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Conner Prairie Unveils New Create.Connect Opening Day

Conner Prairie Unveils New Create.Connect Opening Day

Outdoor Season Opens March 27, Museum Offers Extended Hours for Spring Break

March 17, 2014 | 02:05 PM

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park will open the outdoor season on March 27 and also unveil the new Create.Connect experience. This indoor exhibit includes several favorite activities and characters as well as two all-new spaces. The museum is also offering extended hours for spring break, so grab the kids and come to Conner Prairie for springtime fun both indoors and out.


Create.Connect is the museum's indoor interactive area that fuses Indiana stories with science, engineering and technology through fun, hands-on play and history exploration. Funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and Institute of Museum and Library Services and supported by Duke Energy, Create.Connect will feature two new spaces, a patent agency and an early aviation area that encourage innovation and creativity. Each will provide hands-on, interactive fun and learning opportunities for visitors of all ages.


Join early Hoosier aviators of 1910 in their quest to conquer the sky in one of the new areas. In the exhibit, visitors have the chance to fly a model plane in a wind tunnel and experiment with wing shapes and wind speed. Discover what keeps a plane soaring through the air and uncover information about aviation pioneers. Visitors can take to the sky with gilders of their own design. Will their planes have what it takes to go farther or higher?

Let your inventive spirit out at the new patent agency. Step into the late 1950s when all of America is focused on the launch of Sputnik and how the U.S. will respond. With the rest of the country, Hoosiers are turning to science and engineering to stay competitive. In this area, visitors can try to improve and tinker with inventions that need their help to be a success or grab a handful of parts and pieces to design a unique invention of their own.

One of the newly redesigned areas will focus on how electricity changes lives. Indiana was one of the first places in the nation to assist farmers in providing electricity to rural houses in Indiana. The second redesigned area highlights how windmills were designed in the past to harness the wind and how they have evolved into today's large wind turbines.

In Create.Connect, visitors will immerse themselves in four distinct time periods. Costumed facilitators, including a 1900s windmill salesman and a 1930s farmer's wife, engage visitors through activities, telling stories and having conversations from the respective time period.

Each area new area will also introduce unique, period-appropriate media, such as a 1930s radio, a 1950s television and a silent movie, which allows visitors to connect stories of the past to science, engineering and technology in their lives today.

2014 Fun

Each year Conner Prairie connects its experiences to a thought-provoking theme. This year, the museum offers guests the opportunity to consider questions about how the arts have impacted nature, innovation, culture and history. Visitors will be invited to explore the museum and grounds and participate in related hands-on experiences to ponder, discover and discuss their own unique answers to questions like:
  • How does nature influence art?
  • How do we use the arts to commemorate special dates and people?
  • How does innovation shape art?
  • Is art important to survival?

    Throughout the 2014 outdoor season, guests will be able to enjoy new and favorite activities, such as:

  • Interacting with baby animals in Animal Encounters, including lambs, calves, goats and more
  • Taking on a role and becoming a resident of 1836 Prairietown by rolling up their sleeves and helping with cooking, farm chores and more
  • Enlisting to defend Indiana against Gen. Morgan's Confederate raiders in 1863 Civil War Journey
  • Allowing the little ones to climb and play in River Crossing, and indoor and outdoor play area featuring water tables and water cannons in 1863 Civil War Journey (water areas open Memorial Day through Labor Day)
  • Enjoying and exploring the wonders of our natural surroundings, including plants, animals, bugs and the White River, on our Nature Walk, complete with a lookout that includes binoculars to view more of our restored prairie. Visitors can even check out a themed backpack that helps guide them on a themed adventure. Each backpack is features explorations such as Incredible Insects, Feathered Friends and more that provide binoculars, magnifying boxes, electronic devices to identify and create your own bird calls, insect nets, guidebooks and so much more. Backpacks can be checked out for $2 at the ticket desk and are great for nature adventures across the entire grounds.
  • Discovering the innovation of early flight in 1859 Balloon Voyage and soar 350 feet above the prairie in one of the world's largest helium passenger balloons (weather permitting; additional fee)
  • Throwing a tomahawk, learning survival skills, hearing Native American tales and bargaining with the fur trader in Lenape Indian Camp

    Participating in new and favorite make-and-take activities such as beaded bracelets, candle-making, pottery, basket weaving and more (additional fee)
  • Gobbling up delicious lunch options and snacks, such as Conner Prairie's famous warm apple dumplings with drizzled caramel at Café on the Common
  • Treating the family to unique gift items at the Conner Prairie Store

    2014 Hours and Admission
  • Opening Day/Spring Break: March 27 to April 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays
  • Remainder of April: April 14 to April 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Easter Sunday
  • May through October: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Mondays, open Memorial Day and Labor Day
  • Admission: $15/adults, $14/seniors 65+, $10/youth (ages 2-12); Free for members and youth younger than 2
  • Military Discounts: Free admission for active-duty, retired and veteran military members with 50 percent off general admission for up to five immediate family members. Military ID is required.

    For more information, call (317) 776-6006, visit connerprairie.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @ConnerPrairie.

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