Discover Ames

Summer family-fun activities are here!

Warm weather is here, and long summer days simply beg for new activities – especially among our littlest Ames residents. Try these family-friendly locales in Ames to cure even the worst cases of the wiggles.

Stop and smell the roses

Nothing says summer quite like walking through Reiman Gardens. Take the kids to a hands-on gardening class, like caterpillar club, floral design, or an all-day spring break camp. Bring your dogs on Tuesday nights, celebrate Father’s Day, and enjoy the Garden Art Fair on July 9. Explore the towering tropical plants and eye-catching flowers in the conservatory, and try to spot a Blue Morpho in the Butterfly Wing.

A father and daughter stroll through the tulips at Reiman Gardens.


Play all day

There’s tons of ways to get rid of that summer energy out at Brookside Park. Climb on one of the multiple playgrounds; walk, bike, or run on the walking path; or play a game on the tennis, basketball, pickleball, or sand volleyball courts. 

Take a ride

Enjoy the beautiful scenery around Ames with a thrilling ride through the Des Moines River Valley on Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s Sunset BBQ Train, complete with a delicious barbecue dinner. The kids (and you) will love it! One of Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad's trains on a rainy day.

Have a shopping spree

Take a shopping trip downtown to The Pumpkin Patch to browse their collection of classic, nostalgia-inducing toys, dolls, games, stuffed animals and more. Just down the street, check out Duck Worth Wearing for summer outfits for all the kids. 

Enjoy a sweet treat

Try a new flavor of homemade ice cream at Marmalade Moon on Main Street. The flavors rotate, so check out their Facebook before you go to see which delicacies are on deck!

Two kids enjoying homemade ice cream from Marmalade Moon.

Get creative

Let your little one’s creative juices flow by painting their own pottery at The Workspace, located in the ISU Memorial Union. Find yourself with a few hours and nothing to do? Check out what drop-in class they’re offering that day!

Grab a new read

Reading is fundamental, and fun! Take a trip to Dog-Eared Books to pick out a new book, or head to Ames Public Library to check out a stack. With a wide range of picture books, early-reader picks, and graphic novels for kids, your little ones are sure to pick books they’ll love to read. 

A mural and a spread of children's books available to check out at Ames Public Library.


By Marissa Smith, Marketing Communications Intern



Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Skip to content