Ag Adventures at Estridge Family Park was created as a place where all children, with all abilities, can play alongside each other. Accessible playgrounds are transformative spaces where each of us is empowered to reach our full potential.
This unique park is another way Conner Prairie, in partnership with Unlimited Play, is working to deliver upon its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and stay true to the mission of providing engaging and individualized experiences for everyone. The Unlimited Play partnership builds upon that organization's passion for creating play environments designed with people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities in mind.
Thank you to the Estridge Family and the Conner Prairie Alliance for their support.
Our agricultural legacy
Ag Adventures at Estridge Park is more than a fun place to play! It's a celebration of our farming heritage that was reignited by our founder Eli Lilly and his Conner Prairie Farms. In the 1930s, Lilly decided to add farming to his long list of hobbies and interests. On this land, he created a show farm where prize-winning purebred livestock were bred and cared for. Lilly's stock won blue ribbons around the country, particularly his Percheron horses. On this site of today's Estridge Park, he built a state-of-the-art complex of barns and support buildings to house his champion animals.
During the 1940s Lilly, like so many other Americans, sacrificed luxuries to support the war effort. His farming focus shifted from expensive show animals to more practical concerns. With farm manager Tillman Bubenzer at the helm, Conner Prairie Farms entered a new era of innovation and experimentation. Bubenzer was a pioneer in the field of livestock breeding, developing new cross-bred cattle and hogs that were hardier and more productive.
As Lilly entered his eighties, he began to plan his legacy. He left the farming business and ensured that this historic land would be preserved as a place that could teach future generations in a way books cannot. Thanks to his vision and generous support, "Conner Prairie Pioneer Village" opened to the public in 1974, with one of his old barns serving as our first visitor center.
Check it out!
Visit the Conner House to take in the breathtaking view overlooking the horseshoe prairie. The first farmers here were indigenous people who grew crops in this fertile bottomland. Seasonal floods from the White River left behind nutrients that enriched the soil.
An eye toward the future
What does the future hold for this land? We are looking for new ways to celebrate our farming heritage and inspire today's citizens to meeting tomorrow's agricultural challenges. At Conner Prairie, we're always growing!
"From William Conner to Eli Lilly - and now through today's museum experiences - Conner Prairie has always pushed the boundaries of agricultural and livestock as well as educational programs that inspire curiosity and foster learning for everyone."
-Norman Burns, Conner Prairie's President and CEO
Check it out!
Today, Conner Prairie is helping to save heritage livestock breeds that are in danger of extinction. Visit the Animal Encounters barn to get up close and personal with these rare animals and learn how we are preserving our agricultural past.