Despite the long and dreary winter, we can tell spring is almost here at Conner Prairie. New lambs have already begun to arrive. Staff are busy cleaning up structures and grounds, building new shelters for animals and acquiring materials for programming.
People outside Conner Prairie often ask me if I enjoy the slow season here, meaning the winter when the outdoor areas are closed to the public. That's like asking someone who is expecting 35 people for Thanksgiving if she enjoys the relaxation before everyone arrives for the turkey. In other words, we are busier than ever in the winter.
This year we have been simultaneously preparing new programs and activities for 2010; look for a new seamstresses cabin with a historic clothing try-on area and an end of the day party in Prairietown, as well science programs every Saturday. We're also planning new exhibits for 2011 and 2014. Our expectations are so high for every new program that it's sometimes hard to find things that meet our standards. First and foremost, programs have to be fun for both adults and kids, and they can't lose their learning connection. Then, we like to explore new areas in ways that other museums have never thought of. We try to prototype or actually try activities with guests before we introduce them to make sure they work.
I think we've succeeded this year as we have in the past with creating experiences that are so much fun you never notice you are learning, but we are always open to suggestions in order to improve. Please let me know what you like that's new, what you don't and what you wish you and your family would be able to do at Conner Prairie.
It's going to be a great year! I hope you'll be part of it.