It's that time of the year - when we are all weary of being indoors during the winter months. Even though it has been a mild winter, the grandkids and I are anxious to get outside!
Though they thoroughly enjoy Discovery Station
, the Science Lab
and Craft Corner
they are anxious to get outside. Beau has even joined in with a Prairie Tykes
program over the last few months to get his fill of Conner Prairie.
Recently there has been a lot of talk among the grandkids about what we are looking forward to seeing this year.
• We wonder what new baby animals will be in the barn this year?
• Beau enjoys the goats.
• Little Eliza loves to give the calves a good "hair" brushing.
• Logan can hardly wait to go up in "his" big balloon.
• Ella wants to practice her stilt walking in Prairietown.
• Emma likes to identify the spring wildflowers with Mamaw (that’s me).
is right around the corner and the older girls are already deciding which (Adventure or Arts) and how many sessions to attend this summer. Now is the time to get signed up! Ella wants to see if the giant fish (did someone say Loch Ness Monster?) is in the pond again this summer so she can once again go fishin’. Emma wants to attend the leadership session that is offered.
I take this "job" of Mamaw very seriously. I love to share Conner Prairie with them, to encourage these five precious young minds to open up and explore their world, to ask lots of questions and to help them find their own answers!
More adventures to come. Happy Spring to everyone!
Posted: 3/6/2012 4:12:15 PM
Emma St. Dennis
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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.
Posted: 4/29/2011 10:43:13 AM
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Melissa Raveed - Manager, School Services
Spring is here and Conner Prairie has been open for over 2 weeks now. In those days, much has already happened- a robbery in Prairietown, sheep shearing and the birth of many cute and fuzzy animal babies. This time of renewal and birth brings me fond memories of last year- as I was not at Conner Prairie to open the season, but a home starting a new season in my life as a mother to a now energetic and curious 13 month old.
While I cannot believe that it has already been a year since my daughter was born, there are many things I cannot wait to do with her now that she is entering toddlerhood. Sharing the world with my daughter has been one of the greatest joys of my life. From introducing her to new foods to teaching her to roll a ball across the floor, I cannot get over how excited she is to conquer tasks which are so simple as an adult.
I am especially excited for her to start to explore what Conner Prairie has to offer the toddler set. The good thing is that I have been able to do some great “reconnaissance” by just observing and interacting with families with little ones while at work!
Just last week, my husband brought my little girl to Conner Prairie to say hi to Mommy, and to introduce her to the Animal Encounters
Barn. If you have a toddler- it is a MUST to take them out to the barn! The baby animals are just the right size so that your toddler can interact with them without being intimidated. During our visit, a 4-day-old calf was snoozing on the floor. I sat down next to the calf and called my daughter to come see. Without hesitation, she walked right up to the calf, looked at me and smiled. After a little encouragement, she patted the calf on the head and laughed. I was surprised at how gentle she was with the calf as if she knew it was a baby and needed special care.
I love that we can provide these kinds of learning moments to our youngest guests. Those 5 minutes with the calf exposed her to an experience I cannot readily duplicate at home (unless we move to a farm!) And to see the big grin on her face… priceless.
Posted: 4/22/2011 9:24:53 AM
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Pamela Jackson - Guest Services
It’s spring, and after we survived the long winter months, we hope you’ll join us in welcoming both spring and the 2011 season at Conner Prairie. We’ve got lots of exciting events coming up, so give us a call in Guest Services if you aren’t sure what programs are appropriate for you and your family or group.
First up is our acclaimed Follow the North Star
program, an Underground Railroad simulation that runs Fridays and Saturdays the first three weekends in April. (The last weekend is sold out; remaining available dates are April 8 & 9). If you plan to attend, stop and say hello to me at the Guest Services ticket desk, where I will be checking in tour groups with reservations and handing out release forms.
A lot of these groups consist of school children, but since Follow the North Star is not recommended for persons under age twelve, these school groups tend to be high schoolers or even college students. We have many teachers and sponsors who return year after year, eager to introduce their students to this very effective learning experience. There are also other participants arriving from nearby or far away, many for the first time, and full of questions:
“Will they touch us?” (No!)
“Will we get lost?” (You may think you’re lost, but we know where you are at all times.)
“Will it be cold/rainy/windy?” (Maybe, so we hope you’re dressed for the weather.)
“Are we going to get yelled at?” (Absolutely!)
Follow the North Star is such an intense experience because guests assume the roles of fugitive slaves. Our Conner Prairie interpreters – you know, the ones who are usually so friendly and helpful while in 1836 costume – take on different personas for this program, and can be either very intimidating or quite helpful to the “slaves” on their journey to freedom. This program is designed to create a learning experience unlike any other, not by reading or listening or watching, but by doing. As such, it is not for the faint of heart!
You see, when I’m not at the ticket desk, I also participate in Follow the North Star in various capacities. Perhaps I am walking the groups out to begin their experience, admonishing them to remember it is 1836. Perhaps I am in costume waiting to assist them on their outdoor journey, or – not to give too much away – perhaps I see that groups arrive at their final stop relatively unscathed.
So come on out and try our Underground Railroad simulation if you have a sincere desire to learn in a unique fashion. If that is not for you, then we hope to see you during the daytime for an enjoyable visit back in time!
Posted: 4/6/2011 10:37:03 AM
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I was sitting at my desk the other day when a co-worker ran up and said, "Someone from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is here!" The show is on location in Indianapolis building a home in the 2300 block of Oxford Street. I grabbed my camera and met up with the couple, Peggy and Mike Mata, in the Conner Prairie Store. Their son, Justin, is on staff with the show and they travel occasionally to help with builds. Adam took them on a quick tour of the grounds on the day before we opened. Here are some pictures!
Posted: 4/3/2009 11:57:03 PM
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Why a Soldier Returns to Civil War Days
See, Feel, Smell the Civil War
Our Mother’s Day Tradition is Conner Prairie
A Year in the Life of a Conner Prairie Volunteer