This winter, immerse yourself in the warmth of the River Cities on the east coast of Iowa. Just a 3-hour drive from cities like Chicago, Des Moines, and Madison, you’ll find Clinton, Iowa and Fulton, Illinois. With both indoor and outdoor activities for all ages, you won’t want to miss it.

EMBRACE THE WINTER – February 2-4, 2024

Bundle up and bring the special people in your life to this special event the first weekend in February. Embrace The Winter is a Community and Fine Arts Festival, with something for every age, walk of life, and interest level. The experience kicks off with Friday Night Lights, a glow-themed evening with downtown stores staying open late to host light displays and specials, plus the non-profit community hosting fire ring stations scattered throughout the area. Saturday’s marquee events include the B-rrry Scurry 4 mile run hosted by Clinton Community College and the after-party at Legends Bar & Grill. Then keep the high-adrenaline night going with Ultra Capture The Flag, a 21+ event after-dark event in Fulton’s incredible Heritage Canyon.

Sunday’s activities include the Frozen Pickles pickleball tournament, a candlelight memorial service, and snowman building at all three library locations. Add into the weekend tons of activities at locations throughout the community and you are sure to find something to enjoy!

east coast of Iowa

When the cold gets to be too much, step inside and warm up in one of our unique shops or restaurants. Great Revivalist Brewery can be found in formerly abandoned church that has been lovingly reimagined and restored. Stained glass, crystal chandeliers, and tables made from old pews or pipe organ pieces surround you as you enjoy woodfire pizza, proprietary soft drinks and adult beverages, and a full menu. Candlelight Inn offers fine dining with a view of the Mississippi River from every table. . Pop in to Grandma’s Goody Jar for handmade truffles and vintage candies. Krumpets Bakery provides not just a full menu but also luscious desserts and smoothies Or for a different kind of baked good, try Fulton’s Gold Leaf Bakery and Dispensary.

east coast of Iowa

Soak in the history and explore the educational opportunities throughout the River Cities. In Camanche you can find the Mississippi River Eco-Tourism Center, with a large aquarium, kids center, and a variety of outdoor winter activities. The Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center in Clinton offers hands-on activities all year round, including a miniature mini-golf course, live animal demonstrations, and tons of learning through play.

The Sawmill Museum boasts a water table for kids, but even adults enjoy the log-raft simulator or observing a live milling demonstration. The Windmill Cultural Center in Fulton offers their Wild Winter Wednesday edutainment programs, bringing interesting topics to a unique location every month. Or tour the George Curtis Mansion in Clinton, or the Martin House Museum in Fulton. 


So many fun and unique retail experiences await you throughout the community. Step back in time to see the town’s oldest working cash register and find fine clothes at Boegel’s Mens Wear. Find a new-to-you treasure at Déjà vu Furniture & Accessories in Clinton’s historic downtown, or at Renaissance Resale or Broken Spoke Antique both located in the north end Lyons neighborhood. Find fun gifts at the Freckled Frog, Whimsical Wonders, Lulu Jo’s Boutique, or Dudad’s Hallmark. On the Fulton side of the river pop into one-of-a-kind stores like Blessings Boutique, Rooted, or the beautiful Dandelion Wishes. There are plenty of specialty shops too, such as Keeping You Sewing, Don’s Jewelry, or This That & Tobacco. 


There is so much to do at any season in the River Cities (east coast of Iowa). Come check it out for yourself!