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The Week in Social 4/5 - 4/9

The Week in Social rounds up the best of Iowa’s uplifting stories, exciting initiatives and fun events from all 99 counties discovered through social media. In a time where every bit of good news is cherished, this series is devoted to being a fun, lighthearted way to stay informed about Iowa’s good news.

Live music events are an experience meant to bring people together — an activity that wasn’t encouraged in 2020. With some sense of normalcy returning, live music events are slowly on the rise. Jasper Winery will host its 10th Summer Concert Series, a popular outdoor event in Des Moines.

“People have been missing live events the past year,” said Sydney Tallman, Jasper Winery’s wedding and events coordinator. “We are really trying to make it as safe and as great of an experience as possible.”

The concert series will begin on Thursday nights starting on May 20 and run until August 5. Musical acts perform from 6 to 9 p.m., and local favorites like The Nadas, The Maytags and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels are scheduled to perform.

Tallman said the winery is monitoring COVID-19 precautions and guidelines. “On our website, on the concert series page, we are going to keep everybody updated with what the regulations look like depending on if there are any city, county or state regulations at the time,” Tallman said.

Living History Farms, the outdoor history museum which educates and entertains people of all ages on Midwestern rural life experiences, is releasing virtual programming for Iowa students about rural Iowa life in the 1850s.

This Living History Farms program is geared toward first through fifth grade students and offers a broad overview of what life on the prairie would have been like in 1850 for early European American settlers. Historical interpreters will present and explain farming methods, buildings/tools, food preparation and storage, as well as clothing and textiles.

“This program meets three to five core standards of Iowa’s social studies curriculum per grade level,” said Living History Farms’ education director Dan Jones, meaning this programming can be a valuable resource to Iowa grade-school teachers.

Those interested in more info should email

Beginning April 15, visitors can fully explore Maquoketa Caves State Park’s caves after they have been closed for the past year due to COVID-19 and winter bat hibernation.

Maquoketa Caves State Park, located in eastern Iowa’s Jackson County, is one of the state’s most popular outdoor destinations. With its gorgeous scenery, unique geological formations and the largest cave system in Iowa, the state park draws thousands of visitors each year.

Before you visit, there are a few things to be aware of. There are less than 150 parking spots, so staff recommends visiting mid-week to avoid the peak window of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Same-day camping is also an option, and campers can now reserve 100% of the campsites as late as the day they plan to visit. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources also recommends being prepared for enclosed railings on Maquoketa Caves’ boardwalk system and to pay attention to social distancing measures and other COVID-19 precautions. Before you visit, be sure to download the Iowa State Park Passport.

Blooming tulips are one of nature’s most beautiful gifts. Lucky for you, Reiman Gardens in Ames is extending their hours for several weekends in late April and early May.

On April 22, 23 and 24, as well as May 1, Reiman Gardens will be open from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. The Gift Shop will also remain open until 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets cost $10, but touring the Gardens is free for members and Iowa State University students. Late April is the time to see the tulips in their prime, and you’ll also have the chance to see thousands of other spring blooms.

Published April 13, 2021

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