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 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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Free & Almost Free Summer Kid Friendly Activities

Columbian Park Fun!

Columbian Park Fun!

Summer! My absolute favorite time of the year! The warm weather, bright sunshine and no school! Check out all the free and almost free kid friendly activities in the Lafayette- West Lafayette area!

Columbian Park The zoo is hands down the coolest part. Running away from the crazy baby goats to letting a beautiful butterfly land on you, the zoo has so many activities than you can do more than once. You can’t find a much better playground than the one at Columbian Park. There are playgrounds to fit all ages. Walking around the lagoon and chasing the birds through the rest of the park is fun. Kiddo rides and a train are also available!

Tropicanoe CoveCheapest and yet most fun you can get in one little waterpark. A lazy river, swimming pool, one big slide, two little slides and a lily pad obstacle course are just a handful of things to do at the waterpark. I have spent hours there with my little sister. Pack a lunch and don’t forget to sunscreen up!

The Farm at Prophetstown – A 1920’s working farm and recreated home are ready to be explored. The only charge is to get into the State Park, however you can get a pass to gain access into all of Indiana’s state parks. The home is hands-on to see how life was almost 100 years ago. The park itself is home to trails, playgrounds and lots of nature. Also, Prophetstown State Park is home to another water park with pools, slides, splash stations and a winding lazy river. From fishing to hiking to camping, all of Indiana’s state parks are beautiful.

Prophetstown State Park

Prophetstown State Park

The Celery Bog Nature Area This was formerly the home of a vegetable farm. Crawling with nature and looking not like your average park, the Celery Bog can be wandered for hours before you will see all 95 acres of land. Pack a lunch and bring some water with you out to explore and search for the over 120 species of wildlife.

Imagination Station- Open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Imagination Station is a volunteer run center that has so many hands on activities. For less than $4.00 per kid, children can use their imagination and learn how things work.

Radishes 2014 FM Laf Easter MktFarmers Markets– Our area has three farmers markets happening all on different days of the week. Pick up fruits and vegetables from the market and make a healthy dinner together; its both productive and hands on for the kids.

Purdue University Campus is a beautiful place to take a fountain run in the summer time! Try and see how many fountains you can play in! Ride your bikes through campus and try to imagine what classes you would be taking in each building!

Geocaching– Download the app Geocaching for a scavenger hunt that extends across the entire United States. Follow the app’s compass to find an actual hidden object. Purdue’s campus is a great place to do this, as you can walk around and not have to cross many roads.

Rainy Days- Head to Monster Mini Golf, Elite Air Trampoline Park, Climb Lafayette, and local movie theaters. All have admission fees charged, but can be done in moderation!

Tippecanoe County Libraries–  Reading to Cats and Dogs, preschool story times, summer reading series and many other free activities are offered all summer long. Check out the library’s website for details on free programing.

There are many things in the Lafayette-West Lafayette area to do in the summer time! Check out www.HomeofPurdue.com for a full calendar of events.

Rachel, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern, shares this blog.