is that the drink must be $9 or under, and excludes shots and double pours.

Interior photo of Cellar 19 Wine & Deli in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It's a participating restaurant in the Libate app.
Cellar 19 Wine & Deli is a wine bar and deli in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It’s one of the participating establishments that gives a free drink to Libate app users. Photo courtesy Libate

For obvious reasons, so you can’t go from bar to bar in 20 minutes to claim all your free drinks and then pass out. You need to wait two hours before going to a new place to claim a drink. So chill out and enjoy that cocktail.

Try the Libate app for free

I’m pretty excited that Libate is letting Oh My! Omaha readers try the app’s member level for one month at no cost! All you need to do is download the app (available at iOS and Play stores) and enter in the promo code OHMYOMAHA.

Go out and try something new for me, OK?

Learn how to use the app Libate which allows users to get free drinks at restaurants and bars in Omaha & Council Bluffs. #Libate #partner #Omaha #Nebraska

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July 27, 2018

Wineries Near Council Bluffs

Fall is one of my favorite times to explore Council Bluffs and the nearby Loess Hills. When I’m with my kids, we head outdoors for hikes or apple picking. But, if we have a kid-free afternoon, wineries are a fun destination. Here’s a list of wineries near Council Bluffs to get you started planning a day out.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Unleash CB. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

List of wine trails & wineries near Council Bluffs, Iowa #winery #wine #unleashCB #thisisiowa

Wineries Near Council Bluffs

Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard

Where: 19475 225th St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Events: The winery has concerts in the summer, with the next one coming up this Saturday. Big events at the orchard include Apple Days Music Festival on Sept. 2, Fields of Flight Hot Air Balloon Festival Sept. 7-9, Midwest Winds Kite Flyers Sept. 15 & 16, and the third annual Wine Walk on Oct. 6.

Worth mentioning: This is a pretty family-friendly place to visit, and so are the events, so I’d say it’s more orchard than vineyard. Purchase an activity band to enjoy the corn maze, playground and the tractor rides; time things right to pick your own apples or pumpkins.

Website

Loess Hills Winery is one of the closest wineries to Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Bottles of Loess Hills Winery’s award winning wine. Photo courtesy Unleash CB

Loess Hills Vineyard & Winery

Where: 1120 Old Lincoln Highway, Crescent, Iowa

Events: There’s a live concert at the winery this Saturday.

Worth mentioning: This makes a great stop after hiking at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa.

Website

Prairie Crossing, a winery in Treyor, Iowa
Prairie Crossing is in Treynor, Iowa. Photo courtesy Unleash CB

Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery

Where: 31506 Pioneer Trail, Treynor, Iowa

Events: The winery hosts live music on select days in a series called Vineyard Vibes. Concerts are planned for this Sunday, as well as Aug. 12, Aug. 26, Sept. 9, Sept. 23, and Oct. 7 (customer appreciation day). The Aug. 26 Vineyard Vibes coincides with the Annual Harvest Party, which includes grape stomping from noon to 2 p.m. The event is all-ages, and teams can register now. The Sip & Shop Craft Fair is Oct. 21.

Website

Breezy Hills Vineyard

Where: 31735 Tamarak Road, Minden, Iowa

Events: Wings & Wine-a-Ritas has live music Fridays, July 27, Aug. 3, and Aug. 10; Labor Day music featuring Ledd Peppers is on Sept. 2; live music also on Sundays, Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30.

Website

Sugar Clay Winery & Vineyard

Where: 1446 240th Ave., Thurman, Iowa

Events: The winery hosts Sangria Sundays featuring live music. The remaining 2018 dates are Sundays, July 29 through Sept. 30. The winery’s annual Winestock is held at the end of May each year.

Worth mentioning: You’ll love the deck at this winery. Sugar Clay has a restaurant that serves lunch Thursdays through Sunday and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.

Website

Exterior of Vine Street Cellars in Glenwood, Iowa
Vine Street Cellars is in Glenwood, about 20 miles south of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Photo courtesy Vine Street Cellars

Vine Street Cellars

Where: 17 N. Vine St., Glenwood, Iowa

Events: The winery will host food trucks during the Glenwood Iowa Farmer’s Market from 4 to 7 p.m., including Anthony Piccolo’s Mobile Food Venue on Aug. 1, 15 and 29, and Phy-Ros Food Truck (philly cheese steaks & gyros) on Aug. 8 and 22. The winery is participating in the Lawn Mower Poker Run sponsored by the Mills County Trails on Aug. 18, and has something planned for the Glenwood Homecoming on Sept. 21.

Website

Exterior of Bodega Victoriana Winery & Wedding Barn in Glenwood, Iowa
Bodega Victoriana Winery & Wedding Barn is located in Glenwood, Iowa. Photo courtesy Bodega Victoriana Winery & Wedding Barn

Bodega Victoriana Winery & Wedding Barn

Where: 60397 Kidd Road, Glenwood, Iowa

Events: The winery holds a live music series called Bodega BARN BEATS on the first Sunday of the month. The remaining 2018 dates are Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov. 3, and Dec. 2.

Website

Soaring Wings Vineyard

Where: 17111 S. 138th St., Springfield, Neb.

Events: The winery has live music most Saturdays and Sundays, with Saturday concerts outside in the amphitheater and Sunday concerts indoors and acoustic. The annual pig roast, Swine on the Vine, is Aug. 18. The Harvest Festival is Sept. 29 and includes grape stomping.

Website

Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery

Where: 702 Main, Brownville, Neb.

Events: None listed.

Website

List of wineries to visit in southwest Iowa #wine #thisisiowa #unleashCB

Wine Trails To Know

Most of the wineries listed above are part of a wine trail. The ones in southwest Iowa belong to the Western Iowa Wine Trail. Members of the trail host Western Iowa Wine Trail events that encourage road tripping (with a DD) through scenic western Iowa. On Nov. 3, there will be a poker run along the wine trail from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you want to venture into Nebraska, there’s the Southeast Nebraska Winery Trail. The two that are closest to Council Bluffs are Soaring Wings Vineyard in Springfield, Neb., and Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery in Brownville, Neb.

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June 21, 2018

Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities Near Council Bluffs

There is a wealth of outdoor activities near Council Bluffs for you and your family to explore. From historical exploration and culture to sports and recreation, Iowa has something for everyone. Here are a few of our favorites.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Unleash CB. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

Hitchcock Nature Center

Honey Creek, Iowa is home to Hitchcock Nature Center in Loess Hills, a formation of hills that provides refuge for animals. Hitchcock is situated on 1,268 acres in Loess Hills, and the activities that you can experience with your family will exceed your expectations. Most of the trails are kid-friendly (it’s one of our favorite places to hike!).

One of things we like to do at Hitchcock is climb the 45-foot observation deck. Looking into the horizon, you’ll see a 360-degree view of the natural beauty of the Missouri River Valley, the rolling Loess Hills, and the Omaha skyline.

Looking for things to do in Council Bluffs, Iowa? Try a hike at nearby Hitchcock Nature Center.
The tower at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa.

Hitchcock offers events all year round for children, adults, and families. Hiking clubs, Yoga in the Park, tours of Loess Hills, and even an Insect Club are some of the upcoming events. (There are additional costs for some events.) Park hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and admission is only $3 per car.

Related post:

Botna Bend Park

Another Pottawatamie County treasure is Botna Bend Park, an incredible 119-acre park in Hancock, Iowa. Canoeing, tubing, or kayaking on the Nishnabotna River will have you booking this excursion every year. It’s so easy to get in the water with Rubber Duck Outfitters. They’ll bring everything you need to float or boat from Hancock to Oakland.

What really puts Botna Bend on the list is the elk and bison you’ll see in the park. Bring your camera and snap some shots of these magnificent animals. Like the Hitchcock Nature Center, admission is just $3 per vehicle.

Western Historic Trails

Take a bike ride or walk along the historic trails to trace the paths of the early explorers, including those who traveled the Lewis & Clark, Oregon, California and Mormon Trails.

Looking for things to do in Council Bluffs, Iowa? Learn about the region's history at the Western Historic Trails Center.
The Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The center has displays about four trails that have passed through the area: Lewis & Clark, Oregon, California and Mormon Trails

Start at the indoor Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa to plan your outdoor excursions and routes. These sites expand outside of Council Bluffs.

Wabash Trace Nature Trail

On the south end of Council Bluffs, you’ll find the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, a 63-mile crushed limestone trail. The trail has a $1 daily fee to use the trail. It’s ideal for biking and walking.

It’s also home to the weekly Thursday night Taco Ride. If you join in the ride, know that it gets dark on the Taco Ride, so bring a light.

Lake Manawa State Park

Lake Manawa State Park is located within Council Bluffs and feature a large lake for boating and fishing, mountain bike trails, and a sandy beach. The large, wooden playground, Dreamland, is under construction.

Related post: 10 Things To Do This Fall In Council Bluffs

Zipline at Mount Crescent

Take your family to the fastest zipline in Nebraska and Iowa at Mount Crescent Ski in Crescent, Iowa. The ride starts with a ski lift ride followed by a 1600 ft (the length of 5 football fields) high flying zip. Starting at $45 per rider, each person will receive two zip line rides with their reservation.

Before you zip, look around the observation deck and the scenic views of the area. View the wildflowers, hills, and wildlife as you soar through the air on your fantastic ride.

Looking for things to do in Council Bluffs, Iowa? Try a zip line course at Mount Crescent!
Ziplining at Mount Crescent in Crescent, Iowa.

In the winter, Mount Crescent is home to the only downhill skiing hills near the Omaha metro area.

Ditmars Orchard

In the fall, Ditmars Orchard is the place to be for apple picking, pumpkin patch browsing, and navigating the corn maze. There are annual special events at the orchard, as well, including hot air balloon glows, kite flying, and live music festivals.

Looking for things to do in Council Bluffs, Iowa? Ditmars Orchard is the city's only apple orchard and it holds family-friendly events seasonally.
A balloon glow at Ditmars Orchard in Council Bluffs.

It’s one of the closest apple orchards to the Omaha metro area, and one of my family’s favorites!

With all the outdoor activities in Western Iowa, one summer will not be enough to experience them all. Luckily, Iowa’s parks and recreation centers are open year round for your enjoyment. Come see all that Western Iowa has to offer!

Get outside this summer in Council Bluffs, Iowa! Here's a list of kid-friendly things to do in Council Bluffs and in the nearby Loess Hills. #Iowa #USA

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June 4, 2018

Everything To Know About Railroad Days {Updated}

Railroad Days celebrates trains and the railroad history of Omaha and Council Bluffs. Held on July 13 and 14 in 2019, you have two days to explore each of the five venues participating in the event. I’ve taken the kids to Railroad Days in the past, so I can vouch for it being it being an affordable event for families.

This post was first published in 2018 and has been updated with 2019 event information.

Guide to Railroad Days, the annual celebration of trains and railroads held in Omaha and Council Bluffs. Here's what you need to know about when it happens, where it happens, and how much it costs to attend. #Guide #Tips #Nebraska #Iowa

Railroad Days venues

This event is definitely one for train aficionados, but even if trains aren’t your thing, you’ve got plenty to see and do. I always think of Railroad Days as a great staycation option to see Omaha and Council Bluffs attractions for one price.

Each location is open as usual, so in addition to the special activities planned for the weekend, this is a good time to explore their permanent exhibits, gardens, and historic artifacts.

The Durham Museum (801 S. 10th St., Omaha) – There will also be music by “Freight Train” Frank and the chance to talk with model railroad experts by the House of Trains on Track Level.

This year, visit the museum’s current traveling exhibition, “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family,” and see “Scotty” the largest and oldest T.rex ever discovered plus, 10 life-sized dinosaur specimens, including five complete tyrannosaurs cast skeletons.

Lauritzen Gardens (100 Bancroft St., Omaha) – The activities at Lauritzen Gardens are always a hit with my kids, especially the free mini train rides.

Things to see: Centennial No. 6900 and Big Boy No. 4023 locomotives at Kenefick Park, model train railroad garden, LEGO brick rail yard, and Paul Siebert performing railroad ditties, and this year, go on The Great Gnome Escape summer scavenger hunt.

Railroad Days is an annual celebration of the area's railroad history. Visit places like RailsWest Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs during the event.

RailsWest Railroad Museum (1512 S. Main St., Council Bluffs) – Don’t miss the chance to visit the train yard, climbing aboard old steam engines, cabooses and cars. Indoors, there’s a large H.O. scale model train layout.

Visitors can also be a part of the first ever Live Garden Scale Steam Up in the train yard.

Union Pacific Railroad Museum (200 Pearl St., Council Bluffs) – Visitors are invited to reflect on the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad through the exhibit, “Hidden Histories of the Transcontinental Railroad.”

During Railroad Days, special Chinese Lion Dance performances by the Jing Mo Tong Athletic Association will be presented on the hour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in addition to cultural exhibitions hosted by the Nebraska Chinese Association.

At this museum, my kids loved pretending to “detonate” explosives – go look for it in one of the permanent inside the museum.

One of the Council Bluffs, Iowa, attractions during Railroad Days is the Historic General Dodge House.

Historic General Dodge House (605 Third St., Council Bluffs) – Here’s the chance to walk through the house of the man called “the greatest railroad builder of all time.” The 1869 Victorian home is on a National Historic Landmark.

The new exhibit at the house allows visitors a glimpse of how people in Dodge’s day spent their leisure time.

New venue in 2019

There’s a new stop included in the 2019 Railroad Days: Union Pacific’s Home Plate (1001 N. 11th St., Omaha). Visitors can see Union Pacific’s No. 4014, the “Big Boy” steam locomotive and explore the Experience Union Pacific rail car. No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy locomotive.

The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car is a new, multi-media walk-through exhibition providing a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading.

Food at Railroad Days

Each location has food/snacks and beverages available for purchase. I’ve only dined at Lauritzen Gardens and The Durham Museum. If you’re looking to cool off, the Durham soda fountain sells a delicious root beer float.

Food and beverages are not included in the ticket price.

Railroad Days Family Passes

One of the Omaha attractions included in Railroad Days is Lauritzen Gardens, which has a model train garden.

Family passes are quite the deal. Family Passes are $15, and available for purchase at any participating venue during the event. The Family Pass for Railroad Days gets two adults and their dependents (or grandchildren) under the age of 18 in to the venues as well as admission to the trolley/bus transportation between the locations.

Even if you’re just purchasing the pass for yourself, you save money on admission to each place – the regular price of admission for a single adult to visit all five venues is $35.

A $5 pass is also available for one adult with the purchase of a Family Pass (limit one). Keep the wristbands on and they will be valid both days.

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May 16, 2018

5 Things For Kids To Do At Loessfest 2018 {Giveaway}

When they announce Loessfest events each year, I listen. You should too, because events at Loessfest are FREE and most are kid-friendly. With everything planned, I can tell this year is going to be a great for families, so read on to find out what all kids can do at Loessfest 2018.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Emspace and Loessfest. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own. 

Loessfest 2018

What is Loessfest 2018?

 

There’s a fireworks show at Loessfest following the Omaha Symphony concert on May 28, 2018. Photo courtesy Loessfest

Loessfest 2018 is four days of events held on the Council Bluffs side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. It’s an annual festival, and this year, it’s held May 25-28. In addition to nightly activities, a new, permanent water feature will unveiled.

Keep reading because I’ve got a giveaway for kids who are fans of the May 25 headliner!

Things For Kids To Do At Loessfest 2018

 

River's Edge Park water feature

Kids can play in the new water feature at River’s Edge Park. It opens on May 25, 2018.

Like everything at Loessfest 2018, everything listed below is FREE thanks to sponsors.

Disney Junior’s Choo Choo Soul Concert 

When: Friday, May 25

What: Friday is going to be the big night for families. It starts off with a free performance by Disney Junior’s Choo Choo Soul with Jeff and Paige opening the show. Kids will have seen Choo Choo Soul on Disney Junior. It’s an entertainment act featuring singer Genevieve Goings as a hip-hop train conductor and her partner, Constantine “DC” Abramson, a breakdancer and beatboxer, as her railroad engineer.

 

“The Incredibles” Screening

When: Friday, May 25

What: Settle the kiddos down on the grass to watch the popular Disney animated movie, “The Incredibles.” Bring some snacks or purchase items from vendors at the park. You can come early for the concert and let the kids dance out their energy before settling down for the movie.

 

Water feature 

When: Opens Friday, May 25, on-going after that

What: Think water splash garden that looks beautiful, with jets, bubbling water, a flooding wading basin, a cool 10-foot-tall water wall, and a fog feature that’s totally new to the metro area.

 

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

When: Saturday, May 26, 7:30 p.m.

What: Frankie Valli is the original Jersey Boy, and some of his hits include “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Grease,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Sherry” and “Walk Like a Man.” It’s the kind of music kids will want to dance to. Keep in mind there is an opener, though, so Frankie Valli will be taking the stage at around 9 p.m.

 

Omaha Symphony Concert & Fireworks

When: Monday, May 28, 8 p.m.

What: Omaha Symphony is going to perform some classics while you sprawl out on the lawn. The song list includes Gershwin’s “Strike Up the Band,” Lowe’s “My Fair Lady,” Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” Williams’ “Marion’s Theme and Raider’s March” from Indiana Jones, Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” It’s going to be impressive. Best part? The concert ends with a fireworks show.

 

There are even more events at Loessfest that your family may love. Check out the full schedule here.

Tips for families going to Loessfest

 

Loessfest is an annual weekend of concerts, movies, bike rides and more held at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs. It is held May 25-28, 2018. Photo courtesy Loessfest

Seating: This is a large grassy space, and it’s recommended you bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on.

Waiting with kids: You’ll want to arrive early to allow time for parking and walking to the park…which means you will be waiting for the event to start. For events like these, I always pack a bag of toys, books, and maybe a card game to entertain the kids while we wait.

Bring a towel: While you wait for events to begin, kids will want to check out the new water feature at the park, so bring a towel. I recommend the kids wear a swimsuit, or at least, have a change of clothes.

Food & beverages: You may bring a cooler of food and drinks, but no alcohol is permitted to be brought in. Also, leave glass containers at home. Alcohol may be sold at some events, but not all. There will be vendors at Loessfest and patronizing them helps keep the events free.

Inclement weather: They may delay an event, but make every effort to keep everything on schedule, so bring an umbrella if it looks like a rainy night. Things will be canceled if the weather is severe. Updates will be posted on Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park’s Facebook page and the Loessfest Twitter account.

What to leave at home: Tents, shade awnings, glass, alcoholic beverages, tarps, unruly dogs

Loessfest Giveaway!

Disney Junior’s Choo-Choo Soul performs at Loessfest on May 25. Disney Junior’s “Choo Choo Soul” stars D.C. Abramson and Genevieve Goings. Photo courtesy Disney Junior/Craig Sjodin

Loessfest has provided a giveaway for one lucky reader (or more likely, one lucky reader’s child). I’m giving away a Choo Choo Soul CD and autographed picture! The giveaway runs through Sunday, May 20, at 11:59 p.m. CST. Must be 18 or older to enter. I’ll email the winner via email within 48 hours of the giveaway ending, and the winner has 48 hours to respond before another winner is drawn. 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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May 13, 2018

8 Great Places To Get Breakfast In Council Bluffs

Council Bluffs, Iowa is beginning to grow a thriving dining scene and, lucky for me, my favorite meal of the day has some shining stars. There are several locally-owned restaurants serving delicious breakfast in Council Bluffs. I asked readers on Facebook what’s new in Council Bluffs and what old favorites are still serving great food (good news, Duncan’s is). There were several that I can’t wait to check out.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Unleash CB. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

restaurants in Council Bluffs

Ready for pancakes, donuts and heaping servings of hash browns? Here are eight great places to get breakfast in Council Bluffs:

712 Eat + Drink

One of the newest restaurants in Council Bluffs, 712 Eat + Drink, is the go-to place for brunch on Sunday.

Where: 1851 Madison Ave.

Why: “712 was so good! I went this AM for the first time,” said Katy J. Another reader, Jenna G. let me know that it was toddler-friendly, too, so while my kids are older, I know I’m good to take them there. Note that 712 only serves Sunday brunch; the rest of the time, it’s lunch and dinner.

Learn more about 712 Eat + Drink here

 

Duncan’s Cafe

The Council Bluffs breakfast staple, Duncan’s Cafe, has been serving huge portions since the 1970s.

Where: 501 S. Main St.

Why: “Duncan’s has awesome breakfast food. Love their cinnamon rolls and breakfast sandwiches,” said Courtney C. My first experience at Duncan’s involved a plate of hash browns that, I swear, was as large as a hubcap. And it was awesome.

Learn more about Duncan’s here

 

Main Street Cafe

Main Street Cafe is located in downtown Council Bluffs near Bayliss Park.

Where: 102 S. Main St.

Why: This is a traditional cafe with down home comfort food. And… “The pancakes are huge,” said Katie B.

Learn more about Main Street Cafe here

 

Stay Sweet Nicola’s

Stay Sweet Nicola’s is a good spot for coffee drinks and baked goods in downtown Council Bluffs.

Where: 805 S. Main St.

Why: Stay Sweet Nicola’s is a charming, small cafe on the south side of downtown Council Bluffs. I can only vouch for the coffee being delicious. Lucky, I have readers to share tips on the food: “Stay Sweet Nicola’s has some amazing cinnamon rolls and coffee!” said John S.

Learn more about Stay Sweet Nicola’s here

 

Sugar’s Diner

Sugar’s Diner is open seven days a week and, rumor has it, serves a mean Bloody Mary.

Where: 2725 E. Kanesville Blvd.

Why: Sugar’s Diner has a loyal fan base, not just consisting of breakfast lovers. But, I’m sharing breakfast spots, so let’s focus on that, shall we? “Sugar’s has amazing blueberry pancakes and omelets!” said Nicole L.

Learn more about Sugar’s here

 

Mad Ox Bakery

Go in to Mad Ox for the superhero decor, stay for the cronuts.

Where: 215 W. Broadway

Why: Get your sweet fix here. Mad Ox bakery has gourmet donuts with flavors ranging from Red Velvet Glazed and Pink Champaign, and apparently has a pretty tasty fried croissant (AKA cronut) with optional fillings.

Learn more about Mad Ox here

 

Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard

donut in Council Bluffs

Where: 19475 225th St.

Why: Their apple cider doughnuts, especially when you get them freshly made, are addictive. They are so good. While the orchard doesn’t serve breakfast (they’re not even open that early), doughnuts are a classic breakfast item, so I’m counting it, folks.

Tip: This is a seasonal place, so check their hours before going. Make an afternoon of it – here’s a list of other things to do at Ditmars besides eating a ton of doughnuts.

 

Fresh Market Square Buffet

Fresh Market Square Buffet is located inside Harrah’s Casino, and offers kid’s prices to the buffet. Photo courtesy Caesars Entertainment

Where: Inside Harrah’s Casino, 1 Harrahs Blvd.

Why: I’ve got to include a buffet, right? There are three casinos in Council Bluffs, and this is the only with a weekend brunch buffet that includes children’s prices for meals. Come hungry!

Learn more about Fresh Market Square Buffet here

 

Want more ideas? Unleash CB has a full list of Council Bluffs restaurants.

 

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