Cedar Rapids organizations announce ‘Freebie February,’ offering admission vouchers

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 4:54 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Several local attractions are getting together to offer free admission vouchers during a one-month promotion, according to officials.

The Cedar Rapids Tourism Office and Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation have paired with multiple other organizations for the promotion, called “Freebie February,” to give out the vouchers which can be used throughout the year.

The goal of the program is to boost traffic to sites that have seen a large impact from the events of the last year, including the ongoing pandemic and August derecho.

“These organizations are a critical part of our community,” Les Garner, president & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, said, in a statement. “They educate, inspire, enlighten, entertain and nurture residents. They are important to our economy and the creative life we have here. We are proud to be part of this collaboration to encourage our fellow citizens to participate in and support these organizations.”

Theatre Cedar Rapids is one of the participating places. Because of the pandemic, they have switched all their events to online or outdoors, and this year, people will be able to see them for free.

TCR will be offering free admission for in-person shows in 2021, including any TCR-produced outdoor performances as part of the Freebie February initiative. Executive Director Katie Hallman says the pandemic affected the arts deeply, and this will be a big help to drive in tourism lost from last year. Hallman says they have been able to work with Brucemore for outdoor shows. Both TCR and Brucemore say this will be an opportunity to let people know there is still much to do right here, and to see it now, for no cost.

“This might make it easier for some folks, taking away the price barrier and thinking about purchasing something. I also think from a promotion standpoint, it’s great to remind us in the community of all the things there are to do here,” said Hallman.

Jerry Campbell, Brucemore’s Manager of Visitor Services says they were not only affected by the pandemic, but also the derecho six months ago that took out 70% of their trees. He says they were inspired by how the community rallied behind to help during that time, and wanted to do something to give back.

“It’s really important to keep on telling the story of Cedar Rapids history and to use us as a tourism venue,” said Campbell. “Wer’e excited because this is our first time ever offering tours in January and February, and so we’re able to help tell the story of Brucemore, but also in the context of Cedar Rapids.”

The brucemore is offering free tour admission vouchers through this year.

The Indian Creek Nature Center is another attraction that will be offering $10 vouchers to be applied to anything in the retail store or to a program registration. The Marketing Manager at the center says they are still recovering from both the pandemic and derecho, but they want to make sure people know they are open and excited to welcome customers back.

“We really welcome people to come explore the outdoors because its so important for mental health during a time like this. The derecho however was devastating for us. As you can imagine on our main campus, we have 290 acres, much that was damaged by the storm,” said Liz Zabel.

Interested persons can sign up for the vouchers through the Cedar Rapids Tourism Office’s website.

Organizations included are:

  • African American Museum of Iowa (150 available) - Family membership, includes unlimited museum admissions for immediate family members and additional benefits. Good for one year.
  • Brucemore (750 available) - Free tour admission voucher, expires Dec. 23, 2021
  • Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (125 available) - Family membership, unlimited free general admission to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and the Grant Wood Studio for two adults and all children 18 and under living in the same household; 10% discount in the Museum Store; invitations to members-only events and exhibition previews; opportunity to join the Museum’s Collectors’ Circle. Good through February 28, 2022.
  • Hawkeye Downs (900 available) – 600 Friday night race vouchers and 300 Enduro Series race vouchers. Expires Sept. 30, 2021.
  • The History Center (150 available) - Family membership includes unlimited free museum admission for up to six individuals and additional benefits. Good for one year.
  • ImOn Ice (250 available) – Public skate pass, includes skate rental. Expires Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Indian Creek Nature Center (750 available) - $10 voucher applied to anything in the retail store or to a program registration. Cannot be applied to special events (ex. Maple Syrup Festival) or traded for cash value. Expires Dec. 31, 2021.
  • National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (500 available) - Free admission voucher, first 100 to sign up receive $10 to the Museum Store. Expires Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Theatre Cedar Rapids (limited availability, while supplies last) - Free admission for in-person shows in 2021. Includes any TCR produced outdoor performances. Details for in-person shows and on-sale dates to be released late spring.
  • NewBo City Market – support of live events will be announced at a later date. (750 available) - $10 voucher applied to anything in the retail store or to a program registration. Cannot be applied to special events (ex. Maple Syrup Festival) or traded for cash value. Expires Dec. 31, 2021.

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