Ames’ 24-hour challenge

Lindsey Schwarck

Looking for new things to do on the weekends? Explore Ames and discover a new hobby through this 24-hour challenge.

7 a.m.

Start your day early with the great food and relaxing atmosphere of the Hy-Vee breakfast buffet. Open Saturdays and Sundays, the buffet offers a variety of food including scrambled eggs casserole, hash brown casserole, bacon and sausage links, fresh fruit and muffins for only $5.99.

8 a.m.

Take a tour of Reiman Gardens. As one of the largest public gardens in the state, visitors are able to explore five greenhouses, indoor and outdoor gardens and an expansive butterfly wing.

10 a.m.

From stir fry to apple pie, improve your cooking skills in a class at Cook’s Emporium, 313 Main St. Learn new recipes or spice up old ones with tips from expert culinary instructors.

“We offer a variety of entertaining demos where you can sample the food and take a recipe card to try at home,” said Vicky Flaws, manager of Cook’s Emporium. “It’s a great chance to learn tricks and insights.”

11:30 a.m.

Grab your bike or Rollerblades and discover more of Mother Nature at Ada Hayden Park. After traveling the miles of trails, cast a line and relax by the water with a picnic lunch.

2:30 p.m.

Tour the Brunnier Art Museum located in the Scheman Building. The museum is known for its extensive decorative arts collection, as well as many sculptures, paintings and furniture. Exhibits rotate many times throughout the year, so returning visitors experience a new educational experience with each trip.

4 p.m.

Head to Kil’n Time Studio, 330 Main St., to continue an afternoon of arts and crafts. Whether it’s painting or pottery, Kil’n Time classes appeal to all skill levels and let you take your unique creation home.

6:30 p.m.

Pottery can work up an appetite, so walk down the street to the Great Plains Sauce & Dough Company. With six different crust styles, its unique pizzas will “expand your culinary horizons” and make you reach for another slice.

Be sure to grab an oatmeal M&M cookie for dessert.

8 p.m.

Carve up some ice at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena, 1507 Gateway Hills Park Drive. Play a pickup game of broomball or try skating. Whether you’re working on an axel, crossover or simply trying not to fall, you will have fun and enjoy the exercise.

9:30 p.m.

Your friends will quickly become your enemies in an intense game of laser tag at Perfect Games, 1320 Dickinson Ave. Put on your “combat gear” and score points by tagging targets.

11 p.m.

Keep up the fun and games with a round of pool. Corner Pocket is located at 125 Main St. and features 15 pool tables and a full-size English snooker tables. For the beer connoisseur, head upstairs to DG’s Tap House for a wide selection of domestic, imported and craft brews. They also have games and often live bands for entertainment.

2 a.m.

Watch as airplanes take off and land from the Ames Municipal Airport.

Located just south of Highway 30, this secluded location is perfect for stargazing with friends or that special someone.

4 a.m.

Grab a cup (or pot) of coffee because you’re in the home stretch

Stop in to Perkins, 325 S. Duff Ave., for a relaxing atmosphere and home-style cooking. The 24-hour restaurant serves breakfast all day, so be sure to try a “Mammoth Muffin” or take one to go.

5:30 a.m.

Beat the long lines and packed parking lot and get your Wal-Mart shopping done in the wee hours of the morning. Stock up on groceries or create a challenge with friends: See who can find the most outrageous item. Setting a time frame and price limit, the “loser” must buy his or her product.

7 a.m.

After a full day of exploring the city’s restaurants and attractions, you’ve earned it — go to sleep!