Winter Time Fun at Riverside Skating Center

Winter is here and if you’re like me you’re always itching for fun things to do in the winter months. Sitting inside, curled up in a blanket, watching Netflix is only fun for so long, right? If you’re wanting to get out of your house for a bit of winter time fun, Riverside Skating Center is just what you need. There’s no better cure for the winter time blues or cabin fever than a little ice skating with family and friends.

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My favorite part about Riverside skating is watching the Zamboni resurface the ice. As a little kid, I always wanted to be the one who drove the zamboni and made the ice look nice and shiny. I always wanted to be the first one to put my skates on the fresh smooth ice. Watching the zamboni do it’s thing is a satisfying show for all. If zambonis aren’t your thing, you can always head inside for a hot chocolate break until the zambonis duties are done. Its a win-win for everyone!

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Riverside Skating Center is right in the middle of tons of dining options which can make for a whole evening of fun. The skating rink is located almost walking distance from Scotty’s Brewhouse, one of my favorites. The location makes it easy to make a whole day of fun. Have lunch at Puccini’s, walk over to All Fired Up, do some shopping at Dawson & Daisy Boutique, have dinner at Scotty’s Brewhouse, and end the night at the skating rink. Sounds like the perfect day to me!

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This rink has become a Lafayette-West Lafayette winter time tradition. There’s no better feeling than drinking a nice cup of hot chocolate after a few hours out on the ice rink. So bundle up, grab some friends, and get out to the Riverside Skating Center before the ice melts!

Emily, Purdue University Student and Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern shares this blog.

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Five Free Things to Do this Winter in Lafayette-West Lafayette!

Winter in Lafayette is a beautiful snowy landscape! You definitely need to take some time to do these five free things available this season!

1. Christmas tree at the Purdue Memorial Union

IMG_3622Did you know that Purdue is home to the largest Christmas tree in Indiana? The beautifully decorated tree stands in the Great Hall of the Purdue Memorial Union. It magically appears in early December and remains for the holiday season!

2. Holiday Luminaria

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 2.05.31 PMEach year the community gathers on Ninth Street hill to celebrate the holiday season. The week of Christmas, starting at 6:00 pm the candles are lit and generally will last well into the early morning. Started in 1986, features lighting of the luminaria that line the entire hill with over 500 luminaria (little paper bags with candles)!

3. Sledding on the hill at Purdue’s Slayter Center or Murdock Park

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Looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors even in the winter? There are two great places to go sledding here in Lafayette-West Lafayette! Slayter Hill is on Purdue’s campus and brings hundreds of students to sled each time it snows. Murdock Park even has a snow machine that helps supplement our own snowfalls!

4. Living Nativity Scene at Faith Church East

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 2.01.02 PMLiving Nativity Scene  has been a winter favorite in Lafayette since 1990! It is a collection of life-size scenes which reenact the biblical account of creation. You can either drive through or walk through the scenes while listening to the audio accompaniment.  Marvel in the cast of hundreds that put on this production each year!

5. Ice skating

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Spend a beautiful, chilly winter day at the Wabash Landing at the Riverside Skating Rink! There is open skating starting in late November to early March. Skating with friends and family is great way to take advantage of the colder weather! The rink has great views of the Wabash River, and access to all of the other shops and restaurants on the Landing!

This blog was shared by Visitor Information Specialist intern, Samantha Martin!

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Five Free Fall Things to Do in Lafayette!

There are always things to do in Lafayette… You’ve got to take advantage of these free activities and attractions this Fall!

1. Wildcat Creek Winery Tasting

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Pop in for a free wine tasting at Wildcat Creek Winery. Savor a Lafayette Red, a Harvest Cranberry, an Aunt Minnie’s Cherry Tree – these are just some of the wonderful flavors that Wildcat Creek has to offer. Relax in their traditional Indiana Farmhouse, see the leaves changing color, and sip on some homemade wines!

2. Clegg Memorial Gardens

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Explore the Clegg Memorial Gardens, which is especially beautiful in the autumn months. The trails there take you on an adventure through the woods overlooking Wildcat Creek! This park is free to the public and open dawn to dusk. Hiking the trails would be a wonderful activity for families, couples, or going solo!

3. Columbian Park Zoo

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Admission is free to this great zoo located right here in Lafayette! See the exhibits featuring prairie dogs, emus, wallabies, butterflies, a petting zoo, and more! You can spend the day with your family and not spend a buck learning about the approximately 190 animals who live there.

4. Tour the Historic Neighborhoods 

mansionhomepage2The great city of Lafayette was founded in 1825! Still here today, there are eight historic neighborhoods filled with homes, museums, parks, etc. The neighborhoods are Centennial, Columbian Park, Downtown, Ellsworth-Romig, Highland Park, Ninth Street, Perrin and St. Mary’s. On the website, you can find printable walking tours, webcasts, virtual tours and more.

5. Operation Trick or Treat

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“Operation Trick or Treat” is a unique Halloween experience here in Lafayette! Each year this event collects canned food donations for the Food Finders Food Bank. Kids and families can dress in costumes and go trick or treating at local businesses downtown! Look for an orange pumpkin displayed in the business window to know who is participating.

This blog was shared by Samantha Martin, a Purdue student Visitor Information Specialist intern at Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette.

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Northwest Indiana’s Largest Corn Maze, Exploration Acres

Exploration Acres 006The leaves have begun to change color and we have all began to break out those cozy sweaters and scarves. That’s right, it is autumn, my absolute favorite season! The weather in Indiana during the fall is the absolute best! An exciting attraction that opens each fall is Exploration Acres. It located five miles south of Lafayette and offers many family friendly fall activities. Claiming fame as Northwest Indiana’s Largest Corn Maze, Exploration Acres is the perfect place to enjoy the season.

Exploration Acres 005An 18-acre corn maze is crafted with a new theme each year. Literally, you could walk 9 miles through the four different mazes, which is one way to get your exercise in! All throughout the maze are checkpoints where you can earn coupons and rewards from various local businesses. Deciding which checkpoints to hit should not be an issue, as you should try and hit them all in one adventure without becoming too lost! This year’s maze features a farm setting with a farmer, barn, cow and much more!

undefined[6]The pumpkin patch features 10 acres of a variety of pumpkins. You should set aside time specifically to pick out that perfect pumpkin to carve that Batman symbol you have always wanted to carve! There are so many cute little pumpkins and squash available as well that I guarantee you will leave with more than you planned!

Exploration Acres 010Other attractions at Exploration Acres include hayrides, a pedal car track, a straw bale tunnel, a sand pile, and a pumpkin race track. All of these activities are family friendly and are included with admission.

Other activities are available for an extra fee. These include a corn cannon where you shoot ears of corn up to 500 feet in the air, a gem mine where you can search for hidden treasures, and pony rides. Probably the neatest extra activity they offer is the fire pits. For a small fee, a family or group can rent a fire pit on a certain night during a specific time slot. This serves a great place to gather together in the outdoors and socialize together.

Exploration Acres 004Exploration Acres is the ideal place to enjoy all that Indiana has to offer in the fall season. Spend some time in the great outdoors with family and friends at a great local farm. It is located five miles south of Lafayette at 6042 Newcastle Road between I-65 and US 52. It is open Thursdays through Sundays until October 29th.

Rachel, Purdue University Graduate, shares this blog.

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Fresh Local Produce at Wea Creek Orchard

WeaCreekOrchard_tractorandbarnLooking for something to do this weekend? Why not head to Wea Creek Orchard in Lafayette, IN and pick some fresh peaches, nectarines, apples, pumpkins, enjoy a wagon ride, purchase some honey or apple butter, jams and jellies, etc.? You’ll have loads of fun!

WeaCreekOrchard_0235Wea Creek Orchard is a 7th generation family farm, started in 1829. Originally, a livestock and row crop farm, it is now home to around 2000 fruit trees! The current owner, moved here in 2007 and started planting trees about 200-400 at a time. Now they farm 72 acres total but 17 acres of that are made up of specialty crops. They selected dwarf tree varieties as they knew they wanted to make this a U-pick orchard and it makes it easier to get to the fruit, especially for young children as the fruit is lower to the ground. In addition to the orchard they have two barns on site, one built in 1870 that they rent for special events such as weddings from April to November and one built in 1880 that houses their market. They have an average of about 30 weddings a year in the barn and even has their own wedding planner to help you plan your big day for no additional charge!

wea-orchard-2012-3jpgA day at the orchard is loads of fun for the whole family! All ages enjoy learning where their food comes from, how it is grown and getting to collect your own fruit, right from the trees. Kids spend time scouring the pumpkin patch for just the perfect pumpkin for their jack o lantern. Take a wagon ride around the orchard to scope out just where you want to go and to learn all about what is available there. Learn about honey and how important bees are to the trees. Pick up some hedge apples for fun or a gourd for your fall decorations. Lots of fun can be had, spending a day at the orchard. After you’ve picked out the best produce, don’t forget to swing by the market and pick up some apple butter, apple cider, jams, jellies, salsa, barbecue sauce and more to get you through the winter!

wea-orchard-2012-9jpgWeaCreekOrchard_sampletableA variety of fruit is available at the orchard! This year they have Pixie Crunch apples (we’re told these are so good, they may replace Honey Crisp! Even better, they are a Purdue variety!), Gala apples, Blonde apples (these have become my personal favorites, taste a bit like a pear, I think), Dande Red apples , Mollie Delicious apples (so sweet, it’s like biting into sugar), Kane apples, Golden Delicious Apples, Fuji apples, Ruby John apples (these almost look purple!), nectarines and peaches. They’ve just started some Cherry Trees so look for those in the coming years.

Wea Creek Orchard is open seasonally July-October on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (check their website or call for hours before you go!) and is located at 5618 S. 200 E. on the south side of Lafayette. We hope you will visit and have a wonderful time!

Ashley Gregory, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette, Director of Sales, shares this blog.

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Be Lazy this Labor Day!

Tropicanoe Cove 2016 Dave SchidtHappy Labor Day Weekend! If you are as stunned as we are that it is already Labor Day weekend, please reply to this blog and share with us what has happened to summer? We want to know! Ha! The summer here in Lafayette-West Lafayette has been a fun one, yet it seems as though each year speeds by quicker than the last. If only we could freeze time! On that note, I thought it would be fun to put a list of lazy activities that will hopefully make time go a bit slower and allow you to really relax and enjoy everything Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, has to offer!  Enjoy!

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

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Happy Hollow Park

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

Shopping fun!

Shopping fun!

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

Bistro Quiche

Bistro Quiche

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

Weekend Update: Beers Across the Wabash & Wabash River Ride

Beers Across the Wabash

Beers Across the Wabash

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.

Join in the festive fun during Beers Across the Wabash taking place from 3-7pm at the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge on Saturday, August 26. In addition to delicious ales & lagers and one of the finest beer festival settings in the Midwest, admission includes a commemorative sample cup along with homebrewing information and demonstrations from Tippecanoe Homebrewers Circle. On-site foodservice will also be available for purchase from D&R Catering, Smolder BBQ, Emergency Munchie Truck (EMT) and The Lafayette Optimist Club. (Must be 21 or older.)

Wabash River Cycle Club - 01 - BR copyMore Wabash fun! The 39th Annual Wabash River Ride will be held on Saturday, August  from 7-5 p.m. Get out your bike for well organized and supported rides of 34, 47, 65 or 105 miles through some of the most beautiful parts of Tippecanoe, Fountain and Warren counties. Enjoy scenic vistas of the Wabash River and Big Pine Creek. There are great routes for riders of all levels, and it isn’t just corn fields you’ll be viewing! To fuel your ride, the Wabash River Cycle Club will have a wonderful selection of edibles available. They will continue their renowned tradition of home baked cookies from their club members, and have a delicious barbecue lunch planned for you when you finish the ride.

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

Weekend Update: Farm Fun & Extension Gardens Open House

Chef Lauren talking at a Farm Dinner!

Chef Lauren talking at a Farm Dinner!

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.

Ladies enjoy a Farm to Table meal.

Ladies enjoy a Farm to Table meal.

This Saturday, August 12, enjoy a full day of fun at the Farm at Prophetstown. In the 1920’s many farm homes boasted a piano and a Victrola.  Home entertainment was still very popular.  Come out to the Gibson Farmhouse from 1-5pm for an afternoon of musical exploration! How had the radio influenced musical interest?  Who were the popular artists of the 1920’s? Try your hand at their player piano and listen to music from their Victrola. Following this musical day, stay for a five-course meal in the 1920’s Gibson Farmhouse, featuring fresh ingredients from The Farm. Socialize and make new friends!  Please note reservations are required for this event.

Enjoy the beauty of nature the following day, August 13, during the 2017 Extension Gardens Open House. Tour the Demonstration, Display, Idea, and Community Gardens! There will be children’s activities that include face painting along with hay rides to view the Community Gardens. A scavenger hunt will be taking place and hot dogs are free to all that complete the hunt! Light refreshments, lemonade and cookies, will also be provided. 

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

Disc Golf in Lafayette-West Lafayette

_DRS5334It’s summer and you know what that means! It’s time to head outside and enjoy all of our fantastic local disc golf courses!

Purdue University has a great 18-hole course. It starts at that base of Slayter Hill Performing Arts Center and wraps around the intramural fields.

Faith Community Center offers a course designed for either 9 or 18-hole play. Discs are available for checkout at the front desk along with a course map and scorecard. There is no charge to play but there is a $5 replacement fee for any discs that are lost.

_DRS5642Murdock Park offers a fun but challenging 18-hole course. Eleven holes are through the rolling hills, trees, and mowed grass. Two par fours then lead you into a five-hole section of tightly wooded technical holes.

The Wabash Washout at McAllister Park is the newest disc golf course. It’s a longer more open course that is surrounded by cart paths and ponds. It’s a great place to challenge yourself and have fun with friends and family.

Get out and play disc golf this summer!  For more information about these courses and other recreational activities in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Amanda, Visitor Information Specialist, shares this blog.

Weekend Update: Purdue’s Annual Summer Concert Series & Zoo Run Run

Zoo Run Run

Zoo Run Run

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.

Please join the musical fun at Purdue’s Annual Summer Concert Series this Friday, July 14. This week’s free concert is featuring the band: Traveling Broke and Out of Gas.  This event is held on the Purdue Union Front Lawn.  Food will be available for purchase beginning at 5:30p.m. with live music from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  Tables and chairs will be setup, but please feel free to bring your own lawn chairs and/or blanket. There is no rain location this year, so if inclement weather, event will be cancelled and announced on the Purdue Student Union Board Facebook page.  The series is sponsored by the Purdue Federal and the Purdue Memorial Union.

Zoo Run Run

Zoo Run Run

The following morning, gather your family and friends for the annual Zoo Run Run on Saturday, July 15. This 5K run/walk travels through the historic Columbian Park Neighborhood and offers a fun, inexpensive way to get your family up and moving! Mingle with zoo staff and some of your favorite zoo residents!  Do you have a favorite zoo animal? If so, share!

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