Every year, with the onset of the open season, we get a chance to experience Conner Prairie through the eyes of our newest additions. From our guests’ youngest babies and toddlers to our recently born baby animals, each are exploring their new surroundings.
Families are bringing their littlest ones to experience the history and adventures here. I enjoy watching children engaged with their parents at the Discovery Station
or the Lenape Indian Camp. I see little hands figuring out how to pull apples from the apple tree and little legs stumbling to gain balance as they climb the steps at the Golden Eagle Inn.
I also enjoy watching the baby animals, mainly sheep and goats right now, getting steadier on their legs, running around, hiding behind their mothers and racing across the field. Most of their time is spent in the Animal Encounters
Barn with the watchful eyes of Conner Prairie staff and volunteers.
As a mother, I know that sometimes all mothers are hesitant to let others hold and play with their babies;
the same goes with animal mothers. They want to protect their little ones too. One of our newest mother goats has taught her kids to stay under the ramps and out of harms way.
As time passes, the kids will learn that the barn and the field are a safe place to explore. Their mother will become more comfortable with letting them wander a little farther and play with the other new animals.
So when you bring your children to Conner Prairie for the first time, I’m sure you’ll be a little hesitant to let them wander too far down the path or shudder when they walk straight to the biggest goat and pet her on the head. Certainly you should be alert to children putting their fingers in animals’ mouths or eyes but know that our staff is here to make sure that youngsters of all species are safe, and that everyone has a great experience. Our animals actually enjoy attention.
Now let me leave you with a few thoughts about Conner Prairie for all those new here, animals and human alike… Look both ways before crossing the road, there could be a whole school of kids (of either kind) coming at you! Explore and experience new things together, it’s always more fun if you have someone to share it with. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty, it washes right off! And finally, everything grows with sunshine, water, food and care.