Hand-Dip Ice Cream Delights from Silver Dipper

Ashley's Birthday - We tried every flavor!

Ashley’s Birthday – We tried every flavor!

Happening Now!  Right now the locals are talking about Silver Dipper, an ice cream shop serving hand dipped delights that are refreshing, decadent and delicious!

Is there anything better on a hot, sunny day than an overflowing ice cream cone, a rich, smooth shake, or a banana split loaded with all the favorite flavors; chocolate, vanilla and strawberry?  I personally cannot think of anything better to do in the summer than heading to Silver Dipper to choose my ice cream creation for the day! As the summer progresses,I have to admit my visits to this ice cream shop are becoming more frequent every week.  My husband and I love to bike, and we head out on our bikes in the evenings or on a weekend afternoon and they somehow steer us to the Silver Dipper.  Many times we meet up with friends and their children, make our selections (which is hard because there are too many to count), and then relax in one of their booths and chat.  It is so relaxing and ‘just plain ol’ fun!’

IMG_1625The Silver Dipper offers visitors so many choices of ice cream.  They have a long row of window pane freezers full of diverse ice cream flavors where guests can look, taste and choose their flavor.  Every time I visit I always ask for a  ”taste” of a flavor that is fun and unique.  Six months ago, during one of my “tastes”, I came upon the flavor zoreo, which is their zanzibar (a really rich dark chocolate) ice cream with big chunks of Oreo and marshmallow.  At this time, it is my favorite and is the perfect treat in their homemade waffle cones.  My husband, as I have stated in many prior blogs, is a creature of habit, and always orders 2 dips of their cookie dough ice cream.  I have tried to get him to change it up a bit, but he says “why mess with perfection!” He is correct; their ice cream is perfection in its creaminess and richness of flavor.  It offers some of the best ice cream I have ever eaten!

If you are headed to Silver Dipper please note there are not one, but two great locations in West Lafayette, Indiana.  One is located on the Levee at 201 East State Street and the other location is at 307 Sagamore Parkway.   Their servers are friendly and can create pretty much any ice cream specialty you are craving!

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 ice cream shop and others in the area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Summertime Adventure in Lafayette-West Lafayette; Putt Putt, Disc Golf, Paintball and More!

Monster Mini Golf

Monster Mini Golf

It’s summertime in the Lafayette-West Lafayette area! School is out and campus is quite empty. Therefore, I’ve had to broaden my horizons and try new activities throughout this summer. I soon discovered that it’s extremely easy finding fun new things to do around the area. I have thoroughly been enjoying a variety of different endeavors and pushing myself out of my normal boundaries to experience all new things.

This summer has been a bit rainy; however, that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! Monster Mini Golf is where I usually head on those days where the rain never seems to cease. On my first trip there, I parked and thought to myself, “This building is so tiny. How could they possibly fit a miniature golf course in there?” However, I walked in to a big, lively area with welcoming employees. To my surprise, not only is there a decked out miniature golf course, but an arcade as well. One of my favorite features about the building is that the regular lights are all dimmed and you travel through the course with the assistance of black lights around every corner. Make sure you wear white or neon colors to glow throughout the whole facility! The course is full of fun obstacles and unique touches to make it one of a kind. As you stroll from hole to hole, you come face-to-face with monsters of all types but beware! There are surprises along the way. Although I really enjoy miniature golfing, my skills would make you think otherwise, but that’s OK! Monster Mini Golf understands the struggle and always gives the loser a free pass to come back and touch up on their putt-putt skills, which I greatly appreciate! Everyone ends up winning in the end. Another miniature golf course that I plan on hitting on a nice, sunny day is Precision Putt Plus to further sharpen up my skills.

Disc Golf!

Disc Golf!

One activity that is extremely new to me is disc golfing, but ever since I’ve discovered it, I have been wondering where its been my whole life?! Although it is yet another sport that I may not be the best at, it is so fun that it doesn’t even matter how well you play! One of my favorite things about disc golf is the scenery. All of the courses I have played on have been in beautiful, woodsy areas. Not only is it pretty, but the surroundings also add fun obstacles to it. However, I have thrown a disc or two into the middle of the woods or in ponds, but my lovely boyfriend is always kind enough to retrieve them for me. It is also deceivingly quite a workout, which is never a bad thing! I could use the exercise, and my favorite kind of exercise is the type where you don’t even realize you’re working out! After walking through trails and hills to get to each hole and throwing discs upon discs, your body will be getting a decent workout. My personal favorite course so far has been Murdock Park due to its landscape and friendly fellow disc golfers. However, its fun to add variety and add new challenges by playing at different parks around Lafayette such as Slayter Hill at Purdue, Faith Community Center, or Ross Hills Park.

An exploit I still have left to undergo is paint balling. As I mentioned before, I may not be the best at sports, but this is one where I feel as if I should train before heading in. Unlike the other activities, this one involves me getting hit by items. Clumsy, awkward, scaredy-cat me, needs to brace myself for such an exhilarating time. I’m very excited to take part in it, and I’m hoping it will toughen me up. I’ll be venturing to Arrows III & Tackle Too in the near future to push myself out of my comfort zone and make a fun summer memory.

It seems like sweet summertime is flying by so fast, so I plan to make the very best of it by trying new things and journeying to different places! It will be yet another unforgettable summer to add to the list. I encourage you to step outside of your normal activities and try something new. You never know what new hobby you may come across!

This blog was shared by Visitor Information Specialist, Kaley.  For more information about these activities and more in our area visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Weekend Update: Art, Art and More Art in Lafayette-West Lafayette

Papercuts

Papercuts

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 Friday, July 18, is a double whammy of a Friday, Third Friday & Gallery Walk! Third Friday is where several downtown Lafayette businesses stay open late and feature specials for children and adults, plus there is a Gallery Walk. Take a leisurely stroll from one Gallery Walk location to the next, where artwork, music and occasional complimentary beverages or hors d’oeuvres may be sampled.

Tippecanoe Arts Federation Exhibit

Tippecanoe Arts Federation Exhibit

This weekend features many gallery receptions! The reception for Flora Graphis, Mixed Media by Craig Martin, A Pressing Matter and Other Challenges, Print/ Mixed Media by Tuesday Night Inkers & Looking into Faces from the Past, Photography and Painting by Daniel Driggs and Dwayne Daehler is taking place at the Tippecanoe Arts Federation on Friday evening. Artists’ Own presents the Objects of Circumstance, Chance, Life, Work, and Play by Al Knight and Dwayne Daehler reception also on Friday evening.

Art exhibit at Greater Laf. Art Museum

Art exhibit at Greater Laf. Art Museum

Throughout the weekend head to the Purdue Galleries, who is currently presenting the exhibit, “Papercuts“. The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette has two amazing exhibits taking place; Natural Disaster Color by Petronio Bendito and Wild Things: Fantasy by Michel Keck And Linda Mitchell.

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

Rustic Charm & Delicious Eats at La Scala

IMG_3928Happening Now! Right now, the talk around town is about the new decor (but same great food) at La Scala Italian restaurant in downtown Lafayette. This past year La Scala has undergone a cosmetic overhaul. The previous darker interior has been lit up by the repositioning and opening of a wall, an updated lobby area, new custom made tables (by local shop J.E. Field Co.), bright paint and custom artwork. The interior is beautiful and so welcoming. It makes one feel like they are in an intimate restaurant in Italy!

Basil

Paco’s Famous Tomato Basil Soup

Ambiance is one important thing, but food is the major player when picking out a restaurant. La Scala knows their Italian! They proclaim “fresh” as their manta, and fresh is what you will receive when you go to La Scala.  Their Paco’s Famous Tomato Basil soup is light yet spicy and one of the best tomato soups I have ever eaten. The salad “Insalata Torino” (inspired by a meal in Torino) includes a breaded chicken breast filet, topped with fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fire-roasted red bell pepper, and fresh farm basil tossed in their balsamic vinaigrette and served over fresh greens. I highly recommend getting a bowl of soup and one of their fresh salads if you are looking for a light and refreshing lunch.

Ashley

Ashley enjoying Seafood Georgio

But really, who can go to an Italian restaurant and not order pasta?! Their Seafood Giorgio will get your taste buds humming! It features shrimp and scallops sautéed with garlic and fresh herbs and finished in their Paglia (fire-roasted red pepper cream) sauce over fettuccine. This is a favorite of a co-worker, Ashley, and mine. We love the fresh seafood and the rich, creamy sauce. Lasagna is a staple in my husband’s life and he shares the layers of noodles layered with meat, sauce and cheeses is wonderful. The red sauce has the perfect blend of spices and herbs.

La Scala preaches “healthier, tastier REAL food.” I love going here because they use classic, fresh, and increasingly local ingredients from farmers from this area. My husband is a farmer and it is wonderful knowing we have restaurants who support our local farms. I have friends who have food allergies and they do not even blink an eye when they put in an order asking for them to add or take away something from a dish. Everything is made fresh to order! Please note they also offer whole wheat and gluten free pasta.

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

Choose Your “Canvas” at All Fired Up!

IMG_3553 IMG_3554 Purdue Student, Adi, shares her enjoyment at All Fired Up, a paint your own pottery studio in West Lafayette, Indiana.

With a wide array of pieces to choose from, weekly specials that offer something unique for all ages, and fun-filled summer camps, All Fired Up is the perfect destination for a great time this summer.

Kids, parents, couples, students and anyone with a creative urge can come to this paint your own pottery studio and have a great experience.  You start by selecting a piece of unfinished pottery; whether you want to create a cup, bowl, serving tray or decorative piece, All Fired Up has the pottery for you! After choosing your “canvas,” the studio has an incredible selection of over 100 beautiful paints and glazes, and even has idea books, stamps, sticks, stencils and other great tools to help create your masterpiece.  The staff there is always excited to help anyone with their creation and make it easy and fun to paint pottery!

Once your pottery is painted, the staff will coat the piece with a clear glaze and fire it in their studio. Within just one week, the piece will be ready for pick-up!

All Fired Up can even help you put on a great event. They host birthday parties and group outings of all kinds and can even assist in any fundraising efforts you may be putting on.

IMG_3556Don’t just take our word on it! Head down to the Wabash Landing Walkway in West Lafayette and experience the fun that is the All Fired Up experience!

For more information about this family fun attraction and more in our area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Weekend Update: Riverfest and Radio Disney is coming to Wolf 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.

Riverfest!

Riverfest!

Let’s celebrate our beautiful Wabash River! This Saturday, July 12, the community comes together to celebrate the living Wabash River with conservation exhibits, games, activities, canoe races and a 5K during Riverfest. This annual festival annually draws around 5,000 participants and specifically teaches children about our most prized natural resource here in Greater Lafayette – the Wabash River – as it provides recreational focus, aesthetic beauty, and is a vital component of our economy. Please note this event is FREE, so bring the kids to enjoy pony rides, a big bounce house, corn hole and more!

Radio Disney Indianapolis, part of the #1 radio network for kids, tweens and families is coming to Wolf Park for “Disney in the Park” on Saturday, July 12. The Radio Disney Indianapolis Road Crew will be on-site during the event to provide fun, interactive entertainment, the hottest music from today’s biggest stars and cool prizes and giveaways, including a silent auction for a four-ticket prize package to Disney World. Will the wolves “sing” along? You have to be at Wolf Park to find out! Also, guests are invited to a howl night free of charge with their ticket purchase!

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

Indiana Food Trails! Embark on a Culinary Trail Today!

Bruno Dough!

Bruno Dough!

What does “culinary travel” mean to you? . The International Culinary Travel Association defines culinary travel as the “pursuit of unique and memorable culinary experiences of all kinds.” Ashley Gregory, Groups Tours & Meeting Manager for Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette, shares how “food” is an important part of truly making a travel experience great and how Indiana has created a trail for visitors to embark on a fabulous food adventure! Ashley writes…

Boilermaker Pete at Triple XXX

Boilermaker Pete at Triple XXX

Do you find yourself searching for a new place to eat, someplace different than the norm, someplace local? Well, I have a great resource for you. The Indiana Foodways Alliance (IFA) is a non-profit, member based organization, dedicated to the promotion of locally owned restaurants and food producers throughout the state of Indiana through culinary trails. There are currently about 20 trails ranging from Hoosier Pie, Tenderloin, Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, Prime Rib and Steak, Ice Cream and more!

Several years ago, I was asked to become an IFA board member and have worked my way up through the ranks to become President of the organization. Through my experiences on the board I have had a great opportunity to travel the state and sample many of our great local restaurants. Our state has so many first rate restaurants, some with very interesting stories behind them. I love chatting with the owners and learning how they came about opening their business, one of my favorite stories comes from Hendricks County and the Mayberry Café.  One of the Owners of the restaurant loved the Andy Griffith Show growing up and thought their hometown of Danville, IN reminded them a lot of the town depicted in the show, Mayberry, so they decided to base the restaurant off of the show. They have some great down home selections such as meatloaf, macaroni and cheese or my favorite Aunt Bee’s Fried Chicken! They offer one of the best fried chicken’s I have ever tasted and it is probably my favorite because I love fried chicken but not the bones and they have a boneless variety! Yum! All this great food and get this, the owners are vegetarians! You would never know it though, because all their meat items are fantastic! They’ve really gone all the way with the Mayberry theme too. When you visit, you will notice they show reruns of the Andy Griffith Show on the TV every day, have a squad car just like Andy’s sitting outside the restaurant, have a goober hat night every week, an Opie look alike contest every year and this year they even started a Mayberry Festival for the whole town to participate in, among other things! Now this is a huge story and a very unique restaurant but our state is filled with other fantastic restaurants with their own unique story, just waiting for people to discover. One of our slogans for IFA is Real Food, Real Indiana, hoping it encourages people to go out and discover these little towns and local restaurants to discover the passion, experience and love at these mom and pop type places.

Sgt. Preston's! Yum!

Sgt. Preston’s! Yum!

Good food doesn’t have to come from a chain restaurant and locally owned doesn’t have to be expensive, slow or out of the way.  So, the next time you are looking for a new place to eat, check out the IFA website and check out a trail or two or search by city to see if there is someplace nearby. The Lafayette – West Lafayette area is lucky to be home of 14 Indiana Foodways Alliance Members including: Arni’s at Market Square, Bruno’s Big O’s Sports Room, EMT- Emergency Munchie Truck, Jane’s Gourmet Deli and Catering, Lafayette Brewing Company, Main Street Cheese & Wine Cellar, McCord Candies, O’Bryan’s Nine Irish Brothers (West side location), Route 66 Diner, Sgt. Preston’s of the North, The Hour Time Restaurant, The Original Frozen Custard, Triple XXX Family Restaurant and Wildcat Creek Winery.  We hope you will experience these Lafayette-West Lafayette area locations and other locally owned businesses wherever you go.

Happy 4th of July in Lafayette-West Lafayette

Make a splash today at Tropicanoe Cove!

Make a splash today at Tropicanoe Cove!

Happy 4th of July! Today we are celebrating independence and freedom! Isn’t it wonderful to be a United States citizen?! We need to appreciate today and celebrate our liberty with the full knowledge that we live in a country that is diverse, free and patriotic. Raise your American flag and be proud to be an American!

Share with us what you are doing today to celebrate. Are you having a back yard barbeque? Traveling to historical sites such as the Tippecanoe Battlefield to learn more about American history? Or maybe you are taking a canoe trip down Wildcat Creek? Recreational sports are a popular 4th of July activity. Family and friend gatherings are the best time to get your glove and baseball out for a friendly game of baseball. Americans tend to lead pretty busy lives and today may be the best day to head out to one of our 18 fishing spots in Lafayette-West Lafayette for a relaxing day of fishing. July in Indiana usually means warm weather and another idea is heading to one of our outdoor water parks! Fun, fun!

Personally, I am heading to my parents house in Chalmers, Indiana. Every year they host a 4th of July pool party. Every guest brings a dish and my Dad grills up some delicious meats! We spend the day laying in the sun, catching up with friends we only see a few times a year and splashing in the pool. My Dad is the king of fireworks and he always puts on a fun display.  The best part is when he lights a firework and it chases him across the road. (Please note he has never been hurt!) I love the 4th of July! It is such a happy holiday full of friends, laughter and happiness.

We hope you are having a fabulous 4th of July! For more information about all the wonderful things to do in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

4th of July Weekend Update!

Fireworks!

Fireworks!

4th of July 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.

Fireworks, live music, dancing; all this and more can be found during the Stars & Stripes Celebration on July 4, downtown Lafayette. This annual festive fourth concert features the Lafayette Citizens Band and Indiana All-Star Show Choir followed by fireworks at dusk. The concert will end at approximately 10 p.m. followed by the 25-minute fireworks display which will be launched from the south end of Tapawingo Drive in West Lafayette.

Ride the "Delphi"

Ride the “Delphi”

Head to the Wabash & Erie Canal in Delphi, Indiana for the Canal Days Festival on July 5 & 6. Throughout the weekend, enjoy live artisan demonstrations: tatting/ lace making, blacksmithing, bowl carving, broom making, basket weaving, crocheting/needle arts, and more! Noble Bikes will offer festival special half-hour rates on family paddle boats and pedal surrey rentals. Food and other vendors will also be on hand during the festival, and of course…take a ride on the canal boat, the Delphi, which will be offering rides throughout the weekend!

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

DT Kirby’s – Regular Or Not, It’s Your Bar.

DTKirbyNov2013.5  Dive bar1 1. A well-worn, unglamorous bar, often serving a cheap, simple selection of drinks to a regular clientele. – DT Kirby’s website, thebestdivebar.com

When I moved downtown in 2011, I knew DT Kirby’s was going to become one of my regular spots as it has been for so many from the time it was a hidden hole-in-the-wall across from the Lafayette Theater to its expanded location just up the street at 644 Main Street. Whether you go for the food, drinks, sports, atmosphere or all of the above, it’s impossible not to find something you’ll love.

The menu goes beyond typical pub fare and also won’t zap your wallet of every dollar, as everything is modestly priced. Better yet, Kirby’s has a full kitchen until 3 a.m. for those of us that prefer good late night food. The bar takes great pride in the art of crafting some of the biggest, best and most extreme burgers and hot dogs in town.

DTKirbyNov2013.7The first time I sunk my teeth into a Kirby’s burger, I was hooked. There are so many great menu options that sometimes it’s nearly impossible to choose. I seem to love the messiest choices. For me it usually comes down to two favorites – a Deep Cut Dog (loaded with jalapenos and cheese) and chips or the Bacon BBQ Cheddar Burger with fries and house sauce on the side. I know a few people who even get a side salad to go with the burger. Kirby’s menu now features a full selection of salads to choose from – but just don’t expect them to always be the healthiest ones.

One burger I recently fell in love with is the Bacon Egg Burger, another messy but amazing creation. I never thought an over easy egg on a burger could do so much for my taste buds, but it adds addicting flavor! Another favorite of mine is the Mac N Nap, which smoothers macaroni and cheese all over the burger on a pretzel bun. I love sticking with chips as the side with this burger because when excess mac n cheese inevitably falls out, I can scoop it up with my chips. I could go on forever about the menu, from the simple yet satisfying Breaded Mushrooms or Spicy Chix Sandwich to the mountainous Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger or Bar Burger. This is a bar though, so let’s talk drinks a moment.

DTKirbyNov2013.6When the signature drink is a shot of Jameson, it should go without saying that Kirby’s isn’t exactly known for making fancy cocktails, but it does offer a full selection of spirits to suit anyone’s needs. Many of the bartenders are extremely creative and have discovered some great shots or mixes you might enjoy. As far as beer, you’ll always find Old Style on tap. Guinness, Goose Island’s 312 and several People’s Brewing Company options are staples. Ten beers are always on tap, however, so there are plenty of choices. Kirby’s also has great daily specials; my current favorites are People’s pints for $3 on Wednesday and mugs for the pint price on Thursdays. One current special that won’t last forever is the Triple Play, which features the shot and beer of the day plus 3 wings for $7.50. Now that’s a deal!

DTKirby2013Kirby’s relocation in October 2013 greatly expanded the available seating, allowing for an all ages restaurant side dining experience and increased bar size. Kirby’s went from tightly seating 42 people to now comfortably seating 110 customers. While remodeling the new building from the ground up, Kirby’s management worked hard to transfer its “dive bar” feel from the old location and still modernize the new venue. Believe it or not, one of the best examples of this décor is the restroom with its portable bathroom door entrance. Don’t be fooled, however, as you’re not actually reliving a Purdue football tailgate! I’ve heard it described by several people as “Narnia.” Any first timers reading will just have to go uncover the mystery for themselves.

Kirby’s also expanded its number of televisions to 13 to fill the larger space, including two 84-inch televisions on the restaurant side. The chains that hang several of the TVs were a great touch to the bar’s feel. Need to step outside for a moment? Don’t worry, you won’t miss the big game as Kirby’s has two TVs facing outside, including audio. Plus, the huge front windows completely open up when the weather is right, so other TVs will be in view. And for those of us who remember the old location, the AC is an especially welcome addition. Cubs and Bears fans will enjoy the team décor, including the bar’s own version of the outfield wall and ivy at Wrigley Field.

I love being a regular at DT Kirby’s, but I don’t love DT Kirby’s because I’m a regular. I keep coming back because it’s a new experience every time. I’ve gained countless friends and made plenty of memories there. You don’t have to be a regular to fall in love with Kirby’s, but it’s definitely a place you’ll want to visit again. It’s a place where anyone can come in and feel at home. When it opened in 2008, Don and Trish Kirby established the bar as one of the signature stops on a visit to Lafayette-West Lafayette, and the staff continues to stay true to the traditions that have made it a dive bar you simply can’t pass up.

Oh, and when you do visit, try to follow some of these guidelines: absolutely no ketchup on a hot dog, don’t ask for silverware to cut anything in half, and Jameson is not to be mixed.

Visit DT Kirby’s at 644 Main St. or on the web at thebestdivebar.com.

Mention you read this blog about DT Kirby’s and receive a free fry upgrade on a meal until September 1, 2014!

This blog was shared by Visitor Information Specialist, Stephen Smith.