Step away from your routine for WinterFest fun


student string quartet performs at Beardshear open house

The President's annual holiday open house (4-6 p.m., ground floor of Beardshear Hall) kicks off an evening of WinterFest activities on Dec. 1. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

Join students taking a break from their preparation for final exams at the annual WinterFest celebration on Friday, Dec. 1. Most events are at the Memorial Union or on central campus. Here are a few highlights:

Join President Wendy Wintersteen and her spouse, Robert Waggoner, for an open house in Beardshear Hall (ground floor, 4-6 p.m.). Enjoy live music and seasonal foods, beverages and ISU Creamery ice cream.

Trigg Watson's tech-infused magic show has been seen on The CW channel's "Masters of Illusion" and "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," and he was a semifinalist on the season of NBC's "America's Got Talent" that concluded in September. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for his 7 p.m. free performance in the Durham Great Hall. The show is appropriate for all ages.

And take advantage of three opportunities to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts by fellow Cyclones:

  • Handblown glass ornament sale, by members of the ISU Gaffer's Guild, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., atrium of the Student Innovation Center
  • Jingle and Mingle holiday market, a trove of unique, handcrafted gifts, food and art created by student and alumni entrepreneurs, central campus, 3:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Art Mart: pottery, blown glass, jewelry, décor, accessories, paintings and more; purchases support individual artists, The Workspace and ISU's Gaffer's Guild; 11 a.m.-7 p.m., first floor art gallery, Memorial Union.

WinterFest is open to the public. All activities are free and while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. The end-of-semester event is hosted annually by the WinterFest student organization with support from student government, many units at the Memorial Union and Discover Ames.


WinterFest schedule (events are at the Memorial Union unless noted)

  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Glass ornament sale, ISU Gaffer's Guild, atrium of Student Innovation Center
  • 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Art Mart holiday sale, first floor art gallery (same time and place on Nov. 30)
  • 3:30-7:30 p.m., Jingle and Mingle holiday market, central campus
  • 4-6 p.m., President's WinterFest open house, ground floor of Beardshear Hall
  • 4-7 p.m., Airbrush tattoos, Room 3560
  • 4-8 p.m., Holiday crafting, make your own snow globe, The Workspace
  • 4-9 p.m., Photo booth, West Lounge
  • 4-9:30 p.m., Chair massages, Room 3580
  • 4 p.m.-midnight, Bowling and billiards, CyBowl and Billiards
  • 5 p.m., Cookie decorating and hot chocolate, food court commons, while supplies last
  • 5-7 p.m., Campanile tours, central campus, hosted by the Student Carillonneur Leadership Council
  • 5-7 p.m., Andy Albright Jingle Jog, campanile south lawn, fun run in memory of the former Freshmen Council member, proceeds support a scholarship in his name, $20, register via the Student Organization Marketplace
  • 5-8 p.m., Caricatures by speed sketchers, Room 3560
  • 5-8 p.m., Yuletide open house, Farm House Museum, central campus, enjoy Victorian yuletide-themed activities, crafts and holiday treats (continues Dec. 2, 1-4 p.m.)
  • 5-9 p.m., Bingo, Sun Room
  • 6 p.m., Chili and cornbread, Pine Room (off the food court), while supplies last
  • 6 p.m., Tree lighting ceremony, east of Beardshear Hall, central campus
  • 6-9:30 p.m., Horse-drawn wagon rides, loading in the west driveway, take a ride past Lake Laverne
  • 6:30-9:30 p.m., Silent disco, Campanile Room
  • 7 p.m., (doors open at 6:30 p.m.), Magic show with Trigg Watson, Durham Great Hall
  • 7:30-10:30 p.m., Ice skating, Ames/ISU Ice Arena, free admission and skate rental for the first 800 participants
close-up of lights on central campus holiday tree

Holiday tree on central campus.