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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Conner Prarie Farm - Fishers, Indiana

Conner Prarie Farm is located in Fishers, Indiana just a short drive from Indianapolis.  It is an interactive living history museum that gives visitors a hands on look at the rich history of life in Indiana during the 1800's. 

When we visited Conner Prarie it was early September and we really had no idea what exactly we were getting into.

Conner Prarie is divided into five different historical time periods/areas.  They are the Lenape Indian Camp, William Conner Homestead and Animal Encounters Barn, 1836 Prarietown, 1859 Balloon Voyage, and the the 1863 Civil War Journey (which doesn't open until June 4th). 

We started our journey through Conner Prarie at the Lenape Indian Camp.  At the Lenape Indian camp we were able to throw tomahawks, visit a fur trader, and were taught the game of pick up sticks.

One of the greatest things about Conner Prarie is that unlike most museums where touching exhibits is strictly off limits, visitors are encouraged to touch everything.  In fact during your visit to Conner Prarie you will be asked to participate in many activities.

Here Little Man was asked to grind up corn in the Lenape Indian Camp.

After leaving the Lenape Indian Camp we visited the William Conner Homestead and Animal Encounters Barn.  The girls loved the inside of William Conner's home, and during our visit the historical interpreters were making soup in the kitchen using vegetables grown in the garden.

The Animal Encounters barn was a lot of fun for the kids, as they were able to pet ducks, goats, sheep, and so much more.

Our last stop of the day was 1836 Prarietown (The 1859 Balloon Voyage was not open at the time of our visit).  Prarietown was probably our favorite part of our visit. 

It was in Prarietown where we were asked to grind up corn to feed the chickens

Were asked to pump water to wash dishes

Sat in on a school class, and played games in the middle of town

So are you ready to visit Conner Prarie Farm yourself? 

Here's what you need to know to make the best of your trip:

  • Conner Prarie is a living history museum, and is a working farm.  Visitors to the farm will be asked to participate in farm chores.  I actually think this helps to make the experience more fun.
  • Inside of each time era the history interpreters live life, talk, and act as if they are from that time period.  They will be more than glad to answer questions concerning that time period.  However if you have a question about your visit, the park, or need anything else they are not the ones to ask.  You will find other workers in polo shirts who will answer those questions.
  • The buildings are small and decorated as if someone was still living there.  Your better off leaving the strollers at home, and using a backpack to carry the little one.
  • There are plenty of areas for picnic lunches. 
  • Conner Prarie does have a Cafe but it is located at the entrance of the museum.  The food is typical zoo/museum food but it is not extremely overpriced. 
  • There are vending machines throughout the grounds for soft drinks but they are expensive.  You are better off packing a bag with some small drinks and snacks to carry with you.  With all of the walking you are going to be doing you will get thirsty.
  • You will be walking on dirt roads, over uneven terrain.  Your best bet is to leave the cute sandals at home and throw on the tennis shoes.
  • Don't forget the sunscreen because you will be outside all day.
  • Don't forget the hand sanitizer either.  There are animals all over the grounds, and they love attention. 
Other Need to Know Information About Conner Prarie Farm:

Conner Prarie is open year round but the outdoor grounds are only open from April until October.  Hours vary depending upon the season but they are posted on Conner Prarie Farm's website.

Admission to Conner Prarie Farm is
$14 for adults
$13 for seniors over age 65
$9 for ages 2 to 12
under 2 is free

Family memberships are available for $70 and include admission to the museum for a full year.

Here's how we rated Conner Prarie Farm:

We all really enjoyed our trip to Conner Prarie Farm.  It ended up being very educational for all of us and we were blown away by the historical accuracy of it all.  The staff was extremely helpful and friendly, with the entire museum geared towards kids.  We are currently planning another trip to visit the 1859 Balloon Voyage and 1863 Civil War Journey.

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