2014 Year in Review: April’s Autism Awareness Month

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Visitors with autism and sensory or developmental challenges enjoyed our Nature Walk and all our indoor and outdoor experience areas for free and exclusively, before the park was opened to the general public. 

By Melanie Hayes
Communications Specialist

Conner Prairie celebrated Autism Awareness Month in April by offering early free admission on select days for visitors with autism and sensory or developmental challenges. The early hours were designed to respect the needs of people who benefit from a quieter experience. Visitors with sensory or developmental challenges were invited to enjoy full access to the park and its offerings, such as interacting with baby animals, strolling along the Nature Walk, self-guided exploration of outdoor historical areas, crafts and more. Morning guests could then choose to stay and spend the rest of the day on the grounds once we opened them to the general public. Continue reading

2014 Year in Review: March’s Passport to Hi Tech, Prairie Plates and more

Hog-3Participants learn the art of butchering a hog from snout to tail in our Prairie Pursuits Whole Hog Butchering class.

By Melanie Hayes
Communications Specialist

March was a very busy month on the Prairie! We started the month by partnering with Women & Hi Tech to launch a new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) event called Passport to High Tech. The event was meant to inspire, engage and educate young girls in biology, chemistry, physics, robotics and more. Through a variety of hands-on activities, experiments and Q&A sessions with Hoosier women in science professions, we showed girls that science can be exciting and is not just for boys. Passport to Hi Tech will return in March.

Additionally, Conner Prairie announced two new series of adult programs: Prairie Plates and Prairie Pursuits. And we are currently working on a new season for both programs. Continue reading

2014 Year in Review: February’s ‘Rebuilding the House of Stone’

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Conner Prairie interpreters playing the roles of Valentine and Henry Stone, brothers fighting on opposing sides in the Civil War.

By Katie Arnold
Communications Specialist

In February we started a new educational theater outreach program, “Rebuilding the House of Stone.” This original piece written by Rosie Arnold, our education programs manager, is based on the true story of two Hoosier brothers, Valentine and Henry Stone, who during the Civil War fought on opposing sides. In the show, audiences join in the brothers’ reunion at their home in Indiana after the end of the war. Continue reading

2014 Year in Review: January’s Hearthside Suppers

Hearthside 3Guests help chop, knead, stir and mix a variety of dishes for their Hearthside Supper meal inside the Conner Home’s kitchen.

By Katie Arnold
Communications Specialist

Conner Prairie began 2014 strongly with Hearthside Suppers, a 30-year program that combines history and dining. During this program, guests work together with costumed interpreters to prepare an 1800s-style meal over an open fire in the kitchen of the 1823 Conner House. Participants then gather around a large table in the historic home’s dining room and enjoy their meal by candlelight, while being entertained by the interpreters with stories, music and lively banter. During its three month run in 2014, the program was so popular that an extra 15 days were added to accommodate public demand. At the close of the program, we had hosted 739 people for a delicious supper that included herb chicken, mustard potatoes, beef with forcemeat (ground meat emulsified with fat), Sun King beer and much more!

We are excited to start a new season of Hearthside Suppers in a few weeks. Interested in attending in 2015? Call 317-776-6000 or click here.

* As 2014 comes to an end, we are reviewing Conner Prairie’s biggest monthly highlights. Check back often to reminisce about our past fun times, and join us as we look forward to more entertainment and education in 2015.

Come to Conner Prairie, learn about the Legend of Belznichol, Santa’s helper

1219_blogBelznichol is not Santa. He is Santa’s helper who arrives before Santa, bearing gifts and informing children if they have been naughty or nice.

By Katie Arnold
Communications Specialist

If you plan on attending Holiday Adventures, Prairie Holiday or Conner Prairie by Candlelight, you will encounter the story of Belznichol, the man who visits children on Christmas Eve wearing a red coat trimmed with fur.

For many, this legendary figure sounds an awful lot like Santa Claus. That is because our Santa is a composite or blend of several stories from a range of cultures, religions, languages and secular traditions into one central character. Continue reading