The Encounter Café radiates warmth to all guests with a peaceful atmosphere, blissful coffee, and satisfying breakfast and lunch fare. Those of you that know me know how much I love this establishment. When I was pregnant with Nicole, The Encounter Café became my weekly spot to relax and read during the time between my OB appointments at UIHC and Maddie’s preschool pick up. The café is operated by Sharon Bethel Mennonite Church in Kalona, Iowa. They use a portion of their profit to benefit charities, and they strive to demonstrate their values of relationship building, care and service to all who visit. This is the type of place you will find people from all walks of life welcomed and enjoying their encounter. The use local ingredients and cater to many different dietary needs. Make sure you try their freshly baked Kalona specialties including a soft pretzel and cinnamon roll! –Megan Pai, Vice President 2019
Preucil’s north campus (location of Music Together and the preschool) is located on the east side of town off of North Dodge Street, right off the I-80 exit. They have a preschool program as well as a seasonal, 45 minute-long once-weekly music program called Music Together. Music Together is recommended for ages 0 to 5 and includes circle play with child and parent - you get a CD of that session's songs and the kids love the singing and movement involved with the class! The teaching style is reflective of their preschool method (more on that next) where children are encouraged to explore and participate however they feel comfortable. For those of us with multiple littles - they are totally cool with baby siblings being in tow. They also have a preschool program based on the Reggio method, which is essentially a philosophy that child, teacher, and environment are equal components of learning. Teachers guide the curriculum around child interests, learn alongside children, and encourage a great deal of creative and outdoor play. They have a huge playground and natural playspace outside and always lots of self-guided art and music time. Stop by and take a tour with them for Music Together or preschool!
-Molly Sherwood, Philanthropy 2019
Last year my son did the Tues/Wed morning program at Parkview Preschool and we had a wonderful experience! Everyone from the front desk to the teachers cares so deeply for those kids and from the moment you walk in you feel welcomed. Our son grew so much academically and socially in his year there. The fun activities he would do or the amazing art projects they do daily were always huge topics at our dinner table. I would recommend this wonderful preschool to anyone who asked and have nothing but amazing things to say.
-Lindsay Norvell, President 2019
InDepth Home Inspections LLC. offers thorough home inspections. Customers can accompany the inspector on the inspection of the house, which is followed by a comprehensive written report. Dennis Paulson has 25+ years in the home building and remodeling industry, and 5+ years as a fire lieutenant. He serves the Greater Iowa City and Corridor area. –Eric Dugdale, Web Manager 2019
My daughter started taking classes at Iowa Gym Nest when she was about 2 years old, we started in the ‘Parent and Me’ class and she has now moved up to the preschool level. Our experience there has been amazing! My daughter looks forward to gymnastics class every week and with how much fun my 8-month-old has watching I’m guessing she will be starting classes as soon as she can walk! Iowa Gym Nest also has a great makeup policy, so if you ever miss a class, or need to change to a different class that week, it is very easy to do so. One of our other favorite things is their lunch bunch; every weekday from 12-1 they have open gym where your kiddos can run around on the mats, play in the foam block pit, or try out the gymnastics equipment (this is especially great in the winter when you are looking for a warm way to burn off some energy)! –Ceric Keck, 2019 Secretary
Have you ever actually enjoyed working out? Yeah, me neither, until I joined Barre3 (located on Melrose next to Maggie's pizza). It is definitely targeted towards women and working out the areas we want to focus on (think butt, thighs, and core). Of course, men are welcome too. It's always a fun class when someone brings their husband who huffs and puffs throughout! Barre technique is based on isometric training - lots of little movements and holding muscles in challenging positions until reaching fatigue. There is always a super motivating and supportive dynamic between the members and from the instructors. At the end of the class, you get to do a guided meditation (the best part). Most participants wear leggings and a flowy shirt - no socks, shoes, or equipment required! And, yes, they have childcare (for up to 6 kids each class, so you have to reserve their spot in advance). IMP swag bags this year include one free class - try it! -Molly Sherwood, Philanthropy 2019
North Liberty’s newest salon! Sister salon to Iowa City’s HABA Salon. An IMP member worked here for many years. Specializing in balayage, effortless hair and microblading. Kevin Murphy and R+Co products. They take good care of their clients, and if you go there you will leave looking and feeling totally fabulous!
–Katelyn Sexton, Former Book Club Chair 2019
We’re huge fans of Chick-fil-A here! Not only do they always have delicious chicken, but the people who work there are friendly, the food is hot and fast, and they are constantly doing giveaways! If you don’t follow them on Facebook and Instagram (@chickfilacoralridge) then you need to ASAP! They do samples of seasonal items, give away free sandwiches all the time, and receipt days are pretty fun too! I personally have dressed up as a cow more than once since moving here to get some of their chicken for free. Also, if you haven’t tried their cookies and cream milkshake you are missing out big time. Go check them out! -Shannon Squires, Social Media 2019
The Iowa Children’s Museum is great for kids of all ages! We personally have year passes to go, and we can’t live without them! They have fun and interesting activities no matter what your kid is into. There are play structures, a grocery store, train tracks, a huge aerodynamics room, several rooms for building or creating art and even a cow you can milk. We have so much fun every time we go! -Shannon Squires, Social Media 2019
I was actually introduced to scratch from the Welcome Brunch at IMP, and I was sold! They are no average cupcakes. The cake is so moist and dense (what I believe a good cupcake should be), and they have such great variety to fit all sweet tooth needs! Scratch is my go to special treat. I have appreciated all the times they have donated to our events! Thank you IMP for introducing me to the world of gourmet cupcakes!
–Lalana Rodgers, Children’s Activities 2019
My oldest did a Summer Camp at Big Picture our very first summer here (3 years ago) and we instantly fell in love. Miss Becky is amazing with the kids and fosters a genuine love of art in the kids. Since that camp my daughter has taken weekly art classes there and made everything from ceramic art sculptures to watercolor paintings and everything in between. She looks forward to her classes and seeing Miss Becky every week. We even did her birthday party there this last year and I would highly recommend that experience! The kids had a blast and Becky does an entire painting with them and all supplies are included. It was a blast for my daughter and her friends!! -Lindsay Norvell, IMP President 2019