Monday, May 23, 2011

Trip to Conner Prairie

After we arrived in Indianapolis from Columbus, we met up with our friends at our hotel and surprised Caroline and Cecilia - again - that their friends were there! We all headed over to Conner Prairie to have lunch and stay for the rest of the afternoon.

After having lunch at the picnic tables, we began walking around. They have tons of old buildings and homes, and everything is hands-on, unlike in most places where rooms are roped off so you can only look at how they are set up. Our first stop was to pet a horse...

We watched this cow being milked for a few minutes... all the kids declined a chance to milk her themselves!
I don't know what was so interesting in this doorway for the hens, but at one point all four kids were looking in it together!

Cecilia took some time to play a piano is one of the houses. There was also a basket full of ribbons that she enjoyed in this house.

And in this one-room cabin, there was a bed, fireplace, table, sewing books, clothing, and... a few toys. There were wooden blocks along with this horse and wagon toy. Cecilia would have stayed here and played with this the entire afternoon...

The others quickly moved on to the path outside the cabin taking some wooden hoops with them to try their hands at hoop-rolling.

Caroline trying to get hers going...

...while Cecilia begins building a house inside the cabin. At this point, I lost the rest of the group while Cecilia spent awhile playing!

We managed to catch the tail end of a blacksmith demonstration. Along the way, we stopped at a backyard party where they had just finished up some outdoor games and were having sugar cookies and lemonade, and we stopped in a schoolhouse to talk to the "teacher." Cecilia insisted on sitting down close to the teacher but didn't have any questions to ask her! She didn't want to leave the schoolhouse for some reason!

The girls look into a pasture

This is the petting barn... lots of baby animals were here to pet. This little one hid under this platform... maybe that is what the platform is there for, so overwhelmed animals can get a break! ;)

Cecilia brushes a calf...

...and a mother sheep.

The kids had fun posing on this wooden horse! Here's Matthew and Caroline...

...and Cecilia and Ryan.

The girls pet the baby lamb.

This is a view out the back of the barn.

Cecilia liked the baby lamb...

...really, really liked it!

She paused awhile to watch the animals through the fence outside of the barn. Everyone else was so fast and ahead of me, so most of these pictures are of Cecilia, who I had to hang back with so she wouldn't be left behind!

We stopped briefly on a playground by the main entrance building... but not for too long, because it was almost closing time! We really could have stayed much, much longer!

Our last stop was in the Lenape Indian Camp. These furs were laid out ona table for us to try to identify. We got most of them: you can see the telltale skunk skin and raccoon skin, and the one closest to you is a beaver skin.

Caroline made a discovery as she picked up the raccoon skin: "Look, they're puppets!"

"That's disturbing," said Chris, while Kevin's comment at the same moment was, "Hey, that's cool!" Ha ha! Behind the girls, you can see both a buffalo and deer skin.

Cecilia looks like she is in the midst of making an important decision...

Caroline worked with this drill - with no bit in it at the end, for safety's sake, I suppose!

I think they said this was a wigwam...

The kids all took turns grinding corn. Manual labor was seen as one of their favorite things to do!

I could never get everyone to look at the camera at once...

Cecilia takes a rest inside the wigwam, tired out from following baby animals around and grinding corn!

We got to hear some Lenape music inside one of the buildings. The girls helped by playing these rattles...

...and Caroline got to help teach a few words in Lenape! Here they learn the word for "thank you," which is wanishi (taught by holding up one finger - one - then pointing at the knee - nee - and then by pointing at Caroline - she... one knee she = wanishi!).

It is too bad we didn't get to the prairie until mid-afternoon, because we certainly could have stayed a lot longer! there was a whole interactive inside area as well as all the outdoor homesteads and buildings. I'd recommend spending most of the day, or at least a full afternoon!

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