Celebrating Your Student

Students will experience many big life events away from colleges, and families still want ways to show their support. At Iowa, our Housing & Dining team has the opportunity to help connect families to their students through Hawkeye Treats. Families can order a treat for their student to pick up after celebrating a successful exam, enjoying a birthday, or just because! 

Hawkeye Treats

Conversation Starters

Parents and families should have conversations with students that help prepare them for the cultural change that comes from attending an out-of-state school. Some questions to get conversations started could be:


  • Are you prepared to walk to class in the Iowa winter? Do you have the appropriate clothes?
  • What treats or decorations can we pack to remind you of home? 
  • When would you like us to visit you? 


Communities Near You

Parents and families in larger metro areas can find ways to stay connected to the University by joining an Iowa Club. More information about your local Iowa Club can be found through the University of Iowa Center for Advancement webpage. 

Iowa Clubs

Iowa City is about 300 miles from Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Omaha, and Kansas City. Whether they are driving or flying to meet their Hawkeye, parents and family members should make sure to talk to their student first about weekends that work for them and expectations for the weekend. 

By Plane

There are three airports near campus:

By Bus

Parents can call the Iowa City Depot (319-337-2127) to hear complete ground transportation options. Transportation providers include:

By Car

Downtown Iowa City offers multiple parking ramps and spots for public use. On game weekends or move-in weekend, parking can be limited. For more information about public parking options, check out the information provided by Iowa City. 

Iowa City Parking


There are several hotel options for parents and families to chose from when visiting their student. On game weekends or during move-in, hotels can be pricey near campus. If possible, families should talk explore options in surrounding areas, like Coralville or, a little bit further, in the Amanas. 

A few options downtown include:


Outdoor Activities

Iowa City is home to over 50 local parks and almost 100 percent of Iowa City residents live within a 1/2 a mile of open spaces. Here are a few ways students and their guests can explore Iowa City's outdoor offerings:

Things to Do

There is always something happening on-campus, whether that is an athletic game, a concert or performance, an art show, or a reading. We encourage families to use the activities calendar to make a plan to take in all Iowa has to offer when they're in town. 

Iowa City is known for their downtown arts, culture, and entertainment events that happen throughout the whole year. A few of those events are highlighted below, but we also encourage you to check out the Iowa City Downtown District website to help you plan events when you come to visit your student.