Pioneer times come to life in Fishers, Indiana, with costumed historical interpreters and activities straight from the 19th century.  

A costumed historical interpreter and visitor at Conner Prairie in Fishers, Indiana (photo by Aimed Photography LLC)

Spanning more than 1,000 acres, Conner Prairie transports visitors to the 19th century, when fur trader William Conner settled along the White River. Today, Conner’s brick home still stands and is open for tours as part of this living-history museum that spans 14 indoor and outdoor exhibit areas that focus on learning and share the story of this part of Indiana. 

Start your visit in the Welcome Center, where the Spark! Lab provides rotating activities with an emphasis on teaching innovation to children through hands-on learning. The Welcome Center also includes the Discovery Station, which features materials to make art, build forts, put on a puppet show and more.  

Outside, the 1836 Prairietown invites travelers to step back in time with an interactive glimpse of what daily life was once like here. Costumed interpreters dressed in period-appropriate garb make the experience all the richer. Kids and adults alike can complete tasks and activities given by the “pioneers” they encounter along the way. Visitors can also learn about the first residents of the land, the Lenape Indians, in an area that re-creates 1816. Play games, learn about the culture and gather goods from a trading post. 

The 1859 Balloon Voyage celebrates a historic event that occurred in Lafayette, Indiana, that year, when balloon designer and pilot John Wise made the first successful airmail delivery in the U.S. For an additional charge, visitors can take a trip 377 feet into the air via the tethered balloon and enjoy incredible views. 

On land, hit the trail for a glimpse of flora and fauna native to the prairie on Nature Walk, a jaunt that spans just over a mile and is home to deer, birds and squirrels. Stop by the Treetop Outpost to pick up resources for the expedition. 

Along with the 200-year celebration of the Conner Home, summer 2023 brings “Promised Land as Proving Ground,” experiences woven throughout Conner Prairie that explore African American history. 13400 Allisonville Rd., Fishers, Indiana 46038, 317/776-6000,