Central Gardens and Kinney Pioneer Museum declare the official start to tourist season!


Though it’s a bit later than other years, signs of spring are all around us.  Robins hop through yards, looking for luscious snacks after an evening rain.  Vivid green stems push their way up through the surface, hoping for a drop of rainwater to quench the thirst after a long, dormant winter.  Despite the chilly temperatures, each stem stretches higher into the air, desperate for the warmth of the sun.

Much like me this time of year; breaking free from the confines of winter and stepping into the sun.

Green grass, flowers, baby animals and sunshine are on the horizon, signs that spring has sprung.  This year, it seems we’ve also added wind.

Lots and lots of wind. 

And while I know it will eventually subside, the temperatures steadily gaining momentum above freezing, the human part of me wants it to happen now.  Today.

At this very second.

A surefire sign of spring in Clear Lake is the return of some of our favorite tourist destinations, including the ever-popular Central Gardens.  Nestled in the heart of Clear Lake, this gem of the community offers almost three acres of various gardens throughout the grounds and welcomes thousands of guests each year from across the nation.

They will open the gates on Sunday, May 1st, at dawn and will remain open from dawn to dusk until October 31st.  A volunteer open house will be held Sunday from 2-4pm upstairs in the pavilion. If you are interested in volunteering at Central Gardens, this gathering would be a great opportunity to meet other volunteers and learn about the various duties needed to help maintain and beautify the gardens.

This organization runs on the many volunteers who so generously donate their time and expertise.  They are needed to implement and orchestrate the various programs and events scheduled for the guests each season.

Be sure to stop by to see where you can share your talents and meet new friends!

In the upcoming season, Central Gardens has over 70 FREE events planned for the community.  Opportunities include line dancing, golf croquet, kids gardening, Sunday night live music (for 8 weeks), Fresh on Friday bouquets with special kids’ activities, educational programs, plant sale, the Garden Party, Fiesta, Pumpkin Palooza and more!

Whew!  See why they need so many volunteers?  Central Gardens is a happening place!

Be sure to follow them on Facebook for details on each event.

The other grand opening celebration will be at the Kinney Pioneer Museum.

If you’ve never been to this incredible attraction, this weekend is a great chance to change that!  On Sunday, May 1st they will be holding their grand opening celebration for the season with a BBQ meal serving from noon until the food is gone!

Adults are $10 and Kids only $5 for a meal of Pulled pork sandwich, chips, baked beans, dessert and a drink.  PLUS – this includes admission into the facility.

What a steal!

You will take a step back in time when you enter the Kinney Pioneer Museum and get the chance to experience life of the Iowa frontier.  Their vintage exhibits and living history will catapult you back into the days long before technology took over our lives.  With items dating all the way back to the 1800s, military items from the Civil War era, and a sneak peak into life on the prairie, this place is full of nostalgia and history.

On the grounds, patrons can also explore the pioneer village which features a one room schoolhouse, log cabin, jail and blacksmith shop.  It’s a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors and, you know what they say, right?

You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.

Seeing these items, how they were used, and the simplicity of life back then is a vital part of our lives today.  The growth and rise in engineering and technology throughout the years is an integral part of all of us.

Be sure to follow them on Facebook or check out their website at www.kinneypioneermuseum.org to stay up to date on events and activities throughout the season.

Spring has sprung – even if the weather hasn’t quite caught up yet.

The season of activities and events is upon us.