Things To Do in Lafayette, the Home of Purdue
Perhaps the Lafayette-West Lafayette area is best known as the home of Purdue University, and there is plenty to see and do on the historic, culture-laden Boilermakers campus. But the attractions don’t end there. Parks and historic sites, a wolf sanctuary and a zoo, sports events and golf courses, museums and performing arts venues, fun festivals, diverse dining and topnotch shopping offer exciting options for every visitor.
About 5 miles north of downtown Lafayette in Battle Ground lies one of the area’s most unusual attractions: Wolf Park. The 75-acre research, education and conservation park is home to dozens of adult wolves and puppies, along with several foxes, coyotes and a bison herd. Howl Nights on Friday and Saturday give visitors an opportunity to see the wolves up close and lend their voices to a chorus of wolf howls. Park educators give lively talks and visitors can walk the half-mile-loop trail after dark. The park offers lots of daytime events and activities, too.
As the site of the momentous clash between the Indian confederation led by Tecumseh and U.S. military troops led by Gen. William Henry Harrison in 1811, Battle Ground is also a mecca for history buffs. At Tippecanoe Battlefield Park, you’ll find a detailed history museum and a historic chapel, along with picnic shelters, hiking trails and a swimming pool.
Historic Prophetstown, a 300-acre living history attraction within Prophetstown State Park, features a re-created Woodland Indian village and a working Belgian draft horse farm. Guests can participate in farm chores every day, or check out workshops, special events and the annual September horse pull. Prophetstown State Park also offers 2,000 acres of adventure, such as camping, hiking, biking and bird watching amid prairie grasses, wildflowers and wetlands that are gradually being restored to their original state.
Adventure at a different pace can be found among three distinct downtown districts. In the Arts & Market district, from Fourth to 12th streets and South to North streets in Lafayette, boutique shops, art galleries, antique stores, museums, live music venues and unique local eateries line the streets. The John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge is the centerpiece of the Wabash Riverfront district. The bridge joins the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette and is perfect for a stroll to enjoy the fall colors along the Wabash River. The Riverfront district also features shops, restaurants and historic architecture and hosts some of the area’s largest outdoor festivals. The Chauncey Village district in West Lafayette borders Purdue University and caters to the college crowd with bustling nightlife and Purdue memorabilia.
If You Go...
Beyond Chauncey Village stretches the Purdue University campus, replete with historic buildings, gardens, outdoor sculptures and fountains. A Tree Trail winds throughout the grounds, and visitors can stop in at the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, explore art galleries in the Stewart Center, Pao Hall and Purdue Memorial Union, or take in a live theater production or concert at one of several performing arts venues. The school also boasts numerous sports venues, including Ross-Ade Stadium, home of the ever-popular Boilermakers football team.