Weekend Update: Watermelon Party with the Wolves and Tippecanoe & Bluegrass Too! Festival

Wolfgang Wading in the PondLafayette-West Lafayette 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 or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

It’s a party this Saturday, July 2, at Wolf Park! Bring the family for “Watermelon Party with the Wolves” where each wolf, fox and coyote  gets his or her very own cold watermelon, stuffed with treats such as pig ears, cheese, and dog biscuits. Visitors are invited to watch as each animal enjoys their summery treat. These unique treats provide environmental enrichment, giving our critters something to roll on, stuff their noses in, paw, lick, chew, scent-mark, and defend. Also, don’t miss howling with the wolves in the evening! A great way to celebrate Fourth of July!

Be the first to celebrate Lafayette-West Lafayette’s newest festival, the Tippecanoe & Bluegrass Too! Festival on July 2. From noon to 9pm, great music will be featured at Exploration Acres. The musical line-up includes Cumberland Gap, New Balance, Branded Bluegrass and Blue Mafia. Bring your lawn chairs for an afternoon and evening of fun. Concessions and craft beer will also be available.

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

Save

Save

Thank Goodness for Great Pizza!

IMG_1326Do you ever have a meal where after you think, “Thank goodness for great food!”? Every time we make a visit to Bruno’s Pizza and Big O’s Sports Room in West Lafayette, Indiana, we have this feeling of jubilation! Since 1955, Bruno’s has been serving hand-tossed pizza, famous Bruno dough, fresh garden salads, and house specialties (veal, bratwurst and manicotti just to name a few).

IMG_1332The pizza! Bruno’s pizza is different than any style of pizza I have ever had. It is a medium thickness crust that would be considered more New York Style. Bruno, Orlando (brothers who own the business along with their sister Tina) and their team of master pizza creators, toss the crust into the air, then pat it out onto pizza wood boards. They add a homemade, rich, red pizza sauce, a hearty brick style cheese and all the toppings. (My daughter loves to watch them make the pizzas from their huge glass window as you enter the restaurant.) The pizzas get placed in their massive, hot ovens, and bake together to pizza deliciousness.

You may ask, what makes Bruno’s pizza so special? In my opinion its four things: the crust, the sauce, the cheese and the love that is thrown into it. There is no other pizza around that taste like it and I have traveled throughout the United States and abroad, including Italy.  The love comes from a family that has worked together for over 60 years. Bruno Itin Sr. immigrated to Indiana from his home in Switzerland. Bruno Sr. passed away in 2006, but his two sons and daughter run the restaurant along with 6 granddaughters who all work at the restaurant. It is truly a family business!

Bruno Family!

Bruno Family!

Bruno Dough

Bruno Dough

Bruno’s is a comfort to many from locals to Purdue college students to alumni and visitors. I would say it is a Lafayette-West Lafayette trademark. If a visitor wants authentic Midwest Hospitality, delicious food and a true local experience, he or she needs to visit Bruno’s Restaurant in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Please share with us your favorite pizza place that makes you go, “Thank goodness for great pizza!” 

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 restaurant and others in the area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com

A Mooing Good Time at Fair Oaks Farm

BirthingBarn_1Reconnect with nature, animals and our planet at Fair Oaks Farms, a short drive 45 minutes north of Lafayette-West Lafayette. Need to get away from the big city? Interested in experiencing and learning about where bacon comes from? Head to Fair Oaks to watch the process of cows being milked, piglets being born, and delicious cheese being created.

My husband is a grain and hog farmer. We don’t need to get away from the busy city, but we do love Fair Oaks Farms for all the learning opportunities and fun adventures that await us every visit. Plus, we love the cheese! When you visit Fair Oaks Farms, make sure you don’t miss all the attractions that make it so wonderful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMoo with the cows at the Dairy Adventure! Witness the miracle of life in the Birthing Barn, learn the process of milking, and/or climb to Udder Heights on their giant milk bottle in Mooville. Seeing a baby calf born is so amazing! It is mind boggling to think 80 to 100 are born here every day!

Dairy3

Want to learn how to raise the perfect pig? You can at the Pig Adventure. Learn about past and present pig farming practices, watch pigs being born in the Farrowing Barn, and try the virtual sonogram in the Breeding and Gestation Barn. My husband is especially interested in this adventure because he believes it showcases the modern day raising of pigs to perfection.FEEDING BABY CALF

Farmhouse Meatloaf and Mac N' Cheese

Farmhouse Meatloaf and Mac N’ Cheese

More explorations! Bring the kids to the outdoor adventure known as Mooville, where one can catch some major air on their massive Dairy Air jumping pillow. Take a romantic walk through the Green Gate Garden, full of flowers and produce. Taste the many cheeses produced at Fair Oaks at the Cowfé, serving a variety of fresh sandwiches, soups or salads and ice cream. Best of all, eat a farm fresh meal at the Farmhouse, where you will receive the best customer service in a lovely open air restaurant. I highly recommend the bacon wrapped meatloaf and mac n’ cheese. The serving sizes are huge, so sharing is a great idea!

Fair Oaks Farms is awaiting your visit! Make sure you plan a trip today. For more information about this attraction and others in our area, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Weekend Update: Art in Bloom & Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering

Fiddlers'

Fiddlers’

Lafayette-West Lafayette 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 or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

West Lafayette is alive with color with Saturday, June 25! Art in Bloom is a West Lafayette garden and art tour. As an outgrowth of winning the 2008 America in Bloom contest, the City of West Lafayette offers a beautification month (June), with emphasis on planting colorful annuals, recognizing award-winning landscapes and an innovative garden tour, “Art in Bloom”, which pairs local artists with some of the home landscapes that have received the Beautification Award. The Indiana Bicentennial will be celebrated by plantings in blue and gold and reflected in the art work displayed. Glass artists will be present in each garden on the tour. The garden tour is open to the public at no charge, and will be on Saturday, June 25th from 10 AM until 2 PM.

Art in Bloom

Art in Bloom

Celebrate music all weekend long at the Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering June 24-26. This festival is a celebration of traditional music, food, crafts and continuous activities throughout the weekend. It is located on the grounds of the historical Tippecanoe Battlefield. A few of the acts are the following: The Fretless, The Barefoot Movement, the Kountry Kernals and more!

Fiddlers'

Fiddlers’

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

Out To Lunch Diving Divas Explore Sushi Don – Asian Fusion

sushi-don_25149972745_oYou can’t judge a book by its cover, but some say you can judge a restaurant by the number of cars in the parking lot. Using that method alone, the Dining Divas predict Sushi Don is a sure winner before setting foot inside. If you’ve not eaten there before, we strongly suggest going early for two reasons. First – it gets busy so you’ll want to beat the crowd; second – the menu is huge, you’ll need plenty of time to check out all your choices.

Owner Gumdon Kang (Don for short) started in the food industry as a restaurant manager in Bloomington, Indiana. Soon he wanted his own business, came to Lafayette in 2013 and opened Sushi Don in its current location, 3338 Main Street, Lafayette.

Diana

Diana May sharing her sushi wisdom!

Today guest diva and sushi guide, Diana May, joins us having more experience eating swimmy things like Kay. While deciding what to have for lunch we share a bowl of edamame, blanched and lightly salted. “The dipping sauce, a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chili oil and sesame seeds, made it,” says Jo. “Spicy and lively,” says Bev. “The edamame was nice and crunchy and not overcooked,” adds Diana.

Lunches come with miso and a salad. Margy likes the lightly sweet dressing on the salad and miso on this cold day. To start our lunch we order three appetizers:

Shumai- Japanese style fried shrimp dumplings, 7 PC $6. They may LOOK like a tater tot but they’re way better with shrimp and lots of green onion.

Gyoza fried vegetable dumplings, 6 PC $5. The dumplings are a nice addition to the meal for our vegetarian friends.

Seafood shunner - eel

Seafood shunner – eel

Kay suggests a Sashimi Sampler, 9 slices of 3 kinds of fresh fish including salmon and tuna for $14. Gorgeous! Served on a bed of julienned daikon radish noodles, the dish is really fresh! The white tuna is incredible. Delicious, yummy, nice texture and no fish taste or smell. Carb free.

As lunch gets underway, Kay orders eel tempura – $10. Beautiful presentation, crispy and flavorful. Even Bev tries it! Sauces and very finely julienned vegetables make it a delight to see and taste!

Diana decides on haemul hot stone – $13.  Diana is happy with the spicy seafood mix, of octopus, mussels, shrimp, vegetables, rice and egg in a sizzling hot stone bowl. When they say spicy, they mean spicy but it’s not over the top. Very edible.

Jap Che Set

Jap Che Set

Bev chooses jap che set – $8.  Jap che is stir-fried glass potato noodles with your choice of topping and vegetables with Don’s sweet soy sauce. Toppings include bulgogi (marinated beef), pork, chicken, seafood, vegetable, kimchi (fermented cabbage), kimchi & bulgogi plus one maki (a type of sushi roll that includes toasted seaweed nori rolled around vinegar-flavored rice). Bev picks bulgogi and an avocado maki. The bulgogi is tasty and familiar. Warm noodles work in any country!

Bev points out the amount of prep work that must happen before the restaurant opens each day. Incredible! Our server Marilyn has worked at Sushi Don for two years. She explains that most of the prep work is done by hand and the chefs normally come in at 9am, two hours early but on Tuesdays and Thursdays they are in by 7am because those are the busiest days.

The menu has a list they call “Don’s special roll” which is two pages long! The well being – $9 is a delightful vegetarian option, with avocado, cucumber, Japanese pickle, carrot, cabbage, lettuce with Don’s orange ginger dipping sauce. The sauce is sweet and we REALLY like it. We share the beautifully prepared roll with its minced vegetables, along with our entrees.

Sushi rolls

Sushi rolls

Margy orders from the pick 2 maki (rolls) set for $8. From the nine options, asparagus tempura and shitaki maki win. The asparagus tempura has tiny, tender spears fried in tempura batter and then put in a sushi roll. The asparagus inside the roll is still crunchy, very fresh. Shitaki maki, aside from being really fun to say, tastes very mushroomy (yes, that is a word). Both choices are a hit!

Seaweed and avocado salad

Seaweed and avocado salad

Jo opts for the Seaweed and avocado salad. $5. Very fresh and not what she was expecting.  The fresh seaweed, avocado, sesame seeds and a light dressing make a fresh and tasty salad. Something you might expect on a beach at a resort.

Need more to convince you to try Sushi Don? Consider this … every day has a 30% off dine-in only special; daily lunch specials from 11-4pm are good on both dine-in and take-out orders; and on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, sushi rolls are 50% off. And if you need someone to help you navigate the menu, we highly recommend Diana!!

Kay Conner, photographer, seafood superstar
Margy Deverall, author of Lafayette articles, dedicated vegetarian
Beverly Shaw, author of West Lafayette articles, bring on the beef (or chicken or pork)
Jo Wade, founder of this food blog, very veggie

Summer Fun Contest 2016 Details!

Columbian Park

Columbian Park

Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette is excited to announce our “Summer Fun Contest 2016″ to our two great cities. The competition started on Monday, June 13, 2016 and we want to share why each business that has donated to these packages is so fabulous!

One great winner will win the following package worth over $500!

  • Open, airy and comfortable—you’re guaranteed a great night’s sleep in one of Hilton Garden Inn’s guest rooms
  • Have you ever heard the saying “Meet you at Arni’s!” Have you heard this saying before? It is something that can be heard at least once a week at Social Media Specialist, Sara’s home, where she and her family enjoy thin crust pizza, Arni’s salads, garlic bread and more!
  • Bruno’s not only has delicious pizza, but order their fried shrimp and/or catfish entrees and you will leave completely satisfied. In addition, their Swiss menu and decor will make your dinner very memorable.
  • This year, Triple XXX Family Restaurant welcomes Ashley Burkhardt as their first female athlete to have a menu item: the Ashley Burkhardt Chicken and Biscuits.
  • Give your taste buds an experience like never before at Kathy’s Kandies with homemade treats such as: gourmet popcorn, scrumptious truffles, and fluffy pastries!
  • Looking for great burgers, drinks, onion rings and more?  Head to Spurlock’s, located downtown Lafayette.
  • One of Lafayette’s newest restaurants located directly across from our courthouse is Digby’s Pub & Patio, serving beef and pork locally sourced and seasonal produce bought locally at the Lafayette Farmers Market.
  • Where can you find traditional Irish pub fare in a lively, tavern setting in Lafayette-West Lafayette? Nine Irish Brothers
  • Specialty lattes, coffee, crepes and more at Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co.!  Their crème brûlée coffee is a favorite!
  • Fiber / fabric wall art, fine porcelain & stoneware pottery, hand-made ‘Green Gifts’ and much, much more can be purchased a Grateful Heart Gallery & Gifts where 5 area residents present their craft.
  • Test your mini golf skills at Monster Mini Golf: 18-holes of surprises, twists, and turns! What’s the catch? It’s all in the dark with neon monsters around every corner!
  • Have you ever come face-to-face with a wolf? Wolf Park gives you the extraordinary opportunity of meeting numerous wolves, coyotes, and foxes; each have their very own story and background to share!

    Columbian Park Zoo

    Columbian Park Zoo

  • Where can you find a billiards room, arcade games, cosmic-bowling, full service snack bar, sports bar, and banquet facilities? Mike Aulby’s Arrowhead Bowl
  • Prophetstown State Park is the newest state park in Indiana, and is rich in American history.  Check out the restored native habitats at Prophetstown, such as wetlands, wet slopes called fens, prairie and open woodlands along with discovering the 1920′s farmstead.
  • Grab an inner-tube and laze your way through Cattail Crik at Tropicanoe Cove!

Go to www.homeofpurdueblog.com to sign up! Entries will be accepted through Monday, June 27. The winner will be announced via social media after they have been notified. And stay tuned to our next social media contest coming in August – the theme is nature adventure.

Save

Weekend Update: TASTE of Tippecanoe

TASTE of Tippecanoe 2015

TASTE of Tippecanoe 2015

Lafayette-West Lafayette 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 or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

It’s back for it’s 35th year; the TASTE of Tippecanoe! Downtown Lafayette and the Depot Plaza come alive with food, music, fireworks and fun on Saturday, June 18.  This special festival features local food & drink vendors, live music, live art, and the biggest booms around!! Check out all the wonderful photos form year’s past. If you have any fabulous photos you want to share, please email serickson@homeofpurdue.com.

TASTE of Tippecanoe 2015 night crowdTASTE of Tippecanoe 2015 day crowdFireworksbyDave Schmidt2015For more information about this event and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Free & Almost Free Summer Kid Friendly Activities

Columbian Park Fun!

Columbian Park Fun!

Summer! My absolute favorite time of the year! The warm weather, bright sunshine and no school! Check out all the free and almost free kid friendly activities in the Lafayette- West Lafayette area!

Columbian Park The zoo is hands down the coolest part. Running away from the crazy baby goats to letting a beautiful butterfly land on you, the zoo has so many activities than you can do more than once. You can’t find a much better playground than the one at Columbian Park. There are playgrounds to fit all ages. Walking around the lagoon and chasing the birds through the rest of the park is fun. Kiddo rides and a train are also available!

Tropicanoe CoveCheapest and yet most fun you can get in one little waterpark. A lazy river, swimming pool, one big slide, two little slides and a lily pad obstacle course are just a handful of things to do at the waterpark. I have spent hours there with my little sister. Pack a lunch and don’t forget to sunscreen up!

The Farm at Prophetstown – A 1920’s working farm and recreated home are ready to be explored. The only charge is to get into the State Park, however you can get a pass to gain access into all of Indiana’s state parks. The home is hands-on to see how life was almost 100 years ago. The park itself is home to trails, playgrounds and lots of nature. Also, Prophetstown State Park is home to another water park with pools, slides, splash stations and a winding lazy river. From fishing to hiking to camping, all of Indiana’s state parks are beautiful.

Prophetstown State Park

Prophetstown State Park

The Celery Bog Nature Area This was formerly the home of a vegetable farm. Crawling with nature and looking not like your average park, the Celery Bog can be wandered for hours before you will see all 95 acres of land. Pack a lunch and bring some water with you out to explore and search for the over 120 species of wildlife.

Imagination Station- Open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Imagination Station is a volunteer run center that has so many hands on activities. For less than $4.00 per kid, children can use their imagination and learn how things work.

Radishes 2014 FM Laf Easter MktFarmers Markets– Our area has three farmers markets happening all on different days of the week. Pick up fruits and vegetables from the market and make a healthy dinner together; its both productive and hands on for the kids.

Purdue University Campus is a beautiful place to take a fountain run in the summer time! Try and see how many fountains you can play in! Ride your bikes through campus and try to imagine what classes you would be taking in each building!

Geocaching– Download the app Geocaching for a scavenger hunt that extends across the entire United States. Follow the app’s compass to find an actual hidden object. Purdue’s campus is a great place to do this, as you can walk around and not have to cross many roads.

Rainy Days- Head to Monster Mini Golf, Elite Air Trampoline Park, Climb Lafayette, and local movie theaters. All have admission fees charged, but can be done in moderation!

Tippecanoe County Libraries–  Reading to Cats and Dogs, preschool story times, summer reading series and many other free activities are offered all summer long. Check out the library’s website for details on free programing.

There are many things in the Lafayette-West Lafayette area to do in the summer time! Check out www.HomeofPurdue.com for a full calendar of events.

Rachel, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern, shares this blog.

Weekend Update: 4th Annual River City Grapes & Hops Fest and Lafayette Soap Box Derby

Soap Box Derby

Soap Box Derby

Lafayette-West Lafayette 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 or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

The Tippecanoe County Historical Association will be hosting the 4th Annual River City Grapes & Hops Fest on Saturday, June 11. This event will be held on 5th Street, between Main and Columbia Streets, in downtown Lafayette, from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample various wines and beers from local and regional vendors and purchase from these vendors, as well. In addition the Knickerbocker Saloon will provide musical entertainment throughout the evening. Food will be available for purchase from Sovereign Catering.

phone camera 069It’s Soap Box Derby time in West Lafayette, this Saturday, June 11. The race begins at 8am.  Watch as youth compete to become Soap Box Derby champions! The Lafayette Soap Box Derby races have four divisions:  Stock, Super Stock, Masters and Challenger. The Derby has a long history of building more than racers.  It has a legend of building character, friendships and the desire to achieve. They believe that kids involved with their program should be taught the value of hard work and good sportsmanship.

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