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16 Best & Fun Things To Do In Ames (Iowa)

You will be pardoned for not knowing that Ames is a beautiful place.

It has not only attracted visitors within the United States but throughout the world.

The beautiful city is located in Story County in Iowa. Ames is a thriving city with several things for inhabitants and visitors to enjoy.

You will find beautiful gardens, historical documentation, parks, churches, museums, and movie theaters; you will find planetariums and performing arts venues.

There are even gigantic shopping malls and several beautiful restaurants that take up multiple city blocks of Ames!

If you are looking for fun things to do in Ames, you have stumbled on the right post.

We have painstakingly put up some fun things and places to visit in Ames.

Read on and be ready to add to your bucket list while planning a visit to Ames.

Things To Do In Ames

1. Reiman Gardens

Things to do in Ames

Dirk DBQ / Wikimedia Commons

Do you want some peace, relaxation, and time with nature?

If all you want is a place to relax and also spend some time enjoying nature, consider visiting Reiman Gardens.

This wonderful garden is beautiful and a well-maintained ground in Ames that attracts visitors even beyond Iowa due to its lovely walking paths.

A fantastic indoor tropical conservatory, a fun butterfly wing, and much more are included in this amazing part of the garden.

Besides, botanical lovers can also visit this incredible garden.

This is because visitors of such interest will be allowed to creep around in the bushes, thereby enjoying all the plants and shrubs.

Interestingly, the admission fee for this ancient garden is absolutely free.

Even at that, visitors are received well, and the Stagg is well trained and friendly to all visitors.

Not only is this place for adults alone, but kids can also be brought here to experience nature unlike any other.

The butterfly encounter will appear so amazing to them and create a lifetime memory. Apparently, there is something for all ages, you’d, old or toddlers!

Do you plan to visit Ames soonest? Why can’t you add Reiman Garden to your itinerary and enjoy the beautiful exhibits of the butterflies?

Besides, it is the place to spend a romantic day, afternoon, evening with your spouse, girlfriend, and associates.

Address: 1407 University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011, United States

2. Brunnier Art Museum

Things to do in Ames

Abasaa / Wikimedia Commons

Iowa state is surprisingly full of some wonderful beautiful artworks. Of course, Brunnier Art Museum is not an exception.

This is a wonderful hidden art museum in Ames with lots of decorative glass. The museum is on the campus of Iowa State University.

Although this is a small museum, it has a lot of real artifacts and interesting exhibits.

The uniqueness of this wonderful museum is that the exhibits tell more about the history of this location.

Besides, this Brunnier Art Museum in Ames is only Iowa’s accredited museum, emphasizing a decorative arts collection.

Also, they have some permanent collections which consist of ceramics, glass, dolls, ivory, jade, and enameled metals.

Not only that, the museum has a huge collection, which is cycled out of storage into beautiful eclectic exhibits of glass, paintings, ceramics, and sculpture.

Such an amazing place to visit!

Furthermore, this beautiful garden in Ames features rotating exhibits and an arts center.

Do you love art? Then this is the place to go to if you are in Ames.

So much to see and take in here! This is a gorgeous piece of art to feast on your eyes and brain. A visit will surprise you!

Aside from the fact that this wonderful place offers visitors varying exhibits, it equally has a beautiful gallery.

This gallery is a place where community events for adults and classroom groups are held.

If you are in Ames, Brunnier Art Museum is worth numerous visits each year to see what novel displays one may find!

Above all, there is a complimentary parking space for visitors to park their cars and the admission fee is just a little dollar.

Address Scheman Bldg, 295, 1800 Center Dr, Ames, IA 50011, United States

3. Ames History Muse

Things to do in Ames

Tim Evanson / Wikimedia Commons

Are you a historian who is working on any historical topic?

If you are an academic historian, endeavor to visit Ames History Museum.

This is a great museum that has been in existence for a very long time.

Regardless of its long existence, it is rich with historical facts that will be of huge benefit to anybody who is conducting historical research in any part of the world.

This is one of the most visited museums in Ames because it has a wealth of information about Ames’ history, like any other museum in Ames.

Aside from this place being an awesome place to take a look back into the history of Ames, the atmosphere is totally friendly.

What about the staff over here? Incredibly, the staff are one of the best in Ames you’d ever found.

They understand their works and will not hesitate to assist visitors in selecting the right exhibits to aid their research.

Moreover, they have modern parking spaces where visitors park their cars, and bicycle with maximum security guaranteed!

What an amazing place every historian must visit!

Equally, they have enough playgrounds where kids can play and relate with their other colleagues.

Definitely, you don’t have to worry about their disturbance while in this beautiful museum in Ames.

You carefully conduct your research, they keep playing. Apparently, there is something for everybody.

Even if you don’t plan to come to Ames, because of this aged long historical site, you should consider visiting the next summer.

There is so much to learn here!

Address: 416 Douglas Ave # 101, Ames, IA 50010, United States

4. Octagon Center For the Arts

Things to do in Ames

Credit: Octagon Center for the Arts

Do you want a place to purchase beautiful artwork?

The Octagon in Ames is a place to admire and purchase a beautiful, outstanding range of paintings, ceramics, wood carvings, hand-woven scarves, and lots more.

They have been the Center for the Arts and have been a well-established icon for the arts in Story County for many years.

They offer many local artists a place to display their work for show and for sale.

Besides, they have a great program and are worth a visit if you are coming to Ames.

Incredibly, these artworks are extremely cheap and beautiful.

If you have been purchasing artworks in another location in Ames, we recommend you try purchasing some from this place.

We believe the difference will speak for itself!

Besides, their gallery layouts are varied and flow well. If you take the time to look a little closer, you will appreciate the maintained beauty of an older building in downtown Ames.

Aside from the fact that several artworks are available to be purchased here, you can also take an art class.

These classes will help you by expanding your knowledge of the artwork.

Particularly, you can take a pottery class!

Amazing right? Yes, you will be eager to come back over and over again after your coming visit to Ames!

Also, this wonderful place in Ames has various creative programs and gifts throughout the year for community members and visitors of all ages.

There are several shops where you can shop here as well. You can get some jewelry and dishwater from those shops and you will surely love it all!

Address: 427 Douglas Ave, Ames, IA 50010, United States

5. Farm House Museum

Things to do in Ames

KF / Wikimedia Commons

Farm House is another location that attracts tourists all over the world.

It was built in 1860 and functioned as living quarters for various Iowa State deans, professors, farmhands, and students.

Although, this tourist center underwent a lengthy restoration subsequently and has thus evolved into a public museum.

This homely museum in Ames, Iowa State’s campus details the history of the house itself (the oldest building on the Iowa State campus) and with a rotating exhibit.

If you are in Ames and haven’t taken the time to visit this place, you are missing a lot!

Students of Iowa University, faculty and community members, and visitors are enjoying the museum while remembering the significance that one small building had in shaping a nationally recognized land-grant university.

More so, the museum is highly organized despite being in a student-dominated area.

They have stationed guides, and they are very knowledgeable and eager to answer all the visitors’ questions.

Besides, no admission fee to gain entrance into this wonderful building. It is absolutely free!

Do you school here and have free time between your classes?

Be kind to yourself by checking this cool place.

You will be glad you so! Even if you’re visiting outside the state, it will be worth a stop. So many things to enjoy here!

Address: 601 Farm House Ln, Ames, IA 50011, United States

6. Brookside Park

Things to do in Ames

Credit: DC Gardens

If you are in Ames and want a place to enjoy some sporting activities, Brookside Park is the right place.

It is a great little family park in Ames.

The park has basically 3 different categories of things; a walking path, a running path, and a play area for kids. Apparently, so much of things for every category of visitors!

Besides, this lovely park has a pretty nice basketball court that serves as a bonus to every visitor.

In essence, if you’re in this park in Ames, you are only required to pay a token for the admission fee and enjoy playing basketball until you get tired.

So amazing, it worth a visit if you are in Ames.

If you are coming to this incredible location with your kids, be sure there is something for them.

Everybody has something to enjoy for fun here! It is just an overall pleasant place for kids and adults to play Frisbee, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, or kick a soccer ball around.

They have three fields, and that’s so amazing! We recommend you visit this place if you are in Ames, you will definitely appreciate doing so.

Even if you don’t have an interest in any of these sports mentioned above, you can also come here for a walk, hike, snowshoe, walking trails along the river, picnic, or even play.

Definitely, there is something for you here!

Do you plan to come to Iowa soon?

We recommend you add Ames, particularly Brookside, to your itinerary.

This will give you a vantage opportunity to spend your free time, either for recreation or to practice sports.

Large gazebos for more people, grills, water, and electricity are equally available.

What more would you have wanted?

Address: 1325 6th St, Ames, IA 50010, United States

Looking to explore more cities in Iowa? Why not check our lists of things to do in Ankeny, Dubuque, Des Monies, and Sioux City

7. Inis Grove Park

Inis Grove Park

Image Credit: Inis Grove Park

If Brookside Park doesn’t interest you, why not check out Inis Grove Park?

This is another park in Ames with unique features. It is not just for the kids, but more provisions are provided for kids here.

They have a very large playground where kids can play and have the best of this area.

The admission fee is absolutely free!

Aside from that, they have the best staff that will not only make this place fun for your kids, but habitable for them.

Even if your kids are super anxious type, do not worry. As long as you are in Ames, they will feel at homecoming to Inis Grove Park.

Even if your kids are introverted and wouldn’t want to play within sight, there are a lot of things they can still do here.

Ames is such a wonderful place to be! Lots of slides, swings, interesting versions of merry-go-rounds, and all of it is handicapped accessible! Your kids will be happy they are here!

Moreover, this is a wonderful location for birthday parties or family reunions.

The possibilities are endless! Ames has all you’ve ever wanted! Inis Grove Park is such a welcoming place for all!

Do you care about your kid’s happiness? Come to Ames, come to Inis Grove Park!!

Each area here in the heart of Ames is designed specifically for all different interests in kids.

From music, houses to climb in, slides, swings, teeter-totter, merry-go-round, scavenger hunts, bridges, and a lot more. etc.

Address: 2500 Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010, United States

8. Furman Aquatic Center

Things to do in Ames

Image Credit: Furman Aquatic Center

Furman Aquatic Center is an awesome aquatic center in Ames with a clean and well-maintained environment.

Young and old alike come for fun to this region in Ames.

It’s an area with the mantra “something for every age”. They have a splash pad and a shallow pool for the youngest, lap lanes, a pool with 2 diving boards, and a slide. Obviously, you will find a selection here!

If you are in Ames, there are so many things to do here!.

Diving boards, slides, basketball hoops, and swim lanes for those who want to just do laps.

Definitely, you will be lost selecting because there are so many fun things to do here!

Besides, this is a great place for families to relax in Amex during the summer.

Their seat is comfortable with modern facilities all throughout the entire building.

Even with these beautiful facilities, you don’t have to spend much! The admission fee is so affordable!

How about their lifeguards?

They are attentive at all times and will prioritize your happiness above anything if you visit here in Ames.

Although, there are strict rules in place, unlike in other places in Ames.

However, these strict rules seemed fair for safety reasons.

How about their management structure? It is the best you would ever love to see.

The staff are professional and know more about their work.

They will attend to every visitor in a unique way. Definitely, it is a place to visit if you are in Ames.

Planning a trip to Ames? A visit here will be worth it!

Address: 1635 13th St, Ames, IA 50010, United States

9. World’s Largest Concrete Gnome

Things to do in Ames

Credit: World’s Largest Concrete Gnome

World Largest Concrete Gnome is a tourist attraction in Ames with wonderful things available for visitors to enjoy.

This amazing place is located along with Rieman Gardens on the Iowa State campus near the football stadium.

It is a beautiful and relaxing place people visit to spend some minutes.

Although expansions and improvements are underway, in this beautiful place in Ames.

Notwithstanding, that does not remove its uniqueness! If you are in Ames, Iowa, this is definitely worth a visit.

Besides, they have kinetic sculptures and wonderful inscriptions all over the building.

Even at that, they have a good and friendly staff that will make your stay worthwhile.

Admission is being privately funded. You don’t have to pay a dime! It is absolutely free!

Several events and cultural ceremonies are also held here.

What a multi-purpose location to see if you are in Ames? A visit here will suffice!

Address: 1407 S University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011, United States

10. Moore Memorial Park, Ames

Moore Memorial Park

Image Credit: Moore Memorial Park

This Wonderful Park is one of the largest city parks in Ames.

Its size is not the only uniqueness of this beautiful park, it is also with big shelters, electrical outlets for private events, grills & a bike path.

Moore Memorial park is simply a place you can’t imagine how fun it could be until you visit!

Besides, they have a playground for bigger kids and a separate toddler playground (shorter).

There are also trails to go on a short walk or easily make it a longer walk.

It’s such a beautiful area we recommend you check out if you are in Ames.

Very beautiful and well maintained! Everything is amazing here!

Interestingly, the large “barn” shed makes this place a great location for photography in Ames.

Aside from it being a great location for photography, there is a gazebo and a large covered area with tables (easily 50+ people), and a smaller shelter.

There are bathrooms that are also open in the summer. The description of this beautiful location is just so endless.

Why not visit and enjoy these beautiful things?

Above all, this place has a pleasant and nice breeze on the hill with interesting walking paths.

So much could be done here!

Address: 3050 Northridge Pkwy, Ames, IA 50014, United States

11. Iowa State University

Iowa State University

Credit: Olympus Digital Camera

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (also known as Iowa State University, or ISU) is a public land-grant research university in Ames, Iowa.

It is the largest university in the state of Iowa and the third-largest university in the Big 12 athletic conference.

This place presents what you would expect from a nice State University – the grounds are well kept, there are some nice-looking buildings, and amenities/transportation can all be taken care of on campus.

Moreover, not only is this place for academic research alone, there are a couple of little museums, a handmade ice cream store, and others to see for those who aren’t students, and just visiting.

If you are in Ames, you can come here for a lovely tour of the campus, even if you are not a student.

There is so much to see in this university located in Ames.

And where to start? Several buildings have either museums or objects on display.

Of note were the Art Museum and the Aeronautics building with its airplanes on display.

What an amazing place that is full of so many things for travelers!

How about the large trees and a couple of swans in the little lake?

Obviously, this place can’t be a boring place for any visitor who is curious to see new things!

Although the department head might not be available to attend to every visitor, however, the guide is quite helpful friendly.

You can’t be bored while in this part of Ames! It is such a beautiful campus to walk around and it is a great school to have students at!

They find ways to make the students feel like they are at home! Come and enjoy!

Address: Ames, IA 50011, United States

12. Ames Alluvial Brewing Company

Alluvial Brewing Company

Credit: Alluvial Brewing Company

Do you love some cold beer while in Ames?

If you are a lover of beer, Alluvial Brewing Company should be your top place to visit.

In the entire of Ames, this is the best place you can have some cold solid beers.

They have an excellent variety of beers and the staff are unsurpassed; knowledgeable, fun, fast, engaging & professional.

What more would you have wanted from the staff of a brewing company?

In fact, they will help you in selecting the rice beer that will satisfy your taste!

Apparently, you will enjoy yourself coming to this place in Ames. Not just a place to chug a beer, but a destination location!

Moreover, the building here and the location itself are great.

From the outside, visitor gets an Iowa vibe, but on the inside, it is a very warm atmosphere reminiscent of the great Southwest United States.

They also offer cheap growlers for enjoying their brews at home. This place is always fantastic! A must-visit if you are in Ames!

Do you plan to come to Ames for a vacation?

Why not include this wonderful location and enjoy consistently excellent beer and their wonderful taproom?

If you are in Ames, you will appreciate coming here!

Address: 3715 W 190th St, Ames, IA 50014, United States

13. St Thomas Aquinas Church & Catholic Student Center

13. St Thomas Aquinas Church & Catholic Student Center

Credit: St Thomas Aquinas Church & Catholic Student Center

Aquinas Church & Catholic Student Center is an awesome board and ministry that cares for their student and residential attendants.

It is a place every Christian faith comes to pray and offer supplications to Christ Jesus.

Besides, the priest is very caring and seems to be well adjusted to being with visitors.

Apparently, the design of the church is appealing and with modern facilities.

If you want to feel known and be in communion with brothers and sisters in Christ, this is a Catholic church worth visiting.

They accommodate every visitor and make them feel at home.

Even if you are looking for an avenue to grow your faith journey as a visitor or a student at ISU, a visit to Aquinas Church & Catholic Student Center is very important.

Moreover, their regular Sunday worship at Aquinas Church & Catholic Student Center is filled with inspiration.

Is it in singing, praying, or the Eucharist most of all? Definitely, in all ramifications, you will enjoy their Sunday service!

If you are in Ames, this is a place to visit.

It is a warm and inviting community that can be whatever you need it to be. Great church with great people.

We recommend you visit if you come for a vacation in Ames.

Address: 2210 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014, United States

14. Ames Clothes Cottage Boutique

Clothes Cottage Boutique

Clothes Cottage Boutique

Do you want some nice clothes while in Ames?

Clothes Cottage Boutique is such an adorable place where you can get pieces of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and lots more.

Also, this is one of the few places you can get adorable tailgating merchandise in Ames.

Interestingly, the prices of their clothes and jewelry are extremely low.

Not only that, every trader appears so friendly and accommodating.

In fact, they will guild you in selecting the right cloth or jewelry you’d ever wanted.

What an amazing location you should visit in Ames your any kind of cloth you want!

They are always getting in cute clothes for any occasion you can think of! They have what you are looking for!

Why not have a stop here while in Ames?

A visit will create an indelible memory you would never forget.

Address: 2801 Grand Ave Suite 1030, Ames, IA 50010, United States

See also the list of things to do in Cedar Rapids!

15. Ames Stephens Auditorium

Stephens Auditorium

Credit: Stephens Auditorium

Stephens Auditorium is a 2,729-seat hall in Ames that hosts a dazzling array of international performances of music, theater, and dance, as well as world-class orchestras, popular Broadway musicals, and explosive country and rock concerts.

This wonderful place is yet another tourist attraction in Ames.

It is a great music venue you will appreciate in Ames. Even the musicians in Chicago raved about it!

Such an amazing place you should be if you are a lover of good music!

More so, seats are quite comfortable and sufficiently roomy for those who are moderately large.

Lots of nearby parking and the auditorium is very easy to enter and exit.

Not only that, their ushers have always been courteous and efficient.

This wonderful location is acoustically exceptional, and the sightlines are fantastic.

Although, most of the plays presented there are roadshow versions of Broadway musicals.

Regardless, visitors are still trooping here due to its uniqueness and the level of fun they have while here.

While it is worth visiting just to see the layout and design, if you have the time to take in a musical offering there, you will certainly find it worthwhile for the magnificent acoustics and clear sightlines.

What a beautiful and amazing location in Ames!

Are you coming to Ames soon?

We recommend you stop here to enjoy the beautiful things this performing arts theater in Ames has to offer!

Address: 1900 Center Dr, Ames, IA 50011, United States

16. Ames Veenker Memorial Golf Course

Veenker Memorial Golf Course

Credit: Veenker Memorial Golf Course

Do you love Golf Course?

If you love golf courses, we suggest you visit Veenker Memorial Golf in Ames. It is a wonderful 18 hole course.

One unique thing about this place is that the manager of the course is knowledgeable and helpful.

There is a large driving range and putting range as well, and the course is challenging.

In addition, this place is not overly crowded, and their courses are reasonably priced.

It’s a course where you can walk and not feel pushed by herds of cart drivers nipping at your heels. Interesting right? Yeah!!

Even if you just started golfing again after years of hiatus, this course will reacquaint you with the game due to the degree of difficulty [in a good way] this course presents.

Moreover, courses in this wonderful location in Ames are always well manicured and are challenging for all golfers.

Although this place doesn’t have much for food.

However, there are restaurants not too far from the location where visitors can get foods to eat during a visit.

Address: Veenker Clubhouse, 2916, Veenker Dr, Ames, IA 50011, United States

Final Remarks

These are just a few great things to do in Ames, Iowa.

We are optimistic you will be well guided to make the right travel decision to Ames with the aid of the list of fun things we have painstakingly provided above.

Whether you’re looking for historical points of interest or bizarre roadside attractions that will make for fun stories when you get home, Ames is a vacation destination that has it all.

Even if you are visiting Ames for relaxation, arts/culture, great eats, stupendous shows, majestic natural sights, or beyond, there are tons to do in Ames!

A delightful city with a rich, industrious heritage, there are insightful and entertaining attractions in all parts of Ames.

A legendary music scene, a teeming nightlife, sprawling natural attractions, sports, food, shopping, and more are all waiting for you in Ames.

If you are coming by train, plane, or automobile, you will arrive in this divine city rife with tourism in no time!

So pack your bags and we’ll see you in Ames.

Happy travels!