Archive for December 16, 2011

Hearthside Suppers at Conner Prairie, Jan. 6 to Mar. 25

December 16, 2011 1 comment
Hearthside Supper at Conner Prairie

Hearthside Supper at Conner Prairie. Photo provided by the venue and used with written permission.

By Lynelle Mellady
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

This winter, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Indiana’s only Smithsonian affiliate, offers guests a chance to prepare and enjoy a 19th century multi-course meal by candlelight. From Jan. 6 – March 25, 2012, guests can step back in time to experience an authentic and intimate dinner in the historic William Conner House.

This three-hour program begins with Conner Prairie’s costumed historical interpreters, the evening’s hosts, leading guests along a lantern-lit wooded path to the historic 1823 William Conner homestead. Guests arrive just in time to help with the final preparations of the meal in the Conner kitchen, where everything centers on the hearth. Guests may help their fellow diners churn butter, grind coffee, prepare vegetables or make bread before they relax and enjoy a delicious multi-course supper. Following dessert, guests will explore the Conner house and play traditional parlor games of the era. Everything from the menu to the costumed hosts will take guests on a journey into Indiana’s past.


The menu for Hearthside Suppers is created based on recipes from early 19th century cookbooks and includes foods that would have been served during the winter. The menu changes annually to offer guests a variety of taste experiences each year. The 2012 menu features popcorn, pounded cheese, water wafers, cider, pumpkin soup, beef alamode with roasted root vegetables, chicken and homemade noodles, pickled red cabbage, brandied pears, bread and butter pickles and roly poly (a 19th century ‘pudding’ with sweetened dough and fruit preserves).

How to Participate

Hearthside Suppers runs from Jan. 6 – March 25, 2012 from 6 – 9 p.m. on Fridays – Sundays in January, Thursdays – Sundays in February, and Wednesdays – Sundays in March. Admission is $60 per person, $55 for members. Prepaid reservations are required by calling 317-776-6006 or 800-966-1836 or

The program is recommended for adults and children older than 10. Dress for the evening is casual and warm, and dressing in layers to accommodate the variances in the Conner House is recommended. To book the entire house for an exclusive hearthside evening, sign up 12 people on the same night. Groups of 12 may also pre-order wine to accompany the meal. For more information, visit