Blog

How Do You Play?

July 14, 2021
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

July 8, 2021
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

June 30, 2021
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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Ignite Your Curiosity as a Youth Volunteer

June 9, 2021
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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The Art of Unlearning: Where Children Become their Own Teachers

June 8, 2021
Student Using Colored Shapes on Projector

I want you to imagine what early learning looks like. Do you imagine tiny, child-sized desks, the alphabet on the wall, and an explosion of primary colors? Do you think of a teacher at the front of the room while children try to listen? What about the pain of trying to get a child excited…

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Life at 377 Feet: The History of Conner Prairie’s Hot Air Balloons

June 4, 2021
Silhouette of 1859 Balloon Voyage at Sunset

While traveling and camping west of the Grand Canyon National Park years ago, my spouse and I took in a 30-minute ranger talk one evening entitled, ‘What it feels like to be a canyon’. My eyes rolled a bit at the topic, but hey, we were tourists. Fast forward 30 year and  I now sometimes…

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Summer Celebrations: Freedom for All?

June 1, 2021
Emancipation Day Celebration in 1900

Stephenson, Mrs. Charles (Grace Murray). [Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900], photograph, June 19, 1900; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth124053/: 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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Things That Go Bump in the Night: Nocturnal Animals at Conner Prairie

May 28, 2021
Conner Prairie Grounds at Sunset

Indiana’s Nighttime Visitors to the Prairie The scurry of small feet, the sound of almost-silent wings sailing by, and eyes that reflect back from the bushes. These are the signs of night-life on the Prairie that I often catch glimpses of after the rest of the grounds have fallen silent. Conner Prairie—and Indiana—is home to…

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Being Your True Self at Conner Prairie

May 28, 2021
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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Tips for Dementia Caregivers: Experiencing a Dementia-Friendly Museum

May 20, 2021
Memory Cafe at Conner Prairie

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, or another type of dementia, can be a stressful and emotional journey. You’re not alone. In the United States, there are more than 16 million people caring for someone with dementia. Caregiving can make the biggest difference to a loved one’s quality of life – and that is a…

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Happy Hour on the Horizon: 2021 History on Tap

May 20, 2021
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

May 18, 2021
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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A Passion for Animal Preservation

May 14, 2021
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

May 10, 2021
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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The Impact of a Simple Seed

May 6, 2021
Conner Prairie Garden

Some of my earliest memories of family revolve around gardening.  I remember “dancing” in the seeds as I followed behind my dad as he planted; snapping green beans for the quarts of beans my mom canned each year. I would dig for the buried treasure that was homegrown potatoes and harvest sweet corn that went…

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‘April is the Cruellest Month’

April 28, 2021
Blue Buffalo statue overlooking field

The Beauty of Poetry Twenty-five years ago, the American Academy of Poets launched National Poetry month. Since 1996, April has been a time to celebrate and explore the wonder of words that is the poem. Poetry is often perceived as difficult, by writers and readers alike, but we’ve subconsciously adopted bits of poetry as a…

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Adventures on the Prairie – The Conner Prairie-Hamilton Southeastern Schools Partnership

April 26, 2021
HSE Teacher-in-Residence Amy Murch teaches Archery to HSE 4th graders. Pre-Covid.

HSE Teacher-in-Residence Amy Murch teaches Archery to HSE 4th graders. Pre-Covid. Photo Credit: Unknown The Adventures on the Prairie partnership Here at Conner Prairie our mission is to be, “….a unique historic place that inspires curiosity and fosters learning by providing engaging and individualized experiences for everyone.” One of the ways we fulfill that mission…

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Every Day is Earth Day

April 21, 2021
White River in Indianapolis

Celebrating Earth Day Since April 22, 1970, Earth Day has been a traditional celebration regarding the protection of our natural environments. A beautiful day dedicated to the thoughts and understandings of just how important nature’s systems are in all of our lives. A day meant to educate and celebrate all of the flora, fauna, and…

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Spring Comes to Conner Prairie

April 12, 2021
Spring At Conner Prairie

Signs of Spring on the Conner Prairie grounds Spring arrives at Conner Prairie in spurts. One day the sky is impossibly blue and the sun is shining. The next week it storms and the sleet hits my face. Two weeks after the big snow storm I stepped outside the front door of Facilities and saw…

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William Conner and the War of 1812

April 12, 2021
William Conner

The old adage “if only these walls could talk” holds a lot of weight when one walks past the historic buildings that have been assembled on the Conner Prairie grounds. Those buildings have seen more stories than we will ever know, and for the William Conner house this is especially true. William Conner did not…

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Beyond the Everyday

April 1, 2021
Jimmy Kiefel Drawing

So much of life is made up of everyday, predictable routine. For some it’s humdrum. For others, events that happen dependably at the same time every week are a source of peace and comfort. Routine creates a sense of normality and frees us from the anxiety of figuring out how to schedule our work and…

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How Two Brothers Transformed the Grounds at Conner Prairie

March 25, 2021
The McCune Brothers at the Conner House

Come join other adventurers who travel back in time at Conner Prairie to watch our skilled craftsmen ply their trades. Will you explore Prairietown to see Mr. McClure in his carpenter’s shop, or a blacksmith at work at the Curtis forge? Where does your curiosity lead? Are you coming to watch one of our skilled…

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What is “DEAI” at Conner Prairie? We add “Accessibility” with extra Empathy.

March 22, 2021
Preschool student listening to a speaker

What is Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI)? Like many historical institutions across the country, Conner Prairie is working hard to fight the battle against systemic racism. In June of 2020, as many organizations and individuals were looking inward to determine “what is DEAI” in this organization, and how can we deepen our commitment to…

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Speak up: How self-advocacy helps women in business grow

March 8, 2021
Janis Joplin Quote

Self-advocacy is critical in leadership – especially for women. Learn how confidence, honesty, and integrity can help you become a great leader.

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Spend Your Spring Break Exploring at Conner Prairie

February 26, 2021

Spend your spring break exploring

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Discover the History Makers of Black History Month

February 10, 2021
Madam CJ Walker

Madam CJ Walker Forged a New Path in Indianapolis “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” Madam C.J. Walker Earlier this year, Netflix released a miniseries about the life of Madam C.J.…

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Gratitude Tuesday

November 30, 2020
Conner Prairie Interpreters wearing masks

We’re Thankful for You “Where there’s hope, there’s life.  It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”  -Anne Frank In 2020, our community, our nation, and our world experienced an unmatched reality unlike one we’ve ever lived through before.  A pandemic took its toll on us all in so many different ways. …

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Your quick fresh air fix! (A fall morning at Conner Prairie)

November 2, 2020
Fall at Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie is one of the best outdoor locations to enjoy an Indianapolis fall  Before long, our beautiful Indiana autumn will turn into an Indiana winter. Start your day off right by heading to Conner Prairie for a quick jaunt around our beautiful grounds! Here are our suggestions for the perfect fall morning. 10:30am – …

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Explore Fall from your Favorite Covered Bridge

October 8, 2020
Fall at Conner Prairie

A One Day Indianapolis Covered Bridge Itinerary Is there a more classic pairing than autumn and covered bridges? Enjoy a perfect fall experience featuring a couple of Central Indiana’s most prized bridges, starting at Conner Prairie! Stop 1: Cedar Chapel Bridge 10am: Soak in mid-morning sunshine as you venture out to Conner Prairie’s Howe Truss…

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Rehearsal Dinner at the Chinese House

September 25, 2020
The Bluffs

September 25, 2020 When Karen and I got the good news that our son Dan had proposed marriage, and the even better news that Hillary said “yes”, we soon began to consider where we would host the rehearsal dinner.  As soon as we saw Conner Prairie’s newly-renovated Chinese House and the adjoining Bluffs, we knew…

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