Halloween Happenings 2014!

costumesScarecrows, a masquerade, Operation Trick or Treat and more! Halloween this year in Lafayette-West Lafayette looks to be an exciting one! The official Trick-or-Treating night for Lafayette and West Lafayette is Halloween night, October 31. Lafayette Trick-or-Treating hours are 6-8pm and West Lafayette has no set hours. Check out the spooky and scary events taking place this Halloween in celebration of this haunted holiday:

pumpkinTo learn more about these Halloween special events and check dates and times visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Weekend Update: Boo at the Zoo & Prophetstown State Park Festival

(Scarecrow from past Trail of Scarecrows at Prophetstown State Park)

(Scarecrow from past Trail of Scarecrows at Prophetstown State Park)

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.

It’s back and better than ever this Halloween; Boo at the Zoo! This “hauntingly-friendly” event is perfect for your pre-school and elementary school-aged children. The event features a nightly kids costume contest, fun games, encounters with Columbian Park Zoo’s Animal Ambassadors, photo keepsake opportunities, and the Enchanted Train Ride. Enjoy a night of delights, which includes live entertainment and the Columbian Park Kiddie Rides. Please note this special event takes place October 22-24!

Fun fall festivities are taking place this weekend at Prophetstown State Park. Head to the park on October 24-26 to enjoy all the Halloween and fall events. Dress up and go trick-or-treating, use your creative talents to enter to win the campsite decorating contests, take a hike to see the scary, funny and unique scarecrows along the trail, take a hayride through the prairie, or take a step back in time at the Native American village to enjoy a harvest celebration.  This weekend is sure to be a deliciously scary good time!

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

US Travel – Travel Effect

Samara

Samara

Have you heard of the recent research by US Travel called Travel Effects? It is research that shows the positive effects of what traveling does for you personally. It talks about overwhelmed Americans not using all their paid time off and not recognizing the importance of relaxation or that taking a break makes them better employees. In addition, this study proves vacationing is a great relationship and family builder.  There are so many benefits beyond the economic benefits that Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette staff often speak of. Travel impacts our community in wonderful ways. The feeling that visitors get from visiting our attractions, events, friends and relatives reflects well on our community while creating an environment of positive economic growth.

Wotan with the Sun Behind his HeadMassachusetts visitors to Wolf Park, Ken & Rose Laytin stated, “Our visit was very educational and lots of fun. Your work, knowledge and dedication to these magnificent animals was just amazing…already wowing friends and family with the shots we went home with.”

A guest to the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon from Cincinnati, OH brought her granddaughter to the Feast and the granddaughter said she likes it better than Disneyland.

A Trip Advisor review of Tippecanoe Battlefield gave them 5 out of 5 stars – “Amazing history near Purdue University, after taking the son back to Purdue University, finally took time to visit the Tippecanoe Battle site and Museum. Such a great historical site and also a scenic drive along the great Wabash River. Allow some time to see all the unique displays about the battle and the times that it occurred in. If you like vintage firearms, the Museum has a great collection.”

Feast of the Hunters' Moon

Feast of the Hunters’ Moon

Shane Weist, General Manager of Coyote Crossing Golf Course, explains that 15% of their business comes from out of town guests. He states, “Although local consumers are essential to our business, we rely heavily on visitors to the area to frequent the facility. We work hard to attract out of town guests and are sure to offer them an experience that encourages them to return. Many of our larger non-local groups schedule a visit each year and typically grow as they share their experience at Coyote Crossing.”

Coyote Crossing

Coyote Crossing

Janet Wedekind from Sonoma, CA shared about SAMARA, our West Lafayette Frank Lloyd Wright home, “Just wanted to thank you for a FABULOUS Field Session!!! It was absolutely WONDERFUL! SAMARA is a treasure and I am so glad that you shared it with us…”

While Lafayette-West Lafayette doesn’t have the oceans, mountains or multimillion-dollar theme parks, we do have wonderful attractions, events and a variety of things to do and appreciate. They bring us pride and notoriety for how well they are presented, designed or interpreted, bringing the community businesses and new residents. Visitor spending adds to the health of our community and not only helps keep but also adds to the variety of restaurants, shops and hotels. At the same time those of us who live here are reminded of all we have to be proud of in Tippecanoe County and its surrounding counties.

Jo Wade, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette President, shared this blog.

Artsy Fun Getaway Contest 2014 Details

Ada Shulz Washday at Haan Mansion

Ada Shulz Washday at Haan Mansion

Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette is excited to announce our Artsy Fun Getaway Contest 2014 to our 2 great cities.  The competition started on Monday, October 13, and we want to share why each business who donated to this package is so fabulous!

One great winner will win the following package worth $390!

  • What is better than staying right on Purdue Campus at the The Union Club Hotel, Purdue Memorial Union where you can tour the grounds, bowl at the Union Rack and Roll and enjoy a comfortable night stay in a deluxe room.
  • When we speak of the arts one of the first places that come to mind is the Grateful Heart Gallery, which features one of a kind ceramics, mosaics, sculptures and more.
  • Lafayette’s newest attraction, Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art, is a mixture of art and history drawing everyone from art aficionados to history buffs in one setting.
  • The winner of this prize will get to pick a concert of his or her choice from the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra. Would you pick the sounds of holiday music at the Holiday Pops, a fun-filled evening for the entire family at Lolli-pop or another?
  •  Can a business be famous for its salad? Yes! Arni’s offers their “Junior Arni’s Salad” that is loaded with cheese, meats, radishes, onions and croutons.  Top it with their French dressing and you have a ”salad masterpiece”!
  • Their menu encompasses everything from burgers (made a million different ways!) to salads to wonderful homemade soups. Where?  Scotty’s Brewhouse
  • Interior decor: vibrant artwork, hanging colorful lights, and open space! Plus amazing sandwiches, soups, salads, pastas, pizzas and more at Red Seven Bar & Grill
  • Having a bad day? We recommend heading to Kathy’s Kandies where one is instantly greeted to relax and enjoy the fun young atmosphere while munching on homemade delicious treats.
  • Enjoy premium self serve yogurt where you can grab your own cup, fill it to your heart’s content and add all the goodie toppings at Yogurt reTREAT
  • Do not miss heading to Prophetstown State Park on October 24-26 for their fun fall festival! Festivities include a hike to see scarecrows along the trail, a hayride through the prairie, or take a step back in time at the Native American village to enjoy a harvest celebration.
  • Wolf Park Pumpkin Party for the Wolves is October 25! Wolf Park staff and volunteers create jack-o-lanterns filled with tasty, animal-friendly treats for the wolves, coyotes and foxes.
Burger and loaded fries from Scotty's

Burger and loaded fries from Scotty’s

Go to http://www.homeofpurdueblog.com/?p=5536 to sign up!  Entries will be accepted through Monday, October 20, 2014 at noon. A winner will be announced the week of October 27, 2014.

Outdoor Fall Fun Weekend Update 2014!

Exploration Acres

Exploration Acres

Outdoor Fall Fun 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.

Bring on the adventure at Exploration Acres this weekend! Warm-up with a quick run through the straw bale maze, then visit the 18-acre corn maze with over 8 miles of twists and turns. You can test your skill at a pedal car race, fire a three-ear corn cannon salute or just dive into a mound of hay. There is a pumpkin patch, hayrides, and picnic area with fire pits.  Enjoy a gem mine, pony rides, and pumpkin decorating/race.

Clegg Autumn

Clegg Autumn

On Friday, October 17, take part in the NICHES Land Trust Groundbreaking Ceremony! Explore the beautiful grounds at Clegg Memorial Garden and check out how the Niches Land Trust is planning on preserving this natural habitat. NICHES protects, restores and sustains Northern Indiana ecosystems.

Be spooked at an evening of chilling Ghost Tales presented by the Tippecanoe Storytellers’ Guild and sponsored by the Tippecanoe Parks Department on Friday, October 17. Head to the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater for this annual night of chilling ghost tales! Donate $1 to Book Cycle, a local free book program for preschoolers.

Cheer on the runners at the Purdue Boilermaker Half-Marathon and 5K taking place Saturday, October 18! Or maybe you are running yourself. Good luck to those runners taking on this arduous running adventure!

Be prepared to be scared at Haunted Adams Mill! Each year around Halloween, the Mill is decorated and becomes a haunted, scary place. Take guided tours on Saturday, October 18 through the ghostly three floors of the Mill, which reveal many spine-tingling experiences. Outside, tractor-drawn hayrides take visitors through the haunted forest and then down to the warm campfire. Warm drinks and other treats are available under the overhang at the front of the Mill.

Ride the Delphi!

Ride the Delphi!

Explore the pioneer village at the Wabash and Erie Canal on Saturday, October 18 at the Harvest Festival when we celebrate the end of the outdoor season. Pioneer buildings will be open from 10am to 4pm. Craft booths and food vendors will be set up throughout the village, and there will be demonstrations from the leather guild, the blacksmiths, broom makers, basket weavers and copper. Skills such as tatting, wood working and spinning also will be shown. Take the final rides for the season on the Delphi up and down the Wabash and Erie Canal.

It’s Pumpkin Patch Activity Day at Congress Street United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 18. Enjoy children’s games and a health fair while shopping for pumpkins, gourds, fall decorations, bake sale, mums and more!

More running and walking fun is taking place on October 19! Watch or get your exercise on at Point 1K! The race will start at 3 p.m. West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis will start the race. The EMT Food Truck will be there selling food. All proceeds benefit the YWCA Women’s Cancer Program.

Lastly, but definitely not least, head to Wea Creek Orchard on October 19 for the Boo Bash & Family Movie Night. What to expect on this fun night: pumpkin seed spitting contest, HAYRIDES, prize baskets, pumpkin bowling and more! Costumes are encouraged!

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

An Artsy Fun Giveaway Contest 2014! Enter Today!

Artsy Fun Giveaway Contest 2014! Discover why Lafayette-West Lafayette is the best choice for a weekend with your friends and family to enjoy the eclectic arts and entertainment in our area.  You can enter to win a weekend getaway worth $390 to Lafayette-West Lafayette to partake in all our town has to offer! Our local restaurants, hotels, shops and attractions have donated fun gifts to one special person. Good luck!

Enter to Win (by answering this question correctly below)!

The Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art was originally built for the St. Louis World’s Fair.  What STATE was it originally built to represent at the fair?

Leave your answer below in the “Leave a Reply.” We will collect all of them and pick a random winner from among the correct answers.

One great winner will win the following package!

Entries will be accepted through Monday, October 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm. A winner will be announced the week of October 27, 2014! Leave your reply in the box below and click “Post Comment.” Please note that your answer will show up on your computer, but no one else will see your answer until the contest is over.

If you select “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” you will receive an email for every contest entry. We will be approving and posting ALL of the entries (with your name and answer) at the END of the contest (if you have selected to receive follow-up comments and we receive a lot of entries, make note you will receive an EMAIL for EVERY ENTRY when we approve the answers). By entering, participants release their emails to Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette. Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette will not share or sell your information.

“One Great Wedding Destination” The Outpost

Outpost2014.22 Great Cities, 1 Great University, “One Great Wedding Destination”. Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, is home to many fabulous wedding ceremony and reception venues that will make your day special. One such location that not only offers a great space to have a wedding but also a wonderful catering menu is The Outpost Catering and Banquet Facility. They offer some of the best customer service in town with delicious food and space for wedding parties up to 300 people!

It’s fall, which means we are in the midst of wedding season! Mums, pumpkins, the earthy, musty smell of falling leaves, harvest, clear blue skies, and more; this is what I think of fall! Is there a better time for a wedding? Not that I can think of! I have been to so many fall weddings, and I have to say it is my favorite season to attend someone’s special event. (You may note I did not get married in the fall, but I married a farmer and fall is off limits! ha!)

A few years ago in October, one of my dearest friends had a great big outdoor wedding.  When I say big, I should really say “huge!” They invited over 700 people and of those invited I would say almost 100% showed up. The Outpost catered the event, and they did an amazing job! The menu included pulled pork barbeque, baked potato salad, baked beans and coleslaw. The Outpost came with their big outdoor cooker and slowly cooked the BBQ to perfection. It literally melted in my mouth and the compliment of loaded potato salad, savory baked beans and crisp cole slaw was heaven! I shouldn’t admit this, but I went back for seconds! My good friend shared how wonderful the staff was to work with. Wedding planning can be stressful and she said their great customer care made her event run smoothly and relieved so much of her stress.

The Outpost Catering also has a banquet facility for rental for special events. They offer complete food service, whether it be plated or buffet, and also a full bar service with licensed bartenders. They can accommodate an event anywhere from 25-300 guests. The space is a blank canvas so brides and grooms can decorate and make it into the perfect memory-making site of their dreams. I have never attended a wedding at this venue, but we did host our National Tourism Week Social Media Workshop at this facility. The food was delicious and the customer service was exceptional.

Outpost2014.7For more information about this venue and others in our area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com

Weekend Update: Verdi’s La Traviata & Purdue Takes on Michigan State

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.

Reuniting once more, the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra and the Kentucky Opera will collaborate for another spectacular performance featuring a concert presentation of Verdi’s La Traviata at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, October 11. This harrowing love story, the inspiration for the Academy Award Winning film Moulin Rouge, is shrouded in sacrifice and misunderstanding. You won’t want to miss this stunning musical partnership!

Boilermaker Special Ride!

Boilermaker Special Ride!

Boiler up! It’s another football weekend! This equals free Boilermaker Special rides, a Purdue pep rally, Purdue team appearances, the BIG GAME and more. On Friday, October 10, typically from 12-3pm (times may vary) take a ride on the Boilermaker Special! Pick-ups will be in front of Stewart Center and run every 15 minutes. Saturday is game day! Join in family-friendly games, inflatables, team appearances and live music taking place at Boilermaker Crossing beginning three hours before game time and ending at kick-off. 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. Then, head to the game and cheer on our Purdue Boilermaker football team as they take on the Michigan State Spartans in what is sure to be an exciting game! It is the Hammer Down Cancer game!

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

Dining Divas and Dates Visit Emergency Munchie Truck at the West Lafayette Farmers Market

The Dining Divas and Dates eagerly researched the offerings of the Emergency Munchie Truck (EMT) during one of its regular visits at the West Lafayette Farmers Market.

Check out all this amazing food!

Check out all this amazing food!

The EMT makes a clever first impression with the retrofitted ambulance turned into a food truck, complete with an electrocardiogram across its side. We wanted food– stat!

The charming second impression is made by owner Amber Davis, dressed in scrubs,  as she leans out the window to take your order. (She says she visits her chiropractor regularly due to the window bend she performs so often!) She’s joined by boyfriend Kenny when he’s not being a stuntman (Chicago PD, Drive & the latest Indiana Jones movie are all on his resume), mom Debbie, and Purdue student Susan.

The tasty third impression is in the unusual array of vegetarian food featuring whole grains, organic and/or local ingredients, vegan and gluten free options, with an effort made to avoid high fructose corn syrup and MSG. Don’t let the technical details get you down—this stuff is delicious and creative. Read on!

Triple B

Triple B

When the votes are tallied, our favorite dish (Bev, Jeff, Jo & Jerry) is the Triple B, a black bean burger with blue cheese and spicy buffalo sauce served on crunchy, savory waffles. It sounds strange but you’ll quickly adapt to the waffle concept and all their sandwiches are served this way. Those waffles provide little pockets for all the yummy sauces we loved so much. This burger has some zing to it and we enjoyed the blue/buffalo flavors.

Triple M

Triple M

Kay’s favorite is the Triple M, a mac & cheese stuffed grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar spread and creamy Muenster. We like it even more with a dash of Sriracha sauce which they have on hand.

Mac & Black blends the best of both triple burgers with a spicy black bean burger topped with mac and cheese—then there’s more cheese and buffalo sauce for a good, hearty sandwich. Margy and Dan cast their votes for this one!

Want something lighter? Check out the egg salad, made-to-order fries with secret munchie sauce, or the very tasty sweet potato fries. We all decided that when we rave about the EMT, which we do, we’ll rave about those sweet potato fries with chipotle ketchup—and those words come from the mouths of some people who wasted their entire lives thinking they didn’t like sweet potatoes! This isn’t your mother’s sweet potato & marshmallow casserole.

EMT Sweet Potato Fries

EMT Sweet Potato Fries

Mac & Cheese Nuggets

Mac & Cheese Nuggets

At this point, we’re getting seriously sated but there’s so much more to try. Mac Bites, fried bundles of mac and cheese with secret sauce are always popular, and poutine, beer cheese (made with People’s Brewing Co. beer) and pretzel stix have us digging in for more.

There are the always-changing, seasonal favorites which is where Amber gets to do what she loves best—create innovative foods– and where local veggies from Cooley Family Farm influence that creativity.  Summer brings grilled cheese with asparagus, a chickpea and couscous salad with asparagus, eggplant parmesan served on waffles, and corn and tomato salad, while autumn brings apple fries (apples from Wea Creek Orchard) chili, sweet & spicy curry, and black bean burgers with apple slaw.

Fresh strawberry lemonade

Fresh strawberry lemonade

Dining Dan isn’t a vegetarian but even he’s happy! And Jerry, who voted for that Triple B burger, says he’d change his vote to the freshly made strawberry lemonade– served with the rim of the cup dusted with sugar– if it just had a shot of vodka in it.

At this point, we’ve fed seven people, we’re all stuffed to the gills and the only thing left on the table is a few baby carrots.  As we settle in to that post-dining diva haze, we turn our brains back on and notice that the plastic cups are compostable and food items are served in paper baskets or recyclable plastic. There’s no Styrofoam to be seen.

EMT 2014.2Our surroundings at the West Lafayette Farmers Market are lovely with great local music, the opportunity to see lots of friends, and pleasant weather. Jerry notes it would be a perfect spot for an online meeting/date– very safe and casual. He quickly assures his wife, Margy, that he’s not done that—he’s just thinking of others. Kay is delighted with an evening sitting under a tree with live music, good friends and sweet potato fries. Jeff says it’s a wonderful place to meet his wife, Bev, for a stroll, dinner and fresh local produce—plus it’s the only way he gets to see her on Wednesday evenings since that’s where she spends her Wednesdays.

Stuffed brownies

Stuffed brownies

Jo heads back up to the truck because we really must try the stuffed brownies which we declare are fabulous, delicious and sinful.  The receipt for all this goodness ($60 for seven people with dinner, dessert and lemonade) will be emailed to her, completely itemized, and she knows when she looks it over, she’ll want all this goodness again.

Amber got into this business as food trucks became popular around the country. “I’ve always loved to cook,” she says, “and since I’m a vegetarian, I needed to get creative.” Turns out she used to sell corrugated pipes so the Dining Divas are thrilled she changed course. She and her team cook out of the YWCA’s certified kitchen and work 12-15 hour days including most weekends. About 50% of their time is spent in the truck while the rest is spent shopping, prepping, cooking, marketing, loading and unloading.

She admits it can get pretty toasty in the truck. “I don’t know if black was the best idea for the paint! But the exhaust fan is huge so it pulls a lot of air through.” She’d like to do more special events and private events where they can customize a fun menu for people who truly enjoy quality food. A recent ‘Around the World’ theme was a big hit at a recent private party.

EMT2014.7We’re all EMT fans and we invite you to join us as we chase them across the community. They’re at the West Lafayette Farmers Market every Wednesday from 4-7 during the market season (through October). Their other stops, including People’s, Matchbox, and Harry’s, can be found on their website (www. emtfoodtruck.com), Facebook or Twitter.

Next up: Mama Ines

Explore our Trail of Beautiful and Unique Outdoor Art!

Its fall in Lafayette-West Lafayette! That means cooler weather, changing leaves and the earthy smell of harvest! Put on your jeans and jacket and head outdoors to take in the trail of beautiful and unique outdoor art that wakens your senses and brings wonder into your heart!  We are home to a wide collection of diverse outdoor art that is dispersed throughout our area and we want to share with you some images and get your thoughts on our outdoor art.

Do you have a favorite?  Check out just a small collection of our images below and let us know what you think!! Please note throughout the Lafayette-West Lafayette area there are over 70 pieces of outdoor art and this only depicts a few. Check out our full trail here: http://www.homeofpurdue.com/whattodo/outdoorarttrail.html.

Lafayette “cRRossings” by local artist Scott Frankenberger

Lafayette “cRRossings” by local artist Scott Frankenberger -

  • This piece pays tribute to Lafayette’s railroad history standing just feet from where railroad tracks were located before Lafayette’s Railroad Relocation project finished, with the final train cutting through the heart of downtown in April 2001.
Inner Alley Symphony

Inner Alley Symphony

  • Through the Tippecanoe Art Federation’s After School Arts Program Mural Class and Mural Art Initiative program, local artist Zach Medler worked with area students to brainstorm, design and create the mixed media mural. This is the fourth mural in Tippecanoe County made possible through the Federation’s arts and educational programming.
Most Precious Offering

Most Precious Offering

  • Dedicated in May 2007, this bronze sculpture is a memorial to area soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and honors the parents who nurtured their soldiers from infancy. Donated to the city of Lafayette by artist, Saundra Whiddon, the sculpture features a baby swaddled in an American flag and lifted to heaven by its parents outstretched arms. A combat helmet rests next to one of the arms as a reminder of their ultimate offering. A granite base under the sculpture lists the names of area soldiers who died in combat.
Brickhead

Brickhead

  • Artist James Tyler, an Indianapolis native, sculpted the two heads of clay in his studio in New York. The heads were cut into blocks, kiln-fired and reassembled on site over stainless steel pins. The materials are resistant to rain, snow and other outdoor wear and tear. The Purdue sculptures are designed to emit nature’s sounds as people pass, such as wind and flowing water. Bryan Pijanowski, a professor of forestry and natural resources, provided audio recordings from a nearby wetlands.
Distant Paths

Distant Paths

  • Artist: Preston Jackson. The bronze and stainless steel piece of art is located at Founders Park and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Purdue University College of Liberal Arts.

For more information about our outdoor sculptures, murals, and fountains visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.