A Merry Prairie Holiday Tradition Continues at Conner Prairie

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Festival adjustments ensure a safe experience during COVID-19

November 16, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — For the second year in a row, visitors can once again enjoy A Merry Prairie Holiday while experiencing Conner Prairie’s magical festival in a new, safer way.

Beginning Friday, November 27 through Sunday, December 20 and on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 22-23, Conner Prairie’s grounds will be transformed into a winter wonderland of lights and warm holiday fun. From 5:30-9:30 p.m. nightly, guests can step into the past and explore holiday traditions from yesteryear while also creating new memories with their families.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of guests and staff alike, A Merry Prairie Holiday has been modified in key ways. The Welcome Center will be closed except for restrooms, reducing the opportunity for guests to congregate indoors. Midway games, as well as activities and visits at Mr. and Mrs. Claus’s Cabin will not take place this year, although Selfies with Santa will still be available for children at the Featherstone Barn on a first come, first served basis. Instead of children making gifts on-site in our North Pole Workshop, “Take and Make” crafts like leather bracelets and holiday ornaments will be available for purchase. However, guests can still take a ride on Kringle’s Carousel — the attraction has a new home in the Civil War Journey for the 2020 season.

In addition, the Winter Wonderland Stroll experience will be offered without wagon rides this year, and guests will have the chance to explore thousands of sparkling lights in the Reynolds Farm Equipment holiday lights displayed on the Conner Prairie grounds. 

In a year when so much has changed, Conner Prairie felt it was important to uphold its holiday tradition and give families somewhere to celebrate safely together, explained Conner Prairie president and CEO Norman Burns.

“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and guests,” Burns shared. “But with so many central Indiana holiday events and activities cancelled this year, we felt it was important to still try to deliver for our members and festival attendees. We believe this reimagined A Merry Prairie Holiday will allow people to experience the magic of the holidays together outdoors, in a socially-distanced way, and reconnect with the simple joys of the season.”

Tickets will be sold by day and time, allowing for better management of attendance numbers and safeguarding against crowds. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: https://www.connerprairie.org/explore/things-to-do/merry-prairie-holiday

About Conner Prairie

Spanning more than 1,000 wooded acres in Central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes more than 400,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically-themed encounters and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today. Conner Prairie is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization – accredited by the American Alliance of Museums – that relies on grants and philanthropic donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations for sustainability and growth. For more information visit ConnerPrairie.org.