Archive for March 19, 2012

Outdoor Season Opens at Conner Prairie on Mar. 31

March 19, 2012 Leave a comment
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park. Photo provided by Conner Prairie and used with written permission.

By Sarah Frey
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Indiana’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, will open its doors on March 31 for the 2012 outdoor season. Special opening weekend activities will be held March 31 and April 1, including an Amazing Race Through Time, a sneak preview of the new Barker Brothers’ Pottery Shop, interacting with new baby animals and much more.

“We are very excited to open our grounds for another outdoor season at Conner Prairie. Our staff has been hard at work creating inventive new experiences and adventures that will be great for families and adults.” said Ellen Rosenthal, president and CEO.

Opening weekend will offer guests a chance to compete in mental and physical challenges spread out over Conner Prairie’s five historic outdoor areas in an Amazing Race Through Time. Challenges may include everything from testing your skills at tomahawk throwing to identifying brick patterns at the historic William Conner Homestead. Prizes will be awarded to the first 50 guests who successfully complete the race each day.

Visitors can also catch a sneak preview of the newest addition to 1836 Prairietown, the Barker Brothers’ Pottery Shop that officially opens in June. Watch a master potter throw clay on a spinning wheel and then practice your pottery skills on the model spinning wheels. Guests who visited last year are likely to see some of their own handy work displayed in this building.

Conner Prairie’s newest experience, 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana, re-opens with national acclaim. This experience puts guests right in the middle of an Indiana brush with the Civil War. Enlist in the 103rd regiment and help Indiana fend off General John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate raiders.

Don’t miss out on the new baby animals. Stop by Animal Encounters, sponsored by Elanco, to hold, pet and help care for all the new baby animals and see how many more are expected. A baby could be born at any minute. Also, meet the animals spread throughout the pastures in 1836 Prairietown and 1863 Civil War Journey.

New Monthly Themes

New for the 2012 season, Conner Prairie will introduce monthly themes that include everything from Green Thumbs Up in May to History’s Mysteries in July. Daily activities will be available across the historic outdoor areas that pertain to the monthly theme. In April, Conner Prairie’ theme is Animal Extravaganza. Not only can you interact with animals but you can also learn more about Conner Prairie’s historic breeds. Talk to the agricultural staff to see if you can identify which animals are on the historic breeds list.

Come out opening weekend and see what Conner Prairie Interactive History Park has in store for 2012. Listen to a story in Lenape Indian Camp, stop in to chat with the residents of 1836 Prairietown and take a flight on the world’s largest helium balloon in 1859 Balloon Voyage (weather permitting).  Get your $5 off coupon for 1859 Balloon Voyage at your local Ricker’s BP.

Opening weekend is March 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and April 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $14/adults, $13/seniors 65+, $9/youth (ages 2-12), free for members and youth under 2. Some activities may include an additional fee.

For more information, visit or call 317-776-6006. Follow us on Twitter @ConnerPrairie or like us on Facebook.