Ames is one of the best cities in Iowa. This Mason City guide is part of our USA Travel Guide. Here are the 27 best fun things to in Ames Iowa.
1. Reiman Gardens
Located on a large 17-acre site, Reiman Gardens is one of the year-round attraction sites in Iowa. It is an enormous and enchanting garden that displays live flowers and fresh green plants. Also, it has a lot of things for display such as the conservatory, Lake Helen, Jones Rose Garden, The Sunny Sideyard in the town and country garden, the entrance gate for Children’s Garden, The Herb garden, Rose Gardens, and lots more.
It has a conservatory with several bewitching and colorful displays. A 2,500 sq foot Butterfly Wing with a gift shop, flowers, and natural beauty. Moreover, visitors can stay in the rooms with beautiful natural views and you can also view 2,000+ rose plants that have 254 varieties.
2. Octagon Center for the Arts
Whether you are present in Ames for a trip or just roaming across the country, whether you just need an outing or want to rejuvenate during the weekend, you can visit Octagon Centre for the Arts. If you love to shop and adore artisans’ work and paintings, you can surely shop here.
The center for the arts has a shop, famous as Octagon Shop. The Octagon Shop is a retail shop with original artisans works made by 180 and more artists. There is a variety of art collections that can mesmerize you in every possible way. There is everything for you here on a budget. Likewise, the food available here is lip-smacking. More than 600 students and adults attended Octagon workshops and artistic camps. 9,000+ people engaged in the art community attend the Art Festival.
3. Brunnier Art Museum
Just like a lavish, extravagant art museum, Brunnier Art Museum is genuinely one of the worth visiting places in Ames city of Iowa. It is the only accredited museum in Iowa that especially emphasizes creative and decorative arts and extravagant artistic collections. It is one of the nation’s situated within the arts complex.
The University Art collection has plenty of interesting arts, paintings, prints, textiles, silver, wood, carpets, furniture, innovative lacquered objects, and much more. Many exhibitions are arranged here for students and they can even get to know more about the arts community.
4. Prairie Moon Winery
If you are looking for a place to chill and relax during the weekend, then Prairie Moon Winery is the place to visit in Ames city. It indeed has a nice and well-constructed indoor area that serves extravagant wines and there is a nicely decorated room to taste these wines.
There are unique wines that people love to consume during their vacations. They buy lavish and fresh grapes from advanced areas such as California to improve their quality of wines. You can visit here during Sunday summer days.
5. Furman Aquatic Center
Nestled in the heart of Ames, Furman Aquatic Center is worth $ 10 million and it consists of a long river, breath-taking scenes, and water slides, and greenery. Additionally, there is a 50-meter long swimming pool where you can have orange juice and rejuvenate yourself. Furman Aquatic Centre is absolutely fun for kids as well as adults. There are plenty of scenic views and it also has a natural turf lawn region to relax and chill. It is a recreational park and water resort in Ames.
6. Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
If you wish to spend a good recreational and relaxation weekend eve, visit Ada Hayden Heritage Park with your friends and loved ones. Ada Hayden Park Loop is a long and beautiful 5.0 km loop trail in Ames, Iowa. It has lots to explore like a bewitching lake, nature trails, forests, wildlife. Youngsters can perform paddle sports, explore nature by road biking, and lots more enthralling activities.
It is a heritage park and includes a walking path, a mature area to explore wildlife and gain immense tranquility, grills, a drinking foundation, water spigot, boating facilities, recreational auras, and lots more.
7. Ada Hayden Heritage Park
Ada Hayden Heritage Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Ames, Iowa. An ideal place for picnic walks and there exists a lake and botany garden where you can spend a lot of quality time. There is so much more to explore for a visitor and travelers.
Spread over 430 acres of land, Ada Hayden Heritage Park and here the focal point is two beautiful lakes. The lake is the secondary source of water in situations like drought, or any water shortage problems. Likewise, the lake is one of the best places to perform activities like boating, fishing, and lots more. This heritage park is an ideal vacation and quality time-spending spot. It has a restroom, pedestrian bridge, rock paths, parking lot, gardens, and lots more. It has lots of unique bird species such as bald eagles, cranes, loons, pelicans, and lots more.
8. Dublin Bay Irish pub & grill
If you are a mocktail and music lover, you should surely visit Dublin Bay Irish Pub & Grill in Ames of Iowa. They serve exquisite dine and wine to the guests. The pub is not a regular one and the environment for the same is comfortable and safe.
You will be served with sandwiches, grilled chicken, pizzas, salads, mocktails, hard drinks and so much more at a pocket-friendly budget. The beer menu includes everything you can ever get. So, do not forget to visit this energetic place.
9. North Grand Mall
When you want to shop during the festival season, malls are definitely a few of the very exciting places to spend time. North Grand Mall in Ames, Iowa is almost a 3,40,000 square foot shopping center for all the explorers and shopaholics. You can visit here and do a lot of activities such as shopping, entertainment, dining, spa and salon, kids leisure and lots more.
Likewise, you can get ample employment opportunities here as a student. As an employer initiative, North Grand Mall has hired 37,000+ students of Iowa State University. Also, this is one of the best malls in the region and you can enjoy yourself with your friends and loved ones at any Cafe shop. Here, all the worlds’ best brands are present where you can shop anything of your choice.
10. Brookside Park
Known as the City of Redlands, Brookside Park is a beautiful 61.1-acre neighborhood park that has lots of recreational and playground facilities. This beautiful location is situated on Brookside Avenue amid Bellevue Avenue and Terracina Boulevard. It is one of the best picnic galore with everything an explorer wants. It has lakes, a serene atmosphere, and ducks and water animals. On the Northern side of the park, the Jackie Robinson Baseball Stadium is situated along with 4,200 seat arrangements.
Brookside Park gives an opportunity to explore a lot of places and there are plenty of amenities available for visitors such as a Hockey Rink, Playground, Off-street parking, Ice Skating, Soccer field, Tennis court, Restrooms, and lots more. Do not forget to visit this bewitching place if you are just nearby.
11. Mcfarland Park
McFarland Park is one of the finest places to visit for recreational activities during weekends. McFarland Park is a 200-acre area situated on the Northern sides of Ames that offers bountiful ecotypes to explore. These include woodland, tallgrass prairie, stream habitats, and natural traits. You can enjoy the evening stroll and experience the beauty of the South Skunk Rivulet.
This park is equipped with a ton of amenities and people can perform activities such as cycling, fishing, hiking, nature exploring, wildlife experience, flower gazing. In McFarland Park, several events frequently take place and these include backyard bird identification, outdoor animal tracks. You can also perform winter activities here.
12. Boone County Historical Society
Established in 1924, the Boone County Historical Society is a place that displays distinct historical and cultural artifacts. The campus of this historical museum includes an art gallery, historic structures, a genealogical library, and lots more. Additionally, it has exquisite images of the late 19th Century Columbian citizens and these are rarely seen. You can find four different museums with quirky historic collections, artifacts, and costumes that royals used to wear. It is one of the lavish places to visit in Ames, Iowa.
13. Stephans Auditorium
If you wish to enjoy international performances, Stephens Auditorium is the place to enjoy every bit of it. Stephens Auditorium has a glorious history of being a centre to entertainment and rejuvenation activities. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra had started Stephens Auditorium in 1969 with a week long festival and it has continued to present the biggest personalities in music and also there are most popular shows shown here. Some of them include Disney’s Beauty and Beast, Shrek the Musical, Mercy Me, Jim Brickman and lots more.
14. Farmers Market Main Street
Do you want to know what a farmers’ street looks like? Visit Farmers’ market main street in Ames, Iowa, USA. It is indeed a community event where localists and travelers gather to enjoy the lip smacking baked foods, explore locally grown crops, astounding and creative handcrafted materials, flower corners, vegetables, fruits and lots more. There are ample of activities for kids and adults here. Go and explore.
15. Alluvial Brewing Company
Want to have a birthday party or valentine date at a cozy, warm and peaceful place? Think about Alluvial Brewing Company. Beers, whiskey, vodka, whine, tequila, juices, mocktails or cocktails, everything is available here for you. Here, the crew of Alluvial Brewing Company arranges community activities, fire pit, board games and lots more. The team helps in generating relaxing and invigorating drinking and dining experience. It is one of leisure luxuries you can enjoy during weekends.
16. Perfect games
If you are tired a lot during weekends due to work and want to release your stress during the weekend, perfect games are everything you need. Ames’ finest Bowling Alley is the premium entertainment destination and an area to celebrate events and occasions. It has almost 24 lanes of bowling, a giant arcade for kids, a laser tag arena, a pub, pizza corners, a cafe, and lots more. Pick any game you love and just play and become stress-free.
17. Farm House Museum
Also famous as Knapp Wilson House, the Farm House Museum is an ancient monument of Iowa history and culture. Built-in 1860 as a National Historic and Heritage Centre, the Farm House Museum was the cottages for deans, professors, and mentors of Iowa State University.
Later, during the 1970s, this was transformed into a museum where there was open access to the visitors. This is continuously being renovated and everyone visiting here is enjoying the antique ancient things and looks of the University.
18. World’s largest Concrete Gnome
The biggest gnome you can ever see in the world. Famous as the World’s tallest concrete gnome, Elwood is a massive, wonderful garden possessing a pointy hat. It is nestled within Reiman Gardens, a 17-acre site. Reiman Garden is indeed a year-round destination that has various kinds of vibrant gardens. The flowers and plants in the gardens keep changing always as per the seasons.
Additionally, there are several annual themes, fests, and special events organized and the Garden provides a tropical plant conservatory, a butterfly wing that has bright and colorful 800 exotic butterflies. Also, it has a gift shop where you can buy anything you love. The plump statue stands 15 feet tall from his boot soles and this makes it the tallest gnome in the world. The gardens have a mesmerizing view and you have to pay nominal charges to enjoy the activities.
19. Soper’s Mill
Soper’s Mill is an enormous 16 acre historical site nestled on the Skunk Rivulet. It is one of the most vibrant and natural sites in Ames where you can get a peaceful environment to enjoy with your partner or family. Bird gazing, geocaching, stream fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and several other activities can be performed here. You can also explore the enchanting beauty of the green forests and also enjoy the idyllic beauty of The Skunk Rivulet.
20. Christian Petersen Art Museum
The Christian Petersen Art Museum, named after Christian Petersen, opened in a Morrill Hall in the year 2007. Christian Petersen was a person who used to teach at Iowa State University. Further, he was the founder of the Art and cultural collection in the campus.
The University arranges exhibitions and several educational programs of arts, history, religion, and culture and they always succeeded to keep his legacy within the arena of the University. There is much to explore here.
21. Moore Memorial Park
The beautiful Moore Memorial Park is a mind soothing community park with an approximate size of 26.5 acres. Developed first in 1973, it has been renovated plenty of times. It is a recreational park for young people. The site possesses much for travelers.
This site is enormous than other normal recreational parks. It possesses community aesthetic fields, sports grounds where a visitor can play baseball, volleyball, softball, basketball kind of outdoor sports. Plenty of local school sports teams make use of these playgrounds and these are also used for recreational events and programs. It has four tennis courts and one basketball court that can be used during the night too. There is a larger pavilion for public use and it contains picnic tables. It also has a skate park.
22. Inis Grove Park
Nestled on Duff Avenue, Inis Grove Park is a wonderful natural ground for kids. It is well equipped with a tennis practice board, basketball court, few shelters named Red Oak Shelter, Shagbark Shelter, Walnut Shelter for rejuvenation, volleyball court that is sandy, and lots more sports ground.
It is indeed a beautiful picnic spot and sports complex. Also, you can enjoy green spaces and nature’s beauty. It is worth the visit.
23. Hilton Coliseum
James H Hilton Coliseum or famous as Hilton Coliseum is a huge 14,356 seat area for events, fests, and sports in the Ames region of Iowa. Built-in 1971, Hilton Coliseum is an exquisite home to the Iowa State University sports team. Many sports matches have been arranged here. Sports include gymnasium, basketball, wrestling, volleyball for men and women.
It has seven meeting rooms, athletic equipment storage areas, coliseum offices, a lower concourse, and lots more advanced technological amenities. Built over 35 years, Hilton Coliseum has been arranging NCAA events and other major events related to sports.
24. Ames History Museum
Located in Ames, Iowa, Ames History Museum is a place where several exhibitions and cultural programs are being arranged. It also has museums with unique historical collections that depict their own story. Thousands of visitors come here across the world and the exhibitions also include the spirited historical images of Ames region. You can enjoy the aerial views of Ames city.
25. Anderson Sculpture Garden
Do you wish to walk through the sculpture and natural garden? Then Anderson Sculpture Garden is the place for you. Established in 1996, the enchanting 15-acre park is one of Minnesota’s most enormous gardens with walking trails, picnic areas, stunning views of the Cannon Rivulet, benches, flowers and plants, and an aura that really gives rejuvenation.
Likewise, it has a spacious open space where a traveler can get to see artistic and natural habitat and also get to explore Moby Dick, Monterrey Express, Keya Tanka Lucie, Ojala, Birth of a Martyr, and lots more.
26. Peterson Pits
Peterson Pits Recreation Area is an enormous 200-acre natural park near Skunk Rivulet Greenbelt. If you are a swimming lover, this giant and magnificent swimming hole. It has a gorgeous pavilion with a sandy beach and natural areas for recreation. Walk across the park for rejuvenation and you can enjoy the serene views of the lake amid the cold breeze.
27. Lake LaVerne
Do you want to just sit calmly and feel the beauty of nature and slow-running waters? Then it’s time to visit Lake LaVerne. Lake LaVerne is a highly visible and iconic scenic place in Ames with greenery and clean rivulet waters with chirping birds. This place is rich in nature and ecology.