Central Indiana’s newest location for hands-on fun and learning is also one of the area’s tried-and-true attractions.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park will open its reimagined Discovery Station and Craft Corner at 10 a.m. on June 28. Officials say families with children 8 and younger will discover a fresh space outfitted for imagination and discovery.
“We’ve completely gutted the space and revamped it to appeal to a wider age range, plus added even more hands-on, experiential learning opportunities,” said Brian Mancuso, exhibits director.
The colorful space is filled with kid-sized “buildings” and areas that allow kids to work on a farm, run a store, hang out in a treehouse, build a fort and more. For the adults, Discovery Station and Craft Corner includes stroller parking and an open floor plan to allow them to monitor children playing in the space.
The space isn’t just a product of the Conner Prairie staff members’ imagination, but also of their hands. Nearly all the new components in the state-of-the-art, research-based play area are being designed and created on site by Conner Prairie craftsmen and production artists.
“Everything we do here is designed to inspire curiosity and foster learning,” says Ellen Rosenthal, president and CEO. “So our goal is to do that for young children by providing engaging, individualized experiences they won’t get elsewhere.
For inspiration, staff collected images from Waldorf and Montessori Schools and around the country from museums including Conner Prairie, which all emphasize natural materials, open spaces specially designed for interaction, and aesthetically pleasing, developmentally appropriate toys, books and resources.
The new space is indoors and included with regular museum admission.