Our Family

Our Family
Benaiah, Justin, Melinda, Abishai, Keturah, and Jared

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Day 256: Conner Prairie - finally!

I can finally cross Conner Prairie off my Indiana bucket list!  Only took 18 years!  I'm glad I read some of the stories behind how it was created, because we didn't get to it all!  Most, but not all.  Best part was getting 1 adult and 3 kids in for the price of 1 child ticket!  My homeschool friends from other parts of the world will be a little jealous because Conner Prairie has not one, but TWO days JUST for homeschoolers!  Well, there were others there I'm sure that don't homeschool, BUT, they advertise these days AND GIVE GREAT DISCOUNTS just like they do for public and private schools!  Seriously, I spent less than $25 total, including a somewhat pricey snack, instead of $41 in full price admission and no snack.  Sweet deal!  Why didn't I know about this when we lived here before?  And it was priced like, kids are $$ and the primary teaching parent/guardian is free!

Ok, ok, enough about money.  It is beautiful place and has exhibits like all living history places.  I was impressed with some things, and less impressed with other things.  It might just be the time of year, but I was hoping for more costumed volunteers and interactions.  There was a bit of that in the 1863 Civil War Raid in Indiana area.  Part of their exhibit was down, but there weren't anybody there to tell stories that the computer screens would have told or reenacted.  I do have to remember this was a reenactment type village, not just an historical place with guides.  Therefore, there were only signs that would pertain to that error, or signs that would indicated bathrooms and what the buildings were, but not much about their contents.  It was beautifully laid out, and fairly easy walking.  There were some hills, but it wasn't terribly far from place to place.  Kind of like the zoo, or the Ark was.  Bugs were almost non existent despite it being outside.  Kids had their ups and downs of the day, one almost losing his water bottle from CIY, but he got to throw a tomahawak.  And the other was tired just because the stroller we had borrowed had a place for her to sit/stand on, and yet had tons of energy once we were back home.  Abishai even took a 20 minute nap in the stroller!  A miracle, but made for an interesting time at home.  He was stir crazy, and almost fell asleep on the living room floor at 6:30, so off to bed he went.  He hated being confined all day, but he's a runner, and I wouldn't have been able to keep up with him!  I did let him get down to see and pet the animals though.

Anyway, pictures will tell more of the story, but this will be a long post since it was a field trip day!
We spent a lot of time in here because it was recreating an actual event.  We've seen pioneer villages before, so I wasn't worried about seeing the everyday stuff.  Unfortunately, parts of the exhibit weren't open. 
Lots of great signs reminding us that we are stepping back in time so we must not talk about modern advances with the reenactors.

There was a "raid" the day before and they "burnt" this building down, see the smoke?  I thought that was unique.

Powder runners, dodging bullets.

Very special hot air balloon from 1869 which flew 800 miles from New York to Ohio I think.  There's only a few balloons like it in the world.  It's tethered to the ground, so you can go up in it without going anywhere for an extra charge.  It had a neat metal "basket."

Justin's new sleeping tent! But he might get skin lice from his sleepmate who hasn't bathed in a week!

Laundry helpers when the army is in town?

The washing machine!

Field hospital, so Justin is demonstrating how his arm would get cut off if it was badly wounded.

The one of a few times I let Abishai roam free.  He stood here for a minute and then he was out the door.

I go to work Mommy.

Interesting saddle.

I'm guessing the screens would have special maps or something that the army used.  They took over this big house and made it their headquarters.

Must have been a rich person to have such a fancy clock.

Textbooks of yesteryear.  Check out the title of the Alphabet one.  I have an arithmetic primer similar to the one on the right.

Keturah's turn.

I'm guessing canon ball hit the side of the house.  The movie wasn't playing, so I don't know anything about this hole.

Practicing to be a good soldier.  Justin is in the blue on far right.

Marching up and around the town, including arresting a lady stealing supplies from the hospital to give to the confederates!


Telegraph wires.

Lego Indiana!

Here's a cool story.  I showed Abishai this box of wood pieces in the newly built 4 story treehouse outdoor playground area.  It's not era specific and feels just a tad modern or artsy to me, but anyway.  I just stacked the wood once and Abishai understood what to do.  He stacked and stacked for 15 minutes straight!  And he was very precise about it, like an engineer adjusting the piece if the tower started to tip.

He built this one on a rock all by himself.

See his hands? They are adjusting the tower.

Then he put them up on this Indiana limestone exhibit.

Tarzan Jane

Tarzan Joe

Justin tried a bigger hope, but Keturah was able to play with this small hoop toy.

I thought this was a neat set up to show the differences between horseshoes.  The two print one way in the back is for an ox.

The whole property belonged to a family that sold it to Eli Lily who was a huge businessman here in the city.  He also built at foundation that sponsors tons of kids' stuff and other projects.  He turned this house into historical exhibit way back in 1936 or something like that.  We weren't able to tour it because Abishai was falling asleep and we couldn't take the stroller inside.

This one is for one of our homeschool co op classes where they are reading "Paddle to the Sea."  The kids automatically recogznied it as a canoe similar to the one in the story.  Pretty neat!  This was in the 1816 Indian exchibit where Indiana was deciding on what it's borders would be once it became a state.

A tree canoe!

An animal skin, that my kids connected with a Doctor Who character.  They weren't the only ones to make that connection.

I real wigwam!  I was so excited to see this!  The kids have studied Indians, so it was familiar to them.

Soon to be a coonskin hat?

Inside canvas over poles.

Bark on the outside.

A colonial bed.

Look what I found!  A pretty hat!

Fast asleep!  Yeah!  Score!  It was worth it to borrow the stroller just for this part!

Throwing a tomahawk.  He missed but I told him we can ask Dad if we have a smaller axe or something he can try at home.

They had a nice round covered walkway around the hot air balloon that explained the balloon's journey and which mode of transportation was faster back then.  They also showed how they collected hot air from companies that burned coal to fill up the balloons.

First thing Justin said when he saw this playground equipment: It's a particle accelerator like on the Flash!  

At the welcome center, they had an indoor area, very similar to the Children's Museum, with things for kids to play with and moms to rest a little in the air conditioning.  Eli Lilly Foundation does a lot with the museum, so I'm not surprised it feels similar to what I see over there.

We have another train enthusiast!  He kicked and screamed when I pulled him away.

My little introverts found some books to read of course.

Very sleepy baby.  He nearly fell asleep on the living room floor!  I had to quickly change his diaper and get him to bed at 6:45.  He felt a bit feverish too, so we'll see how that goes.  He only got 20 minutes out of the normal 3 hrs he gets for his nap.  Poor guy.  Playing all day makes one exhausted.
So it was a pretty good day.  Now I can say we've been there.  I would go back and explore some more.  We lasted 2 hrs longer than I thought we did today.  I wish we had met up with more homeschoolers we know, but they might have gone to the August homeschool day.  Now back to the bookwork tomorrow.

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