Now that February has come to a close, our thoughts turn towards the new month and the promise of spring. It’s time for spring break and our minds naturally begin to wander, thinking of fun adventures and well-deserved rest and relaxation.
While many residents and Iowa State University students choose to schedule a trip away from Ames during March, there are many that decide to stay home. If you happen to stick around, you’ll be surprised with the variety of new and exciting possibilities to explore. Feel free to celebrate and enjoy spring break all month long!
Trade in the winter grays for gorgeous color. In 2016, Reiman Gardens will celebrate color for its theme. As the weather begins to warm, plan to take a stroll in the gardens or view an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors at the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing. You’ll find up to 800 butterflies in this tropical sanctuary. In addition, the Hughes Conservatory will boast the garden display, “Orangery,” through April 17. Orangeries were used in 17th century Europe to overwinter orange and other citrus-bearing trees. Colorful fruits and the elaborate greenhouses built to grow them are the inspiration for this display. You’ll see an orangery replica greenhouse featuring citrus, orchids, and the color orange. For additional information regarding Reiman Gardens, visit their website or call 515.294.2710.
With spring around the corner, most of us look forward to getting outside and experiencing nature. Sometimes we plan a trip just to take in the beauty of the outdoors. Save on gas and stay in Story and Boone County, where there are a multitude of opportunities in March to discover nature.
Story County Conservation has several fun events at McFarland Park planned which provide unique ways to explore nature. For instance, you can attend the Mushroom Cultivation Workshop on March 5. There you’ll learn how to grow your own mushrooms. On March 16, there’s a session focusing on Iowa’s reptiles. They’ll discuss the fears and myths surrounding these scaly creatures. Live animals will be part of this family friendly program. Curious about how to use a GPS? Then you’ll want to take part in the Geocache Egg Hunt scheduled for March 26 at McFarland Park. Learn about geocaching at this great holiday event. To find out more about these three educational programs, visit their website or call 515.232.2516.
Of course, sometimes the best way to enjoy nature is to go outside and simply be. Ames offers more than 35 parks and 55 miles of trails to discover. Ledges State Park in Madrid and the High Trestle Trail which passes through Story, Boone, Polk and Dallas counties are just a short drive away and offer many scenic vistas.
Hit the Slopes! Sure, taking a ski trip over spring break sounds like fun. But why travel, when you can hit the slopes at Seven Oaks Recreation in Boone? Plan to ski or snowboard through midMarch! Ski and snowboard rentals are available and Seven Oaks even offers free beginner mini lessons to skiers and snowboarders ages seven and above. What a terrific way to check out a new sport! Visit their website or call 515.432.9457 to learn more.
And don’t forget the Ames/ISU Ice Arena. Plan to grab some skates and visit the rink. Call 515.292.6835 or visit the Parks & Recreation website to learn more about this facility. While open skate times are available, skate lessons or recreational hockey leagues are also an option. You can take advantage of our city’s great amenities and expand your horizons all at the same time.
Cheer on the Cyclones! Iowa State University Women’s Basketball and Softball will both host games this month, so don’t miss the opportunity to cheer on our Cyclone teams. Experience Hilton Magic at Hilton Coliseum or enjoy warmer temperatures at the Cyclone Sports Complex. To get the latest scoop regarding Cyclone sporting events, visit the Cyclone Athletics website.
Enjoy the Performing Arts! Our community is fortunate to have the Iowa State Center in our backyard. Their performing arts series enables us to enjoy quality entertainment and never leave the city limits. This March is no exception. Stephens Auditorium will feature the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra on March 1, the Broadway musical, Bullets Over Broadway, on March 3, and a youth matinee, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites, on March 8. Call 515.294.2479 or visit the Iowa State Center website to learn more about the exciting performances coming to the Iowa State Center.
Citrus trees, reptiles, Broadway shows AND playing in the snow? A spring break like no other can be found right here in Ames!
We hope you plan several exciting spring break adventures in Ames and the surrounding area! This list provides just a taste of all that can be explored. Visit the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website to view a detailed event calendar as well as get additional ideas of all there is to DO in Ames, plus where to EAT and SHOP.