Opening Doors

The "Opening Doors" approach to presenting the past:

What makes Conner Prairie different from other historic sites with costumed staff? At most sites, staff learn facts, historic trades and techniques. That means visitors listen to the facts and watch the historic methods.

At Conner Prairie, you’ll engage face-to-face with 19th-century Indiana residents and explore history first-hand through our Opening Doors approach to delivering great guest experiences. Our research has indicated that people learn best when everyone in the group is involved, comfortable, relaxed and interested.

View Opening Doors Video

Our staff is comprised of highly-trained professionals who know history, but who also know how to help guests of all ages, interests and backgrounds craft individualized, unique experiences every time they visit.

If you haven’t been a guest at Conner Prairie in several years, you’ll find it has transformed. We began working with Ball State University in 2000 to research how much visitors were learning at Conner Prairie and found that we had room for improvement.

With support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C., Conner Prairie developed Opening Doors, which focuses on the unique needs, wants and capabilities of each individual in your family. This allows you to create tailor-made, relevant experiences each time you visit.  The acclaimed Opening Doors approach has won national and state awards. Museum professionals from around the world visit, email and phone to learn more from the innovators in Fishers, Indiana.

To order your copy of Opening Doors, please call the Conner Prairie Store at 317.776.6000 ext. 389, or email Becky Brown at Thank you!