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Whether you’re a young family looking for fun, kid-friendly activities, a retired couple searching for a relaxing getaway or a college student who just wants something fun to do on the weekend, Ames and Iowa State University are for you!  Are you planning a trip to see us soon? Check out the blog posts below for more information about all the fun things we have to offer!

This week in Ames: Jan. 17-23

Here are a few suggestions for you this week:

On Wednesday (Jan. 19), be prepared to be dazzled. Glass artist Amber Cowan’s fantastical world will be on full display in Mythical Bounty: Glass Sculpture by Amber Cowan. An opening reception will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Brunnier Art Museum. Then, stay to hear Cowan speak (starting at 5:30 p.m.) about her highly intricate works of art and her unique process of repurposing pressed glass.

The next day, get out of the house with other outdoor enthusiasts on a winter hike along the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail in Cambridge. The hike begins at 1:30 p.m. and will last no more than two hours. The hiking is free, but registration is requested.

This week, you’ll have two chances to experience Hilton Magic. On Wednesday (Jan. 19), the ISU women’s basketball team plays host to Texas at 6:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. Then, on Saturday (Jan. 22), the men’s team takes on TCU at 3 p.m. (The Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau is Saturday’s game-day sponsor!)

Also, track fans take note: The Cyclone Open indoor track and field meet will be held on campus all day Saturday (Jan. 22) at Lied Recreation Center.

And on Sunday (Jan. 23), the Iowa State wrestling team presents the Wrestling Triangular starting at noon at Hilton Coliseum. The meet features ISU, Utah Valley, and North Dakota State.

 

Finally, check out Joshua Sinclair in the Iowa Songwriter Showcase at Stephens Auditorium’s Goldfinch Room on Sunday (Jan. 23) at 5 p.m. Sinclair’s styles range from pop to alternative to crossover country.

This week in Ames: Jan. 10-16

If you’re in Ames this week, the good news is that is won’t be nearly as cold as last week. So, what are you waiting for? Bundle up and get outside! Story County Conservation sponsors weekly hikes; the next one is Thursday, Jan. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at West Peterson Park in north Ames.

Story County Conservation has also created a family challenge called Polar Play that kicked off Jan. 1. You can get your kids out of the house and into Story County parks with a new mission each week.

This Saturday, visit the Ames Main Street Indoor Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shop for produce, meats, cheeses, mushrooms, jams and jellies, honey, baked goods, decor, and handcrafted items, all from local producers and artisans. The market is located at 500 Main Street.

Another Saturday option: Railroad fans and history buffs should head over to Boone to the James H. Andrew Railroad Museum. Bill Greenley will be giving a lecture titled “Iowa Railroad Depots” at 2 o’clock. His presentation will highlight rare and unusual Iowa railroad depots.

Also on Saturday, the Cyclone men’s basketball team (currently 13-2) will take on Texas at 1 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. Get out and enjoy some Hilton Magic!

As you round out your week, don’t forget that next Monday (Jan. 17) is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The city of Ames and Story County will celebrate with a social and program that evening at Ames Middle School.

Earlier in the day, plan to pop in The Workspace in the ISU Memorial Union for free, all-ages crafts, including freedom quilt squares and MLK coloring pages. Everyone will also receive a Black Lives Matter button.

And, celebrate the legacy of Dr. King by donating materials or volunteering your time for a service project at Ames Public Library.

The following week, on Thursday, Jan. 27, Iowa State University Lectures Series presents the Martin Luther King, Jr. keynote speaker Yusef Salaam.

 

5 indoor things to do in Ames to help get you through the winter

The holidays are over. Daylight hours are short. January and February seem to drag on forever. So, we’ve assembled a short list of things you can do to help you get through the long Ames winter:

  • Be creative. Take up knitting or quilting (visit Knittery Nook and Quilting Connection in downtown Ames), or drop by the Workspace at the ISU Memorial Union for ceramics or walk-in crafts.
  • Find a film. Grab some popcorn, and settle into a big, comfy seat at North Grand Cinema or Cinemark Movies 12.
  • Test your skills. Have you tried axe-throwing yet? You can, at Inside Golf in North Grand Mall! Try out the golf simulators, too.
  • Read a book. Winter is the very best time to catch up on your reading. Visit Dog-eared Books or the Ames Public Library for the latest best-sellers and timeless classics.
  • Play a game. Check out laser tag, arcade games, bowling, and more at Perfect Games in west Ames.

Watch for our winter outdoor recreation guide and Ames’ coziest winter foods guide, coming soon!

Rock your New Year’s Eve in Ames

Looking for something fun to do on New Year’s Eve? Ames has the answer! Here are just a few activities for you to enjoy:

  • Families and children of all ages are invited to the Ames Public Library to celebrate the start of 2022 with a NOON Year’s Eve Party. Drop in for crafts and a dance party, followed by a countdown to noon and a kid-friendly toast!
  • Bring your friends to celebrate the New Year at Della Viti in downtown Ames. Enjoy food, drink, live music, a photo booth, party favors, and games for a fun evening together. Choose from a VIP happy hour from 5-7 p.m., table reservations starting at 8 p.m., and more. Don’t miss the premium champagne toast!
  • At Cornbred, you’ll find barbecue, live music, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, sweets, games & prizes, a photo booth, and a champagne toast with ball drop at midnight. It all starts at 7 p.m.
  • Down the street at The Angry Irishmen, you’ll find the emphasis on live music. For a $5 cover charge, you can hear The Masterplan, Strong Like Bear, and Alleygrass. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and music starts at 9 o’clock. End the year with a bang!
  • There’s even a New Year’s Eve Dance at Ames Moose Lodge (644 W. 190th St.) sponsored by Red Friars Dance Club & High Society Big Band. Enjoy dancing (obviously), dessert, champagne, and favors.
  • Or join in on a Piano Sing-along at Noir starting at 7 p.m.
  • For a different kind of New Year’s Eve activity, head to Reiman Gardens and walk through the Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show. This is the final weekend for the light display; it’s open Thursday through Saturday evening.

Happy New Year! Take a hike!

What better way to start the new year than with a hike?

Take a New Year’s Hike at Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor in Ames, or enjoy a guided First-Day Hike at Ledges State Park. (Meet at Oak Woods Shelter at 4 p.m. and journey into the heart of the Ledges for a sunset First-Day Hike.) Also, Story County Conservation has created a family challenge called Polar Play that kicks off Jan. 1. (The activity will take families from their homes into Story County parks.)

There are lots of great outdoor spaces in Ames and the surrounding area, so get out and enjoy the day!

This week in Ames: Dec. 20-26

It’s finally here: The biggest holiday week of the year for those who celebrate Christmas. This week, we still have a few remaining holiday treats for you in Ames.

Tonight (Monday, Dec. 20) let A Magical Cirque Christmas take you to a place of dazzling performances and breathtaking cirque artists. If you aren’t already in the holiday spirit, this family-friendly performance should do the trick! Get tickets now for this 8 p.m. show at Stephens Auditorium.

Don’t wait another minute to reserve tickets to walk through the Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show at Reiman Gardens! This immersive light display throughout the gardens’ 17-acre site will be open this Thursday and Friday night (Dec. 23-24) but NOT on Dec. 25. However, if you’re unable to go this week, you still have one more weekend – the light display runs through Jan. 1.

Still looking for unique gifts for family and friends? Check out our last-minute shopping guide, or just head to one of Ames’ many shopping areas. But remember…the clock is ticking!

And don’t miss out on a visit to the North Pole. Santa will be available for pictures at North Grand Mall through Dec. 23. (And then he gets very, very busy.)

Next week, watch for our Ames New Year’s Eve guide. Happy holidays, everyone!

 

Last-minute holiday shopping guide

Are you scrambling to find last-minute gifts for the holidays? Consider these uniquely Ames finds to get your creative juices flowing:

We hope this list sparks some ideas. There are dozens of places to shop in downtown Ames, North Grand Mall, Campustown, and other areas of Ames. Shop local!

 

This Week in Ames: Dec. 13-19

This week is the final push before the big holiday week!

Don’t wait any longer to reserve tickets to walk through the Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show at Reiman Gardens! The show features immersive light displays throughout the gardens’ 17-acre site Thursday through Saturday evenings through Jan. 1.

On Thursday, enjoy local artists at work and finish out your holiday shopping at the Holiday Open Art Studio in Downtown Ames. Visit AmesCart.org for a list of participating artists and their studio locations.

Santa Fitness Festivities are going on Thursday, Dec. 16 at North Ames Fitness Center and Friday, Dec. 17 at South Ames Fitness Center.

Also on Friday, there’s a Luminary Walk at McFarland Park.

A Holiday Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market will be held Saturday, Dec. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 500 Main Street. Check it out for all your holiday needs.

Visit Santa at North Grand Mall through Dec. 23!

And make a note that several ongoing activities in and around Ames are closing this week:

Residents may see a little extra traffic this weekend around the Iowa State Center. ISU’s graduate commencement will be held at 7 p.m. Friday in Hilton Coliseum, and Saturday is the larger undergraduate commencement at 1:30 p.m., also in Hilton. On Sunday, the men’s basketball team takes on Southeastern Louisiana at noon, followed by a women’s basketball match-up against Prairie View A&M at 5 p.m.

This Week in Ames: Dec. 6-12

Are you making a list and checking it twice? This week in Ames continues to offer lots of opportunities to enjoy holiday activities.

You’ll definitely want to make plans to walk through the outdoor Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show at Reiman Gardens. The show features immersive light displays throughout the gardens’ 17-acre site each Thursday through Saturday evening through Jan. 1 (buy timed tickets in advance!) While you’re there, don’t miss the RG Express holiday train exhibit inside the conservatory.

Cue the Sugarplum Fairy! The classic Nutcracker Ballet takes the Stephens Auditorium stage for three performances, Dec. 11-12. This is the highlight of many families’ holiday traditions. This year’s show features choreography by Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato Thomas of Ames’ Robert Thomas Dancenter and involves more than 200 local dancers.

Ready to get the kids outside to blow off some steam? Check out the Geocache Elf Hunt at McFarland Park on Sunday, Dec. 12. Kids learn how to use a GPS, then go search the woods to find stockings of goodies and elves hiding nearby. Register today to reserve your spot.

Also, don’t forget that the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Santa Express makes its festive run to the “North Pole” every weekend, now through Dec. 19. Bring the family and enjoy this central Iowa tradition!

Of course, not everything has to revolve around the holidays, right?

On Monday night (Dec. 6), local author Denise Williams will discuss romance novels, her writing process, and life as a published author at 7 p.m. at Ames Public Library. Williams is the author of How to Fail at Flirting and The Fastest Way to Fall; copies of her books will be available for sale (courtesy of Dog-Eared Books), and a book signing will follow the talk.

Also, on Friday (Dec. 10) Imani Winds performs at 7:30 pm in Ames City Auditorium. The wind quintet concert is presented by Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association

 

This Week in Ames: Nov. 29 – Dec. 5

Hold on to your sleigh bells – this week is going to be a real holiday hullabaloo!

First up is The Lindsey Stirling Christmas Program on Wednesday (Dec. 1) at Stephens Auditorium. Stirling is a platinum-selling electronic artist, violinist, and multi-talented entertainer. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to see her live on stage!

 

Perhaps the highlight of the holiday season in Ames is the Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show at Reiman Gardens, and it starts on Thursday. Don’t miss this outdoor walk-through holiday light show featuring immersive light displays throughout the gardens’ 17-acre site. Enjoy the show with the whole family Thursday through Saturday evenings from Dec. 2 to Jan. 1. While you’re there, don’t miss the RG Express holiday train exhibit inside the conservatory.

If you’re looking for unique, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts – and who isn’t? – the ISU Memorial Union’s Art Mart Pop-Up Shop is for you! From Wednesday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 4, you can shop for pottery, blown glass, jewelry, accessories, and décor.

The holidays get even brighter on Friday, Dec. 3 with the Snow Magic Kickoff in downtown Ames. Join local businesses from 5-8 p.m. as they formally launch the holiday season with a tree-lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa, holiday décor, children’s activities, and other celebratory events.

Also on Friday, Dec. 3, the traditional WinterFest at ISU offers an evening of winter-themed events, activities, displays, and traditions to help students connect with the Ames community. Activities include face painting, holiday crafts in the Workspace, a photo booth, bowling and billiards in CyBowl, bingo, a “Jingle Jog” run, chili feed, cookie decorating and hot cocoa, central campus carriage rides, swing dance lessons, an ugly sweater competition and a showing of the holiday classic “Home Alone” – and more!

In conjunction with WinterFest on Dec. 3, Iowa State University Museums opens the Farm House Museum for a Victorian Yuletide Evening from 5-8 p.m. Take part in Victorian yuletide-themed activities and crafts while you enjoy holiday treats. (The carriage from the Memorial Union will stop at the Museum.) The Yuletide Celebration continues on Saturday (Dec. 4) with treats, tours, and pictures with Santa.

The popular local Beautiful Land Holiday Market opens Friday night (Dec. 3) from 6-10 p.m. at Prairie Moon Winery and Alluvial Brewery in north Ames. The market continues on Saturday (Dec. 4) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features local crafts, unique holiday gifts, and vintage finds. Festive food and drink will be available for purchase, and free market totes go to the first 100 shoppers.

For the most unusual holiday concert around, don’t miss TUBACHRISTMAS on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium. It’s holiday joy with tubas!

Need another Santa fix? He’ll be at JAX Outdoor Gear in West Ames, ready to pose for pictures with the kids at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5.

Also, don’t forget that the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Santa Express will makes its festive run to the “North Pole” every weekend, now through Dec. 19. Bring the family and enjoy this central Iowa tradition!

 

This week in Ames: Nov. 22-28

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This will be a great week to spend time with family and friends, to whip up a feast in the kitchen, and to enjoy being together again after being apart last year.

So, of course, Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov. 25, and that means that Black Friday is Nov. 26, the official kickoff to holiday shopping – although it seems as though we’ve all been shopping for weeks already.

The next day, Small Business Saturday reminds us to share joy, shop small, and shop all season long at your local small businesses!

As you plan your holiday shopping spree, note the extended hours for downtown shops, North Grand Mall businesses, and other stores.

Also on Friday, Nov. 26, the ISU Cyclones take on the TCU horned frogs at 3:30 p.m. at Jack Trice Stadium. Enjoy the last home game of the season!

On Sunday, Nov. 28, country music superstar Martina McBride will bring her popular “Joy of Christmas Tour” to Stephens Auditorium at 7 p.m.

And don’t forget that the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Santa Express will begin its festive run to the “North Pole” starting Nov. 26 and will continue each weekend through Dec. 19. Bring the family and enjoy this central Iowa tradition!

 

This week in Ames: Nov. 15-21

Think of this week in Ames as sort of the calm before the holiday storm. This is the week for you to get ready to celebrate all the winter holidays!

Start with a jazzy vibe this Wednesday (Nov. 17) at Jazz Night. Iowa State’s Jazz ONE will perform Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite with a twist, as seen through the lens of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, located in the ISU Estes Music Hall.

Things really kick off on Saturday, Nov. 20 with Santabration at North Grand Mall, from noon to 1 p.m. Santa arrives on a firetruck!

That same day, head to the Ames Main Street Holiday Farmers Market for all your local Thanksgiving supplies. This farmers market will be held indoors at 500 Main Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

As you plan your holiday shopping, note the extended hours for downtown shops, North Grand Mall businesses, and other stores. Many Ames retailers are already kicking it into high gear. (Shop early! Shop local!)

Here are just a few upcoming dates to note:

  • Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov. 25.
  • Black Friday is Nov. 26
  • Small Business Saturday is Nov. 27
  • Martina McBride’s “Joy of Christmas Tour” is Sunday, Nov. 28 at Stephens Auditorium
  • The following weekend (Dec. 3-5) is when many, many holiday events will be held in Ames. Watch this space for more information!

Of course, there are also a few non-holiday things to do this week:

This weekend, Story Theater Company continues its stage run of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” – a musical based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz.

On Sunday, one of our favorites, Iowa native Susan Werner, will be in concert at Stephens Auditorium at 7 p.m. If you’ve never seen Susan live on stage, you’re missing out. She’s funny and warm tells the most wonderful stories with her music!

This week in Ames: Nov. 8-14

Hilton Magic begins this week in Ames with two Cyclone basketball games on Tuesday (Nov. 9) in Hilton Coliseum. The women’s team takes on Omaha at 11 a.m., followed later by a men’s game against Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. You can also catch a volleyball match at Hilton Thursday night at 6:30 when the Cyclones take on Kansas State, and on Friday, the men’s basketball team faces Oregon State at 7 p.m.

This week, we have plenty of music and theatre to keep you entertained, starting with country artists Levi Hummon and Roman Alexander performing at the M-Shop on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Starting Thursday, Nov. 11, ISU Theatre and ISU Music’s Opera Studio join forces to present “Street Scene: An American opera in two acts.” The show will also be performed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Fisher Theater. The show — featuring youthful desire, forbidden love, and brutal vengeance in the diverse melting pot of a 1940s New York City tenement — won Best Original Score at the 1947 Tony Awards.

You can also hear the music of John Philip Sousa Thursday night during a concert at ISU State Gym. The ISU Wind Ensemble is celebrating the one-hundred-and-first anniversary of the historic concert the Sousa Band played on Nov. 11, 1920 in that very location.

Another option for your Thursday night is laughing along with comedian Becky Robinson, who will perform at the M-Shop.

Don’t miss independent country singer/songwriter Cody Jinks in concert Friday night, Nov. 12, at Stephens Auditorium.

Also beginning Friday, Story Theater Company presents “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” – a musical based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. Performances continue through the weekend.

The M-Shop is super busy this week! On Saturday, Los Angeles-based indie rock band The Wrecks perform in the popular on-campus venue.

On Sunday, Ames band Strong Like Bear will perform at the Goldfinch Room on the Stephens Auditorium stage. The concert begins at 5 p.m.

Heads up that the Reiman Gardens “OrigamiintheGarden” exhibit ends its summer-fall run on Nov. 14. Also, the last day to see art exhibit “Arte Cubano” in the Brunnier Art Museum is Nov. 21.

Calling all tuba players! Tuba, euphonium, baritone, and sousaphone players are invited to participate in the 11th annual Ames TUBACHRISTMAS concert. This festive event will be held Saturday, Dec. 4 at Stephens Auditorium on the Iowa State campus. Musicians must be 12 years old or older to participate. Information for players/musicians is available here.  Questions? Contact Mike Golemo at mgolemo@mchsi.com.

 

 

This week in Ames: Nov. 1-7

This week, you can learn about global pandemics past – from cholera to Covid – in Tuesday night’s lecture by ISU professor Michael Christopher Low.

On Thursday night, celebrate movement in dance and art with “Folded Forms & Twisted Figures: An Evening of Dance and Art” at Iowa State’s Christian Petersen Art Museum. Choreography is inspired by the sculptures and drawings on display in the museum.

This Saturday, Downtown Ames businesses are partnering with local non-profits to raise awareness and support their causes, with their “Shop for a Cause” event. Bonus for shoppers: Parking is free all day. Shop small and support local!

Saturday’s Cyclone football game pits Iowa State against the Texas Longhorns. Kickoff time is 6:30 p.m. FYI, the Cyclones have defeated Texas in the last two matchups.

Mark your calendars for a couple of upcoming opportunities:

-Tickets went on sale last week for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live, based on the popular children’s PBS television series from Fred Rogers Productions. The show is March 4 at Stephens Auditorium.

-If you love putting up holiday lights, we have a fun volunteer activity for you: Reiman Gardens is now recruiting volunteers to help install this year’s Winter Wonderscape holiday light show Nov. 1-5 and 8-12. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at this festive event and receive two complimentary tickets to the light show each time you volunteer. Win-win! More information and the light show volunteer application are online.

This week in Ames: Oct. 25-31

It’s Halloween week in Ames! Grab your costume, grab the kids, and grab some candy at one of these trick-or-treat events:

  • On Thursday, you can Trunk or Treat in Boone from 5-7 p.m. on Story Street.
  • Also on Thursday, head to North Grand Mall to help celebrate “Malloween” and Trunk or Treat, and pick up some free candy and books. Fun activities will be inside and outside North Grand Mall’s north parking lot from 5-7 p.m.

  • The next day, enjoy Trick or Treat downtown Ames from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – a great opportunity to take the little ones in costume in the light (and warmth) of day. Visit the friendly businesses of downtown Ames!
  • The official Trick or treat night throughout Ames is Sunday, Oct. 31. Suggested hours are 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • And, if you’re into spooky stuff, check out the Ames Haunted Forest Friday or Saturday night from 7-11 p.m.
  • The ISU Symphony Orchestra will get into the Halloween spirit with “Journey to the Dark Cyde,” a program that features the hallowed sounds of popular movie soundtracks (think “Star Trek” and “Star Wars.”) The concert is in Stephens Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.

If you like true crime podcasts…

Iowa State offers a huge number of lectures throughout the year, and most are open to the public. This week, we think you’ll enjoy this lecture by Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James. They’re the father/daughter duo who wrote the book “The Man From The Train,” which includes new research on the 1912 Villisca axe murders. This book is just WOW – a methodically researched true-crime account that reads like a novel. Their lecture, not unsurprisingly, is titled “Massacres, Trains, and Iowa: Connecting the 1912 Villisca Axe Murders to a Cross-Country Serial Killer.” The lecture is this Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. And here’s a fun fact: Bill James’s work on baseball “sabermetrics” was used as the background for the 2003 book (and subsequent film) “Moneyball”!

Other stuff happening this week:

Folk-rocker Elizabeth Moen will perform at the M-Shop on Thursday.

The last three Story Theater Company performances of Disney’s “Frozen Jr.” musical will hit the stage at 7 p.m. Friday night and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. This is a family-friendly show that expands on the relationship between sisters Elsa and Anna.

Don’t miss the Straight No Chaser “Back in the High Life” Tour. The chart-topping a cappella group will be in Ames on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium.

 

 

This week in Ames: Oct. 18-24

Ames will see an influx of visitors this week, with Iowa State University’s homecoming in full swing. We also have plenty of music, theatre, comedy, and haunted houses!

We have three options for your Thursday night: Comedian Ron White performs at Stephens Auditorium; the Chicago-based alternative pop artist Jamie Jacobsen (AKA Tedious & Brief) will be on stage at the M-Shop in the Memorial Union; and also in the Union, three best-selling authors – who also happen to be Iowa State graduates – will speak in the Sun Room.

On Friday night, things will get loud. The ISU homecoming pep rally (7 p.m. in the parking lot east of the Alumni Center) features the popular Yell Like Hell competition, as well as the ISU varsity marching band, and other spirited entertainment. Afterwards, stroll through homecoming lawn displays at ISU’s fraternity and sorority houses, and cap off your night with pancakes, campaniling, and fireworks on central campus. Find all the details here.

The excitement continues on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium (and surrounding tailgate lots), when the Cyclones take on Oklahoma State University in the annual homecoming football match-up. Kickoff time is 2:30 p.m.

Still looking for something more to do? How about Ames Haunted Forest (Friday and Saturday nights from 7-11 p.m.)? Or a Story Theater Company performance of Disney’s “Frozen Jr.” musical (7 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)?

Or…you could just rest up, carve a pumpkin, and work on your Halloween costume. Halloween is NEXT WEEK!

This week in Ames: Oct. 11-17

What’s happening in Ames this week? A lot! So, let’s get started.

On Thursday night, the band RIVVRS performs at the M-Shop at 8 p.m. RIVVRS has just released Start Living, a raw, vulnerable collection of alternative folk songs about the struggles that come with addiction, mental health, and sober recovery.

ISU Theatre performs Corner’s Grove, a story about “growing up, hometown, friendships, and drinking in parking lots,” Thursday, Oct. 14 through Sunday, Oct. 17 at Fisher Theater. The play, a reverent nod to Our Town, follows a group of young people in the town of Corner’s Grove from high school into adulthood as they deal with leaving home, falling in love, gender identity, and the death of Whitney Houston.

Want something lighter? On Friday night, Stephens Auditorium presents Whose Live Anyway?, 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and songs all based on audience suggestions. Bring your best ideas and prepare to participate.

Your weekend looks scary, with Ames Haunted Forest offering chills and thrills Friday and Saturday night, and Reiman Gardens’ popular Spirits in the Gardens providing a more kid-friendly experience Friday through Sunday, Oct. 15-17.

The Gardens’ annual Spirits in the Garden event features more than 1,000 carved Jack-o-lanterns, candy, entertainment, and more. Bring the kids in costume!

Ames Haunted Forest, on the other hand, is not for the faint of heart. Check it out weekends throughout the month of October…if you dare!

If spooks and spirits are not your thing, head to Downtown Ames on Saturday morning for one LAST (sob!) Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market of the season. Scoop up pumpkins, mums, apples, other fall produce, and baked goods while you can. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Runners will want to check out Fletcher’s 5K from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday at Ada Hayden Heritage Park. The event is sponsored by Mary Greeley Medical Center’s Birthways Unit and supports The Fletcher Foundation, whose mission is to support families who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth.

Also on Saturday and Sunday, the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad continues its popular Pumpkin Express runs. Bring the kids!

On Sunday, you have two more opportunities to get outdoors. The 35th Run for the Roses begins Sunday morning at 9 a.m. at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. This fun event benefits arthritis research grants. Later that day, grab your mountain bike and saddle up for an exploration of the Skunk River greenbelt with Story County Conservation’s Bike the Greenbelt event.

Also on Sunday, Iowa’s poet laureate Debra Marquart offers a free afternoon of music and readings from her new essay collection, “The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays Between Exile & Belonging,” at Ames Public Library. A book signing will be held afterwards at Dog-Eared Books on Main Street.

Sunday also kicks off Iowa State University’s Homecoming celebration. Head downtown for the annual parade, featuring floats, music, and much more.

Finally, take in a performance of Ballet Hispánico, the nation’s renowned Latino dance organization and one of America’s cultural treasures. Ballet Hispánico will take the stage Sunday night at 7 p.m. at Stephens Auditorium.

Have a great week!

 

Fall for Ames

Hey, it’s fall, y’all! And there are so many fun, fall-themed things to do in Ames that you need to get started NOW!

This week (Oct. 4-10), head downtown for a new fall event: Witches Walk! Downtown businesses will be open late and hosting snacks and sips from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7. This event invites the community to come out for a scary good time. Participating Main Street businesses include Cooks’ Emporium, Della Viti, Heroic Hair, Oak Lane Candle, Nook & Nest, and Dog-Eared Books. The first 250 people will receive a commemorative wine tumbler.

Another option for your Thursday night is First Thursday Oktoberfest, from 5-7 p.m. in Boone. Boone Valley Brewing will bring a selection of local favorites, plus you can enjoy food trucks, a farmers’ market, live music, and craft vendors.

On Saturday, Oct. 9, Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad offers its second Pumpkin Express of the season. Take the family on this hour-and-30-minute journey to the railroad’s own pumpkin patch. Children may select their perfect pumpkin before returning to town.

It wouldn’t be fall without visits to local apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Lucky for us, Ames has several fun destinations within easy driving distance:

Black’s Heritage Farms pumpkin patch is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until Nov. 1 – and it’s located just two miles south of Jack Trice Stadium. Choose from pre-picked pumpkins, or ride on the hayrack to the pumpkin patch to pick your own. Bring the kids!

Red Granite Farm is located west of Ames (2013 130th St., Boone) is a horticulturalist’s delight. The farm offers locally grown produce, farm-fresh eggs, perennials, and succulents. In the fall, you’ll find one of the most sophisticated selections of pumpkins and mums in central Iowa.

– Located south of Ames on 32835 610th Ave., Cambridge, family-friendly Center Grove Orchard is the Disney World of pumpkin patches. This place has it all: 25 acres of pumpkins and gourds, more than 6,000 apple trees, a farmyard filled with more than 25 activities (including a corn maze and super slides), plus dining venues, a coffee shop, and Country Store retail shop. Don’t miss the cider donuts from the bakery!

– Finally, head to Geisler Farms for pumpkins, straw bales, gourds, homemade pies, and jams. Their kid-friendly Fun Zone has more than 30 attractions including grain wagon hoops, a pumpkin punch rope maze, the barrel roll, and steer roping. Located at 5251 N.E. 94th Ave., Bondurant.

And that’s not all!

– For fall produce – pumpkins, mums, apples, and more – visit Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Take a hike at McFarland Park (just north of Ames) or Ledges State Park (south and west of Ames). Both parks have abundant fall color, hiking trails, water features, and picturesque spots for your fall picnic.

– If you’re looking for inspiration for your 2021 Halloween costume, look no further than Spirit Halloween, now open at North Grand Mall.

 

– And while it’s not this week, you should get your tickets to Reiman Gardens’ annual Spirits in the Garden event so you don’t miss the fun. The popular fall celebration is held the evenings of Oct. 15-17, with more than 1,000 carved Jack-o-lanterns, candy, entertainment, and more. Bring the kids in costume!

But not everything this week is bathed in pumpkin spice.

– Take in a free performance by comedian Amos Gill on Thursday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. at the Memorial Union M-Shop.

– Don’t miss The Fab Four on Friday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. at Stephens Auditorium. It’s the ultimate Beatles tribute!

– On Saturday, Oct. 9, take a self-guided tour of nearly a dozen artists participating in the Ames Artists Studio Tour. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visit any or all of the studios to view demonstrations and purchase original artwork.

– For the first time in more than a year, you can hear the Central Iowa Symphony in concert on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Ames City Auditorium.

– Cap off your weekend with the Bonsai Show at Reiman Gardens. Open Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9-10 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the annual Bonsai Show features an ancient Asian artform that uniquely weds horticulture and art.

 

This week in Ames: Sept. 27 – Oct. 3

The evenings are getting cooler, and pumpkins are springing up on porches all over Ames. Fall is in the air!

This week, grab the kids and head out to Doolittle Prairie for Story County Conservation’s Prairie Seed Harvest event (4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 30). The family-friendly seed harvest is a great opportunity to learn more about the prairie.

Also on Thursday, you can attend the first of two concerts this week at the ISU Memorial Union Maintenance Shop. Indie rock band Fox Royale performs Thursday night at 8 p.m.; The Get Up Kids perform the next night at 8 p.m. All M-Shop concerts are open to the public; get your tickets in advance and save the $2 upcharge at the door.

On Friday, Prairie Rivers of Iowa presents the Wild & Scenic Film Festival – A Celebration of Our Environment, a collection of documentary films that educate, entertain, and inspire. The film festival begins at 6:30 p.m. at Ames City Auditorium. The festival’s finale will be the Iowa PBS documentary “Iowa Land and Sky: Iowa Cities, Towns and Waterways.”

Another option for your Friday night entertainment is country music star Gary Allan in concert at Stephens Auditorium on the ISU campus. Get your tickets at Ticketmaster.com.

There’s a whole lot happening in Ames this upcoming weekend:

Start your Saturday morning at Ames Main Street Farmers Market. Come out for pumpkins, mums, apples, and other fall produce, plus food trucks and baked goods. Don’t forget that market hours change this weekend: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

If you have trouble getting to museums during the week, you can enjoy three fall exhibitions during the Fall Open House Weekend on the ISU campus. At the Christian Petersen Art Museum see Charles Ginnever: Folded Forms and reACT exhibition Color Matters. At the Farm House Museum, catch the exhibition Flicker and Flame: Whale Oil and Kerosene Lamps. Both museums will be open Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

Of course, the big event this weekend is Cyclone football vs Kansas. Kickoff time is 6 p.m. at Jack Trice Stadium, but tailgate lots will open at 7 a.m. for Cyclone Club members; general public lots open at noon.

On Saturday at 10 a.m., Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s Pumpkin Express takes its first fall 2021 run to a pumpkin patch, where kids can select their perfect pumpkin before taking the train back to Boone. Additional Pumpkin Express rides will be held later in October. See details here.

Homemade and vintage vendors will be out in force at the Beautiful Land Pop-Up Market on Sunday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy more than 60 local makers, vintage collectors, food trucks, and live music at the market, located in the Fareway parking lot, 619 Burnett, in the heart of downtown Ames.

While you’re downtown on Sunday, head for the Ames City Auditorium at 2 o’clock to hear a concert by the Lake Wobegon Brass Band. The performance is a fundraiser for local Scout Troop 160.

Also downtown on Sunday, you can catch a performance of Climate Change Theatre Action 2021 at the Ames Public Library at 3 p.m.

And finally, end your busy Ames weekend with Three Dog Night in concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Stephens Auditorium. The legendary rock band brought us the iconic “Joy to the World” way back in the early seventies and is now in its fifth decade of making joyful music.

 

 

This week in Ames: Sept. 20-26

What’s happening in Ames this week? Concerts, lectures, this fall’s biggest arts festival, a wedding expo, a junk jaunt, and a whole lot more.

Music fans, take note: This week marks the last performances in TWO summer concert series. On Tuesday (Sept. 21), singer/songwriters David G. Smith and Robert Deitch will wrap up the nine-show Goldfinch Room on the Lawn series. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Stephens Auditorium. On Sunday, Chad Elliott will entertain at Prairie Moon Winery from 3-6 p.m. Five bucks gets you access to music and a glass of sangria.

Our local prairie spaces will be abuzz this Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, it’s Prairie Seed Harvests from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Doolittle Prairie (560th Ave. in Story City). This family-friendly seed harvest is a fun opportunity for kids to learn more about the prairie. Then on Wednesday, kids will enjoy the Prairie Pollinator Party from 2-3:30 p.m. at McFarland Park. They’ll explore the blooming, buzzing prairie, hunt for insects, and even make a seed ball to take home. Both events are sponsored by Story County Conservation.

Two lectures will be held this week on campus. On Wednesday, Kesho Scott, a diversity trainer/consultant and professor at Grinnell College will discuss “The Black Holocaust: How the Atlantic Slave Trade Still Affects Us Today.” The next night, Ruben Viramontez Anguiano will present “Towns and Ranches: Testimonies of Latino/a Families and Communities in Northwest Iowa.” Find out more and peruse the full list of lectures here.

This weekend offers a variety of activities. Kicking it off is the popular Central Iowa Junk Jaunt. This vintage shopping road trip includes stops at brick & mortar shops, barns, sheds, and outdoor markets. Locations include Dakota Junction and 62 Prairie in Ames, seven stops in Boone, five in Story City, one in Randall, six in Jewell, and one in Slater. (See the map here.) The fall Junk Jaunt runs Friday through Sunday.

On Saturday, bring the family to “Play Ames: Imagine Your City,” a free community engagement festival. The grand opening is planned for at 10 a.m. at 5th Street & Burnett in downtown Ames. Then, from noon to 5 p.m., kids and adults are invited to four locations, each offering creative activities:

  • Reliable Street: Guerilla gardening, origami of dreams, board games
  • East 7th Street: Digital mapping, mapping of places, pop-up van with virtual reality
  • Franklin Park: Breathing game, sensory path
  • 5th Street & Burnett: Mural painting, live music

Sunday’s Octagon Art Festival is the highlight of the fall for art-loving central Iowans. Stroll Main Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and browse original artwork by 100 artists from 15 states, plus enjoy live music, food trucks, and family-friendly activities. A “Chalk the Block” contest will take place in the 400 block of Burnett Avenue, just north of Tom Evans Park beginning at 10 a.m., with judging at 2 p.m.

For brides- and grooms-to-be, don’t miss “United at the Union” Wedding Expo on Sunday from 1-3 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. You can meet with some of the best wedding vendors in central Iowa, all under one roof!

 

This week in Ames: Sept. 13-19

Happy Monday! Here’s what’s happening in Ames this week:

Lecture season has begun on the Iowa State campus. This week, you can catch a lecture titled “Youth Voting and the 26th Amendment: Youth Can Make a Difference” by Bobbi Gentry on Monday night (Sept. 13) in the Memorial Union Sun Room. But Iowa State offers so many lectures that you should just take a look at the full list and mark your calendar now. Most lectures are held in the Memorial Union; some are held elsewhere on campus, and a few are virtual events. All lectures are free and open to the public.

If you’ve been waiting to go to Reiman Gardens this fall, wait no longer. The Gardens’ new signature garden space, Sycamore Falls, is having its big grand opening Wednesday, and the Gardens will be open to everyone from 3-6 p.m. at no charge. The Sycamore Falls area includes a water wall, stream, waterfalls, reflecting pool, and a tower that overlooks the site – welcoming all Ames visitors driving down University Boulevard.

Maintenance Shop concerts have also begun their season at ISU. If you’ve never been to a concert at the Memorial Union’s M-Shop, you’re missing out. The musical acts are unique, and the venue is intimate, making each concert a dynamic experience. This Thursday, you can catch Vesperteen in concert starting at 8 p.m. Tickets for the general public are just $12 in advance, or $14 at the door.

Campus is going to be a little quieter this Saturday with no football game. We’re probably headed to the Ames Downtown Farmers Market for early-fall produce, and we might hang around for shopping and some gelato. Who knows? We might even eat dinner at The Spice and then go listen to Jack Curtis at Noir starting at 7 p.m.

If you missed it last week, your kids will be happy that Thomas the Tank Engine is coming back to town. “Day Out with Thomas” is rolling back into Boone this Friday through Sunday (Sept. 17-19) with the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s Party Train Tour. Advance tickets are required.

This weekend provides another great excuse to go to Reiman Gardens. The Garden Quilt Show is back, from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 17-19, co-sponsored by the Iowa Quilters Guild. You’ll see garden-themed quilts created by talented Midwestern textile artists. Vendors will demonstrate, display, and sell fabric art.  While you’re there, be sure to check out the ongoing OrigamiintheGarden2 sculpture exhibit.

And, finally, Burnin’ Sensations will perform live at Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards on Sunday from 3-6 p.m. If you haven’t been out to the winery in north Ames, what are you waiting for? It’s always a fun time!

 

This week in Ames: Sept. 6-12

We hope you’re enjoying this first full week of September! There’s a lot going on this week, so let’s get started:

Tuesday night, Society of Broken Souls, a Folk Noir songwriting duo of multi-instrumentalists Dennis James and Lauryn Shapter, will perform as part of the Goldfinch Room on the Lawn series at 5:30 p.m. Fingers crossed that the weather forecast holds! These outdoor concerts are fun and relaxing; you can bring your own picnic dinner, but The Traveling Pig food truck will also be around, as well as a bar selling beer and wine. Admission is $10. Bring your lawn chairs!

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In Ames, Friends of Army Aviation will sponsor a 9/11 Memorial Ride on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday (Sept. 9, 10, 12). Rides on a Huey Helicopter from the Vietnam era will be available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ames Municipal Airport. The Huey Helicopter will also be at the Boone Municipal Airport on Sept. 11. For both events, find ticket info here.

On Friday and Saturday, Maximum Ames is holding two nights of free live music at three venues in conjunction with Ames Pride’s “Pride Around Town” event. Check out the lineups at Alluvial Brewing Company, London Underground, and The Angry Irishmen. Find all the details here.

This is another BIG Cyclone football week. For the second time in three years, Iowa State will be the site of ESPN’s College GameDay, the network’s signature college football pregame show, on Saturday, Sept. 11. (The three-hour show begins at 8 a.m. central time on ESPN.) The set will again be located South of MidAmerican Energy Field at Jack Trice Stadium in the grassy area between the Sukup End Zone Club and Reiman Gardens. Plan for lots of extra traffic in Ames on Saturday morning.

Of course, that’s just the early part of the day. At 3:30 p.m., Iowa State takes on the University of Iowa, and the annual Cy-Hawk showdown promises to be as exciting as ever. The game, which is sold out, kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and will be shown on ABC. Tailgate responsibly!

If you have young kids, they’ll be thrilled that Thomas the Tank Engine is coming to Central Iowa. “Day Out with Thomas” is rolling into town Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 11-12) with the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s Party Train Tour. Advance tickets are required, but if you’ve waited too late to reserve your seats, another “Day Out” event is coming our way the weekend of Sept. 17-19. For tickets or more info, visit the Day Out With Thomas webpage or call the depot at 1-800-626-0319.

For outdoor fun and competition, check out the Great Ames Adventure Race on Sunday, Sept. 12 at Ada Hayden Heritage Park. The race is an all-ages amateur athletic event combining paddling, bicycling, and running, starting at 7:30 a.m. Check it out at
http://www.greatamesadventurerace.org

And finally, don’t miss Dueling Pianos Sunday from 3-6 p.m. at Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards. $5 gets you access to the lawn and, as always, includes a free glass of sangria.

 

August 30, 2021

Get ready for gameday!

The big news in Ames this week is Cyclone football. After a 2020 season without tailgating, and limited fans in the stadium, this football season is highly anticipated.

The Saturday, Aug. 4 game against University of Northern Iowa Panthers begins at 3:30 p.m. in Jack Trice Stadium.

Parking lots open at 7 a.m., and stadium gates open 90 minutes prior to the game.

For parking information and for a list of what is (and isn’t) allowed in the stadium, click here.

 

Facilities

Fans will see a lot of exciting changes when they head toward Jack Trice Stadium from the north. A $90 million, five-level Sports Performance Center has been completed, and an elevated north stadium concourse and north plaza have been added. The concourse extension creates a continuous pedestrian walkway around the stadium.

 

Tickets

This year, the Cyclones have broken a school record total of season football tickets sold, surpassing the 48,000 mark for the first time ever. As of last Friday, a limited number of single tickets were still available. If you need tickets, they can be purchased online or by phone (toll free at 888-478-2925 or locally at 515-294-1816).

On gameday, if any tickets remain, you can purchase them at the will-call window at the Athletics Ticket Office.

For fans without tickets, two great places to watch the game in Ames are Wallaby’s (in north Ames) and Welch Ave Station (in campustown).

Not in Ames? You can catch the game on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

 

Get your Cyclone gear

Don’t forget to gear up for the season! Ames shops have what you need for late-summer games as well as those chilly fall events. Try Barefoot Campus Outfitters, Dogtown University, or Iowa State University Book Store for all the latest fashions and sports-worthy accessories.

Cyclone Central Tailgate 

For pre-game fun, check out the Cyclone Central Tailgate at the ISU Alumni Center (429 Alumni Lane). Doors open at 12:30 p.m., and the ISU Cyclone Football ‘Varsity’ Marching Band performs a step show on the Alumni Center staircase before marching to the stadium. (Photo courtesy Matt Van Winkle, ISU Alumni Association)

 

Preseason polls

Iowa State is ranked No. 7 in the preseason AP poll behind the strength of 19 returning starters from last year’s PlayStation Fiesta Bowl championship team that went 9-3. Three Cyclone football players have been named AP First-Team Preseason All-American, and four Cyclones made the USA Today Sports Preseason All-America Team.

Go,Cyclones!

August 23, 2021

This week in Ames 

This is a big week in Ames, as students have returned to Iowa State for the fall semester. Classes officially began on Monday, Aug. 23. Welcome to Ames, everyone! Good luck with classes!

Before the summer gets away from you, be sure to enjoy Ames patios this week! Here are just a few options for local al fresco dining:

  • Dublin Bay is an Irish pub with a generous beer menu, sandwiches, soups, salads, and more, all served on a vibrant outdoor patio.
  • Wallaby’s, a bar and grill in Somerset, features a rooftop bar and dining area. Keep Wallaby’s in mind this fall, too…it’s a great place to watch the game on TV!
  • Cornbred Barbecue features smoked meats, unique bar snacks, beer, cocktails, and non-alcoholic refreshers in the heart of downtown Ames at the Old Train Depot. Just follow the party lights!
  • For local beer, check out Alluvial Brewing Company in north Ames, with live music on Thursday nights and food trucks available some weekend nights.

Midwestern American songwriter/folksinger Marques Morel will perform at the Goldfinch Room songwriter showcase on the Stephens Auditorium front lawn on Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the nine-show concert series this summer. Admission is $10 per person. “Doors” will open approximately 30 minutes before show time, and you are encouraged to bring your own lawn chairs and/or blankets for this outdoor concert. You may also bring a picnic with non-alcoholic beverages if you wish; a food truck and bar are available on site. This event is supported by the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau Community Grant Program. PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO EXTREME HEAT ON TUESDAY, THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN MOVED INSIDE STEPHENS. PLEASE USE SOUTHWEST DOORS FOR ENTRY.

On Thursday, check out the Charles Ginnever Inside/Outside Party from 4:00 to 5:30 pm on campus at the Christian Petersen Art Museum and Anderson Sculpture Garden. On exhibit in both the Anderson Sculpture Garden and Christian Petersen Art Museum, Ginnever’s sculptures challenge the viewer to interact with art from multiple perspectives. Enjoy the start of the fall semester with refreshments and conversation, and experience these two exhibitions by the renowned sculptor!

This weekend, head over to Nevada for Lincoln Highway Days. Enjoy local music, food booths, a parade (Saturday at 10 a.m.), antique cars, craft show, and free family games. The events will run from 5-9 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday.

You’ll have two Ames farmers’ market options on Saturday: Ames Main Street and North Grand, both open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Stop by for a variety of seasonal produce, flowers, hand-crafted items, live music, and prepared foods.

On Sunday, enjoy a fun, live music event at Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards. Baberhood Bluegrass Band will perform an outdoor concert from 3-6 p.m. This group specializes in bluegrass, with an emphasis on folk, but they may surprise you with some rock or country music! Local wine and beer are available for purchase on site, and we highly recommend ordering one of the brick-oven pizzas, which are divine. A $5 entry fee at the door includes a glass of sangria.

Have a great week!

August 19, 2021

This week in Ames

This week, don’t miss out on the popular “OrigamiintheGarden2” sculpture exhibit currently on display at Reiman Gardens. And stop by the Ames History Museum, 416 Douglas Ave., to learn about groundbreaking women from Ames in the “A Woman’s Place is Everywhere” exhibit.

On Friday, support Prairie Rivers of Iowa and enjoy a pint of craft beer at Alluvial Brewing Company. The “Butterflies, Bees & Brew” event is a fun way to support Prairie Rivers’ environmental efforts. For $25, you can try Alluvial’s specially brewed “Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Blueberry Mead” made with locally sourced honey, as well as enjoy live music, prairie walks, and food trucks. The fundraiser runs from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at Alluvial Brewing Company, 3715 W. 190th Street in Ames.

This weekend:
• Head downtown for a late-summer farmers’ market on Saturday morning (8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
• Stay downtown for some back-to-school shopping…or visit North Grand Mall for kids’ apparel and accessories. While you’re there, check out the new location for Coe’s Floral, Gifts & Design; an expanded Inside Golf; and new food options: Strawberry Hills Sweets & Treats and Time to Roll ice cream and Tex-Mex
• Enjoy an end-of-summer celebration at Bandshell Park on Saturday, sponsored by Ames Public Library. Bring a picnic dinner and listen to music by The Cherry Pickers from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
• Cap off your Saturday night with a performance by Coffeeshop Romance at Noir, 405 Kellogg.
• On Sunday, peruse more than 30 local handmade and vintage vendors at the family-friendly Beautiful Land pop-up market at the Fareway parking lot, 619 Burnett in downtown Ames, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Listen to live music by Fred Love from 12:30-2:20 p.m., and purchase delicious ice cream from the ISU Creamery from 2-4 p.m.

See our calendar for all the details!

June 2019

The Sounds of Summer

Published June 13, 2019. Music abounds this summer throughout the Ames area with several outdoor entertainment options for you to enjoy the warmer weather and your tunes. More

May 2019

Unusually Ames: Take It Outside!

Published May 31, 2019. What could be better than 26 different ways to enjoy patio dining this summer in Ames? Maybe just having a guide to all the options! More

April 2019

A Fresh Look at Spring in Ames

Published April 17, 2019. In the season of rebirth and rejuvenation, it may be time to take a fresh look at some unexpected ways to soak up spring and renew your plans to visit Ames! More

March 2019

Put a “SPRING” in Your Step with a Twist

Published May 31, 2019. It may have felt like a long winter, so it seems about time to look towards the next season. Check out some out-of-the-ordinary ways to put a spring in your step in Ames this month! More

January 2019

Unusually Ames: A different kind of off-roading

Published January 25, 2019. With winter in full swing, it’s not unusual to hear reports warning to “Stay off the roads.” In the Ames area, though, that’s a call for fun, not fear. Check out some of the tremendous opportunities for “off-roading” activities available this winter. More

December 2018

‘Tis the Season for the Unexpected in Ames!

Published December 11, 2018. With snow on the ground and a chill in the air, no one gives it a second thought when they see holiday decorations in every town square, ice skating at the plaza, or restaurants advertising favorite comfort foods. But what if you added a twist to your traditions and ventured to Ames for the out-of-the-ordinary this winter? You might find yourself surprised by the unexpected! More

November 2018

Home for the Holidays: Thanksgiving in Ames

Published November 14, 2018. Trading in the hustle and bustle of road trips or airports for a Thanksgiving in home sweet Ames? Enjoy the holiday with family and friends while leaving the kitchen clean-up to someone else! We’ve compiled a list of CYtes ready to welcome you and yours in for a Thanksgiving feast! More

A Magical Season Begins in Ames

Published November 7, 2018. As the temperatures get cooler and the days get shorter, a magical season begins in Ames and on the campus of Iowa State University. With all that’s planned from now through New Year’s, a weekend in Cyclone Country is the perfect addition to your holiday traditions. More

October 2018

The Ames’ Sports Legacy: Setting the Groundwork for Greatness

Published October 24, 2018. People around the country are drawn to compete in all kinds of sports. Still more gather on the sidelines to cheer for their favorite athletes and teams. Nowhere do people more intimately connect to sports than in their hometowns. More

September 2018

September Art & History

Published September 11, 2018. In the fall of 1969, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra opened the first performance season at C. Y. Stephens Auditorium in Ames with a five-performance, week-long festival. This year Stephens Auditorium will begin a year-long campaign to celebrate 50 years of programming history launched by that premier event. More

August 2018

Top Five August Events in Ames

Published August 2, 2018. Summer is winding down. But don’t start buying new notebooks and dusting off those bookbags just yet! There’s still plenty of fun events you can attend in Ames before summer is officially over. Keep reading to find out our top five favorite August events! More

July 2018

Beat the Heat in Ames

Published July 16, 2018. It’s 100 degrees and 80 percent humidity outside. Your ice cream is melting, and the kiddie pool in the backyard just isn’t as fun anymore. You don’t want to spend another day inside watching cable, so where do you go to cool down? Ames, of course! Ames has lots of fun ways for you and your family to beat the heat this summer. More

Top Five July Events in Ames

Published July 3, 2018. Summer is in full swing! That means pools days, lots of ice cream and, of course, tons of fun events in Ames! Keep reading to check out our top five favorite things to do this month. All these events are open to the general public, so you’re more than welcome to bring the whole family. More

June 2018

Top Five June Events in Ames

Published May 30, 2018. Are you looking for fun events to attend now that school is out? We’ve got you covered! Check out our favorite top five events happening in Ames this June! More

May 2018

Top Five May Events in Ames

Published May 2, 2018. Ames and Iowa State University is a great place to visit this May.  Summer is just on the horizon, and there are great events happening all month long! Keep reading to check out our five favorite events that you should attend this month. More

April 2018

CYcle to Ames!

Published April 26, 2018. Do you enjoy pedaling on two wheels? Then you’re in luck! Ames is a great bicycling community, welcoming casual riders and experienced pros alike. Keep reading to check out just a few of the cyclist-friendly businesses that you might want to visit while you’re here. More 

Top Five April Events in Ames

Published April 3, 2018. April is a great time to visit Ames and Iowa State University! The weather is beginning to warm up, flowers are starting to bloom and fun events are happening. Keep reading for a list of our top five favorite events to attend this month. More