Holiday Break Family Friendly Activities

It’s Holiday Time!! School is out and families are looking for activities to make holiday break leave lasting memories. Put away your remote control and head out to enjoy all the local Lafayette-West Lafayette fun! Here are a few ideas to take your kids this winter break!

Feel artsy?  Check out All Fired Up, a paint-your-own pottery studio, where you pick out an unfinished piece of pottery, decorate it to your heart’s desire, finish it with a glaze to be fired in the studio, and in less than a week, your pottery will be finished and ready for pick-up!

Swimming time!  Head to Buccaneer Bay Indoor Aquatic Fun Center, Lafayette Indiana’s only indoor water park! The fun includes water slides, a kiddie pool, a hot tub and an arcade.  Day passes are available!

Skating fun!  If you prefer the warmth head to Skate America, an indoor skating center!  Not only is roller-skating available but there is also lazer tag and a game area including air hockey, the latest video games, pool tables, skee ball and more. A full service snack bar is on-site and skate rental is available.

Riverside Skating Center

Riverside Skating Center

Prefer to enjoy the great outdoors? The Riverside Skating Center is open during the winter that caters to our winter sports lovers. Grab your winter jackets and head to Tapawingo Park to enjoy this attraction that is only open during the cold winter months!

Golf in winter? Check out Monster Mini Golf, an indoor 18-hole glow-in-the-dark golf course. Along with mini golf, there are arcade games, glow-in-the-dark air hockey table and ticket redemption games such as ice ball.  While there are monsters all around the course, none of them jump out at you!

Bowling fever!  Lafayette-West Lafayette has 4 bowling centers all awaiting guests to enjoy this inexpensive, family fun entertainment; Mike Aulby’s Arrowhead Bowl, Market Square Lanes, Purdue Union Rack & Roll, and Star Lanes.

These are just a few family friendly activities in our area. For more information about our area and other family attractions please visit

Take a Break from the Cold and Head to Buccaneer Bay Indoor Water Park!

IMG_9041 The weather outside may be frightening, but that does not mean we have to hold back on fun times! The winter weather leads you to think of creative new ways to spend your time. All students have been working hard while counting down the days until winter break is finally here! Personally, I am not a fan of the cold weather. You can only have so much fun sledding, snowball fighting, and ice skating until your body is numb. Instead, take a break from the cold and head to Buccaneer Bay to relax by the poolside!

Buccaneer Bay is the only indoor water park in Lafayette, and it features a variety of activities for the whole family!  For the kiddos, the water park includes fountains, a basketball goal, fun statues such as alligators, palm trees, and cannons that spray water, and even a pirate ship with double water slides to race your friends! For children and parents alike, the park contains a 23-foot water slide! The exciting, enclosed water slide actually exits the building for a few feet to turn around and shoot the rider back inside the pool. It can be seen all the way from the interstate! It is a must-try during your visit. For those family members who enjoy relaxation, Buccaneer Bay also features a soothing hot tub with comforting jets.

Aside from all the wet-and-wild fun, Buccaneer Bay is also comprised of an arcade! There are a variety of classic and fun arcade games for everyone to enjoy. My favorite and definitely most skilled arcade game is ski ball, but I also enjoy the claw so I can (hopefully!) walk out with a new, fluffy stuffed animal! With an assortment of games to choose from, it is guaranteed to be fun for all.IMG_9042

Parents and guardians: there is a balcony made exclusively for you to not only catch a nice break, but to also overlook the park and keep on eye on the kids. You and the family can grab a bite to eat on the balcony too so the kids can head right back into their splashin’ fun! It is also a nice open place for large groups and birthday parties!

Although colder days are near, Buccaneer Bay gives you the perfect chance to escape the cool weather with the best of both worlds, fun for the kids and relaxation for those who deservingly need it! All of this enjoyment comes at the low price of $15 for an all-day pass to the park. Save money by purchasing your day pass online! Coming from out-of-town? Purchase an overnight room package for the best value of a comfortable room at Best Western, passes to the park, and other great amenities such as the cocktail lounge and exercise facility.  Happy holidays and enjoy your winter break!

Kaley, Visitor Information Specialist, shared this blog.

Holiday Musical Weekend Update: Holiday Pops & Candlelight, Lessons, & Carols

Lafayette Symphony

Lafayette Symphony Orchestra

Holiday Musical 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 Holidays will be merry and bright as tenor soloist, Tim King, makes his debut in Lafayette during Holiday Pops. Having performed across the nation with orchestras in a variety of classical and pops venues, this outstanding vocalist, along with our stellar orchestral lineup, will be a delightful way for your and your loved ones to experience the holidays together! Check out this performance by the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra on Friday, December 19.

More holiday cheer is taking place on Saturday, December 20, during the Bach Chorale “Candlelight, Lessons, & Carols”. Celebrate the magic of Christmas as the Bach Chorale Concert and Youth Choruses join the Adult Chorale in singing favorite carols of the season.  Tis’ the season for holiday classics so do not miss this night of fun!

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

The Perfect Dining Experience at McGraw’s Steak Chop & Fish House

Seared Ahi Tuna

Seared Ahi Tuna

Happening Now! Right now, the talk around town is about the upcoming holidays and the unique restaurants around town to enjoy a night out with friends and family. One such location is McGraws’s Steak Chop & Fish House, where diners can enjoy succulent steaks, fresh fish, fabulous appetizers and the best customer service. If you are looking for a one of a kind restaurant, McGraw’s is the place.

McGraw’s; when I think of this restaurant my stomach does a happy dance and I smile from all of the wonderful memories I have eating here. I don’t know which is better; the food, ambiance or service. Everything is top notch! I will share some of my favorite dishes, but please note everything I have tried has been delicious.

Appetizers:  I recommend ordering their crispy shoestring onions. They are super thin, lightly battered and served with a thousand-island style sauce. Their shrimp martini is another top pick.  The shrimp are huge and the cocktail sauce is hot, but not too hot. These appetizers are perfect because they are not super filling and wet the appetite for the entree to come!

Soup:  One of the BEST French onion soups I have ever tasted can be found at McGraw’s. The dark beef broth with sweet onions smothered with Gruyere cheese will make your mouth tingle. It is a messy soup dish, but well worth it.  (Sometimes if I am not super hungry, I will partake of appetizers and order soup for my meal and then nab a bite or two of my husband’s steak!)

Entrees: My friends and I like to each order our own meals and then share. It’s fun because then we can sample a bit of everything. My favorite entrees are really hard to pick. One can’t go wrong with their filet mignon, which is always perfectly cooked, lightly seasoned (just the way I like it!) and you can cut it with a fork. The seared scallops with salsa verde are a refreshing and lighter choice. The south river pork chop is a huge chop wrapped in bacon, served over pulled pork and topped with Korean bbq sauce. I was hesitant about the sauce at first, but it is amazing!

Every entree is served with a salad, side and bread. Their mashed potatoes are superb! The great part is the last time I visited mashed potatoes were not on the menu, but they made them special for our whole table. Please note I believe they use heavy cream, which makes them light, fluffy and decadent so if you are trying to watch the hemline, I would suggest ordering one of their fresh vegetable choices. (But they are hard to pass up and well worth a cheat night!) Everything at McGraws is delicious down to the fresh bread with sweet whipped butter on the table. YUM!!

Dessert: Ok, so truthfully, I am usually so full I can’t order dessert. 3 or 4 years ago, I did order Crème Brûlée and shared it with my mother in law. It was the first time I have ever in my life tried this type of dessert and it was sweet (but not too sweet), had a crispy sugary coating, and was utterly delicious!

McGraws5Ambiance: Overlooking the Wabash River, there is not a bad spot in the restaurant. Subtle lighting and candlelight make it a great date night location for a romantic dinner.  It also offers visitors a unique dining experience, as the building that now houses McGraw’s has been part of the history of Tippecanoe County for nearly two hundred years. Originally, the property was going to be part of a small town-in-the-making called Cincinnatus. One building was erected, but the rest of Cincinnatus was not. That single building still stands today as McGraw’s Steak Chop and Fish House.

Service: One word: Wonderful! If you want a night where you can sit back and receive great customer care with a smile, this is the place!

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

Searching for the Perfect Holiday Gift – Shop Your Own Backyard!

brochurediscussion2 Great Cities, 1 Great University, Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard! There are so many fun specialty shops right here in Lafayette-West Lafayette and this holiday season we recommend heading downtown for a day of shopping to purchase one of a kind, unique items for your loved ones.

Shop Small Saturday – did you get out and shop during this special event last month? I did and I had a blast going door to door searching and finding the perfect holiday gifts. I headed downtown and spent the day shopping with my 16 month old daughter (who loved to run everywhere and touch and see everything..she kept me on my toes!) and my sister, Jen. At every location, I took photos of holiday decor, original pieces of art, lovely, handmade jewelry and more. I am sending my husband a photo every day with a little hint (ha!) of my holiday shopping wish list! I want to share with you a few items that are wonderful holiday gift ideas.

Two Tulips - specializes in wedding invitations, wedding shower invitations, baby announcements, shower invitations, personalized baby gifts, baptism gifts and piggy banks too!

Piggy Banks at Two Tulips

Piggy Banks at Two Tulips – which one should I buy for my daughter this holiday season??

Grateful Heart - One-of-a-kind art and fine hand-crafted gifts created by 5 local artists.

If you know my husband please share I LOVE this from Grateful Heart Gallery! Created by Diane Gee!

If you know my husband please share I LOVE this from Grateful Heart Gallery! Created by Diane Gee!


One Earth Gallery - Shop for authentic handmade American Indian art. Each piece is hand-picked by American Treasures founder David Kurtz on frequent trips around the U.S.

My sister loves Native American Art - She will love this one of a kind lamp!

My sister loves Native American Art – She will love this one of a kind piece!

Randy Ross Framing – Custom Framing and artwork.

My Mother-In-Law has a family photo from the early 1900s she wants to frame - Definitely heading back to Randy Ross Framing!

My Mother-In-Law has a family photo from the early 1900s she wants to frame – Definitely heading back to Randy Ross Framing!

JF & Company - Children’s boutique for your little rock star!

We have a family divided - my sister's family is pro IU and my family are true Boilermakers! JF & Company is perfect because they offer both!!

We have a family divided – my sister’s family is pro IU and my family is true Boilermakers! JF & Company is perfect because they offer both!! (Although please note the abundance of Gold & Black – BOILER UP!)

Camera Outfitters - Can “OUTFIT” you and your camera so you are ready for every photo opportunity.

My husband loves photography - Camera Outfitters has professionals to help find the perfect camera and accessories!

My husband loves photography – Camera Outfitters has professionals to help find the perfect camera and accessories!

Something Special -11 local artists create art and unique gifts that flourish inside the walls of their quaint gallery.

My parents have been married for almost 40 years - I am keeping this in mind for their 40th wedding anniversary next year! Linda Elmore creates these one of a kind pieces at Something Special

My parents have been married for almost 40 years – I am keeping this in mind for their 40th wedding anniversary next year! Linda Elmore creates these one of a kind pieces at Something Special


For more information about these shops and others in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, visit our website at

Holiday Special Weekend Update! December 12-14, 2014

Frozen Pond 3 wolvesHoliday Special 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.

* Tuba Christmas & Holiday Cheer and All that Jazz at Purdue University, Friday, December 12 - This annual holiday celebration will feature all of the Purdue jazz bands spreading holiday cheer across a variety of cultures and nationalities. Don’t miss jazz renditions of your favorite holiday tunes at this annual tradition!

* A Christmas Story, The Musical! at Lafayette Civic Theatre, Friday, December 12 & Saturday, December 13 & Sunday, December 14 – This musical, which received rave reviews on its Broadway run, is based on the movie classic that runs round-the-clock on television every Christmas. Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Homan, Indiana, the musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts—an Official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.

* Purdue Contemporary Dance Company: Winter Dance Works at Yue-Kong Pao Hall, Purdue University, Friday, December 12 & Saturday, December 13 – Enjoy a night of dance and music that will get you in the holiday spirit.

* “Wintry Mix” featuring Traveler’s Dream at Fountain Gallery, Friday, December 12 – Wintry Mix is a two-week series of free lunchtime concerts by local performers. This Friday’s performer will be: Traveler’s Dream, performing Songs of the Winter Season and group singing.

* Christmas on Greenview in Battle Ground, Friday, December 12 & Saturday, December 13 & Sunday, December 14 – a holiday light display featuring almost 90,000 lights which dance in time to music.

* Old Fashioned Christmas at the Canal at Wabash & Erie Canal, Saturday, December 13 & Sunday, December 14- Music, crafts, canal village buildings open and yummy hot apple dumplings!

* Wolf Park Annual Holiday Party, Saturday, December 13 – Families are encouraged to come celebrate the holiday season with the wolves. Children are welcome to help staff and volunteers decorate small evergreen trees with wolf-edible treats such as hot dogs, spam, and spaghetti. When Santa arrives, the guests can watch the excitement of the wolves and children as the “edible trees” and other treats are distributed amongst the wolves.

* Bach Chorale Singers: Messiah Sing-Along at Central Presbyterian Church, Saturday, December 13 – Join the Bach Chorale Singers and soloists in singing the Christmas portion of Handel’s beloved Messiah.

* The Klezmatics at Purdue University, Saturday, December 13 – Join in a celebration of the Festival of Lights and an evening that offers a bold, bouncy, and revelatory new perspective on how much more there was to the “Dust Bowl troubadour.”

Riverside Rink Santa* Skate with Santa at Riverside Skating Center. Saturday, December 13 – Santa invites you and your parents to join in a fun-filled morning. Everyone will enjoy donuts, hot cocoa and skate with the jolly old elf himself. There will be a great photo opportunity so bring your camera. Reservations are REQUIRED.

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

Perfect Stocking Stuffers from Kathy’s Kandies!

Mini- PIzzas!

Mini- PIzzas!

Chocolate Legos, Hello Kitty chocolates, candy, popcorn and more! Kathy’s Kandies offers a diverse selection of specialty treats that will make your taste buds soar with happiness.  Marlene, Visitor Information Specialist for Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette and Head Outreach Librarian at the Tippecanoe County Public Library, shares this blog about Kathy’s Kandies.

I work in Downtown Lafayette during the week. When I need to get out of the office and stretch my legs, I take my break and walk over to Kathy’s Kandies to get a homemade snack to cure my sweet tooth.

Kathy’s Kandies is a locally owned, homemade chocolate and confection store. My favorite is the gourmet popcorn. There are several flavors to choose from that make it almost impossible to decide, but my top picks are the cookies and cream and triple chocolate. The sweet and salty flavors of the popcorn and chocolate are the perfect blend and the best mid- afternoon snack! Beer and popcorn – try Kathy’s Original Gourmet Hopcorn!!! Featuring a selection made from Lafayette Brewing Co.’s finest beers, this is an original Indiana classic!

Peppermint Popcorn

Peppermint Popcorn

Each season, Kathy makes specialty candies to celebrate. This year she is making some new and fun treats that are perfect stocking stuffers for Christmas. Ever heard of Hello Kitty? If you have a little one, I am sure this is a “hot item” on your holiday shopping list. Kathy has created Hello Kitty Chocolates that will fit right into a stocking. Legos are another hot commodity this season! Your little one will be doubly amazed to receive chocolate and their favorite toy with Kathy’s homemade chocolate Legos! A unique gift for all ages is a mini chocolate pizza that will fit into a stocking. Pizzas come in different flavors from Christmas sprinkles, chocolate-peanut butter, cookies & cream and more. Treats from Kathy’s Kandies are perfect to give to family or friends when you go out of town for Christmas. There are sugar free options available as well. They do special orders and premade baskets that are perfect for gifts too. If you have time to call ahead, you must order the chocolate fondue. It’s delicious!

If you have a sweet tooth, you can pretty much find something to cure it at Kathy’s Kandies. They have a zillion things that are covered in chocolate; pretzels, nuts, Oreos, animal crackers, and espresso beans, just to name a few. They also have other items that are hard to resist; hard candy, gummies, ice cream, shakes, Italian sodas, cookies, and cakes. The list goes on and on! And each item is always served with a smile and a thank you.1618619_730469986970843_460393547_n

For more information about Kathy’s Kandies and other local sweet shops in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit our website at

Purdue Basketball IS HERE!

Mackey dedicationPurdue Basketball! With winter just around the corner (16 days away!) that can only mean one thing: Purdue Basketball! The season started last month and our Men and Women Purdue Basketball teams are back and ready for a full season of hard play and great wins. The fans are ready to cheer our teams to victory. Boilermaker fans, wear your Purdue gear, show your pride and head to Mackey Arena to hoot and holler for our teams.

Check out Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern, Caitlyn’s, memories of Purdue basketball games:

“Some of my best memories at Purdue as a student include going to basketball games. I love walking into Mackey, grabbing some nachos, and watching the team warm up. The whole place comes alive with energy! I have had the experience to go to multiple basketball games and would have to say it is one of my favorite sports to watch. The half time shows are always a huge hit whether it’s watching the dance team preform, other Purdue teams get introduced, or games to be played with the audience.  Whether I was standing with the student section or sitting with my family, it has always been a fun experience.

IMG_0927With many returning players and new ones arriving, Purdue basketball is looking to have a great season ahead. I cannot wait to get back into Mackey Arena with family and friends while watching our Boilers take on any opponent. BOILER UP!”

Head to Mackey for another successful basketball season!  For more information about Purdue Sports visit and for information about Lafayette-West Lafayette visit

Weekend Update: The Holiday Season Abounds!

Christmas Parade

Christmas Parade

Weekend Update: The Holiday Season Abounds! 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.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! It’s holiday time in our area and with that said the Purdue Christmas Show is back for it’s 81st year. Head to Elliott Hall of Music on December 6 and 7 to listen to all the holiday tunes presented by the Purdue Varsity Glee Club, the Purduettes, University Choir, Heart and Soul, Purdue Kids Choir and the All Campus and Community Chorale.

Downtown Lafayette is transforming into Victorian England this Saturday, December 6, during Dickens of a Christmas. In the morning, head to 5th Street and shop at the special Dickens Farmers Market and stock up on goods from our local vendors! Throughout the day, there will be live performances by choirs and entertainers, roving carolers, Riverside Skating Rink sessions, artisans in costume demonstrating their craft, carriage rides and of course, the Dickens and Victorian street characters!

Santa arrives on December 7! You are probably asking when and where! See Santa and more at the Lafayette Christmas Parade, Indiana’s largest holiday parade! The parade starts at 2pm and travels west down Main Street from the 1000 block to the 200 block. Enjoy marching bands, floats and holiday cheer!

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

Crave Candy Canes?! McCord’s Offers A Plethora of These Sweet Treats!

Mccords Candy Cane Making2014With the winter season just around the corner, McCord Candies becomes a tradition for many families during winter break & Christmas time. McCord’s is known throughout the year for their delicious chocolates and old fashion sodas, but during the Christmas season it’s a new show. During this time McCord’s is known for candy canes & anything & everything that goes along with candy canes.

First off, they have their homemade candy canes usually averaging to around 32,000 canes during this short month and a half span!! They sell them locally in the store, ship them globally, and always keep people coming back for more. What’s so unique about these canes?! McCord’s candy canes are like nothing you have ever tasted before. They look like normal canes but are soft once you start eating them, like a mint. There are NO preservatives in the canes & that is why they get made daily. The process of making these canes is very unique also. They are the only place in Indiana that still makes this process completely by hand!! No machines are used! That is why each and every cane is so special and it’s also why two canes never look the same. Just like snowflakes! It’s also the same process and recipe Ivy McCord, the original owner, used himself.

During the month of December, McCord’s has public tours on Saturday & Sundays for the customers to see how this unique process is done; also gaining an appreciation for all the hard work that goes into a single cane. Most importantly you get to make your own candy cane yourself & see how difficult & special it is! Second, during the winter season candy canes will be made into every shape and form possible. We have our candy cane milkshakes if you want a cold treat or we have our homemade candy cane hot chocolate if you crave a warm treat. The candy cane hot chocolate can also be purchased in mason jars for gifts or individual sealed packets to pour in your mug and go! McCord’s has candy cane peppermint bark, candy cane Oreos, candy cane pretzel sticks, candy cane stir sticks for hot chocolate, and other candy cane creations!

I have worked at McCord’s for over 4 years now and although it is crazy busy, this is definitely my favorite time of the year. It’s always special when someone comes in to get a candy cane for the first time or to hear about the customers coming back each year as their family tradition. It’s always funny to see their reaction when they ask who makes the canes and you reply “I do” because they always think a machine makes them or they get shipped in from another company. McCord Candies owner and employees take pride in their hard work at the candy shop everyday but especially during the Christmas season. To us, we are bringing families and friends together, remembering the old times (but you can still use your I-phone & take pictures of our cute store & candy canes- who wouldn’t?! ), starting new traditions & keeping old ones going. Come see us soon!

Caitlin Wethington, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern, shared this blog.