Fun on the Prairie
Tue, May 24 – Sat, May 28
Walking Level: Light to Moderate
Join us on a trip to De Smet, SD to tour the homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder as well as the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial! Don't worry, we'll be taking a bus to De Smet, a covered wagon would take much too long and we wouldn't get to enjoy all the fun things we have planned.
We will begin with a tour of Laura Ingalls Wilder's homestead and enjoy a covered wagon ride. We will visit a one-room schoolhouse and learn what school life was like for children of that era. We will also have time for some fun activities like making some toys mentioned in the books (that we can take home), learning about making hay sticks and how they ground wheat into flour for bread. At the Memorial, we will see the Original Surveyors' House from "By the Shores of Silver Lake". We will also see the original Ingalls Home built by Charles "Pa" Ingalls in 1887-1889 and the original First School of De Smet attended by Laura and her sister, Carrie.
After we visit these buildings we will visit the Discovery Center for some hands-on fun! Plus, we will also have some time for shopping!
We will also stop at the De Smet Depot Museum which houses clothing from the time as well as many other artifacts including the hotel registry from February 1884 signed by Miss Ingalls herself! These sights were the inspiration for Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie" book series and television show! When we're not telling bad South Dakota jokes, we will also travel to nearby Brookings to see the South Dakota State Agricultural Heritage Museum which features a 1915 steam tractor, and an old farm house with cook stoves that were used in the kitchens during that time period. Also in town is the South Dakota Art Museum which houses some of the State's best collections of art. Delicious meals also await us at places such as Wooden Legs and Pier 81 which is located right on Lake Arlington. Yummy! Shopping is of course on everyone's mind as we will explore some small boutiques and other small-town treasures on our explorations!
Our tour will also include a stop to Prairie Village in Madison, SD! This historical village is surrounded by 2 miles of railroad track from the Prairie Village, Herman & Milwaukee Railroad. There are lots of historical buildings for us to walk through and enjoy giving us a taste of what life was like way back when. Depending on the day, there will be plenty of activities for us to enjoy as well as a gift shop where we can take home a special souvenir of our time on the prairie!