The post title this month is a bit of a misnomer. The events this month are all pretty much about the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite museums closing down for the year. It’s actually one of the annual posts I do for the Beyond Little House blog, but I thought it would be fitting to share here as well as the Laura season winds down for the year. But several of the homesites are planning to reopen for a Christmas event. So look for those in the list below.
October usually is about the end of the main Laura Ingalls Wilder season for the year. If you plan a Laura trip during or after October, make sure you call ahead. They may or may not be able to accommodate you by opening the museum, etc. or giving lists of what there is to see. On the plus side you get autumn foliage and then snow photos. I called around to find out when the Laura museums were officially closing for the year.
Pepin, WI – Closed October 15, 2013 and re-open weekends only for next two weeks. Closing for the season Oct. 27th. They should re-open for the town of Pepin celebration, Hometown Holidays, December 6, 2013 – December 8, 2013 (all-day).
Independence, KS – Closed October 31, 2013 – Watch for their event schedule for next year to be published on their website in January 2014. They aren’t doing Christmas shopping this year, but Director Michelle Martin says “we will be doing special pledge drive online, donors receive gift shop items as thank yous for donations.” So watch for that.
Walnut Grove, MN – Museum grounds closed for the season October 31, 2013, but their Gift Shop/Visitor Center will remain open during November and December from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday – Saturday. After Christmas it will be open Monday – Friday, same hours, until April 2014.
Burr Oak, IA – Closed October 21, 2013.
De Smet, SD –
Memorial Society open all year with slightly reduced hours during winter. They will close December 24-27 for Christmas and December 31-January 1 for New Years.
Ingalls Homestead – Closed October 31, 2013, Office remains open for making reservations, etc. Call and leave a message if they don’t pick up.
Mansfield, MO – Season ends November 15, 2013. Winter hours are November 16 – December 15 by appointment only (call ahead). They are having a one day Christmas event December 7, 2013.
Malone, NY – Closed October 14, 2013, Re-opens for Christmas With Almanzo event (1 Day) December 7th, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Spring Valley, MN – Closed October 31, 2013. Director Julie Mlinar shared about their annual Christmas teas: “The teas are actually a luncheon hosted at the historical Washburn Zittleman house museum on Sat and Sun, Dec 14 &15 with sitting at 1 pm. Reservations must be in by Dec. 9th and it is best to call early as the spots fill up fast. The luncheon includes choice of 3 soups, a chicken salad croissant with dessert and tea or coffee. Tickets are $10 and other days and times can be set for groups. We will do mail orders for the gift shop but will have to be by cashier check as our credit card machine has been down and we won’t get a different one till next spring.”
Keystone, SD – Closed September 15, 2013
Vinton, IA – Continues on limited access due to roof construction
Sarah S. Uthoff is main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.