Day Trip to Ames, Iowa!

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If you live in the Des Moines area, taking a day trip to Ames, Iowa  may be the perfect little getaway for you and your family. Ames has lots to offer and is only 45 minutes to 1 hour away from home, so no need to spend money on a hotel. I am going to take you through some fun things to do in Ames!



Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens is a must-see when you are visiting Ames. Most families who take the trip to Ames have this beautiful place on their list. This summer they have an amazing exhibit displayed, the Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks! Of course, you will want to walk through the beautiful gardens, check out all the butterflies, and maybe throw some coins in their pond. This is a great place to spend an entire morning or afternoon at. Make sure you check their event calendar because they offer story times, events and activities too!

Nature Connects_ Art with LEGO Bricks

Iowa State University

If you are visiting in the Summer, Iowa State University campus is a great place to stop and wander around. Iowa State’s campus has been ranked as one of the 25 most beautiful campuses. It is full of beautiful trees, buildings, and lots of paths that kids can run along an explore. There are over 2,000 works of art on campus, to look at. This is a definite stop to stretch your legs, grab a blanket, snack or picnic and enjoy the scenery.


Perfect Games

If it starts raining or it just becomes too hot to be outside, check out Perfect Games! Perfect Games is a family fun center which offers bowling, laser tag, arcade, pizza, ice cream and more! They offer a pizza lunch buffet during the lunch hour. This may be the perfect place to stop for lunch! Also, check out their Summer Saver Cards to save some money while playing.


Brookside Park

Brookside Park is located on 6th Street in Ames. It offers a basketball and tennis court, sand volleyball court, playground, wading pool, and walking paths. This may be a great place to come cool off, have a picnic lunch and play!

Ada Hayden Heritage Park

Interested in doing some fishing while visiting Ames? This may be the perfect place to do so! This park is located at 5205 Grand Avenue. This lakeside park also offers boat access, short walking trails, picnic areas, and bike paths.

Places to Dine and Eat

Did you forget your picnic lunch? Or had so much fun, it is now time for dinner? There are several great places to eat in Ames. Two of my favorites are Hickory Park and The Cafe!

Hickory Park an “Ames Tradition” has been around for years! They are known for their hickory smoked meats served in large portions and in different ways. They are also known for their old fashioned ice cream parlor, which every kid loves!

The Cafe can be fancy or not, depending on the time of day. We have taken our kids for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are known for their chefs creating new menu items using food from local farmers. They have a tasty bakery full of fresh baked pastries, cakes, pies and other desserts. Definitely, one of my favorites!

What are your favorite places to visit and things to do while you are in Ames?


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

2 thoughts on “Day Trip to Ames, Iowa!

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    My favorite place to eat is Great Plains Sauce & Dough Pizza Yum!!

  2. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I agree–Great Plains Sauce & Dough is the best!

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