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Frozen fun: Activities for the upcoming winter

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Ben DeMarais
Cy statue on display at the gates of Reiman Gardens.

Winter is the time of year when it gets colder, the sun sets earlier and people head inside to look for something to do. Ames offers many different outlets for activities to enjoy during cold months. Delve into these activities after the conclusion of school work, exams and finals week to get out of your dorm and have some fun.

Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens, located right next to Jack Trice Stadium, hosts many events for friends and families all winter long. These include a wreath-making workshop, a DIY wreath kit, a winter solstice pajama party and their annual Winter Wonderscape taking place the entire month of December. Along with the garden’s convenient location in relation to campus, entry is also free for students who show their student ID at the door. Special activities and events may require an RSVP and extra payment to attend.

Boone County Arboretum

At the Iowa Arboretum and Gardens, Iowa-grown Christmas trees will be displayed and festively decorated by local organizations, schools and clubs. Visitors can view the trees while walking the paths. The Iowa Arboretum and Gardens display the trees through Dec. 20. The event is free to the public and will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Seven Oaks Skiing and Snowboarding

Seven Oaks is a 20-minute drive from campus and can be a fun outdoor winter activity. Seven Oaks offers snowboarding, skiing and snow tubing. They offer private lessons and training for beginners. Snowboard, ski and boot rentals are available for visitors who do not have their own equipment. The cost of tickets varies depending on the activity and the equipment required. There are instructions and guidelines for parking on their website as well. Seven Oaks is for at varied hours, so be sure to check their calendar

Ames Ice Arena

The Ames Ice Arena is an indoor recreational center for winter activities. They offer a range of choices from ice skating, curling, broomball to hockey. Public skate is available and prices for adults (16+) are $6.50. They also offer skate rentals for people who do not bring their own and skate sharpening for personal skates. The Ames Ice Arena is a 5-minute drive from campus and is on the CyRide bus route. In addition to public skating, the ice arena also offers pickup hockey, figure-free skating, power skating, lap skating and hockey gear for players to work on their stick handling and skills.

Visit the Ames Library or Dog-Eared Books

The Ames Public Library, located in downtown Ames, offers many events for the public to attend. From classes, clubs and movie nights, the library’s events are easily accessed on their website as well as the hours, fees and dates for the events. Not only is the library a good place for events, but reading a book in the quiet is a good activity for the wintertime. The library’s hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Dog-Eared Books, a local bookstore in Ames, is another great spot. They sometimes have authors come in to talk about their book or do a live reading. Going to browse their collection, buy some books or sit and read is also a great idea for these upcoming cold months. Dog-Eared Books’ hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Local Nature Preserves

Ames and the areas surrounding Ames have many nature preserves for people to walk, hike, run and enjoy. Most to all of the nature preserves are open to the public from sunrise to sunset. Some nature preserves include Richard W. Pohl Memorial Preserve, Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor, Christiansen Forest Preserve, Hertz Family Woods and Nature Preserve, Ada Hayden Nature Preserve and many more to enjoy.

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