- The list below includes 66 free or cheap things to do in or near Altoona, Iowa, including 51 different types of inexpensive activities like Horse Races, Parks, Race Tracks and Movie Theaters.
- From Thomas Mitchell Park to Prairie Meadows, there are a variety of budget-friendly attractions in Altoona and in nearby cities within 25 miles like Des Moines, West Des Moines, Urbandale and Ankeny.
Experience truly fresh dairy products at the Maytag Dairy Farm in Newton, Iowa. The farm's flagship product is Maytag Bleu Cheese, which is sold throughout the United States and is one of the finest cheeses produced in the country.
Small and large groups, as well as private parties, are comfortably accommodated at Cardinal Lanes, which features 20 lanes and offers everything from bumper bowling to Disco bowling with music and colorful lights in the dark.
Located on the banks of Lake Ahquabi, Indianola's Lake Ahquabi State Park is a popular destination for camping, swimming, boating and picnicking. It has a beach shelter and tent campsites, but is closed during the winter.
Even though the Ames Dog Park is open to the public all dogs must obtain a facility use permit to show that they have an up-to-date rabies vaccination and their owners have signed a liability waiver. Within the dog park, there is a walking path and drinking fountains.
Managed by the University of Iowa, Reiman Gardens is an extensive series of botanical gardens that includes a gigantic butterfly house. This attraction is open throughout the year and offers holiday exhibits in its warm greenhouses.
The Brunnier Art Museum, located in Ames, Iowa features a perminate collection as well as rotating exhibits browered from private collections and other museums. A nice variety of interesting items is always available for viewing.