Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Events 2017

Three of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites reopen for a special Christmas event. If you get a chance, go!

Christmas Tree Ornaments
Christmas Tree Ornaments

Mansfield MO

Despite it being short, I’ve always wanted to attend the Christmas event to get a photo of me in the Rocky Ridge living room. Maybe someday….

Christmas on Rocky Ridge Farm December 3, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. Weather Permitting.
Free admission to the historic home featuring vintage decorations. Tunes on Pa’s fiddle. Bring YOUR camera or cell phone for pictures with Santa by Laura’s fireplace. Tastings from Laura’s own recipes. Come celebrate Christmas with us in a most special way! (NOTE*) If the parade is canceled for bad weather Laura’s Christmas will be canceled as well.

Spring Valley MN

Spring Valley Christmas Teas Dec. 2-3, 2017
Spring Valley is closed for the season at the end of October, but they reopen for Christmas teas. It is a full lunch set in a Victorian home that was built in 1888. Reservations required for the teas. Contact the museum at wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com for reservations and more details.
http://www.springvalleymnmuseum.org/wilderevents.html

Malone/Burke NY

Christmas with Almanzo Dec. 2, 2017  11am – 3pm
Enjoy mulled cider & traditional cookies in the Wilder house with carol singing and Farmer Boy Christmas chapter readings. Readings will take place at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30. Plus, children’s holiday craft activities and the gift shop will be open! Free admission.
https://almanzowilderfarm.com/event/christmas-with-almanzo

Photo in Wilder Farmhouse – Courtesy of Connie Jenkins

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Plays 2017

It’s time to get in the mood for the holidays and for many families attending a Laura Ingalls Wilder play. There are four titles that are currently running on the circuit.

  • A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks
  • A Little House Christmas by James DeVita
  • Melodies and Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A Little House Christmas at Plum Creek by Lisa Cordes

Hoover 2010 Me and Bonnet Tree

There are only so many ways to do A Christmas Carol. Let your local community or small professional theater that you’d like to see them do one of these next year! And if I’ve missed one in your neck of the woods let me know so I can add it.

First – Not Christmas

Although this isn’t a Christmas play, I had to chase it down from a reference during my search and it’s right after Christmas so I’m listing it anyway.

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Voice of the Prairie, Kathryn Schultz Miller; dir: Alan Knoll. Jan 9-Apr 8, 2018. Imaginary Theater Company St. Louis, MO
http://www.repstl.org/engage-learn/imaginary-theatre-company

Christmas Plays and Laura – An Annual Tradition

A Laura Ingalls play for Christmas continues to be an on-going tradition, but either it’s a slow year or they’re doing a worse job than normal at promoting. I didn’t find as many as usual. Remember to ask your local theater about it RIGHT NOW before they set next year’s season.

A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks

If you want your local group to try it next year, check out the script and production rights. Learn the basics. Check out the author’s page.

Check out a clip from a production in 2012.

Knoxville, TN

Friday, Dec. 15 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 16 @ 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 17 @ 2:30 p.m.

At Clayton Performing Arts Center -Pellissippi State Community College – Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, TN 37933

Tickets – $8-$12 – Available online and at the door.
To reach the Pellissippi Box Office, call 865-539-7529

http://wordplayers.org/current-season/mainstage-shows/laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas-holiday-2017
https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=80574
https://us.eventbu.com/knoxville/laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas/7582896

York, NE

December 5 – 9, 7:30 pm
December 10, 2:00 pm

Yorkshire Playhouse
517 N Lincoln Ave
PO Box 413
York, Nebraska

T (402) 362-7060 E yorktheater@gmail.com

https://www.yorkshireplayhouse.com/events-master/2017/12/5/laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas

“A Little House Christmas”

Check with the author for production rights. Learn more about him.

Shots from a production.

Des Moines, IA

November 3 – November 26, 2017
7:00 PM Fridays; 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM Saturdays & Sundays; ADDED SHOW: 4:00 PM, Sunday, Nov. 26

Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre
831 42nd Street
Des Moines lA 50312
MAP IT

515.277.6261

https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/little-house-christmas

Bozeman, MT

December 2nd-December 17th, 2017

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2017-3:00PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2017-3:00PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017-3:00PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017-3:00PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2017-3:00PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2017-3:00PM

Verge Theater
2304 North 7th Ave, Suite C-1
Bozeman, MT 59715

406-587-0737
info@vergetheater.com

https://vergetheater.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0S37000004Jo09EAC
https://www.facebook.com/events/341368949667510/

“Melodies and Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder”

Check out this clip from a 2009 production. No current productions found this year. Find out more if you want to put it on.

“A Little House Christmas at Plum Creek”

No current productions this year.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the 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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently 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.

 

November 2017 Presentations

I have two presentations scheduled this month. I almost had two more but things didn’t work out. The lesson – book early.

  • Hatch Public Library – Mauston, WI – A Visit by Laura – November 1, 2017 – 1 pm
  • History Camp Iowa – State Historical Society – Des Moines, IA – Wilder Thanksgiving: From Pioneer to Pilgrim November 11, 2017 (Registration Required)

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Laura Ingalls Wilder 2017 Season Ends

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. Find contact information for the homesites/museums here:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/laura-links/

The last few years I’ve been so late on it I’ve combined it with my Christmas event list. This year it will be coming later as a separate post.

Family members surrounding Tour Sign
Family in De Smet

Pepin, WI – Closed for the season Oct. 15, 2017.

Independence, KS – They closed for the season November 1, 2017.

Walnut Grove, MN – Museum grounds closed for the season November 1, 2017, but their Gift Shop/Visitor Center will remain open during November and December 23, 2017 from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday – Saturday.
Ticket sales for the 2018 pageant begin November 1, 2017. 1-888-859-3102.

Burr Oak, IA – Closed October 21, 2017. After Labor Day they are only open Thursday- Saturdays 10-4 with no tours after 3:00pm.

De Smet, SD –
Memorial Society – open all year with slightly reduced hours during winter, MondayFriday 9 am -4 pm.  They suggest tour times at 10:00am and 2:00pm.
Hours Chart

Ingalls Homestead – Open depending on the weather through October and then closed at the end of October 31, 2017. Office remains open for making reservations, etc. Call and leave a message if they don’t pick up. Scheduled activities only take place through September 30, 2017. People are welcome to walk around even after they are closed for the year. Look for maps in plastic holders beside visitor center/gift shop doors.

Mansfield, MO – Season ends November 15, 2017.
Will reopen for one day for their Christmas event December 3, 2017.

Malone, NY – Closed October 1, 2017. Can arrange tours by appointment if volunteers available through October. Minimum admission is $25 for three or less. Four or more admitted at regular price. Arrange by e-mailing farm@almanzowilderfarm.com Re-opens for Christmas With Almanzo event (1 Day) December 2, 2017 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Spring Valley, MN – They are open everyday till Sept. 4, 2017. Then they are only open weekends (Sat. and Sun.) in Sept. and Oct. Last day of the season will be Oct. 29th. but they reopen for Christmas teas. Christmas Teas will be Dec. 2-3, 2017. It is a full lunch set in a Victorian home that was built in 1888. For more information contact the museum at wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com

Keystone, SD – Closed September 15, 2017.

Vinton, IA – Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School gave me this advice.
Justin Ruegg
319-472-5221, Extension 1226
jruegg@iowa-braille.k12.ia.us
Pat Barr
319-472-5221, Extension 1110
pbarr@iowa-braille.k12.ia.us
We are open for tours Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Each tour takes 1-1/2 to two hours.  Wheelchairs are available.  There is no place that we go on the tour that a wheelchair cannot go.  If needed, tours may be given on Saturday or Sunday.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

T-Shirt of the Month October 2017

When I post my video diaries I always get comments about my Laura clothes. No, not my period dresses, but my Laura Ingalls Wilder t-shirts that I wear for travel and Laura trips. I thought everyone might enjoy a closer look at them. So enjoy our new monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt each month.

Clothes are one of those things that I once kept as a firm line not to cross as part of my efforts to restrict my Laura collection to a reasonable size. That totally failed when I discovered how great it is to have a Laura t-shirt on when traveling. It really makes it feel like your trip has already started once you get in your car.

Shirt of the Month

Here is this month’s t-shirt:

T-shirt hanging on a hook
Map of Lake Pepin

This shirt wasn’t from a giftshop at one of the museums. One of the great things about Pepin is that it is more than a Laura tourist town. Pepin is among the towns that is used as a weekend away town for people from the Twin Cities. That means it can support more good restaurants and arts and craft shops than a town with that population normally could. That’s mostly a benefit to Laura fans (except for the fact they can make it harder to get hotel reservations on weekends).

This shirt was from one of those upscale tourist stores down by the lake. I love it because it has a map. The map is shifted so the river runs horizontal instead of on a Northeast to Southwest flow. It shows major roads in the area with no labels. It also show an absolutely darling little full color cabin showing the rough spot of the birthplace and a lovely color blue for the river. This is one of my favorite shirts.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

October 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

October is the month that most homesites close down for the year so there aren’t a lot of events, but there are a few.

Wheat
Wheat

Burr Oak IA

Fall Fest and Used Book Sale October 1, 2017 – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Vinton IA

Marc and Brandi Janssen Mary Ingalls Fiddle Program – October 15, 2017

Malone/Burke NY

Wilder Fun Fundraiser Golf Tournament – October 13, 2017 Noon- ? Ticketed Event

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Photo Policy Change in De Smet

Sarah holding Little House book on the cement porch in front of Surveyor's House
Sarah Outside Surveyor’s House

Then You Couldn’t

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society has had a long standing policy of no photos inside the buildings. The Surveyor’s House, the Third Street House, and the Visitor Center/Museum were all no goes. It was strictly enforced. In fact, one time I got told not to take notes with a digital recorder. When I went in June we were still strictly told NOT to take any photos. The only exceptions being the inside of both the original and replica schools.

This used to be a standard rule in  most museums because they wanted to keep control of images taken there to make sure they weren’t used in a way they’d object to and to encourage you to buy slides and postcards, etc. from their gift shop. There was also a belief that flash photography increased the fading of artifacts inside. Research done by Kodak has shown that was not the case. Slowly now museums, as they want the free advertising of social media, are lifting these restrictions. Where they remain in place, please honor them.

Now You Can

Starting midway through the summer I saw posts of photos from De Smet start coming through my feed. At first I thought maybe it was a special waiver for the anniversary celebration, so I checked with them to get an official response AND I can now officially say the policy changed part way through the season. Photos are now welcome inside all the houses. They didn’t give me an official policy when I e-mailed, but I assume they have one. Ask if you intend to do anything more with the photos than personal use or a short social media post.

Reason to Go Back

So if you were looking for an excuse to plan a trip back to De Smet NOW you have a good reason! I wish I’d have known when I was there for the event in July, but I’d just taken the tour in June so I didn’t go. I would have if I’d have known. I’ll have to be back soon and I hope you will too.

UPDATED September 19 2017: From Museum Director Tessa Flak This summer the Society has started to allow visitors to take pictures inside the museum buildings for personal use only, however, we ask you not to film anything. Also, we don’t allow visitors to take pictures in our exhibit. Please contact the Society if you plan to use our photos for more then personal use. Thank you all for understanding.” I removed references to video from this post after she made this comment on Facebook. The comment is added here with her permission.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.