Growing up, I would race in the house after jumping off the school bus every day to catch Little House on the Prairie. I loved that TV show! Which is why I was so excited to share the Laura Ingalls Wilder experience with Tricia and Jake. Several of the books in Wilder’s Little House books were set in DeSmet, SD where the family lived for many years. The little town has preserved the Ingalls family history well. My mom, mother-in-law, two of my kids and myself set off to the town just over an hour away for a day of fun. (Don’t worry, Jimmy didn’t completely miss out on fun – he spent a boys’ weekend fishing with his dad.)
We spent most of the day exploring the Ingalls Homestead – the actual 160 acres Charles “Pa” Ingalls homesteaded in 1880. We had a fantastic view of the surrounding prairie from this lookout tower near the visitor’s center.
We were all a bit shocked by how “basic” the sod shanty was. You can barely see Tricia inside tidying up with the broom. I certainly appreciate the running water, electricity, and space my home has!
The barn above was a fun attraction. Miniature horses were housed inside. Both kids drove a little pony cart before we hopped in a huge covered wagon. The kids got their turn at driving the team of draft horses, too!
We ended our ride at the schoolhouse where a schoolmarm gave a lesson.
We couldn’t leave without strolling down to this charming country church they moved in to the corner of the property.
The day was topped off with Patricia’s name being drawn to be an “extra” in the evening’s performance of These Happy Golden Years. What an awesome trip! A month later and the kids are still engrossed in the “Little House On The Prairie” DVDs.