Enjoy WinterFest indoors or out

Three female students pose for a photo

(l-r) Lulua Rawwas and Rabia and Noor Afzal posed for a photo during the WinterFest 2021. The photo station is one of dozens of free events in and around the Memorial Union for the campus community during this year's celebration, Friday, Dec. 2. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

An eve-of-prep week tradition to provide students with some Cyclone fun as fall semester winds down and exam week approaches, WinterFest 2022 will be held Friday, Dec. 2, in multiple campus locations. It's coordinated by the WinterFest student organization and student engagement office and supported by other offices at the Memorial Union (MU) and across campus. And while the focus is on students, nearly all WinterFest events are free to everyone -- students, staff, faculty and community members.

The MU will be headquarters for many of WinterFest's indoor events during the 4-9 p.m. window. From bowling to a caricature artist, swing dance lessons to photos with Santa, bingo to chair massages and plenty of free food -- chili, cornbread, cookies for decorating, hot chocolate and other seasonal beverages -- you'll find some fun at the MU.

President's open house

President Wendy Wintersteen and her spouse, Robert Waggoner, will host an open house on the ground floor of Beardshear Hall (4-6 p.m.). The university community is invited to enjoy live music by a student string quartet and complimentary hot chocolate, apple cider, cookies and ISU Creamery ice cream.

Campanile tours

ISU carillonneur and professor of music Tin-shi Tam, assisted by members of the Student Carillonneur Leadership Council, will lead tours of the campanile (4-6 p.m.). For safety reasons, each tour group is limited to nine people, and all participants must be at least 13 years old. Face masks are not required, but welcomed.

Helping our students

WinterFest organizers are collecting food items for SHOP, the food pantry in Beyer Hall serving students. Collection boxes will be in the MU West Lounge throughout WinterFest. Wondering what to donate? SHOP organizers maintain a list of especially needed nonperishable items.

Victorian yuletide

The Farm House Museum's current exhibition, Yuletide, includes special hours on Dec. 2 (5-8 p.m.) and Dec. 3 (1-4 p.m.). Enjoy Victorian-era activities and treats in the first building erected on campus (1860) as living quarters for the families of numerous Iowa State deans and professors.

Crafts HQ

The Workspace and ISU's Gaffer's Guild are cosponsoring their annual holiday sale of locally crafted items by artists with an Iowa State connection. Dec. 2 (noon-8 p.m., MU Art Gallery) is Day 3 of a four-day event. Items include blown glass (vases, vessels, ornaments, paperweights and sculptures), pottery, jewelry, upcycled bags and accessories, crocheted bags and hats, Art 2 Go kits and art mystery boxes.

Jingle Jog

First-Year Council's 16th annual Jingle Jog, a 4-kilometer run/walk around central campus, begins at 5:30 p.m.; check-in at 4 p.m., both on the lawn southeast of the campanile. Registration is $15 for all participants and can be completed online or on-site preceding the jog. Proceeds support a scholarship for a worthy council member in memory of former member Andy Albright, who died in a 2005 car accident.

Here are some WinterFest activities to consider; a full schedule is online.

  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Poinsettia sale, horticulture club, Horticulture Hall atrium, $10-$40
  • Noon-8 p.m., Art Mart holiday sale, local artists and crafters, MU Gallery
  • 3-6 p.m., Christmas tree and wreath sale, forestry club, Reiman Gardens parking lot, $25-$100
  • 4-5:15 p.m., check-in for Jingle Jog, near the campanile, run begins at 5:30 p.m., registration $15, includes T-shirt and swag
  • 4-6 p.m., President's open house, ground floor, Beardshear Hall
  • 4-6 p.m., Campanile tours, must be at least 13 years old, central campus
  • 4-7 p.m., Caricatures, air brush tattoos, holiday crafts, various MU locations
  • 4-9:30 p.m., Nonperishable food donation station, to benefit SHOP, MU west lounge
  • 4-9:30 p.m. Chair massages, photo booth, card making for charities, bowling and billiards, various MU locations
  • 5 p.m., Cookie decorating and hot chocolate, while supplies last, MU food court
  • 5-7 p.m., Seasonal beverage sampling, MU Market and Café
  • 5-8 p.m., Yuletide Evening, Farm House Museum, central campus
  • 5-8 p.m., Swing dance lessons, photos with Santa, trivia games, various MU locations
  • 5-9 p.m., Bingo, MU Sun Room
  • 6 p.m., Tree-lighting ceremony, central campus near Beardshear Hall
  • 6 p.m., Chili and cornbread, while supplies last, MU Pine Room
  • 6-9:30 p.m., Horse-drawn carriages rides, leaving from the west drive, Memorial Union
  • 7 p.m., Performance, Noah Sonie, magician and mentalist, MU Great Hall
  • 9 p.m.-midnight, Ice skating, Ames/ISU Ice Arena, 1507 Gateway Hills Park Dr., first 800 participants receive free admission and skate rental

Editor's note: Earlier this week, author and actress Jennette McCurdy canceled her in-person appearances for the rest of 2022, including a moderated discussion scheduled for Friday evening in the MU Great Hall as part of WinterFest.