Create a winter's tale at WinterFest


Horse-drawn carriage rides return to WinterFest 2014. File photo by Bob Elbert.

Iowa State's annual celebration of all things winter is Friday, Dec. 5, with a few events starting earlier in the week and others carrying over into the weekend. From cookies, to hot chocolate, to carriage rides, WinterFest 2014 offers a variety of cold-weather, family-friendly activities. Most events are held in the Memorial Union and are free, unless indicated. A complete list of activities is online.

Open house at The Knoll

Join ISU first lady Janet Leath for a holiday open house at The Knoll from 3 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 5. Tour the home's first floor, adorned with holiday décor, and enjoy a cup of Knoll Hot Chocolate from the recipe of former ISU first lady Ellen Sorge Parks. All are invited to attend this free event.

  • Winter clothing drive, (through Dec. 5), preferred items are hats, scarves and gloves to be donated to the Ames Emergency Residence Project, drop-off sites are the Maple-Willow-Larch hall desk, Birch-Welch-Roberts mailroom, Union Drive Community Center mailroom, Wallace-Wilson hall desk, Frederiksen Court Community Center, MU main lounge (near the post office), and LeBaron and Carver halls
  • University Book Store open house, (7:45 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 4 and 5, UBS), deals throughout the store
  • Art Mart, (11 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 4; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 5; 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Dec. 6, MU Campanile Room), featuring blown glass, pottery, jewelry, hand-woven baskets, photography and more, most artwork is $3-$20, proceeds benefit artists and sponsoring organizations
  • Andy Albright Jingle Jog, (registration 4-5:15 p.m., MU Multicultural Center; run begins at 5:30 p.m. in front of Beardshear Hall), $20, proceeds fund a freshman scholarship
  • Campanile tours and carillon music, (4-6 p.m., campanile), tours led by ISU carillonneur Tin Shi Tam
  • Letter-writing service project, (4-7 p.m., MU Cardinal Room), sponsored by ISU Student Veterans of America
  • Photo snow globes, (4-7 p.m., MU Cardinal Room), get your picture taken in front of a fun backdrop and placed in a snow globe
  • Spin art Frisbees, (4-7 p.m., MU Commons)
  • Bingo, (4-8 p.m., MU Pioneer Room)
  • Bowling and billiards, (4-9 p.m., the Underground)
  • Eats and treats, (5-7 p.m., MU Commons), sample seasonal beverages in the MU Market & Café
  • Holiday ornament crafting, (5-8 p.m., the Workspace)
  • Tree lighting ceremony, (5:15-5:30 p.m., steps of Beardshear Hall), live music
  • Gingerbread house crafting, (6 p.m., MU Commons), make your own gingerbread house to take home
  • Cookie decorating, (6 p.m. until gone, MU Commons), decorate sugar cookies and warm up with hot chocolate
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides, (6:30-9:30 p.m., pick up and drop off on the north side of MU), ride is through central campus
  • Cyclone Cinema: The Maze Runner, (7 p.m. and 10 p.m., 101 Carver)
  • Ice skating, (midnight-3 a.m., Dec. 4, and 1-3 a.m., Dec. 6, Ames/ISU Ice Arena), free both days for the first 400 participants