When you think of fun things to do in Lafayette this weekend, there’s a big list of both indoor and outdoor hot spots. The city is filled with educational stops, gorgeous outdoor respites, and plenty of great restaurants. So, where exactly should you begin narrowing it down? Right here, my friends. Here are my favorite and best things to do in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana.
Fun Things to Do in Lafayette this Weekend
I love visiting Lafayette, Indiana. The city is so quaintly vibrant and its residents very friendly. It’s one of those midwestern cities that absolutely grows on me with each additional visit. Having written that, folks that don’t know a lot about Lafayette may only think of Purdue University, and that’s totally fine.
But this post is to show you all the additional fun things you can do this weekend on a girls getaway, college visit, or even a couples getaway. Here’s the scoop.
Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the fine folks at Visit Lafayette/ West Lafayette to give you the scoop on fun things to do in Lafayette this weekend. All opinions are my own!
Have an Encounter with a Wolf or Two – or Four
My first stop on this visit to Lafayette was Wolf Park and, man, was it worth it. The park is a haven/sanctuary for wolves and other adorable wild animals and simply touring the property was life changing.
We took a golf cart around and were “introduced” to the six wolves as well as both red and gray foxes, a herd of bison, and an adorable turtle that likes to hide in the grasses.
Did you know that there are no wolves out of captivity in Indiana? Yep. Wolf Park is all about education and the understanding of the endangered animals cared for to give insight on how to increase their numbers in the wild.
Address: 4004 E 800 N, Battle Ground, IN 47920
Walk the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge
John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge is a cool spot to grab a coffee and hang out, catch a live show on the Promenade Deck, or even get engaged (yep, I know someone that it happened to there!). It spans the distance between Lafayette and West Lafayette and is simply a gorgeous place to relax at.
Take a Self Guided Art Walking Tour
There’s plenty of public art in Lafayette, so do yourself a favor and take a free self-guided tour. Covering several blocks in the downtown area, the art features everything from giant murals painted on the sides of buildings, sculptures, and even metal work.
Find the Clapping Circles at Purdue
My daughter and I took an hour-long tour of Purdue University with a couple of cool ladies and learned so many fun facts about the campus. For instance, did you know about the Purdue Clapping Circles? If you stand in the middle of them, the sound that’s created when you clap your hands is just bizarre, in the coolest possible way.
A few other fun facts about the campus include the Purdue U. arch that’s claimed to be the inspiration for the Monsters University movie’s college arch and how there’s a superstition that if you walk under the clock tower bell you won’t graduate on time.
Address: 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907
Visit the Haan Museum of Indiana Art
Before the Haans gave their family home into one of the best Indiana art showcases, it was a mansion where they raised their children. And before that, it was the Connecticut State Building for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Diligently taken apart piece by piece and put back together, the Haan Museum’s oval-shaped layout is not only unique, it’s architecturally gorgeous.
The museum is open Wednesday-Saturday from 1-4pm and is truly worthy of a mosey through.
Address: 920 State St, Lafayette, IN 47905
Do Some Shopping in Downtown Lafayette
When my daughter and I travel for a girls getaway, we always love to browse around the local mom and pop shops at our destination. Happily, Downtown Lafayette has plenty to choose from and features foodie finds, boutique clothing stores, and local artisans. When we toured the downtown area we had to pop into these spots:
Artists’ Own – This artsy shop sells and displays local and state artists and the prices are very affordable.
Retail Therapy – Super cool name, super chic fashions.
Boutique Lori Ann – Another adorable shop selling fashion and accessories.
Scones and Doilies – Just what you’d expect in the name: a dessert shop with a vintage vibe. When you go, test drive the homemade scones, croissants, and giant cookies with detailed frosting.
Try Some Old School Candy Cool at McCord Candies
I love a good, old-fashioned candy shop and McCord Candies doesn’t disappoint. It has everything from childhood candy faves (remember Zots?) and chocolates to die for. And if you really want a blast from the past, it’s been in business since 1912 and the shop definitely reflects it.
Additionally, they have a full soda fountain that has milkshakes and phosphates – if you’ve never had one, give it a go. I really enjoy them.
Address: 536 Main St, Lafayette, IN 47901
Explore Tippecanoe Battlefield Park
I’m an American history buff, so taking a mosey around the Tippecanoe Battlefield Park was a pleasure. It’s shady, calm, and simply beautiful.
Additionally, there’s a small museum and large gift shop as well. You’ll find souvenirs from the area and, my favorite, a quiet bird watching spot to simply sit and just be.
Address: 200 Battleground Ave, West Lafayette, IN 47906
Visit The Farm at Prophetstown
The Farm at Prophetstown was, by far, one of the funnest and coolest places we visited. Located in Prophetstown State Park, it offers a stunning peek into the past. We toured a working farm based on the farming lifestyle of the 1920’s, and how heirloom gardening and homesteading was the way of life.
Additionally, we had a peek at the two farmhouses that were homes turned museums for the purpose of education.
Address: 3534 Prophetstown Rd, Battle Ground, IN 47920
Where to Eat in Lafayette
There are tons of amazing dining options in Lafayette, but these are my top choices:
Red Seven – This restaurant offers an Asian fusion-style menu and a lovely vibe and atmosphere. If you love appetizers, the Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Potstickers don’t disappoint. As for entrees, you can’t go wrong with the Chicken Stir Fry or a salad with your choice of protein.
Mary Lou Donuts – A super adorable, super easy spot for coffee and homemade donuts. And if I had to give you my favorite donut, I’d go with an Apple Fritter.
8Eleven Modern Bistro – On the Purdue U. campus, this restaurant is an ideal place to dine if you’re exploring the area or want a really good meal with a campus vibe. I dug the Avocado Hummus Plate, Burrata Cheese (a must if you’re a cheese lover!), and Turkey Club
Arni’s – I love a good dinner and Arni’s is the one in Lafayette. Grab a Sweet Potato Fry Basket and a pizza for one (I loved the Veggie Deluxe) and enjoy the atmosphere.
Igloo Frozen Custard – Oh, my custard! If you’re not sure of the difference between ice cream and custard, the latter uses eggs in its mixture (just letting you know for those egg allergy friends out there). The texture is silky smooth and it’s my favorite if given the choice. Igloo is a fun, retro spot to sit outdoors with a milkshake and a cone with highly affordable prices – $3 for a two scoop order!
Where to Stay in Lafayette, IN
During our visit, we had the pleasure of trying out Drury Inn & Suites on South Street. The property offers large suites (ours had two queen beds and a connecting sitting room) with plenty of space to move about. It was super clean, the beds comfy, and a great location for touring both Lafayette and West Lafayette.
As I love a good perks, Drury Inn has three: free parking, free breakfast, and free wifi.