Friday the children and I went to Conner Prairie ( a local living history museum.

We’ve been there several times over the last few months, but only to the indoor areas. Finally the outdoor areas are open as well, and the weather Friday was fantastic.

We all enjoyed it immensely. Whingari got to be down on her feet exploring for a good while — at least until she started trying to eat gravel and rocks — and then it was into the Ergo with her.

The boys and I explored the Lenape Indian camp — where they both tried helping to strip the bark off a tree that will, eventually, become a hollowed-out canoe.

Then we were off to the barn, where we saw newborn lambs, baby goats, 1 week old chickens and 2 week old ducklings. Nic got to hold the poultry young — and assist younger children in their quest to hold and pet them. The 1 week old lambs were a wonder to behold.

Theo was far more impressed by the collection of antique horseshoes on a table nearby. Whingari pointed and crowed at all the animals…

Next we were off to Prairietown — circa 1836.

Nic, using his big imagination, realized immediately that we had been transported back in time, not figuratively, but, according to him, in reality. Apparently the Prairietown sign, which he touched, was a portkey transporting us to the time of dirt roads and long-skirted women (not a good combination, IMHO.)

Nic continued this line of reasoning for the rest of our visit. An hour in 1836 was just about a perfect amount of time.

We went to watch the blacksmith at work — forging s-hooks and metal cooking forks. He said that his boss was wanting to build up the inventory of kitchen implements before plowing season began, because then most of their work would be in farm implement repair.

Nic asked if I thought the blacksmith realized we were from the future. I told him that I didn’t think so, as he continued on about his business as if nothing usual was happening.

Then we went to the general store. Nic loves the to help weight out nails with the brass weights. We talked with the shopkeeper about what customers were stocking up on these days.

Next to the store is the one-room schoolhouse. Nic didn’t want to go in there, saying, “school was even more awful back then than it is now!” πŸ˜‰ I swear, he got that impression without my offering an opinion! The last time we visited the schoolhouse the interpreter, not breaking character for even a minute, spoke of needing to ‘switch’ the older boys to get them to behave. Nic was permanently determined to always be a homeschooler when visiting past ages. πŸ™‚

As the museum was just a few minutes away from closing, I suggested that we find the portkey/sign again and return to our lives. Nic agreed.

We traveled back to the present, held another baby duck, said goodbye to the precious lambs and headed back inside.

Before we left, we stopped by the gift shop and purchased a piece of rock-candy for each of us. We had seen these in the 1836 general store, so it seemed a worthwhile treat.

Nic says that the next time we visit, we should find a portkey to a different era there. I tend to agree.

Fresh air, sunshine, learning AND great imagination material. Score!