Pepperoni Perfection at Arni’s

Stomachs grumbling, cold winds hitting our faces and tired bodies from sledding. What was the next activity on the agenda? This was the question the Visitor Center’s staff had. A unanimous agreement was made…we should dine at Arni’s Restaurant for lunch! (Arni’s originated in the Lafayette area over fifty years ago and has expanded to multiple parts of Indiana.)

The Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette staff arrived with warm welcomes from the Arni’s staff. We were seated right away in a comfortable and cozy booth. The hospitable waitress introduced herself and explained the fresh-made foods on the menu and the famous Arni’s pizza.

Pondering for a minute, we had to try the pepperoni pizza and side salads. The Arni’s Junior Salad is a unique rendition of a traditional salad. This delicious dish includes tender ham and turkey chunks topped with blends of cheese, sliced radishes, green onions and croutons. With any salad comes flavorsome dressings! Arni’s homemade french dressing is one of the available choices as well as their famous bleu cheese, herb vinaigrette and classic ranch.

The staff is fabulous!

After deciding pizza and salads as a main meal, we had to try some munchie appetizers. A plethora of choices, the loaded cheese fries and chili nachos supreme were the final decision. Who doesn’t want crispy fries, gooey cheese, bacon and green onions all in one! The chili, tomatoes and jalapenos had a savory taste and put a trance on anyone who tried them.

Nachos galore!

After full bellies of appetizers, salads and homemade pepperoni pizza (which you must order…the pepperoni is cut up very small and has the perfect blend of spice! One of best pepperoni’s around!), it was time to end the impeccable lunch break. The polite staff and efficient service brands Arni’s Restaurant as a preferable place to eat.

Fly heaven!

Onward to more winter fun as we embark on an afternoon of more sledding in Lafayette-West Lafayette! For more information about this restaurant and our fabulous sledding hills, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

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

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.

Be My Valentine Contest 2019 Winner

We have the winner of our “Be My Valentine Contest 2019″ worth over $500! Congratulations to Jack from Spencer, Indiana.
Jack shares, “Thank you for this news. As I have only made it to this area  a few times to attend Purdue Relay for Life and the Hope Gala while my granddaughter attended the past four years and still reside near campus, I am excited to share more time with her and have her show me around the city and campus. The only establishment I have visited has been Triple XXX so far and am looking forward to visiting these other places.”

Thanks to all who participated in this latest contest! Stay tuned for our next big contest/package we will be hosting in April!

Best Donut Shops in Greater Lafayette

Who says doughnuts can’t be both breakfast and dessert? West Lafayette and Lafayette have five great locations where you can satisfy your morning hunger or your sweet tooth with some delicious doughnuts. So grab your friends, your children or your grandchildren and make an outing out of visiting these amazing shops.

Mary Lou Donuts

Open since 1961, Mary Lou’s is one of the statement shops of Lafayette, and it is home to some of the best doughnuts in the area. It prides itself on freshness and quality, and inside its shop is a center of community for townsfolk and students alike.

The specialty doughnuts include the massive apple fritters and blueberry doughnuts, but they have more than 80 flavor combinations. The company offers many other services, including delivery and drive-thru, and it sports the only doughnut truck in the area. You can find the truck’s location by visiting the Mary Lou Donut Truck Locations Facebook page.

Mary Lou Donuts picture

The blueberry glazed doughnut I ate at Mary Lou Donuts.

I came for breakfast, and I tried the blueberry glazed cake doughnut, which has a true blueberry flavor with hints of cinnamon. It’s not too dense, but it’s definitely filling.

Address: 1830 S. 4th St., Lafayette, IN 47905

Hours: Monday through Saturday – 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday – closed

O’Rears Pastry Shop

This shop features specialty pastries including cupcakes, cookies and danishes, but they also serve fresh doughnuts. O’Rears most famous doughnuts include the fried cinnamon crunch doughnuts and the fried apple fritters.

Other doughnuts include the tiger tails (vanilla and chocolate twists), Bavarian cremes, French cremes and raspberry cremes. On weekends, the shop makes special lemon and chocolate-filled doughnuts. Most of their doughnuts are yeast, but they do offer a small selection of cake doughnuts.

O'Rear's Pastry Shop donut

The fried cinnamon crunch doughnut I ate at O’Rear’s Pastry Shop.

I came for breakfast and tried the fried cinnamon crunch doughnut, which was delicious! The cinnamon-roll-flavored yeast doughnut was topped with caramel icing, crushed nuts and butterscotch chips, and the flavors together made me want to melt in their goodness.

Address: 321 N. 9th St., Lafayette, IN 47904

Check out O’Rears famous neon sign! It’s shaped like a pastry chef’s hat.

Hours: Monday – 6 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday – 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday – 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday – 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday – 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Corlew Donut Company

Open only in the morning, this doughnut shop features a variety of cake and yeast doughnuts you can grab on-the-go because it’s not a sit-down restaurant. However, you can purchase coffee or bottled beverages from a refrigerated cooler in the shop to pair with your doughnut.

Corlew Donut Co.’s specialty doughnuts include the apple fritters and the tiger tails. Not to be outdone by the other flavors, their special cinnamon doughnuts having a variety of toppings including caramel icing, chopped nuts with chocolate icing, and cinnamon sugar.

Corlew Donut Company donut

The tiger tail doughnut I ate at Corlew Donut Company.

I tried the tiger tail for breakfast, which was ginormous; it’s the equivalent of eating two doughnuts. I ate it all in one sitting! Chocolate and vanilla flavors are intertwined in this yeast doughnut, and it is topped with glaze frosting.

Address: 1803 E. 350 S., Lafayette, IN 47909

Hours: Monday – closed, Tuesday through Sunday – 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Hammer Donuts

Hammer Donuts, like Corlew’s, is a place to grab a doughnut or two on-the-go because it’s not a sit-down shop or cafe. Tucked in the back of the Discount Den convenience store in the Chauncey Hill Mall near Purdue’s campus, a floor-to-ceiling glass case holds cake and yeast doughnuts made fresh for the day.

There are a variety of flavors to try, including jelly-filled, Bavarian creme-filled, cherry, red velvet and more. Their specialties, however, are the apple fritters as well as the cereal-topped doughnuts featuring Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, or Captain Crunch. No other shop in the area features these cereal creations; they definitely conquer breakfast and dessert.

Hammer Donuts donut

The strawberry glazed doughnut I ate at Hammer Donuts.

I came for a snack and tried the glazed strawberry cake doughnut, which was small but also dense and thick, and it was the perfect combination to make me feel satisfied.

Address: 135 S. Chauncey Avenue #1J, West Lafayette, IN 47906

Hours: Monday through Wednesday – 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday – 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday – 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co.

Greyhouse is a modern-yet-rustic coffee shop bustling with people near Purdue’s campus. After a huge remodel, the company had its grand reopening in March, 2018. With its new look, it has a new menu that now includes doughnuts.

Many of the flavors cater to the season, such as the pumpkin spice glazed cake doughnut and the strawberry lemonade yeast doughnut, but Greyhouse does offer classic flavors like the glazed vanilla bean yeast doughnut, the classic old-fashioned cake doughnut and the double chocolate old-fashioned cake doughnut.

Greyhouse donut

The pumpkin spice glazed doughnut I ate at Greyhouse.

I tried the pumpkin spice glazed doughnut as another snack, and it was a spongy, dense cake that I enjoyed while sitting in the shop.

Address: 100 Northwestern Ave., West Lafayette, IN 47906

Hours: Everyday – 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

If you’re in the area, check out some of these amazing doughnut shops and find your favorite one for breakfast or just a sweet treat excursion.

For more information about Lafayette-West Lafayette food and shops, visit us at HomeOfPurdue.com

This blog was wrriten by Purdue University Student, Kayla Groen

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.

Weekend Update: Haan Mansion 115th Anniversary Celebration & Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE!

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.

Great Hall at the Haan Mansion

This Friday, January 25, experience a small slice of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair at the Haan Museum, as they celebrate the 115th anniversary of the Fair. The Colonial Revival mansion served as the Connecticut Building, and now houses major artifacts from the Fair. Three massive vases exhibited there by Weller Pottery, including a 7-foot vase that won a gold medal for the Arts, are always on display. You’ll also find works by T.C. Steele and Charles Conner that were on display in the Fine Arts Palace at the Fair. Featured paintings from the Indiana Building include works by William Forsyth, John Elwood Bundy and Frank Girardin. Other major Fair souvenirs in the exhibition include andirons, a mandolin, zither, accordion, telephone, a Majolica statue, a 1760 candle stand that was displayed in the building at the Fair, a blow gun, stereopticons, and a wide variety of smaller objects. The World’s Fair was where nations, states and companies showed off the very best products and technologies of the time. Enjoy free admission, music, and refreshments.

Purdue Convocations bring to its guests Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE! this Sunday, January 27. Based on the #1 PBS Kids series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE! has delighted audiences nationwide for years. Now, this grrrr-ific musical for little tigers and grown-ups alike is back with an all-new show featuring your favorite characters! In King for a Day, Daniel learns just what it takes to be the King of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. In this event filled with tiger-tastic fun, Daniel Tiger learns the importance of being a kind and helpful friend. Meanwhile, you can sing along to new songs, enjoy magical moments, and meet some surprise guests! Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE!: King for a Day is a royally great time!

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

Be My Valentine Contest 2019 Details

Be My Valentine Contest to Home of Purdue! This contest is worth over $550! Enjoy these details about the local places who have donated.

  • Enjoy a visit to the classy and historical Union Club Hotel at Purdue University.
  • Make sure you head to the boutique, Juniper, before it goes out of business this year! All items are on sale!
  • Arni’s: 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.
  • Greece is calling at the Parthenon! Enjoy Greek delights in a colorful and casual atmosphere at this delightful Greek restaurant.
  • Kathy’s Kandies: Satisfy your sweet tooth with truffles, gourmet popcorn, cakes, toffee, shakes and smoothies, licorice, artisan chocolates; need we say more!
  • Almost every weekend a special head-lining band performs at Indiana’s “oldest bar”, the Knickerbocker Saloon, to provide its guests an evening of musical entertainment and fun. A favorite of the locals and visitors as well gather together for camaraderie, delicious beer and great music.
  • Split a “Pitcher and a Pie” with a friend and cheer on your favorite team while watching the game at Professor Joe’s Sports Pub & Pizzeria.
  • Try Mad Mushroom’s famous original cheesestix, basted with Garlic Butter & Smothered with Mozzarella Cheese.
  • Wolf Park: Howl, laugh and watch as the wolves interact with each other. Don’t miss checking out the bison, coyotes and foxes at Wolf Park!
  • Imagine a place covered in ice and surrounded by trees glistening with a light layer of frost. Enjoy an afternoon of skating fun at Riverside Skating Center.
  • Monster Mini Golf: Check out Monster Mini Golf, an indoor 18-hole glow in the dark golf course. Along with mini golf, there are some arcade games, glow-in-the-dark air hockey table and ticket redemption games such as ice ball. While there are monsters all around the course, none of them jump out at you!
  • Tour the the building that was once featured at the St. Louis Worlds Fair, Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art! It holds some of the most historic and valued Indiana art pieces in the state!
  • Lafayette Symphony Orchestra: Be swept way on a musical adventure when you attend a lovely performance by this local group of musicians.
  • Head to Painting with a Twist and explore your creative side at this art studio. With the assistance of a teacher providing step by step instruction, your blank 16×20 canvas will become a beautiful painting!
  • 2 wonderful productions, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn and Stomp, are coming to Purdue Convocations this year! Enjoy!

Enter to win this fabulous contest at HomeOfPurdueBlog.com. Good luck!

The Knickerbocker Saloon: An Old School Bar in a New Town

The Knickerbocker Bar West Lafayette

As I sat at a heavy walnut bar surrounded by mirrors that illuminated the impressive liquor display, it was hard for me not to feel like a character out of a Fitzgerald novel. The Knickerbocker Saloon, located at 113 N. Fifth St. in downtown Lafayette, is Indiana’s oldest bar, with an equally impressive legacy. Though the Knickerbocker Saloon has hundreds of tiny details that are worth exploring, listed below are the five most notable.

A prohibition liquor plaque displayed at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette, Indiana

Calling my History Buffs

Receiving its liquor license in 1835, the Knickerbocker Saloon is the oldest bar in Indiana! Throughout the bar’s history, it has been visited by such notables as Neil Armstrong, Ulysses S. Grant and John Purdue. Featured on the walls by the bathroom are two plaques; one commemorating the Knickerbocker’s 175th anniversary in 2010, and the other displays a certificate for the prohibition of liquor in 1922!

A Zombie Dust beer at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette, Indiana.

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Though they don’t serve 99 different types of beers, the general manager, Deborah Walstra, informed me that they carry 80 to 84 brands of beer at a given time, rotating with the seasons. Sorry to disappoint tap lovers, but they only carry bottled beers, which was a quirky surprise. I tried a Zombie Dust beer, which is a powerfully hopped pale ale that had a great, refreshing flavor and a unique package design. Walstra also mentioned that the Knickerbocker hosts a free beer school on the first and third Monday of every month, in which different breweries offer information and samplings of their products (no sign-up necessary). To support local businesses, the Knickerbocker also carries beer from local breweries in Lafayette, making sure everyone can sample the best that Indiana has to offer.

A caramel apple martini at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette, Indiana.

Martinis Galore

My interview at the Knickerbocker took place on a Wednesday, which just so happens to be martini night (coincidence- I think not). From the classic martini to an equally impressive “flirtini,” the Knickerbocker offers any type of martini you can dream of (and even some that would never cross your mind). I sampled a caramel apple martini, which was made with a smooth caramel vodka base and tasted like I was biting into an taffy apple: needless to say, I was in love. Walstra said that she encourages her staff to experiment with different martini flavors, creating a new concoction almost every night (truly an impressive feat).

Entertainment room at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette, Indiana.

Not the Taj Mahal, but….

With a history dating from 1835, the Knickerbocker was bound to have some awesome architectural features. What struck me first was the beautiful bar. Constructed from walnut with a cherry veneer, it exudes a 1920s feel. I also loved the high, tin ceilings, which added to the “old money” ambiance. Because of the stunning architectural features, the Knickerbocker hosts many business and wedding receptions.

Live entertainment offered at the Knickerbocker Saloon.

Live Entertainment

Perhaps the most attractive feature of the Knickerbocker Saloon is the live entertainment. On Monday the bar features karaoke. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, live piano music entertains. Every Friday a unique artist is featured from People’s Live (a local brewery that supports regional musicians), and on Saturday live music is offered! In the extended green room, a stage is set up to make accommodating artists and large groups a breeze.

Open every day from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., the Knickerbocker is sure to dazzle you with its impressive history and diverse drink menu. For more information about the bar visit its Facebook or call (765) 423-2234. For more information about local bars in Lafayette/West Lafayette be sure to check out the Home of Purdue Blog.

Sarah Staatz, Purdue University Student, shares this blog.

Weekend Update: Winter Wolves & Cinderella

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.

Winter Wolves is back at Wolf Park this January 12, 2019! Join everyone for a day of fun as the wolves explore and are in their glorious full winter coats! Hot drinks are available indoors so that visitors can warm up in between activities, which often include talks on how animals survive the winter, outdoor games and sometimes a demonstration of how Wolf Park cuts up road kill deer to feed to the wolves. Winter is a great time to see the wolves, since they love the cold and tend to be active and howling all day long, unlike those long hot summer afternoons which they spend napping. When the pond is frozen over, the wolves skate and play on the ice. Winter Wolves is a great time for families to come visit — there is something for everyone.

Guess what Disney classic is taking place at Purdue Convocations this Saturday, January 12? CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. Bring the family to enjoy this wonderful production and enjoy an evening of merriment!

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