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March 15, 2013 | 09:29 AM
Unplug" your kids and bring them to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park as we celebrate nature during the 2013 season.
"In a society where many of our children – and adults – are suffering from 'Nature Deficit Disorder,' Conner Prairie has chosen to be a part of a national movement to reconnect children with the outdoors," said Ellen M. Rosenthal, president and CEO of Conner Prairie. "At Conner Prairie families can pet a new-born lamb and explore nature while learning about Indiana's past."
All outdoor experiences will re-open on March 28 with new programming throughout the property that emphasizes the importance of bonding with nature and each other. Several new adventures will heighten senses and will help families discover how they are connected to earth, water, air and the planet's plethora of living things.
Conner Prairie, Indiana's only Smithsonian Affiliate, will host several new experiences as part of the "Year of Nature," including:
Conner Prairie Nature Walk
Opens March 28, accessible during regular hours.
Explore Conner Prairie's natural setting in our brand new Conner Prairie Nature Walk. Trek along a gravel path that begins in the heart of our outdoor historic areas and winds through a forest and along the top of a levee, which is flanked by woods, farmland, prairie and the White River. Along the way you will discover plant and animal life and discuss the importance of nature with your family. Learn how land was used in the past by Native Americans and William Conner, and how it is used today. At the end of the trail you will find an elevated observation deck that will provide a wonderful view of the prairie, which was created to attract migratory birds. Included with general admission. (.64 miles round trip)
TreeHouses: Look Who's Living in the Trees!
May 25 through Sept. 2, Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Come hang out in the trees! The 2,000-square-foot indoor traveling exhibit will invite guests into two immersive indoor tree houses where they can learn the ways humans and animals live in and use trees, now and in the past. Children will explore the habitat and search for living creatures through stereoscopic viewfinders, tracking clues, natural artifacts, sounds and more. Monthly themed hands-on activities and crafts based on the TreeHouses exhibit will be featured in our Craft Corner. Included with general admission.
Bioblitz: Conner Prairie's Wild Side
June 8 and 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Explore the biodiversity of our Hoosier landscape as you catch insects, identify wild animal tracks and droppings, use microscopes to study micro-organisms in soil and water, and interact with local and exotic animals. Join scientists from across the state as they try to record as many living species at Conner Prairie as they can. Participate in hands-on biology and nature-themed activities, exhibits and demonstrations while discovering how Indiana's environment has changed over the centuries. Included with general admission.
Heritage Breeds: The Animals of Conner Prairie
On exhibit now, accessible during regular hours.
Through his camera lens, photographer Tom Mueller has captured the beauty and playfulness of Conner Prairie's historic breeds, many of them nearing extinction. This exhibit provides an up-close and intimate look at the farm animals interacting with each other and nature.
April 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Spring is in the air so join us for a "treerific" time as you investigate the world of trees. Chat with foresters as you discover what trees grow in Indiana and how they are used. Observe how the professionals climb trees. Visit the carpentry shop in 1836 Prairietown and see how wood was historically used. Explore the Nature Walk – how many types of plants can you identify? And leave with your own free tree to plant (while supplies last). Included with general admission.
2013 Hours and General Admission
Opening Week/Spring Break: March 28 to April 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Rest of April: Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
May through October: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Adults: $15; Youth ages 2-12: $10; Members and youth under 2: Free.