Be Lazy this Labor Day Weekend!

Lazy River at Tropicanoe Cove

Lazy River at Tropicanoe Cove

Happy Labor Day Weekend! If you are as stunned as we are that it is already Labor Day weekend, please reply to this blog and share with us what has happened to summer? We want to know! Ha! The summer here in Lafayette-West Lafayette has been a fun one, yet it seems as though each year speeds by quicker than the last. If only we could freeze time! On that note, I thought it would be fun to put a list of lazy activities that will hopefully make time go a bit slower and allow you to really relax and enjoy everything Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, has to offer!  Enjoy!

What is more relaxing than floating on a lazy river? Two of our area outdoor water parks, Prophetstown State Park Aquatic Center and Tropicanoe Cove at Columbian Park, both feature lazy rivers that are begging for people to be lazy and float through them! All you have to do is grab an inner tube, walk in the water, and float. All your worries seem to disappear as the sun shines, the water flows and all one hears is laughter and happiness around.

opentableMaybe water parks aren’t your thing? No problem! We have a plethora of local parks where you can grab a book, pack a lunch and pick the perfect tree to sit under and read the afternoon away. Personally, I have a little one year old, and since having her I have to share reading has become a challenge with her running this way and that! But the idea of picking out my favorite novel and reading all afternoon sounds amazing! This most likely will not happen for a few years until she is a bit older, but it doesn’t mean we can’t experience this as a family. We can pick out her favorite books as she loves to read, and can enjoy the day all together! Happy Hollow Park is right in our backyard and a picnic, an hour of reading and a walk in its wooded trails will be a fun, family experience.

 

Shopping!

Shopping!

Shopping! This could be a controversial topic as to whether this is a lazy activity or not. I think shopping when you have a ton of gifts you have to buy and are on a time crunch can be a bit unnerving. But to just take a day and walk up and down Main Street in Lafayette, just for the fun of it with no shopping agenda in mind, is fun! Recently, I took a friend and we did this. We caroused the shops, ate at one of my local, favorite French restaurants, Bistro 501, and even bought a few gifts for birthdays coming up this fall. I love finding the perfect gift months early so I do not have to last minute scramble trying to find a present. In some ways I am relieving future stress by this relaxing, lazy day of shopping!

We hope this Labor Day weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana; you truly can rest, relax and find happiness. For more information about our area please visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Weekend Update: Purdue Boilermakers take on Western Michigan! Boiler Up!

464Purdue Football is back! We have been waiting all summer long for this exciting weekend of tailgating, pep rallies, Purdue spirit, and of course the GAME! Check out our Purdue Football Weekend Update! Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Boiler Up! This Friday, August 29, from 12-3pm (times may vary) take a ride on the Boilermaker Special! Jump aboard and enjoy the ride around campus as the train maneuvers and honks throughout our beautiful campus! Pick-ups will be in front of Stewart Center and run every 15 minutes. Look for the marquee!

Saturday, August 30, is game day! From 9-12pm bring the whole family to take part in family-friendly games, inflatables, team appearances and live music at the Boilermaker Crossing. Cheer and shout at the pre-game Purdue pep rally, titled 211º featuring the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band, second-year head football coach Darrell Hazell and the Boilermaker football players in Mackey Arena at 9:45am.

12pm marks the kick-off for the 2014 season! Our Purdue football team is taking on Western Michigan. This game will showcase all the work and training the players have been so ruthlessly striving for. Boilermaker fan, come out and show your Purdue spirit in gold and black and cheer our players onto victory!

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Dine at Red Seven, Shop at Von’s & Juniper and more!

DSC00794This coming week marks a full year since I made my move up here to West Lafayette from southern Indiana. I have learned so much about the area in such a short amount of time and have truly made myself at home. I’ve hit the majority of the main attractions and visited many parks; however, I have yet to explore the vast amount of local restaurants and shops.

Although I haven’t been to many restaurants, I think I started out my tasting adventure in just the right spot, the Red Seven Bar & Grill. I had always passed by here and thought to myself how nice and trendy it looked, and my expectations were certainly met. I ventured in to meet a welcoming hostess who guided Sara and I to a table. Once I sat down, I was really able to look around at the design of the building. It’s like each section has their very own vibe to it. The area we sat in had an upbeat feel with vibrant artwork, hanging colorful lights, and open space. When I headed to the next section, there was a grand bookcase that covered two walls, and it sat directly by the windows facing Riehle Plaza. It was a very cozy atmosphere. Then the other side of the restaurant featured a bar, colored stain glass, and a view of downtown Lafayette with a lively ambiance. With this fabulous location and contemporary design, the spirited personality of downtown Lafayette is expressed through this single restaurant.

Honey

Honey Ancho Glazed Chicken Sandwich and Fries

The architecture of the building was astounding, but the most important part of course is the food, which was even better! The menu featured a good variety of foods to choose from. It had everything from salads, pastas, pizzas, and about every type of meat you can imagine.  It is a good source of just all-around good American food and more! I personally ordered the Honey Ancho Glazed Chicken Sandwich with a side of french fries and caesar salad. My salad came out first, and it was an excellent way to start out my meal and a wonderful first impression. Sara had mentioned that DSC00788it was the best caesar salad she has ever had, and she was not exaggerating! The cheese and dressing they used were absolutely superb! It was just the right portion and made me anxious to taste the rest of the food that was coming, and my Honey Ancho Glazed Chicken sandwich did not disappoint. The sandwich includes grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, bacon and housemade honey ancho chili glaze. The sauce on the sandwich was one of a kind. There was a kick of spice to it as well as a sweet taste that mixed together for the perfect combination. The bacon added a nice crispy texture to top it all off. And of course, no American meal is complete without delicious french fries. I must also say that along with the excellent food and ambiance, the service is very hospitable.

Beautiful dress from Juniper

Beautiful dress from Juniper

Downtown Lafayette shopping is another unique aspect of the town that I have yet to experience.  I love clothing stores, candy shops, home décor stores, and cute, cozy coffee shops that are all featured downtown. I will definitely be making my way over there, but there are a few wonderful shops I’ve had the pleasure of shopping at, Von’s and Juniper. Von’s is a fantastic store that incorporates so many different crafty and creative items. In one single strip mall, Von’s has a dough shop, bookstore, boutique clothing store, and a huge collection of beads (the largest collection in the Midwest)! My favorite parts of the store are the book and clothing sections. They carry a range of books from classics to the newest best sellers. It’s an excellent store to discover a new read for great prices. The clothing section is very beautiful. The clothes are all classy, elegant, and fashionable. These are clothing items that you certainly cannot find in any ole store or shopping mall. You can find the perfect style that fits you best with these original designs.

Juniper features similar clothing types with a variety of name brand clothing as well as new hip lines that are on the rise. The workers there are extremely nice who are always willing to lend a hand and even give you an opinion on different styles. Every woman knows how important that second opinion is when it comes to shopping for a new wardrobe, so why not get the advice from women who know retail best?! You have to keep your eye out for their amazing sales as well! You can really snag some stylish clothing for great prices. Both Von’s and Juniper are in great locations. You can grab a new read from Von’s and head to Greyhouse Coffee across the street to begin your book with a nice cup of coffee, and once you find a chic new outfit at Juniper, you can head over to Starbucks for coffee or the Wabash Landing movie theater to show off your newest purchase.

The amounts of new experiences in the Lafayette area seem endless. There is always something new to try, which always leaves me wanting to explore more! I have started my restaurant and shopping adventures on the right foot by discovering a few great finds. I am excited to venture further and see what else the area has to offer!

Kaley, Visitor Information Specialist and Purdue Student shared this blog.

Loads of Fun in Lafayette-West Lafayette – August 22-24, 2014

Uptown Jazz & Blues Festival

Uptown Jazz & Blues Festival

Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana. This week we are giving a snapshot of all the wonderful events taking place!

  • Chris MacDonald’s Memories of Elvis in Concert at the Tippecanoe Amphitheater on Friday, August 22.
  • Join everyone as we celebrate the beginning of another season of Boilermaker football at the Purdue Football Kickoff Luncheon on Friday, August 22.
  • Taste an assortment of ales and Lagers from 30 Indiana breweries at Beers Across the Wabash on Saturday, August 23.
  • Three stages of continuous live jazz and blues music, dancing, food, beer and wine. Where? Uptown Jazz and Blues Festival on Saturday, August 23.
  • On Saturday, August 23, watch the current team take on Purdue Volleyball greats of the past in the annual Alumni Volleyball Game.
  • Join in a well organized and supported bicycle ride (35, 50, 72 or 108 miles) through some of the most beautiful parts of Tippecanoe, Fountain and Warren counties on Saturday, August 23, during the Wabash River Ride.
  • Come out & listen to the Purdue Band before they wrap up their summer season and begin the school year during the Purdue Band Camp Finale Concert on Saturday, August 23.
  • Welcome Purdue Freshman! For 7 days Purdue incoming freshman will be getting acquainted with our two great cities during Boiler Gold Rush!
Purdue Campus Baskets and Walk

Purdue Campus Baskets and Walk

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

10 Reasons I Love Urban Swirl

  1. Cheerful Service.  I was impressed to be greeted by a just-perky-enough young woman in a purple Urban Swirl shirt who asked if it was my first time to Urban Swirl to which I replied with a just-perky-enough, “yes.”  She was very helpful explaining the system and walking me through the steps. She then sent me on my journey toward dessert bliss.
  2. It’s my own creation.  As Just-Perky-Enough explained, Urban Swirl is a self-serve frozen yogurt bar, so I get to put the soft serve frozen yogurt in the cup myself.  That means I get to fill that thing up to the rim and keep going.  I nearly had a close encounter of the fourth kind before I even made it to the topping bar.
  3. No sugar? No lactose? No fat? No problem.  Urban Swirl tries to accommodate everyone every day of the week.  With 21 flavors to chose from taste buds aren’t a problem but what about dietary restrictions?  If you are lactose intolerant, they have a non-dairy option available.  Are you diabetic or just watching your sugar?  Their “No Sugar Added” options are scrumptious!  I had the cheesecake and then topped it off with a beautiful selection of their always fresh and very carb-friendly strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.   Other options available include:  low calories, non-fat, and low fat options.  For those of you who want to dive right into the deep end of indulgence, they offer a premium selection as well.  Easy and convenient flavor labels provide all nutritional information so you can self-navigate without fear.
  4. Seemingly endless toppings.  So we all love and have come to expect the traditional decadence of sauces like marshmallow cream, golden caramel and steamy hot fudge, but what happens to your taste buds when I start talking about drizzling your creamy delicacy with gleaming honey, snow white chocolate or a smathering of the “I’m pretty sure the streets of Heaven will be lined with this stuff” Nutella?  Then again, we could move ahead to the next step of toppings and be safe with something along the lines of pecans, peanuts, m&m’s or sprinkles and call it a day, right?  Yes of course, but why would we do that when we could shimmy closer to the edge of the unexpected by throwing Captain Crunch on top?  But Urban Swirl still didn’t think that was enough. No!  They just ran, full force off the cliff into the realm of ridiculously wonderful with the fruity little mouth explosion called the   Boba.  I can’t say any more.  You simply must have it for yourself.  It’s happiness dancing around in your mouth.
  5. Waiting?!?  There’s no waiting in Froyo!!!  As absurd as it was to Tom Hanks for a girl to cry in baseball, even that seems more logical than standing in line and waiting as your frozen yogurt melts.  Not at Urban Swirl.  Their double-sided (yes, I said DOUBLE-sided) topping bar gives everyone plenty of room to load up on sweet confections to perfect their chilly works of art, all while keeping traffic flowing during the busy season.  Pure genius!
  6. PIES!  Who doesn’t like pie?  Pies like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Oreo Blast, Birthday Cake Surprise and even Rasberry Cheesecake, made with No Sugar Added Cheesecake Yogurt
  7. Get Yo Swirl On!  Okay, I know it’s kind of shameless but I think that’s a pretty cool slogan.  I had to do it.
  8. Location!
  9. Location!
  10. Location! Living in West Lafayette is a great thing.  I love it, but sometimes when you have a hankerin’ for something specific you are going to have to get creative. I completely LOVE not having to fight throngs of hungry college students (as much as we all love them) or pop into Lafayette when I’m looking for a quick frozen treat.  Having another option in my neck of the woods is awesome, so join me and Get Yo Swirl On!

Urban Swirl is located in Market West Shopping Center at 2060 US 52 West, Suite S. in West Lafayette. Amanda Gordon, Sports Marketing & Recreation Manager, shared this blog.

Welcome Freshman to Boiler Gold Rush!

Campus Baskets and Walk

Campus Baskets and Walk

Is it just me or has this summer flown by?! I feel as if the older we get, the faster time seems to go.  Maybe it is because life becomes more entertaining as the years go by, and you know the saying “time flies when you’re having fun!” As the summer winds down, I am now preparing for the upcoming school year. As a sophomore now at Purdue University, I can definitely say that after just one year of college, I have grown and learned a lot. I am now another year older and another year wiser; however, I will forever carry with me my experiences from day one as a boilermaker.

 

Boilermaker!

Boilermaker!

Boiler Gold Rush is where my new chapter in life began. It is quite intimidating waking up that first day without your family and heading out to meet the other fellow freshman who are equally as nervous as you, but the nerves almost instantly disappeared once I was placed into my group. We were all strangers, yet all excited to meet new people. Each group has a team leader, and every single one of them are absolutely wonderful people! They are so full of energy, passionate about Purdue, and a huge helping hand. They are basically your first friends at Purdue, along with your group. The entire week features all new, fun activities for each day. You experience everything from what it means to be a true Boilermaker even down to learning new dance moves, chants, and games. The hype never dies down, and they certainly know how to wear you out, but the experience is irreplaceable. You also get the chance to break off into your majors to meet people outside of your group and become familiar with faces that you will soon see in the classrooms.   After a week of traveling with your clan from sunrise to way past sundown, you become a family. I am still good friends with the majority of my group to this day, and I’m very thankful I was able to meet such great people through the amazing opportunities at BGR.  I can honestly say that Boiler Gold Rush set a perfect precedent and really prepared me for the following months heading into my freshman year.

Triple XXX Burgers!

Triple XXX Burgers!

Attention incoming freshman: I have advice for you! When it comes to those who are directionally challenged like me, hope is not lost while walking around campus and neither will you! Thankfully, BGR is a huge walking escapade throughout every bend and turn of the Purdue campus.  It gets you extremely familiar with the area. However, there are still times to this day where I don’t know how to get to certain buildings. My best recommendation is to download the Purdue app for your smart phone. It features a map that uses GPS to show exactly where you are, your Purdue email, the menus for the dining courts, bus routes, and even what labs are vacant and available for use around campus. It is a major resource that I continuously use. Another piece of advice is to ATTEND YOUR CLASSES! I know college is more flexible about attendance than high school; however, class is vital time that should not be missed. Just a one-day absence of class can put you behind quite a bit. College is a fast paced learning style, and you have to be on your A-game to keep up. Finally, EXPERIENCE the college life instead of just getting by through the academic side of it. Join groups out of the +200 choices that Purdue offers, work out at the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center, grab a coffee at LavAzza, study outside by the fountains and wildlife, grab lunch at the Purdue Memorial Union, attend Purdue festivities, eat a Duane Purvis All-American peanut butter burger at Triple XXX, grab a Den Pop at the Den, and the list continues. There are never ending ways to get involved as well as learn more about yourself through the simple things in life.

Wotan

Wotan

The fun doesn’t stop outside of campus; I challenge you all to venture out into the Greater Lafayette area. Historical features, exciting downtown life, and beautiful nature are all located right next door to Purdue in Lafayette and Battle Ground. You can get in touch with your nature side by traveling to the variety of parks and trails in both Lafayette and West Lafayette. Refresh your historical memory by touring the Tippecanoe Battlefield and museum. You can even get an up-close encounter with wolves at Wolf Park. There are many adventures waiting to be taken outside of Purdue’s walls as well as within.

The short years spent at Purdue will be treasured as some of my all-time favorite memories. In the short time I have already been here, I’ve learned so much about the area, academics, others, and even myself.  Sometimes the smallest joys and the simple things lead you to exactly where you need to be. Enjoy these times now by exploring new activities, meeting new people, and pushing your boundaries because these times don’t last forever, and we surely won’t get it back. There is no better feeling than that of the Boilermaker life!

Visitor Information Specialist, Kaley, shared this blog.

Weekend Update: Fabulous Motown Revue & Indiana Bacon Festival

Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

The Tippecanoe Amphitheater is coming alive this summer with live musical bands jamming the night away! This Friday, August 15, enjoy the show, Fabulous Motown Revue, featuring many players who were actually “walkin’ the walk and talkin’ the talk” in the heart of the 60′s Motown Movement. That’s the secret to their success. Performing together for over 25 years, many members of The Fabulous Motown Revue have played with The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Mary Wilson, The Temptations, and many other Motown favorites.

In nearby Carroll County, enjoy all the wonderful flavors of bacon at the inaugural Indiana Bacon Festival presented by Indiana Kitchen Bacon. The event will be held on the square in Delphi, Indiana, and will feature Indiana Kitchen bacon and brew’s from local breweries. Enjoy live music, a cook-off, and MORE! A Kid Zone will run 11 a.m.-3:00 p.m. with games and activities just for kids, including a “Treasure Hunt”, “Make and Take Mud Pudding”, face painting, and kids music with DJ Bill Shidler. Best of all is the “Bacon-Eating Contest”, sponsored by the Delphi Rotary Club will begin at 6:30 p.m. We love bacon here in Indiana and we are so excited to have the first ever Indiana Bacon Festival in our backyard!

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Congrats to our Girlfriends’ Getaway 2014 Winner!

We have the winner of our 2014 “Girlfriends’ Getaway” Contest worth over $590! Congratulations to Sarah H. from West Lafayette, Indiana! She shares, “Oh my goodness! I’m SO excited!!!!! My best friend lives in Michigan, but we don’t get to see each other very often. I can’t wait to get to spend some girl time together. I know our husbands won’t mind spending quality time with the kiddos so we can get away. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

Sarah answered this question correctly and was picked at random: The question was:

What is the date for the next Gallery Walk in 2014 taking place in Lafayette, Indiana?

ANSWER: September 19, 2014

Thanks to all who participated in this latest contest! Stay tuned for our next big contest/package we will be hosting later this fall that will have a surprise theme!

Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art offers History, Art & More

Davis Our House this oneHappening Now! Right now, the talk around town is about the area’s newest attraction, Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art, that is a mixture of art and history. This attraction draws everyone from art aficionados to history buffs in one setting. The pure splendor of this mansion, that is located directly south of downtown Lafayette has visitors acclaiming its beauty with awe and excitement.

This past spring I visited Haan Mansion for the first time for a special event/tour. I truthfully had no idea where I was going but I had it on my schedule and Google mapped how to get there. Upon driving up the street where it is located, I was shocked at its massive size and brilliance. It was a rainy, crummy day to be out, but it shone bright in its brilliance. The long walkway up to the massive front door allowed me time to take in the beautiful neighborhood and really get a great look at the mansion.

Haan Mansion board meeting 1Upon walking in, the owners, Ellie and Bob Haan, greeted me along with the other tour visitors. The first thing I did was look up at the beautiful chandelier and then straight ahead into the Great Hall, which is the vocal point of the mansion. This is where a huge dining room table sits with another ginormous chandelier hung overhead and a beautiful staircase and an open air circular second floor landing. Many rooms veer off of this room. Everywhere one looks there are paintings, antique furniture and pottery. The mansion has three above ground floors and a full basement totaling 15,000 square feet. It also includes seven fireplaces and 4 1/2 baths. We toured the first two floors and there wasn’t one empty space!

Vase is by Paul Soldner

Vase is by Paul Soldner

All the walls are filed with art! Over the years the Haan’s have amassed a huge collection of paintings by the most important artists that painted in Indiana. Specializing in major oils that best represent the work of an artist, over 100 artists are represented in the collection. As with any museum, not all of the paintings can be hung at the same time, and the most important works are selected for display. There are over 100 paintings hung at any one time. All of the paintings in the mansion are painted by Indiana artists, except the western art by Martin Grelle that the Haan’s fell in love with on a trip to Phoenix.

History buffs, check this out! The Mansion was originally the State of Connecticut building at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Connecticut chose architect Edward T. Hapgood to design the building. The state wanted their pavilion to represent a country gentleman’s home, and the architect patterned the building after the 1820 Sigourney Mansion in Hartford. Many components were taken from the 1760 Hubbard-Slater Mansion in Norwich including the front entryway, various interior columns, and door capitals. The mansion was designed and built to be moved after the World’s Fair. It was dismantled and moved to Lafayette, Indiana, immediately after the Fair by Mr. and Mrs.William Potter and became their personal residence, until it was sold in later years.

One of the unique features of this museum is the Haan family still lives here. Bob and Ellie have opened it for special weekends and events and/or group tours to share it with those lucky enough to visit! As we toured the space one question was how do they keep it so clean, especially with tours and living in it.  There is not a speck of dust in the whole place, which is amazing! They shared they have a housekeeper who comes every week or two to dust. Impressive!

Holiday Tour! Perfect time to bring the children to check out all the toys!

Holiday Tour! Perfect time to bring the children to check out all the toys!

This fall the Haan Mansion is featuring some specialty tours. Check out their website, http://haanmuseum.org, to learn about their Ceramics Celebration and Holiday Tours. Also, unbeknownst to many, there is a highly rated mountain bike trail on the grounds. Will discoveries ever cease!!

Whether you are looking for delicious dining, interesting attractions and shops, enticing events or home away from home lodging—a getaway to Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, is sure to satisfy. For more information about this museum and others in the area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com

Weekend Update: Mosey Down Main Street & Water Walking at Prophetstown State Park

Prophetstown State Park Aquatic Center

Prophetstown State Park Aquatic Center

Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Where can you find three stages of music, outdoor food, beer, and wine sales as well as street performers, sidewalk chalk and hand made hula hoops, drum circles and DJ’s, belly dancers, and balloon animals? Mosey Down Main Street is where! This Saturday, August 9, our local artistic community presents this fun, FREE event for visitors and locals to enjoy. Head downtown for all the special entertainment!

Looking for an outdoor, interactive activity this weekend? Get your exercise in a cool pool with water walking at the Prophetstown State Park Aquatic Center this Saturday, August 9. Enjoy walking through the lazy river, which is 36 inches deep, ideal for low-impact, resistance walking. (Please note: participants must be 13 years or older.) It is a great way to work off some calories while enjoying the beautiful prairie grasses and flowers! The pool is only open for one more month, so make sure you head there soon!

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.