Spring Break Staycation 2019

Our Visitor Information Specialists are here to assist you with your travel questions!

You don’t need to go far to enjoy your Spring Break! Whether you are traveling through our great cities or staying closer to home this month, there are plenty of chances for spring break fun!

To those travelers passing through and heading for a spring break destination (or those locals wanting to treat themselves to a relaxing time), please note we have  wonderful hotels that offer great amenities and good old-fashioned Hoosier hospitality. Our location is the perfect stop during your travels to rest before you head out farther south or on your way home. Our visitor center is also right off of Interstate 65 and is staffed with our friendly Visitor Information Specialists 7 days a week to assist with travel ideas, guides, maps, and more.

Local Breweries/Winery Did you know that there are five breweries and a winery all located in our area? You can learn all about them on our website. Brokerage Brewing Company is in West Lafayette right off of Sagamore Parkway. Lafayette Brewing Company and Thieme & Wagner are in the heart of downtown Lafayette, and also serve delicious food! People’s Brewing Company and Teays River Brewing are memorable and exciting options as well! Why not stop in and try them all? If beer’s not for you, Wildcat Creek Winery has a variety of excellent wines suitable for everyone!

Downtown There are three district downtown districts – Chauncey Village, Wabash Riverfront and the Arts and Market District. You can explore all of the cool shops, delicious restaurants and other attractions! Try out restaurants like Black Sparrow, Red Seven, Cellar 422, East End Grill, La Scala and so much more! There are art galleries, theaters, a doll museum, Merlin’s Beard, art shops as well. Learn more about downtown here!

Outdoors If you’re looking to explore the outdoors, Lafayette-West Lafayette has lots of different places to go. There are beautiful and spacious parks, including Prophetstown State Park. The Farm at Prophetstown is a must-see for someone who loves animals and nature. You can also enjoy Wolf Park, a wildlife sanctuary for wolves, foxes and other furry friends! All this and more to visit outdoors here.

These are just a few fun activities in our area.  You’ll just have to stop by to see for yourself everything that there is in store for a great staycation! For more information about our area please visit HomeOfPurdue.com. This blog was written by Visitor Information Specialist, Sam Martin!

Weekend Update: Dare to Bear & Groundhog Day

Lafayette-West Lafayette 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 or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Dare to Bear is back!!  Do you have what it takes to go ice-skating wearing only your swimsuit? Come to the Riverside Skating Rink and find out this Friday, February 1! This wildly popular, family-friendly event encourages participants to skate around the rink wearing only their swimsuits! For only $5.00 (additional $3.00 skate rental fee), people can skate as many laps as they want from 7:00-8:30 PM. Only those wearing proper swim attire will be admitted to the rink from 7:00-8:30 PM, and as always, the wackier the better!

After bearing the cold, on Saturday, February 2, head to the Long Center for the Performing Arts to see the iconic 1993 movie Groundhog Day ON Groundhog day! The movie is about a cynical weatherman named Phil (Bill Murray) who finds himself living the same day over and over and over again. The movie starts at 7:30 PM and cost $5. 

For more information about these events and other events happening this weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at HomeOfPurdue.com.

Top 5 Sledding Tips & Winter Fun at Home of Purdue

Did you know you can cross country ski at Prophetstown State Park? Bring your ski’s!

Looking for a fun winter activity for the whole family? We recommend sledding! Here at the Visitors Center we spent the day testing out the best sledding hills in the area and brainstormed 5 tips for you to have a terrific experience sledding.

  1. Bundle up!
    • This might seem like common sense, but it gets really cold when you get out in the snow. So, before you head out with your sled in hand make sure you have all the essentials: scarf, hat, gloves, coat, multiple pairs of socks, and hand-warmers. You might break a sweat climbing up and down the big hills, but it is vital to dress warmly.

      Kids having fun at Murdock Park!

  2. Map out which hills to try in advance.
    • Our next piece of advice is to plan your day in advance. We began at Prophetstown State Park with some cross country skiing and a snowball fight. Then we stopped for a delicious lunch at Arni’s at Market Square before our final stop at Murdock Park. With so many options here in Lafayette/West Lafayette, make the most of you day by choosing which hills you want to go to ahead of time.
  3. Have no fear.
    • Now some of these hills can be decidedly intimidating (have you seen Slater Hill?!) but to have the most thrilling experience you must simply be brave and go for it at full speed! We wiped out plenty of times, but those moments are now fantastic memories of a fun day together.

      We had so much fun at Murdock Park!

  4. Go home when you can’t feel your feet anymore.
    • Once it gets to a certain point, it will be time to pack up and head home. Safety first around here and that means we want you to be able to feel your fingers and toes! Head home once you are too cold. Don’t worry you can come back again!
  5. Drink some hot cocoa to warm back up.
    • Finally, (and this is my favorite piece of advice) drink some hot cocoa! I have so many memories of spending the day building snowmen and having snowball fights, and then coming inside where it’s warm and cozy. My mom would always have a huge cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows for my sister and me. This is the perfect way to end a perfect day of sledding.

Fun at Prophetstown State Park!

We hope these tips are helpful for you the next time you adventure out into the cold to go sledding. We would love to see pictures and hear about your own advice, so tag us on facebook or instagram @homeofpurdue. Happy sledding!

Jaclyn, VLWL Intern and Purdue University Student, shares this blog.

The Best Pumpkin Patches Near Purdue

The temperature is dropping, leaves are changing, and combines are in the field. It’s fall in Indiana, and with that comes a plethora of fun outdoor activities.

The season brings something for everyone — from football and tailgating to haunted houses and hay rides. For a lot of people, however, it wouldn’t be fall without a pumpkin on the doorstep.

If you’re one of these people (or you just enjoy fun fall activities), the pumpkin patches in the Lafayette/West Lafayette area have your back. Before going to the grocery store to buy your pumpkins this fall, check out this list of a few pumpkin patches in the area.

Wea Creek Orchard

Located just off of U.S. 231, Wea Creek is a family-owned orchard, market, and event venue in Lafayette, Indiana. The main pumpkin patch is about 6 acres and grows 70,000 pounds of pumpkins each year. There is also a smaller patch (1.5 acres) dedicated to growing pumpkins for children on school field trips. If you want to pick your pumpkin straight from the field, this is a good option. Prices are determined by pumpkin weight.

In addition to picking out your own pumpkins, you can find a variety of items, such as honey, apple cider, jelly, and candles, in the Orchard's market.

The Orchard’s market also has a variety of goods for sale.

Tractor rides to and from the patch are available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Tractor rides are offered on Saturdays and Sundays.

Kent’s Cucurbits

With a 17-acre pumpkin field, Kent’s Cucurbits has one of the largest selections in the area. In addition to traditional pumpkins, the patch also sell gourds, decorative squash, and white pumpkins. They are all pre-picked and cleaned for visitors. Prices range from $1-$8. If a nontraditional pumpkin is more your style, there is a great selection here in Brookston, Indiana.

Traditional pumpkins are grouped in rows according to size.

Traditional pumpkins are grouped in rows according to size.

While these may not be the best carving pumpkins, they make great decorations or centerpieces.

These pumpkins make great decorations or centerpieces.

In addition to the pumpkins, there is also a 4 acre corn maze.

There is also a 4-acre corn maze here.

Exploration Acres

Like Wea Creek, Exploration Acres visitors go into the patch to pick their pumpkins. Be aware that there is a fee to enter the patch, and pumpkin prices are determined by weight. Located between U.S. 52 and I-65, this was the busiest of the patches — but there was still plenty of room to search for the perfect pumpkin.

Wagons are available to bring back the pumpkins

In addition to the pumpkin patch, there are different games and food options.

There is a section of the 11 acre patch dedicated to giant pumpkins.

There is a section of the 11-acre patch dedicated to giant pumpkins.

The Great Pumpkin Patch at Congress Street Church

Visitors can shop for pumpkins, gourds, fall decorations, bake sale, mums and more! The Patch is handicap-accessible, pets are welcome, and picture-taking is encouraged. There is a fabulous area filled with hay bales, pumpkins and fall decorations that is great for selfies and family photos. Do not miss the bake sale, as they have the best pumpkin bread around!

Each patch offers something for everyone. Be sure to visit your favorite before the season ends.

The Great Pumpkin Patch

To keep up with more seasonal events, be sure to check out HomeofPurdue.com

This blog was written by Cheyenne Dunn, Purdue University Student.

Rainbow of Colors: 21 Petals

A rainbow of colors pop as you approach the field. Sunflowers tower high, looking toward the sun. A friendly bee buzzes from one flower to the next pollinating the beautiful flowers. A butterfly gently flaps its wings as it rests on a petal. Life is peaceful, quiet and calm here at 21 Petals, a new flower farm in Lafayette.

My family and I visited this farm and thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the experience. We have a 5 ½ month old and happened to forget the stroller that day, but it was no problem as it wasn’t too far to walk from the car. We just took turns holding her. The owner, Stefani warmly greeted us, welcomed us to the farm and explained the process. They provide the buckets and the pruners, and she explained how to cut the flowers. You can fill up the entire bucket, the size of a child’s beach bucket for one low price. We went off exploring, picking all of our favorite flowers as we saw them. There were quite the variety of sunflowers, zinnias, gladiolus, dahlias, celosia, cosmos and more in bloom while we were there. The flower selection changes throughout the season.  All the flowers are arranged in rows with plenty of grassy space in between for you to walk.

We were a bit rushed just due to our daughter’s schedule, but I would have loved to take a little more time, it was so relaxing and beautiful here. We filled our bucket and headed back to the barn. Stefani gathered up our flowers and placed them in a bag, then directed us to the barn to select a vase if we wanted (included in the price of the flowers). We paid for the flowers and took them home to arrange them. We were able to get two good sized vases full of flowers and could have split them up to have probably four decent sized arrangements. (We have cats who are very nosey and like to eat flowers, so we stuck to two and put them up high, away from the cat’s spaces!) What a fun experience! It’s so much more fun to pick them yourself than to go to a flower shop to purchase a bouquet and it’s more economical for sure!

Do you see our kitty??

We hope you will visit this flower farm on the south side of Lafayette and enjoy it as much as we did! You can find it on County Road 700 South between US 231 and County Road 100 East (Actual address is: 748 E 700 S Lafayette, IN 47909).

For more information about this flower farms and other farms in our area, visit HomeOfPurdue.com. Ashley Gregory, Director of Sales, shares this blog.

Educational Fun at Celery Bog Nature Area and Lilly Nature Center

Lilly Nature Center Ecosystem Display

Explore, learn and just have fun at the Celery Bog Nature Area and Lilly Nature Center. The nature area is 195 acres of land and is home to 120 different species of birds. Rabbits, coyotes, opossums and other small mammals live there. Many amphibious creatures are attracted to its rich and unique wetland habitat. Kids will “ooh” and “aahh” at the wildlife that pops up everywhere!

Hike or stroll 4.3 miles of paved trails and 2.5 miles of natural paths through the woods, savanna and prairie. Many sections of these trails take you right beside the marsh. Interpretive signs, audio informational units and three observation decks are associated with these trails to make your hikes more enjoyable. Bring your bike as bicycling is permitted as well on the paved trails.

Make sure you visit the Lilly Nature Center on your visit. Recently, they have added a whole new educational display on the ecosystem. Learn about the wetlands, prairie, savanna and woodlands in this interesting display. Listen to the sounds of nature in their sound display that has all different types of species and the sounds they make. Sit and watch birds as they enjoy lunch or dinner in the bird watching area. Your little ones can color, play pretend in their puppet show area, and see and touch what a mastodon’s bones were like. What is better than an activity that is educational and fun!

Make sure this summer or fall you head to this beautiful area we call the Celery Bog!  Take advantage of the great outdoors and just have fun! For more information about this parks and recreation activity and others in our area, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Weekend Update: Zoo Run Run & Gallery Walk

Lafayette-West Lafayette 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 or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Join the fun at Columbian Park Zoo this Saturday! You can get your daily steps in by participating in the Zoo Run Run. This 5K run/walk travels through the historic Columbian Park Neighborhood and offers a fun, inexpensive way to get you & your family up and moving! Mingle with zoo staff and some of your favorite zoo residents! Below is the schedule for the morning:

6:30-7:15am: Pre-Registration time
8:00am: Race Begins
9:15am: Race Results announced (winners only) and Awards Ceremony
9:30am: Kids’ Fun Run

If you’re interested in participating, you can visit their website for more information here.

Friday evening is one of Lafayette’s beloved annual events- The Gallery Walk! During each Gallery Walk, the local arts community collaborates with downtown business to highlight arts and culture. Experience local art, meet artists, and enjoy refreshments and live music as you stroll through Downtown Lafayette! You’ll be able to find more information on their website here regarding who will be participating and the exact location of all of the businesses! It’s certainly a special event that really celebrates this community!

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

Canoe & Kayak in Lafayette-West Lafayette

Enjoying the Bicentennial Nature Area!

It’s summertime! Time for swim suits, canoeing and kayaking fun! Grab your paddles and head to one of our many parks/nature areas to enjoy a day outside on the water.  Here is a list of great spots to make some special water memories!

  • River Junction Canoe TripsPrivate camp located 6 miles north of Lafayette at the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers offers a boat ramp with fees and canoe rentals.
  • Wabash River Boat Tours The Wabash River Enhancement Corporation invites you
    on a six mile journey to discover history, culture, recreational
    opportunities and natural beauty of the mighty river.
  • Wildcat Canoe and Kayak Toowildlife viewing opportunities (great blue herons, owls, turtles, kingfishers, deer and more).  Experience one of Indiana’s few designated natural scenic rivers!
  • Bicentennial Nature Area196 acre property featuring a large pond (approximately 70 acres) that is great for kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and windboards. 
  • Davis Ferry Park 13 acres, boat launch and access to Wabash Heritage Trail, fishing bridge spanning the river. 
  • Fairfield Lakes4 stocked lakes, 99.4 acres, and Wildcat Creek access.
  • Fort Ouiatenon89 acres, Wabash River access and a boat ramp.
  • Granville Park 14.6 acres with boat access to the Wabash River.
  • Mascouten Park15 acres, Wabash River access, boat ramp and picnic tables.
  • Shamrock Park 11 acres, dog and community park with boat ramp.
  • Tapawingo Park Canoe access only, 20 acres, Wabash River access, sandy banks, paved hiking trails and accessible playground.
  • Wildcat ParkWildcat Creek access
  • Wolfe’s Leisure Time Campground – Wabash River access and boat ramp (with fees).

Canoeing and fishing fun!

Share with us your favorite Lafayette-West Lafayette canoe and/or kayak spot? Where do you like to enjoy a hot summer afternoon paddling along?

For more information about all the fun recreation activities in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

 

7 Splashin’ Locations at Home Of Purdue

It’s almost July 4th! What are you doing today to enjoy this national holiday? Are you hosting a BBQ or traveling to visit friends and family? Or maybe you are heading out to one of our many great outdoor recreation location in Lafayette-West Lafayette? Whether you are staying home or traveling, it is a great holiday to sit back and relax and enjoy the day off!

Fun at Loeb Fountain at Purdue University!

Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to 2 outdoor aquatic centers (website: scroll to swimming section), Tropicanoe Cove at Columbian Park and the Prophetstown State Park Family Aquatic Center, as well as 3 outdoor pools, Castaway Bay, West Lafayette Municipal Pool and Vinton Pool. 2 splash water public art fountains, The Class of 1939 Water Sculpture and Loeb Fountain, are also open for water fun at Purdue University.  Kick off your shoes, grab your swimming suit and be prepared to have a blast!

Just chillin’ at Tropicanoe Cove!

Tropicanoe Cove is a favorite of many and has been creating laughter and fun for years.  Shouts and squeals can be heard from kids and adults making a great splash down the spiraling Banana Peel tube slide! (This is where you will find my husband who is a big kid at heart)! Looking for a more leisurely afternoon? Grab an inner-tube and laze your way through Cattail Crik. Please note this is where you will find me! There are plenty of lounge chairs to catch the rays and enjoy the Indiana sun!

Prophetstown State Park Family Aquatic Center, located in Indiana’s newest state park, provides entertainment for the entire family with pools, slides, splash stations and a winding lazy river. A great feature of the park is its effort to preserve the area’s past. There are glacier boulders and a wide range of native plants and trees that pay homage to the land’s history and tie in perfectly with the rest of the state park.

Prophetstown State Park Family Aquatic Center

Prophetstown State Park Family Aquatic Center

An adventure is waiting for you at Castaway Bay! Beach-like entry, water basketball, and a bubble bench are just a few of the features that make up this family-friendly aquatic center, located in Armstrong Park!

Three heated pools, a baby pool that is less than one foot deep, an intermediate pool that is 1 1/2 to 3 foot deep and a large pool that is 3 1/2 to 12 1/2 foot deep with two low diving boards welcome you at the West Lafayette Municipal Pool. Also, there are 3 shade structures to relax under on hot summer days!

The renovated Vinton Pool is located at 3111 Prairie Lane and features a beach-like entrance, double water slide, playful water geysers, large umbrellas and lap lanes. Pool rental is available after hours as well.

The Class of 1939 Water Sculpture (website: scroll to Purdue section), is a popular spot on campus. The concrete sculpture is 38 feet tall and has 280 colored lights to illuminate the water and stainless steel cylinder. When on, the fountain jets upward 588 gallons of recycled water per minute. Beware, the spray is mighty powerful but oh so much fun!

Loeb Fountain (website: scroll to Purdue section) was constructed in 1959 to honor Solomen Loeb, a local merchant, with money donated by Bert and June Loeb. It is located in the center of Founder’s Park where it was dedicated in 1994. The fountain is made of granite and uses 2200 gallons of recycled water per minute. All summer long, find school children running and laughing through the spray! Bring a picnic and enjoy summer at this fun Purdue water art piece.

Fly high!! Prophetstown State Park!

Make sure you head to one (or all if you are truly adventurous) of our water attractions! It will lead to a great summer! For more information about these water adventures and other outdoor recreation in our area, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Ultimate Summer Things To Do at Purdue

If you’re remaining on campus for the summer, or living in the Lafayette area, you may be searching for things to do this summer. Luckily, there are always things waiting to be discovered here in Lafayette-West Lafayette.

If you are a student, or a parent/loved one of a student, you may be interested in attending Purdue Summer Residential Classes. The classes offered, dates and the prices can be found here. These classes are created by the GERI, the Gifted Education Resource Institute. Students from 5th Grade to 12th Grade can participate in these summer camps that cover a wide variety of topics ranging from Criminology to Leadership 101.

A classic Purdue summer activity is doing a fountain run! It is a tradition for students and campus visitors to run through the water fountains on campus. Not only that, it’s a great way to cool off on hot summer days! The two main fountains to visit are the Engineering Fountain and Loeb Fountain. Have a blast running through though the water with your friends – also great for kids!

Another Lafayette must-do in the summer heat is Igloo Frozen Custard. This frozen custard stand has been around since 1932. Enjoy all of the great flavors of custard, sandwiches, burgers, and more! Explore their menu on their website. There’s no better way to spend a hot day than seeing just how many scoops you can eat!
 Igloo Employees
If you are a current Purdue student, there’s always the productive way to spend your summers: taking classes! Catch up on your curriculum, get a hard class out of the way, or take a fun elective. There are so many summer courses offered through Purdue, online and in person. Take a look through all of the courses on the Think Summer website. I’ve taken classes every summer while I’ve been studying at Purdue and it’s really paid off!
There are also two must-see’s in the Indiana heat. Waterparks! The first is Castaway Bay, which is located in Armstrong Park. Beach-like entry, water basketball, and a bubble bench are just a few of the features there. More on the hours, admission prices, etc., here. The second waterpark, Tropicanoe Cove, is located at Colombian Park and Zoo Make a day of it – stop by and see the animals, explore the park and jump in the pool. There are water slides, a lazy river and other great aquatic activities. Either of these are perfect choices for a day in the sun.
 
As you can tell, there are so many things to do and see in Lafayette-West Lafayette in the summertime. Don’t spend your free time bored, staring at a screen – get out there and do something! Educate yourself or your kids, enjoy some delicious frozen custard, and cool down in the water – this and so much more to explore. For more information about these attractions and more in Lafayette-West Lafayette visit HomeOfPurdue.com.  This blog is shared by Samantha Martin, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern.