Conner Prairie Interactive History Park will unveil the newly revitalized 1836 Prairietown during a

Grand reopening weekend celebration on June 9 and 10. The historic outdoor experience will feature new structures, interactive activities and adventures for guests of all ages.

"We've kept what people love about 1836 Prairietown and made it more engaging and immersive than ever before. The new activity guidebooks and programs are designed to provide guests with a new and exciting experience each time they visit," said Ellen M. Rosenthal, president and CEO.

1836 Prairietown is a fictional yet historically accurate pioneer village that was originally opened in 1974. Its community of residents struggle to survive during a time when many small towns disappeared. The residents are coming together to attract new neighbors, landowners and skilled tradesmen to ensure the future of their town. All the new experiences put guests right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of 19th-century life and take them through an adventure to determine if they will be the next to settle in 1836 Prairietown.

Guests will have the opportunity to participate in new programming, including Adventure Guidebooks and Achievement Cards. The new guidebooks allow guests to become official residents of 1836 by taking on roles in town, such as craftsmen, merchants, cooks or even criminals. Guests will be rewarded with coins they can spend in the newly remodeled town store as they complete chores and activities.

Special guide books will be available for younger children, which take them on an exploratory adventure through 1836 Prairietown by prompting them to seek and find animals, buildings, tools and more.

"We developed the new experiences based on the methodology behind video games," said Aili McGill, director of operations. "With assistance from Ball State University, we researched what works in video games, such as being rewarded for clusters of experiences, and overlaid those concepts onto 1836 Prairietown, without the technology."

A grand reopening weekend celebration will be held on June 9 and 10 to unveil the new experiences, adventures and structures, including a new entry portal to help orient guests to what life was like in 1836 and Outfitter's Station where guests can choose an adventure.

Special activities for the weekend will include a land auction, where guests can bid on and "purchase" their own piece of Prairietown. The winning bidder will take away a deed to their new land. Guests can visit the new Barker Brothers' Pottery Shop and for an additional fee, participate in a new make-and-take pottery activity.

A party will also be held throughout the town that includes music, dancing, games and more. Puppet shows, participatory plays, crafts and even a few surprises are in store for visitors during the weekend celebration as well.

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is open Tuesdays-Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May through October; closed Mondays.

The grand reopening weekend celebration, with participating sponsors Erie Insurance and Conner Prairie Alliance, will be held June 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors 65+, $9 for youth (ages 2-12) and free for members and children younger than 2.

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, created by Eli Lilly in 1934, is Indiana's only Smithsonian Affiliate and a nonprofit organization that relies on sponsorships, grants and philanthropic gifts for sustainability and future growth. Families of today engage, explore and discover what it was like to live and play in Indiana's past. Explore five themed historic areas on 200 beautiful, wooded acres including the newest exhibits, 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana and 1859 Balloon Voyage that takes guests 350 feet above the prairie in a tethered helium balloon.

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