The Will To Plan

Father and daughter enjoying a hay ride

The term “family” means different things to different people, and I fully understand and appreciate that.  Regardless of your definition, I imagine your family is the most important thing to you. You are always there for them and are willing to help whenever possible. Have you thought about how you can protect them when you…

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The Journey of Belonging

Preschool Students Playing In Sandbox

“In its silent way, belonging is the central conversation of our times.” – Toko-pa Turner The Process of Unlearning The Student Experience Research Network defines belonging as “the sense that one is valued and respected in a given context” (Belonging Now: New Insights from Research and Practice, 2020). As organizations, schools, communities, and humans strive…

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Endless Exploration: Your Conner Prairie Membership

Guests Playing A Game With Prairietown Interpreter

“Hey, Conner Prairie, when can we come back?” This is a question asked by many intrepid explorers at the end of busy days spent at Conner Prairie. Frankly, they make a good point. There are many reasons to keep coming back; maybe the carpenter mentioned a project he’s working on this week and you’re itching…

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Spending the Day at Conner Prairie (An Itinerary for Adults)

Balloon Over William Conner House

As a 20-year-old, working at Conner Prairie this summer as an intern has truly been a blast. I ventured to the museum  often as a child for school field trips, weekend adventures and to experience the Haunted Horsemen. Yet, I hadn’t been back for awhile- until I started working here. For many adults and young…

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Arts & Arms – Crafts of the Past

Through making items, we connect the present to the past by gaining an appreciation for hand-crafted items that have survived generations. One of my favorite places growing up was my dad’s workshop. Working alongside my dad, he taught me the tricks of carpentry he had learned when framing houses in his college days. My father…

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What Food Reveals About Ourselves

Veggies and eggs in baskets on table

Whether you are indoors or outdoors, resting on cushions on the floor or sitting in front of TV trays on living room couches; every day, in every home, a table is set for people to gather around and eat. Depending on social, cultural, religious, and economic status, the setting changes. What doesn’t change is the…

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The Third Teacher

Preschool Students Exploring Conner Prairie Grounds

Wherever you are right now, stop, look up, and then scan the space you are in. How would you describe it? Use your senses to notice what your space looks like, feels like, smells like, sounds like, and yes, even tastes like. Take a minute to fully recognize your environment. Does this sound a little…

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Exploring History Through Conner Prairie’s Chautauqua Series

Stereograph Of Madison, Indiana Chautauqua – July, 1901

Stereograph of Madison, Indiana Chautauqua – July, 1901 In 1878, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC) was founded to provide those who could not afford the time or money to attend college (or those excluded because of gender or geography) the opportunity of acquiring the skills and essential knowledge of a college education. The…

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Wedding Traditions Throughout History

1820 Country Wedding by John Lewis Krimmel painting

When we think of weddings, we first think of three words: money, money, and money. An elaborate white dress, DJ’s lighting up the dance floor, and a feast fit for a king are all staples of modern weddings, but this has not always been the case. In the early 19th century, weddings often featured less…

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Learning History, Culture, and Inclusivity Through Youth Theatre

Asante Children’s Theatre actors

Through the Academy Summer Intensive produced in partnership with Asante Children’s Theatre and Conner Prairie, Indianapolis children are able to learn both the art of theatre and American history along the way. The Program of the Asante Art Institute of Indianapolis is specially crafted for youth actors ages 12 to18 years of age. Through an…

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How Do You Play?

Clown and audience member interacting

In 1994, at 25 years of age, I penned, produced, and performed my first one-man show, He Can Amuse Himself for Hours. Chicago Reader critic, Justin Hayford, viewed the work as an examination of, “…[T]he impossibility of having a genuine experience.” The show was a collection of personal play memories set against the relief of…

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Historic Baseball in Indiana

Historic Baseball teams pose for a team picture

Baseball is a sport rooted within American culture. While the sport was born in America, today it is played in over 100 countries. Growing up, I have fond memories of going to the Indianapolis Indians games and watching the Cubs on TV. My brother played little league and my whole family would come together to…

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What July Fourth Means to History

Celebrating Glorious 4th at Prairietown

Every July Fourth holiday I have experienced has been different from the year before. Some years I celebrate with my family in our backyard with delicious hot dogs and bright sparklers; other years I’ve enjoyed The Fourth at a friend’s house for a pool party. Most recently I visited my aunt’s house where we watched…

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A Full Schedule and Full Capacity for 2021 Kroger Symphony on the Prairie

Symphony on the Prairie

New concerts featuring audience favorites for maximum-capacity audiences. Following local, state and federal health protocols, Kroger Symphony on the Prairie will open to full-capacity beginning with the first scheduled concert, this Friday, June 25. To assure the safest and most comfortable environment, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with Conner Prairie will issue a maximum…

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Ignite Your Curiosity as a Youth Volunteer

Youth Ag Volunteer

Becoming a Youth Volunteer at Conner Prairie When I was 9 years old, my mother called me over to her computer one day to show me some information she’d found online regarding a youth volunteering program at Conner Prairie. I was in that stage of life that nearly every child goes through, where the idea…

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Summer Celebrations: Freedom for All?

Emancipation Day Celebration in 1900

Stephenson, Mrs. Charles (Grace Murray). [Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900], photograph, June 19, 1900; ( accessed May 26, 2021), Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. Fireworks, cookouts, family reunions, and vacations are traditional scenes of American summers. Top summer celebrations include that of family and freedom from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July.…

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Being Your True Self at Conner Prairie

Andrew Bradford with his family

A Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion “Separate or together?” “One-check or two?” These are questions my husband and I receive regularly in Central Indiana, and throughout the Midwest. We will go to breakfast with our kids and receive questions and comments about what our wives may be up to while we are out…

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Happy Hour on the Horizon: 2021 History on Tap

Live music at History on Tap

WE ARE Makers and Mixers After a year cooped up indoors, Summer 2021 is approaching and I’m seeking all the opportunities to adventure outside and safely attend events. Maybe that’s you too? If so, I hope you plan to join the Conner Prairie and the Horizon Council at the 9th annual History on Tap on…

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2021 International Heritage Breeds Week at Conner Prairie

Tunis Sheep

International Heritage Breeds Week: May 16th – 22nd International Heritage Breeds Week is upon us (May 16th-22nd) and I know the Agriculture (Ag) staff and I are excited about all of the extra programs we have developed to allow our guests to dive deeper into our heritage breeds at Conner Prairie. This week, we invite…

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Conner Prairie’s Historic Livestock Program is Hero of Heritage Breeds Week

Heritage Breeds Week

This effort to preserve endangered livestock is part of the museum’s sustainability efforts May 14, 2021 INDIANAPOLIS — This week, Conner Prairie is celebrating International Heritage Breeds Week, an event that encourages the preservation of endangered livestock breeds that were raised by farmers before modern, higher producing breeds replaced them. Conner Prairie maintains four heritage…

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A Passion for Animal Preservation

English Longhorn Heritage Breed

When people ask me what I do for a living, I sometimes struggle to explain. Saying, “I manage the livestock and agriculture experiences at Conner Prairie,” just feels lacking because what my team does here at Conner Prairie is so much more than can be summed up in a simple sentence.  When people find out…

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Adventure Camp at Conner Prairie

Camper showing off his archery target

A look at the Social and Emotional Benefits of Summer Camp Of all the fun activities that campers enjoy at Conner Prairie Adventure Camp, shooting archery is always among the most popular. Over a given summer, thousands of campers will send tens of thousands of arrows zipping towards a foam target. Of all those arrows,…

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