Elaine Molin - Conner Prairie Store
The Conner Prairie Store is a perfect place to find unusual gifts this season! We are having such fun with this year’s selection of “history gifts with a twist.” Come by for a visit to see the Abe Lincoln and Jane Austen bandages, the placemats that are chalkboards, “saber” umbrellas, shower caps that look like a Betsy Ross mop cap, and log pillows that appear to be straight from our log cabin.
Indiana-made toys, candy, gourmet food make great hostess gifts. Direct from our Prairietown village we have beautiful pottery, blacksmith items and textile specialties created by our Conner Prairie craftsmen. The store boasts hundreds of items for children or the child in you.
Feel good about supporting Conner Prairie while shopping for a unique gift that is different from those in the big box stores. All sale proceeds benefit Conner Prairie by allowing us to help fund imaginative programs and inspiring adventures.
And don’t forget, Conner Prairie members receive 10 percent off their purchases! View more holiday gift selections here.
Here are a few of our gift ideas:
Candy Cottage reusable gingerbread houses. Snap together pieces that are ready to decorate! Wash off to reuse. Large 10 x 12”-$29.95. Party pack includes set of four and is great for groups. $19.95.
Just like a one room school house slateboard, framed in wood. 5x7”-$7.25. 4x6”-$6. Add a soapstone pencil, which is a less messy option than chalk for $.45 each.
Chalk a Doodle placemats and coasters keep children entertained at the dinner table. Writable placemat sets include dustless colored chalk and a felt eraser. $12. Also available are 4-piece coasters and chalk. $10.
Conner Prairie-made salt glaze and spongeware pottery. Beautiful and functional pottery brought in from our village potters shop! Microwave, dishwasher and oven proof. Mugs, pitchers, bowl, candleholders, inkwells, and crocks. $6-$60.
The Courting Candle could also come in handy. The legend says: “A father of a young lady being courted would set the time a gentleman caller would be allowed to visit by adjusting the height of the candle. When the candle burned to the holder, it was time to part!” Useful for today’s dads too! 11” tall - Special price $19.95.
1. Decorations that get you into the holiday spirit
Starting at the beginning of December, giant gingerbread men and wintery hanging decorations appeared throughout the Welcome Center. Even though temperatures outside were not seasonal, here at Conner Prairie, “elves” were busy making the season bright. My favorite decorations are the giant wrapped gifts near the gingerbread houses. I can only imagine what might be inside!
2. Snow-covered fields, trees, woods...and a balloon?
Few can argue that fields and trees frosted with snow pull you into the magic of winter, but a snow-topped balloon? Well, it may not be entirely holiday-related, but it is pretty amazing seeing a giant helium balloon covered with snow and with icicles hanging off its tethers. It took this sense of perspective for me to see how gigantic the 1859 Balloon Voyage really is, and the balloon's orange and yellow stripes look all the more vibrant next to the pure white covering.
3. The Conner Prairie Store
Who could beat shopping at work with a bit of an employee discount? I have been guilty of shopping at school or work for holiday gifts for many, many years. When I was a student at IU, everyone in the family got IU t-shirts and sweatshirts from the bookstore. When I lived in Chicago, it was city-themed gifts from the gift shop in the lobby of my building. Now that I work at Conner Prairie, it’s unique recipe books and vintage-looking ornaments for the tree. I'm excited about the gift giving possibilities for years to come as the store is always bringing in new and unique gifts.
4. The annual holiday staff lunch
About a week ago, we held our annual holiday staff luncheon hosted by our president, Ellen M. Rosenthal. All who work a Conner Prairie gathered for lunch, employee awards, employment milestone awards and a dessert competition. While the lunch was delicious and the dessert competition was filled with every yummy treat under the sun, it was the employment milestone awards that won my heart that day. Handmade candle holders, mugs, plates, jugs, a lamp and even a pie plate occupied a huge table—there must have been at least 25 items on that table. Each piece was handmade by one of our own Conner Prairie potters in celebration of a 5-, 10-,15-year or more anniversary with Conner Prairie, all the way up to one employee's 40-year anniversary. As I sat in the luncheon and saw how proud each recipient was to hear his or her name called and to receive the anniversary memento, it filled me with thanks to be part of such an organization. As I celebrate my six month “anniversary” here at Conner Prairie, I am eager to know what the next year will bring.