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Ottumwa Stories: Activities For Your Memorial Day Weekend

Published May 1, 2021

This Memorial Day, we honor and mourn the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces. As you make your plans for Memorial Day Weekend in Ottumwa, add these events and attractions to your itinerary.

Wapello County Freedom Trail - Beginning at Bridge View Center

The Wapello County Freedom Trail is made up of five memorials to those who have served and continue to serve in the United States Armed Forces. Together, the Civil War Soldier in Ottumwa Cemetery, the Wapello County Soldiers' Monument in Central Park, the All Veterans Memorial in Greater Ottumwa Park, the Freedom Rock in front of Bridge View Center and the Iowa Heartland History Connection (though not currently open due to renovations) create a touching and powerful trail through history. Each location has an interpretive panel explaining the significance of its piece. For a detailed map, please contact Meet Ottumwa.

Beach Ottumwa - 101 Church Street

The Beach Ottumwa is an indoor/outdoor waterpark covering 13 acres and offering more than 1 million gallons of water for family fun. The outdoor portion of the Beach will open to the public at Noon on Saturday, May 29, making it the perfect weekend activity. It will be open every day, weather permitting, from Noon to 8 p.m. through Sunday, August 29. In the outdoor park, you'll find tube riding fun in the wave pool, the crowd-favorite curly slide, a 100-foot speed slide and a children's play area. If you want to hang out on dry land, the Beach has two sand volleyball courts. Open all year, the indoor park features a 100-foot tube slide, an 8-lane competitive pool and a challenging obstacle course.

Air Power Museum - 22001 Bluegrass Road

Visit the 20,000-square-foot Air Power Museum, situated on 30 acres of an antique airfield. It features various periods of aviation via models, engines, propellers, photos and original art. A large collection of aircrafts is on display, including World War II models, and many are flown regularly. The APM also has spare engine and aircraft parts, both on display and being made available to AAA members to assist in their restoration projects. Over Memorial Day Weekend, the museum will be closed on Saturday, May 29, but open from 1-5 on Sunday afternoon and Noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, Memorial Day.

Wapello County Trail System

Enjoy the scenic Des Moines River from the Wapello County Trail System. The 16-mile trail system includes a 5K John Deere Loop, a 1-mile loop between Market Street and the Wabash Bridge, two loops through Greater Ottumwa Park and a 1-mile section by Gray Eagle Wildlife Preserve. Enjoy the scenery while walking, running, biking, rollerblading and birdwatching.

Disc Golf Courses

Disc golfers wanting to play the county’s seven disc golf courses will find beautiful landscapes and challenging holes. In Ottumwa, you’ll find courses at Indian Hills Community College, Memorial Park, Franklin Park and Wildwood Park. Courses around Wapello County can also be found at Sandy Dunes in Eddyville, Chippewa Creek in Eldon and just south of Ottumwa at the Pioneer Ridge Nature Area.

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