Winter activities in Ames

Emma Blickensderfer

When winter comes, it is easy to stay in your room and binge your favorite tv shows. Instead of staying in, here are some easy and inexpensive ways to find entertainment outside the confines of your dorm or apartment.

Hit the slopes

About 20 miles west of Ames, Seven Oaks Recreation offers outdoor activities for central Iowa year round. Seven Oaks is family owned and operated, and has activities like canoeing, paintball and camping for the warmer months. In the winter, visitors can utilize the land to ski, snow tube or snowboard.

If you don’t own your own equipment, you can rent skis or snowboards no matter what age you are. There are 11 runs for beginners to experts, and Seven Oaks offers free beginner mini lessons. After a long day in the snow, you can also come into the lodge and enjoy warm food and drinks while enjoying the view of the slopes.

Enjoy some ice sports

Over by the Wallace and Wilson dorms is the City of Ames/ISU ice arena. With a student ID, ISU students can ice skate at a discount. If you would rather be part of an organized activity, the rink also offers time for pick up hockey games, figure skating and hockey lessons that allow hockey players to work on their basic skills.

If you are more interested in watching than participating, the ice rink is also home to the ISU men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. The games cost five dollars for ISU students, and you can check their website for the schedule of games.

Catch a movie

If you missed those Oscar-worthy movies while they were in theaters, check out the schedule for Cyclone Cinema and see if you can watch them for free. Every week the Student Union Board puts on a new free movie Thursday to Sunday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

This semester, the movies range from Moana to Rogue One and everything in between. To get the full movie-going experience, check out the concessions that offer soft drinks, candy, popcorn and bottled water for a discounted price.

Creative Spirits

For those who are 21 and over, check out Creative Spirits in Ames and enjoy an adult beverage while creating art. For two hours, you can choose which session you attend based on the design the instructor will talk you through. Included in the price are aprons, paints, canvases and any other materials you need to create your art.

While wine, beer and other spirits can be purchased there, you can save money by bringing your own drinks. If you’re underage, you can still partake in the activities without the alcoholic drinks.