Five Free Things to Do this Summer in Lafayette-West Lafayette

With the kids out of school, summer is the perfect time to get a taste of the Lafayette-West Lafayette community! Check out these five free things that you and your family can check out this summer!

1. Lafayette Citizens Band Concerts

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can enjoy concerts from the Lafayette Citizens Band concerts on Thursday evenings! Pop down to Riehle Plaza to enjoy the classical music preformed by this group of locals. This band has been performing since 1842!

2. Natalie’s Second Chance Volunteer

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Help out the community and have a great time doing it by volunteering at Natalie’s Second Chance Animal Shelter! Volunteers can help walk dogs and help with shelter duties. Spending time with these animals is free, and not only benefits them, but is sure for an adorable experience!

3. Stars and Stripes Concert

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Each year on Independence Day, there is a great holiday celebration at Riehle Plaza! The Lafayette Citizens Band performs a concert filled with patriotic music. The Stars and Stripes concert is followed by a stunning firework display at dusk (usually around 10 PM). Have fun and celebrate the Fourth of July with your community members!

4. Farmers’ Market

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The Farmers Market runs from May through October! It has three locations – Lafayette, West Lafayette, and on Purdue’s campus. It is one of the longest running farmers markets in Indiana, founded over 165 years ago! You can stroll through the stalls of fresh fruits, veggies, baked goods and more.

5. Fort Ouiatenon

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Fort Ouiatenon is open weekends mid May—August from 1 to 5 p.m. Visitors can see the replica blockhouse, which was built in 1930. The Fort was built in 1717 and it was originally a fur trade post! This would be a great place to learn about some Indiana history and have fun exploring the recreated settlements.

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

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Five Free Spring Things to Do in Lafayette!

There are wonderful activities to do all over Lafayette! The five things I’ve detailed below are some great free options for how to spend your Spring days!

1. Haan Mansion Sculpture Garden

Bronze scultpure Solitude by Tuck Langland at Haan Scultpure Garden

Take a stroll around the Haan Mansion Sculpture Garden! Newly opened, this garden is home to a wide variety of artistry. Bronze sculptures, clay works, and more can be found outside of the historic Haan Mansion. The path is even wheelchair accessible!

2. Plan a picnic at Clegg Botanical Gardens

clegggardens_cClegg Garden overlooks and runs along side the Wildcat Creek offering a naturalistic setting including prairie and oak savanna restorations, with extensive beds of wildflowers, plants native to Indiana, labelled trees, nature trails and bridges. Grab a blanket, a picnic basket and enjoy an afternoon at Clegg!

3. Round the Fountain Art Fair

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Art lovers and artists alike can witness the artistic mastery of our community members! At the Round the Fountain Art Fair,  hundreds of artists gather to sell and showcase their work. This fair is held the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend each year!

4. Art Museum of Greater Lafayette

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Sculptures, paintings, modern art and more – the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette showcases all kinds of local artistry! Free to the public, the museum is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

5. Five Points Fire Station Museum

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The Fire Station Museum is a nearly 100-year-old building located in Lafayette. It used to be a functioning fire station for the community, but today it has been converted to a museum. There is a fire truck from 1937, old coats and helmets, and many other artifacts!

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

Five Free Spring Things to Do in West Lafayette!

There’s no better price than FREE! So many attractions and activities to check out this spring won’t cost you a dime. Check out a few selections in West Lafayette below!

1. Cumberland Park

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Cumberland Park contains a 1/2 mile footpath, two lighted Arni Cohen Memorial softball fields, two lighted basketball courts and the Pony League Baseball field! The Cumberland Park would be a great place to visit with your family or friends this spring!

2. John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge 

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 You can enjoy a beautiful spring day along the Wabash at the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge! Take a lunch, relax and watch the people as they walk across the bridge.

3. Bug Bowl 

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The annual Bug Bowl is the largest known insect event of its kind. Nearly 30,000 people attend this event each year! Kids, families, and bug lovers can all find fun activities to enjoy such as the cricket spitting contest and cockroach racing!

4. Public Art Trail

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Explore all of the creative and beautiful art scattered around West Lafayette! Check out our website and brochure on the Public Art Trail – it will give you a guide too all of the things you can spot around Purdue’s campus and beyond!

5. Springfest at Purdue 

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Join the fun at Purdue’s Spring Fest! This free event is a great opportunity for students of all ages to learn about animals, art, astronomy, and much more in two full days of hands-on activities. This year it will be: April 14 & 15, 2018!

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 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.