More
Close
| | | Help | | Issues

New Midwest Hot Spots We Can't Wait to Explore

If you're searching for new things to do in the Midwest, we've rounded up a list of intriguing new museums, roller coasters, restaurants, exhibits, events and more.

Illinois

World's Largest Loop Coaster | Gurnee

The 100-foot tall loop coaster will give riders record hang-time when it debuts at Six Flags Great America in spring 2018.

The soon-to-be world's tallest loop coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois

The soon-to-be world's tallest loop coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois; photo courtesy of Six Flags Great America

Indiana

National Mascot Hall of Fame | Whiting

Those who think the crazy, dancing characters deserve just as much recognition as the athletes can interact with famous mascots and see classic performances in this bright, 25,000-square-foot space set to open in spring 2018. 

Iowa

The Hall | West Des Moines

Skip the line and order using an app at this giant food hall (it fits 280 diners) that launched in late 2017. A rotating fleet of four food trucks serves up pizza, barbecue and a variety of other eats. A beer garden fits an additional 140 and serves from 54 beers on tap. 

Communal tables at The Hall in Des Moines; check out the 45 beers on tap, far right.
Communal tables at The Hall in Des Moines; check out the row of beers on tap, far right. Photo courtesy of J.C. Buck

Kansas

Field Station: Dinosaurs | Derby

The 14-acre park, opening Memorial Day 2018, will feature 30 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, a fossil-digging area and a dino-themed mini golf course. 

A life-size Dryptosaurus at Field Station: Dinosaurs in New Jersey; animatronic dinosaurs like this on exhibit soon in Derby, Kansas
A life-size Dryptosaurus at Field Station: Dinosaurs in New Jersey; animatronic dinosaurs like this will be on exhibit soon in Derby, Kansas. Photos courtesy of Field Station: Dinosaurs

Pizza Hut Museum | Wichita

The pizza chain was founded in 1958 by two University of Wichita students, brothers Frank and Dan Carney. The college, now called Wichita State, moved Pizza Hut's first home (a 500-square-foot brick building) to the campus, where they're transforming it into a museum filled with mementos donated by the owners. 

Minnesota

Keg and Case Market | St. Paul

Historic Schmidt Brewery will become St. Paul's first large-scale food hall in summer 2018. Stalls run by popular Twin City eateries, breweries and coffee shops, like O'Cheeze, Clutch Brewing Co. and Five Watt Coffee, will sit at the center of the 32,000 square foot space, with tables surrounding them.  

North Shore Adventure Park | Silver Bay

Minnesota's first outdoors climbing gym does not yet have an official opening day, but a zipline, climbing tower and aerial ropes course will join the already-available climbing rock later in 2018. 

Royal Golf Club | Lake Elmo

Arnold Palmer helped design the back nine of this new 477-acre course before his death in 2016. Retired professional golfer Annika Sorenstam designed the first nine holes, her first project in the U.S. Play a round when it's completed later in 2018. 

The Royal Golf Club at Lake Elmo

Golfers will soon be able to play a challenging 18 courses at Royal Golf Club. Courtesy of Royal Golf Club

Missouri

Time Traveler | Branson

Silver Dollar City's newest roller coaster, ready for the public in spring 2018, begins with a 10-story, 90-degree drop, will reach speeds up 50.3 mph and will include spinning cars that invert riders multiple times throughout the ride. 

Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission | St. Louis

The command module that took the first humans to the moon is going on tour for the first time since 1970-71. Its only Midwest stop is at the St. Louis Science Center from April 14 to September 3. After that, it will move permanently to Washington D.C. 

Museum at the Gateway Arch | St. Louis

As a $380 million renovation to the Arch and surrounding areas wraps up, a new museum under the arch opens to the public in July, as well as a new visitors center. Interactive exhibits at the museum will let visitors explore the history of St. Louis and construction of the Arch.

Nebraska

Outdoor Venture Parks | Omaha & Lincoln

The Nebraska Games and Park Commission is adding $35 million worth of ziplines, rock climbing walls, lazy rivers, glamping and other updates to four parks in the Platte River Valley. 

At the new Crawdad Creek in Platte River State Park, kids can interact with the moving water (and possibly catch a crawdad or dragonfly). Photo courtesy of NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Games and Parks Commission

At the new Crawdad Creek in Platte River State Park, kids can interact with the moving water (and possibly catch a crawdad or dragonfly). Photo courtesy of NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Games and Parks Commission

Screamers Dining & Cabaret | Lincoln

A staff comprised of up-and-coming local talent serves classic cuisine and a vocal performance at this restaurant and musician incubator mash-up, which opened in January 2018. 

North Dakota

Wild Terra Cider and Brewing | Fargo

Sip on-tap ciders and kombucha teas in a renovated stable that incorporates material from the original 1910 building. Keep an eye out for the plaque in the taproom detailing pieces of history found during construction. Wild Terra opened in December 2017. 

At North Dakota's Wild Terra Brewing and Cider, cider is on-tap in a restored stable
At North Dakota's Wild Terra Brewing and Cider, cider is on tap in a restored stable. Photos courtesy of Hillary Ehlen

Ohio

Dinosaur Gallery at COSI Columbus | Columbus

The Columbus Center of Science and Industry partnered with New York City' American Museum of Natural History to create this new-in-2017 exhibit for recently discovered dinosaur remains. 

The Mummies: From Egypt to Toledo | Toledo

For a short time, three mummies will be on display at the Toledo Museum of Art. Stop by between Feb. 3 and May 6 to see the rarely displayed remains, as well as other artifacts and displays about ancient Egyptian customs and current Egyptomania. 

A bronze statue of the Egyptian god Khons (left); a mummy mask from the Ptolemaic Period (right)
A bronze statue of the Egyptian god Khons (left); a mummy mask from the Ptolemaic Period (right); both on display at the Toledo Museum of Art. Photos courtesy of the Toledo Museum of Art

Tokyo Kitty | Cincinnati

Inspired by the film Lost in Translation and Japanese street culture, this futuristic bar will include drink-bearing robots, private karaoke rooms and an immersive dance floor with DJs and neon lights when it opens in early 2018. 

South Dakota

Arc of Dreams | Sioux Falls

By the end of July, a stainless steel sculpure nearly as long as a football field will stretch across downtown's Big Sioux River. At the center is an 18-foot gap, representing the leap visionaries must take. The piece, which honors a former city planner, will be the centerpiece of the annual SculptureWalk.

Wisconsin

PGA Championships Tour | Madison

The American Family Insurance Championship takes place at the University Ridge Golf Course between June 22 and 24. 

Lower Yahara River Trail | Madison

The longest inland pedestrian bridge built in North America connects Madison and McFarland. A walk along the new 2.5-mile path reveals scenic views of Lake Waubesa, Upper Mud Lake, wetlands and prairies. 

The Lower Yahara River Trail with views of Lake Waubesa in Wisconsin
The Lower Yahara River Trail with views of Lake Waubesa in Wisconsin; photo courtesy of Christopher James

The Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center | Manitowoc

At this 29,000 square-foot agriculture center, guests can learn where their food comes from and how it's produced. Set to open June 2018, the center will include a birthing barn, where visitors can watch calves being born.

Check out our list of boutique Midwest lodgings scheduled to open in 2018.

 

Add Your Comment