Sarah Frey - Communications Assistant
1. 1836 Outdoor Adventure
! (I secretly hope it snows a little bit those 3 Saturdays)
2. Make and take a candle at 1836 Outdoor Adventure. - It’s only $2 and you have a wonderful memory or gift to share with someone.
3. Gingerbread Village
- Did you know we had so many talented Gingerbread house makers in the Indy area? It’s amazing to look at all of them.
4. Conner Prairie by Candlelight
– Meet the Rowdies, sing and dance around the campfire, and help prepare Prairietown for the upcoming holidays!
5. Share a meal with Santa! If you’re a member you can join us for Breakfast with Santa
. If you are not a member, join us for Dinner with Santa
All the details for the Must-Do list are here
It’s time to stop thinking of us simply as somewhere to enjoy during the summer months. We have tons to offer up this winter season. Hope to see you here soon!
Ellen Rosenthal - President and CEO
I had only been working at Conner Prairie for about three months when I decided to try out the nationally acclaimed program “Follow the North Star
” where participants become runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad.
Friends told me that it was an emotionally charged experience that would change the way I see our world. I half-listened; my own skeptical voice whispered in my ear. Programs were scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings, the precious time I spent with my husband and three boys, then 13, 10 and 6. Only my 13 year old was old enough to participate. He was happy to tag along for the outing.
We arrived dressed for the wet dreary November evening. After a short video briefing about the Underground Railroad, we were led out in a group and then left – just abandoned it seemed – in the middle of a field. Out of nowhere came men with guns, shouting, snorting, charging toward us. Even though I recognized first one staff member voice and then another, I felt intimidated and powerless. We were told to not move. We were yelled at. And then two men grabbed my son and pulled him away.
The thought that had been echoing in my head, “this is just make believe” faded and disappeared, replaced by a panic about what I should do. Should I let him go? What if he thinks that I don’t care enough to go after him? Should I trust that I’ll find him again? I stayed with group.
Of course, I did find him again. But not until near the end, after an hour of running through the dark trying to find a hazard-free path.
As sappy as it sounds, that moment did change my life. I can hardly think about the many separations between parent and child that occurred during the centuries long tragedy of slavery without seeing my 13 year old vanishing into the night. How many other museums can elicit the depth of that empathy?
I encourage everyone to experience Follow the North Star. I also suggest you read the incredible book Slave Ship by Marcus Rediker to better understand the bitter emotions of enslaved people. Both will change your understanding of American history.
Follow the North Star: November 3-5, 10-12 & 17-19. Reservations are required. Please call Guest Services to reserve your journey: 317.776.6006.