I will be the first one to admit that I totally underestimated the size and scope of Conner Prairie. If I had done my research I would have made sure that we had given ourselves a minimum of 4 to 5 hours to explore the history park. Since we left the house late and had an additional Pit Stop we were not able to enjoy all the things that Conner Prairie has to offer.
We went inside and were given our stickers and a brief overview of all the areas of Conner Prairie while being shown on the map!
The wind was too strong to take a ride on the 1859 Balloon Voyage but I think we all would have loved that.
We took the tram from the main Museum building to make it quicker to get to the back of the park. I was so glad that this was included in the fee to enter the museum.
Riding on the tram was a real time-saver so we can start at the back of the park where the 1863 Civil War Journey aka Encapment was and worked our way back towards the museum building. So we actually ended up doing most recent History to oldest History but that’s okay!
All 4 of my children had a super fun filled history learning day. This is saying something since Eldest is 14 years old and is a typical teenager who can be grumpy about anything. Once we got off the tram and saw the Civil War encampment Eldest’s eyes lit up with excitement and his face had the biggest smile I’ve seen all week.
I know that he enjoyed learning about the Civil War raid as well as seeing the hospital and the unique effect of the burning building.
Big Red and Lil’ Red enjoyed all of the characters and costumes as well as all the hands-on learning and fun found around the park. Big Red dressed up like a Civil War soldier.
While Lil’ Red enjoyed tapping on the Morse code machine. (It just so happens that mom’s bedtime show has been Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman)
After we left the Civil War Encampment aka 1863 Dupont, Indiana, we headed to the Treetop Outpost.
I would best describe this area as lots of hands-on learning about Indiana history. There were places to learn inside the treehouse as well as outside around the base of the treehouse.
Next we entered Prairietown of 1836 which held many buildings that you would find in a town back in that time. We saw a school house, general store, pottery shop, blacksmith shop and some homes.
Conner Prairie offers animal encounters which isn’t a big deal for our family since we have those type of learning opportunities near us. An unexpected Hands-On learning opportunity was the silkworms that Big Red and Lil’ Red got to hold in the Loom House.
The moths we’re crawling around a white piece of printer paper laying their eggs. Real-life cocoons were nearby along with a plastic life cycle set (which is no longer available online because I checked). I loved how the volunteer came and told us how she raises the silkworms and moths each year. We almost got to take home some of the eggs but it wasn’t close enough to the end of the day. We learned that the worms need mulberry leaves in order complete metamorphosis. Big Red really wanted to take one home. I almost convinced the volunteer that we would love to raise them.
On our way out of Lenape Indian Camp we stopped for one of the make and take crafts that were spread throughout Conner Prairie. We each got to cast a silver charm by pouring liquid metal into a mold. Each design had a history of how is was viewed by the Native Americans of the time.
As we were finishing up, Riley and Eldest slipped over to the Tomahawk throwing demonstration, and Riley got to try his hand at throwing. He was successful at the Tomahawk throwing. Princess just caught a bit of his success!
We were so hungry and had dinner plans already arranged at Rockstone Pizza so we had to skip all the hands-on learning inside the main building at Conner Prairie. Riley took some quick pictures as we headed out for dinner just so we could share what was located inside.
If you are near Fishers, Indiana and love hands-on History then you must spend a day at Conner Prairie!