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Located in Fishers, Indiana, Conner Prairie History Muesum is a nationally acclaimed historical destination in the US. This is basically an outdoor living museum that thrives to inspire curiosity and learning about the State of Indiana through a number of engaging and unique experiences. Conner Prairie also preserves the home of William Conner. It is interesting to note that the museum successfully recreates the 19th-century life along the famous White River, leaving no stone unturned in encouraging the visitors to explore the culture and heritage of the State of Indiana through a series of interactive experiences.
Conner Prairie Attractions
Conner Prairie has a number of permanent attractions including Headless Horseman ride in the autumn months and candlelight tours. Visitors can step back a little in time at the highly acclaimed Conner Prairie Interactive History Park. There are 5 themed historically significant areas and a chance to interact with the Native Americans of the 1800s. They even have a make and take bead bracelet at the Trading Post that you can whip up for just $5.
When you step back into 1836 you get a chance to visit with blacksmiths, potters, even a doctor, and his wife. While these people are in full costume dress, they are totally in character and beyond delightful and educational. You learn that one has raised garden beds to help work around the soil that was heavy with red clay. Muslin dyed with onions covers the golden gilded mirror in the Doctor’s home to prevent flies from mussing it in the summer. Even how to make something like a wooden ax handle with a unique bench in the cobbler shop.
Miss Sarah was invited to play the Doctor’s pianoforte!
We also received an education from the schoolmarm on ciphering. The number pyramid blew us away!
You can take a ride on the very popular 1859 Balloon Voyage which is a fun-filled 15 min ride in a balloon that reaches a height of 115m. It is in the record books for being the world’s largest tethered gas passenger balloon. The gondola can carry up to 20 people and this one is one of 5 such balloons in the US. I think the hubster could have watched that for hours – just going up and down.
Other notable attractions include –
Create Connect – it is an indoor attraction that is open throughout the year and offers mind-blowing experiences such as building a chain reaction, building a model plane and experimenting with circuits.
Makesmith Workshop – its theme changes through the different seasons. In the winter it focuses on textiles but during summer the attention shifts to metalworking. The workshop is open to children of all ages and they can participate in various activities like hammering a nail and/or molding a piece of metal.
Animal Encounters – there is a functioning barn on the grounds of Conner Prairie History Museum right across the famous Connor House. It is a great place for kids as it houses as many as 18 kinds of chickens, sheep, ducks, cows, and goats. Both the adults and the children can learn about the various aspect of a barn and how to run them. There are regular interesting activities in the barn from time to time such as shearing the sheep and milking the goats. The kids can learn how to collect the eggs from the chicken!
What we enjoyed was learning about the history of heritage animals. We didn’t know that the raising of livestock had changed so much over the last almost 200 years! Where animals used to be multi-purpose, they have now become bred for fewer functions for lack of a better word. They used to be for meat, wool, to pull wagons and plows, even milk. Now, they are usually bred for just one of those.
Your visit would be incomplete without a visit to the William Conner House. Built in 1823, the Conner House is actually one of the first brick buildings in Central Indiana. This house was used as a meeting place for the commissioners, county officials and even housed a post office! Conner lived in this house till 1837.
Conner Prairie History Museum is the 1st Smithsonian Institute affiliate of the state of Indiana and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The premises are open from April 30 to November 03, from Tuesdays to Sundays. Both the indoor and outdoor areas remain open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
There was an on-site cafe that we took a little heat break-in and indulged in a pretzel, soda, and even snow-cone for Miss Sarah. If you want to pack your own picnic, that is OK too – there is a special area for you to relax in.
While the admission fees are fixed at USD 18 for adults and USD 13 for children aged between 2 to 12 years, you really want to get a membership. There is so much to see, so many activities and the simple fact that the villages change with the seasons. You can’t possibly see everything on your first visit – I know, we tried! We didn’t even make it to the Civil War Journey or Treetop Outpost! Two visits with a family membership would pay for itself and you would never be bored! Put it on your holiday wishlist – it would make a fantastic gift for any family.
Quick note – there is a pressed penny machine on the grounds – if you collect them as Miss Sarah does!
This place truly creates fun for the kiddos and they aren’t even aware of the lessons they are being taught at the same time. Win-win, right?
Other museums we have covered that you might like:
- Follow a Soldier at the WWII Museum of New Orleans
- French Lick West Baden Museum; So Much History in One Place
- Play at Iowa’s Putnam Children’s Museum
- Make Time For Fun at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum
- Tenement Museum Sheds Light on Immigrant’s Lives