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Spring Break Staycation in Ames
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Spring Break Staycation in Ames

Are you and your family sticking around Iowa for spring break this year? Use that time to take a mini staycation at Ames and Iowa State University! While we don’t have white sand beaches, we do have lots of fun activities, restaurants, events and more that the whole family can enjoy. Keep reading for a list of exciting ideas!

Take the whole family to see a movie at North Grand Cinema. They are Ames’ newest luxury movie theater and locally owned! Offering leather reclining seats, popcorn, candy, pop and adult beverages for Mom and Dad, they fit the bill for all ages. Seats can be reserved in advance. Looking for a deal? Check out their Tuesday bargain pricing, starting at just $5.00 a person!

Reiman Gardens is a family favorite for good reason! This public botanical garden has a tropical plant conservatory, butterfly wing with hundreds of live butterflies, large outdoor gardens and a gift shop. They offer ever-changing exhibits, so it’s a great place to visit time and time again. Interested in more activities at the Gardens? Make sure to view their event calendar, where they list crafts, lectures, classes and more for all ages. Some require preregistration.

Get a taste of Ireland right here in Ames with local favorite Dublin Bay. This restaurant serves a wonderfully unique, recently updated menu, ranging from sandwiches, soups and salads to full dinners and Irish fayre. They also offer a full bar with traditional brews and mixed drinks alike. The cozy atmosphere is sure to remind you of a traditional Irish pub. This would be a great way to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with the family!   

Give everyone a true vacation experience with an overnight stay at Country Inn & Suites. This modern, family-friendly hotel offers amenities everyone will enjoy. Surf the internet with their free Wi-Fi, watch in-room movies, sleep on a luxurious bed and enjoy the large indoor pool and hot tub. In the morning, check out the complimentary, hot breakfast with all your favorites, including bagels, waffles, scrambled eggs and more. You’ll feel like you had a relaxing getaway, without ever leaving the comforts of Ames!

Take your family to Ames and Iowa State’s favorite place to play, Perfect Games, for a fun day packed full of activities! They offer 24 lanes of bowling, a two-floor laser tag arena, an arcade and a children’s climbing play structure. Getting hungry? Enjoy their on-site restaurant and sports bar, perfect for a quick lunch before more fun and games! You can also catch the latest game on one of their three big screens.

Spend a relaxing afternoon reading at the Ames Public Library. This large, renovated library is located in downtown Ames and offers spaces and events for all ages. Children and teens occupy the main floor, with special books and activities designed just for them. Adults will appreciate the open second floor, filled will books and comfortable reading nooks. Check out their event calendar to view all upcoming library events and classes that you might be interested in.

Splash around the in the Ames Municipal Pool! This indoor pool lets the whole family swim in a comfortable, warm environment, even when the weather outside is still chilly. The pool offers features including a diving board, locker room and lap lanes. Are you a frequent swimmer? Make sure to get a pool punch card! This card allows you to get 12 admissions for the price of 10. Pool hours vary depending on the day and the class schedules, so check before you go.

We hope this list has given you and your family some great staycation ideas for this spring. Still looking for more? Visit for a full list of things to STAY, DO, EAT, SHOP and PLAN!

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