Last year, I really got into the holiday spirit with my family when we went on a visit to the Conner Prairie By Candlelight tour. We had a chance to meet a German family stuck in Indiana trying to stay warm and remember the reason they were celebrating. We met a woodworker who, while he didn’t celebrate Christmas himself, was more than happy to make gifts for people to give on this new-fangled holiday.
We also visited Dr. George Campbell’s house and reveled in the holiday, uh, revelries. Dr. Campbell is the founder of Prairietown and they go all out each year for Christmas. In fact, he’ll be having a fancy party again this year for anyone who visits the outdoor living museum in Fishers, Indiana. If you want to get an idea of the history of Christmas — not everyone celebrated Christmas the way we do 174 years ago. It’s a relatively new holiday — visit Conner Prairie for a 60 minute guided tour.
This year, you can join the Ullman’s Chanukkah celebration, and meet the German Pennsylvania Santa Claus. And join the Rowdies at the bonfire to warm up your hands in the cool night air. (These were the young people who weren’t invited to the Campbell’s Christmas party, and we had a chance to dish some dirt on the old doc and his fancy town friends.) After the tour of the different Prairietown families, your last stop is at the Campbell’s, for some cookies and hot chocolate.
I enjoyed the tour immensely, and as often as I visit Conner Prairie, I think it was one of my favorite times out there. It made me appreciate Christmas that much more, and was more than happy that we have invented indoor furnaces in the last 174 years.
The Candlelight tour runs December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18. Reservations are required, and the tour runs every 10 minutes from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
Ticket prices are:
- $14/adult ($12/member adult)
- $12/youth ages 2-12 ($10/member youth)
- Group of 15 or more: $13/adult, $11/youth
For Candlelight Tour reservations, call (317) 776-6006 or (800)966-1836.