Five Free Fall Things to Do in West Lafayette!

Whether its exploring the outdoors, playing a game, or learning some history – there is so much to do in West Lafayette! Take advantage of the cool, beautiful fall season and check some of these free activities out!

1. Play Chess at Founder’s Park

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Enjoy the cool autumn weather outdoors at Founder’s Park on Purdue’s campus! Nestled amongst the classroom buildings of the school is this park comprised of over two acres of walking, biking, and relaxation opportunities! You can visit the Loeb Fountain which recycles up to 2,200 gallons of water per minute! You can also enjoy a game of chess with a friend on the stone chess tables offered there.

2. Armstrong Hall

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Ever wanted to meet Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon? At Neil Armstrong Hall on Purdue’s campus, you have that chance! In front of the building, there is a statue of his likeness, as well as imprints of his shoe prints. Dreamers can come here and imagine themselves becoming an astronaut.

3. Celery Bog

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Feel the crunch of the falling leaves under your feet at the Celery Bog in West Lafayette. Hike the trails or stop at the Lily Nature Center to learn more about the wildlife there! Visiting the bog would be a great way to spend the day with your family or on your own!

4. Black Cultural Center

The Black Cultural Center provides purposeful, holistic, scholarly and co-curricular programming designed to strengthen understanding of African American heritage. Each season they offer a Cultural Arts Series. For example, last fall the BCC featured book signings, painting galleries, even a lecture from famed Purdue faculty member Roxane Gay.
5. West Lafayette Library

The West Lafayette Public Library is a full service public library serving the residents of West Lafayette, Indiana since 1921. Spend a cool autumn day picking from one of the hundreds of fantastic novels offered here! There’s nothing better than a day spent outdoors reading.

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

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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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Purdue Incoming Freshman Tips

Coming to a new school can be scary for anyone! Especially a big campus like Purdue. There are so many things that freshmen should know before studying here. I’m coming up on my fourth year here and I’ve written five of what I think are the best tips for incoming students!

Purdue Student Organizations

Go to the beginning of the year event, the B-Involved Fair, which advertises all of the Purdue organizations. Joining clubs and organizations on campus can really help make friends when you’re first starting here. This year it will be Saturday August 19 at the France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center!

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The B-Involved Fair hosts my club, the Feminist Action Coalition for Today (FACT) each year! It’s always so much fun and it has clubs for every interest and passion.

Purdue App

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Download the Purdue app, which has information on dining courts, has directions/maps to campus, and a lot more! You can check out which dining court to grab lunch at, when your bus will arrive, and tons of useful information.

Residence Hall Tips

If you live in a residence hall, keep your door open! Especially during the first few weeks, it gives people an opportunity to see and talk with you. Plus, it helps cool down the building if there’s no A/C!

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I lived in Meredith Hall my first year at Purdue! It felt like a really close-knit community and everyone kept their doors open in order to meet other students!

Computer Labs

Learn where the computer labs are on campus. They’re a great, quiet place to get work done. It’s also helpful to know where they are for when you are printing notes and assignments.IMG_2232

CityBus

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Get to know the CityBus system! Hopping on the bus to get around campus can make student life so much easier. It can be a little confusing at first – but utilizing the bus system is a vital part of freshman year!

I hope that these tips will help new students here at Purdue. Getting involved on campus, learning your way around, gathering information about the dining courts and more, and making friends – these things are what college is all about! Enjoy your time here and Boiler Up!

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

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Weekend Update: Mark Morris Dance Group & 2016 Festival of Quilts

Dido_Berkeley_Susana-Millman-2441-150x150Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

The opera comes alive at Purdue this Saturday, April 2 as Mark Morris Dance Group presents Dido and Aeneas. American choreographer Mark Morris loves music. In fact, there are arguably no other “dancermakers” working today who have so successfully used their musical intellect to illuminate, transform, and even expand the greatness of each masterwork they’ve embraced. Landmark works by Mozart, Handel, Haydn, Vivaldi, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, and more have captured Morris’s imagination and been given revelatory treatment with his singular vision, sprawling energy, and powerful expressions of both the human body and the human condition. Now, in the remounting of Dido and Aeneas— Virgil’s famous tale of Aeneas’s affair with Dido, the Queen of Carthage, en route to founding Rome— Morris has elevated British composer Henry Purcell’s famous 1688 opera into mythic love-story territory. This extraordinary production—which includes one of the greatest opera arias of all time, the haunting “Dido’s Lament”—brings the full baroque opera to life with a live chamber orchestra and vocalists under Morris’s baton, while the dancers reveal both the humor and the tragedy of the tale with Morris’s signature visual flair.

Celebrate Indiana’s 200th birthday during the 2016 Festival of Quilts this Saturday, April 2, at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds – Home Economics Building.  This special event will feature quilts made by the members of the Old Tippecanoe Quilt Guild, and will include a trading post, vendors, feature quilter Lois Collins, and special challenge “Take me to the River!” in honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial. Happy Birthday Indiana!

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

Weekend Update: Spring Fest and Visit from NY Times Bestseller Author, Marie Bostwick

Bug Bowl

Bug Bowl

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.

Where can you find education, entertainment and fun all in one place? Spring Fest is back for another exciting weekend full of animals, art, astronomy, hands-on activities, and more. This Saturday, April 18 and Sunday April 19, head to Purdue University and traverse over 30 different stations of educational fun that include activities such as insect art contests, cricket spitting contests, face-painting, and honey tasting. Come to the Boiler Barnyard to see live animals, sheep shearing demonstrations, and milk a dairy cow. Play animal trivia games, hold a baby chick, and enjoy coloring books. Bring the whole family to create lasting memories!

Make another special memory and meet NY Times Bestseller Author, Marie Bostwick, at the West Lafayette Public Library, this Friday, April 17. Author Marie Bostwick, writer of the Cobbled Court Quilt Series is coming to the library to talk and sign books.  Her newest book, The Second Sister, will be available for purchase.

Please note both of these events are FREE! What a great, inexpensive way to spend your weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette.

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

Snow and Sledding fun in Lafayette-West Lafayette!

Sledding at Slayter

Happening Now!  Planning a stay in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, area? 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. Right now the locals are talking about sledding at Slayter Hill, Happy Hallow Park & Murdock Park.

What is better in the winter time than sledding down a steep hill screaming and laughing?!  Some of my best childhood memories are going sledding with my dad and my best friends.  We would get all bundled up, grab our sleds and head to the great outdoors full of snow and white wonder!  Our bright red cheeks would smile with happiness and glee as we swiftly sled down hills competing who could reach the bottom first.  The friend with the most wins would achieve the great honor of getting the first homemade peppermint hot chocolate from McCord Candies.

Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, offers 3 amazing sledding hills; Slayter Hill, Happy Hallow Park & Murdock Park.  Slayter Hill is located on Purdue University and sledding on this hill has become a Purdue tradition. My husband said during his 4 years at Purdue University he never missed a winter season of sledding with his buddies at this popular sledding destination.  Happy Hallow Park offers the Tube Run.  It is known as the “fast and long” trail of the Lafayette-West Lafayette area.  The only hill in the area with a man-made snow machine is Murdock Park.  The good news is even if there is no snow in the forecast and the weather remains cold, the hill can be coated, allowing for extended sledding.  I remember in college coming home to visit my family and I saw my best guy friend from grade school zooming down this hill!  All ages come out to enjoy these fun sledding experiences.

For more information about sledding and other fun, free winter activities in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Happy New Year! Weekend Update: The Nutcracker & Howl with the Wolves!

D-02019Happy New Year!  We hope everyone had a fabulous evening of good cheer last night!  Today we embark on a new year, which will hopefully be prosperous and fun.  What is life if there is no fun in it?  We love to share all the endless possibilities for fun events so check out what is happening this upcoming weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

The timeless ballet, The Nutcracker, will be performed at the Long Center of the Performing Arts. Make sure you have your tickets for this magical masterpiece taking place Saturday, January 4, and Sunday, January 5.  For many, the Nutcracker is a holiday tradition that brings children, parents and grandparents out for an afternoon or evening of entertainment to share in the beauty and grace of the performers and to listen to the lovely music.

Wolves, bison, coyotes and foxes!  Where can you find and see all 4?  Wolf Park!  This Saturday, January 4, bring the family to Wolf Park to “Howl with the Wolves“!   The evening will include a lecture on wolf communication, an opportunity to see some of the staff enter the enclosure and interact with the wolves of the main pack, and the chance to actually howl with the wolves.  Watch Darma (female wolf) and the others in the pack as they howl throughout the night.  It may be a cold evening, so bundle up tight!

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

New Pizza Bar in Town- Professor Joe’s Sports Pub & Pizzeria

IMG_24702 Great Cities, 1 Great University, “One Great Pizza Destination“.  Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to some pretty fabulous pizza restaurants, and we are excited to announce a new place has entered the mix that offers a cool bar setting in a fabulous location downtown.  Professor Joe’s Sports Pub & Pizzeria opened this past fall and is serving pizza, sandwiches and calzones.

Located in the heart of downtown Lafayette at 648 Main Street, Professor Joe’s Sports Pub & Pizzeria states it is a great place to split a “Pitcher and a Pie” with a friend and cheer on your favorite team while watching the game.  This bar is brightly lit and is full of big screen T.V.’s throughout the space.  The booths are deep for big groups of friends who want to gather and enjoy each other’s company.

Garlic Cheese Bread!

Garlic Cheese Bread!

Recently, the Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette team had lunch at this pizza joint.  (We always like to try out new places so we can share our experiences with visitors!)  We started our meal with their garlic knots and garlic cheese bread, which were both awesome!  I would come here just for their garlic knots that were light and fluffy with the perfect amount of garlic and came with a side of slightly spicy cheese sauce.

Slice of Pepperoni & the Tailgater!

Slice of Pepperoni & the Tailgater!

Every day they offer special slices of pizza customers can order.  I picked their pepperoni and a specialty pizza called the Tailgater; grilled chicken, buffalo sauce, drizzled with ranch dressing and topped with chopped up celery.  Odd combination, I know!  But I was glad for the diversity of flavor so I could choose which I enjoyed more. The Tailgater won the contest!  The sauce was spicy, but not overly so!  The chicken was juicy and flavorful.  Altogether it was a winning combination.

Our server was friendly and seemed really excited about working at this new establishment.  She was knowledgeable about the food and prompt and accommodating.  I also really enjoyed the ambiance.  Some bars can be kind of dirty and dark. Professor Joe’s is clean, bright, and has a beautiful bar that shined to perfection.

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

Arni’s offers Hoosier Hospitality at it’s finest!

Stromboli!  (And this only a 1/2 sandwich!)

Stromboli! (And this only a 1/2 sandwich!)

2 Great Cities, 1 Great University, “Hoosier Hospitality”.  To experience “Hoosier Hospitality” at its finest visit Arni’s where the food is delicious and the service is exceptional.  Arni’s is a staple in the Lafayette area.  This restaurant which offers pizza, sandwiches, salads and more has been serving the community since 1965.

“Hoosier Hospitality.” What does this mean?  I (a true Midwesterner born and raised in Indiana) feel that “Hoosier Hospitality” is a friendliness and openness people from this area show to one another and to others from other parts of the states and world.  We wave.  We smile.  We say hi.  In essence, we are just friendly to everyone.  Every visit to Arni’s I feel this.  (And we visit Arni’s almost once a week for lunch or dinner!).  Arni Cohen, the founder of Arni’s (who sadly passed in 2002, but whose sons have taken over the business with the same philosophy), had a philosophy that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of you.  This mantra has resulted in Arni’s Restaurants having a turnover rate that is a fraction of the national average.  Every time we visit Arni’s we have the same waiters/waitresses that have worked there for years.  They are wonderful!  Their friendliness is genuine and they are knowledgeable about the menu, the history, and always go the extra mile to make sure we have a great experience.

As I’ve shared, we visit Arni’s almost once a week. We enjoy the great customer service, but we love the food!  We have tried pretty much everything on their menu and my family has their favorites.  We usually order one or more of the following: their pepperoni pizza (with extra tomato sauce), Arni’s junior salads (loaded with cheese, deli meats, and veggies), garlic bread, and submarine sandwiches (minus the onion)!  This past year we started ordering their loaded cheese fries, which are amazing!  They are not greasy and are loaded with different cheeses, bacon, and chives.  They are even good heated up later (which never happens with French fries!).  Their wings are some of the best we have ever had.  They are really meaty and are offered in two different sauces, buffalo or BBQ.  My husband and I always debate on the sauce, but they have been so accommodating and split them up 1/2 and 1/2 so we can both enjoy them.

One more item that I have to address is the ambiance.  Arni’s at Market Square offers something for everyone.  Their bar, “The Loading Dock”, (21 and older) is the perfect place for those who want a more quiet space to eat.  The decor is warehouse style, which sounds odd, but has neat old trucks on display, decorative lit signs, and license plates.  Another room that is perfect for a family is the “Toys in the Attic Room“, where tons of toys are on display including dollhouses, trains, airplanes, and more.  The front room at Arni’s has recently been renovated and is perfect for all visitors as it offers a serene, up-scale feel.

There are many additional Arni’s locations throughout Central/North Central Indiana.  The Market Square location is the original and one of the most unique with its ambiance!

Living in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, one thing we value is customer service and appreciating the times we receive great customer care.  Hoosier Hospitality is Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.  We are proud of our local businesses, including Arni’s, who provide gracious and friendly service. For more information about this restaurant and other fun activities in the area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.