Pioneer Hands-On Experience

This experiential educational program is guaranteed to create memories. Students learn about life during the early settlement period of southern Lake County. They will learn about all aspects of early settlers lives, from chores and schoolwork, to recreation and the challenges of life during the 19th century. We will no longer be cooking at this program so that we may spend valuable time teaching more chores. Please make sure children bring sack lunches.


In the 1916 barnyard, after students learn the process of cleaning wool to make it ready to spin, they will take home a sample of their handiwork. Core skills like rope making and wood cutting along with activities such as a bucket brigade are just a few more parts of 19th century life to learn.

Our schoolmarm will teach students the art of Spenserian writing while reminding them of the expected manners of the 1901 school day. They will recite lessons and tongue-twisters and participate in a spelling bee.

At the pioneer farm chores include preparing the gardens for the coming season and stuffing the straw mattress just like children did more than 100 years ago.

Program Details

  • Available Dates: Thank you for a great 2017 season. Stay tuned for when 2018 reservations open!
  • Times: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Please arrive by 9:45 a.m.) It is important that groups are on time.
  • Capacity: 120 students plus chaperones. Minimum number per individual school or group is 50 students plus chaperones. Groups are further divided into four activity areas and rotated throughout the day.
  • Cost: $7 per person (includes students, chaperones, and teachers) $100 deposit required at time of reservation, balance due in full at the park site.
  • Reservations: Starting December 1. Call early, as this popular trip books up. Call the business office at 219-769-7275 to reserve your group.
  • Payment / Deposit: Deposit is required to hold your date and time. Staff assignments for your group are not made until payment is received.

More Details

We recommend school arrange for plenty of chaperones and remind everyone to dress according to weather conditions. We are prepared to continue with the program rain or shine, except during major thunderstorms. Again, this program no longer contains a cooking experience in order to better cover the other areas of pioneer life, please be sure your class brings a sack lunch.

A list of instructions, activities, and a schedule will be mailed to the school upon registration.