Laura Ingalls Wilder 2018 Season Ends

Snow & Ice Covered Road
After It Got Light Trying To Get to Urbandale

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 and checked websites 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 weather forecast is still calling for a cold and snowy winter once it does arrive so account for that possibility in your plans if you are planning a winter trip.

Pepin, WI – Closed for the season Oct. 28, 2018.

Independence, KS – September 1st, switch to reduced winter hours.  Winter hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10-5 pm starting in September till November 1st. They closed for the season on November 4, 2018.

Walnut Grove, MN – Museum grounds closed for the season October 31, 2018, but their Gift Shop/Visitor Center will remain open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00 and closed Sunday. Our museum buildings will reopen in April, weather permitting.

Burr Oak, IA – Closed October 20, 2018. Beginning in September they have reduced hours.

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

Ingalls Homestead – Open depending on the weather through October and then closed at the end of October. 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 30th. 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, 2018. Winter hours are November 16 – December 15 by appointment only (call ahead). Bookstore 10 am -2 pm. They will reopen December 1st for a Christmas event.

Malone, NY – Closed October 27, 2018. Can arrange tours by appointment if volunteers available . 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 1, 2018.

Spring Valley, MN – They closed for the season at the end of October, but they reopen for one day for a Christmas tea. Reservations required.

Keystone, SD – Closed September 15, 2018.

Vinton, IA –  Closed

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

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Spring Valley Events 2017

church-museum

The Spring Valley Methodist Church Museum – A Laura Ingalls Wilder site is located in Spring Valley, Minnesota. Spring Valley is where Mother and Father Wilder moved when sold their farm and left Malone, New York not too long after Farmer Boy ends. They moved to Spring Valley after purchasing Angeline Wilder’s uncle’s farm. Laura and Almanzo stayed with them between leaving De Smet, South Dakota and moving to Florida. The likely barn used by the Wilders still sits on the site and they would have attended this church. The museum is open daily starting on May 27, 2017. Besides the church their are two building. One is an agriculture/one-room school building and a second is a very lovely house museum. It’s worth your time to visit all three.

Spring Valley Museum events for 2017:

Almanzo 100 Gravel Road Bike Race – May 20,2017

Our Annual Ice Cream Social is June 16, 2017 5-7pm

Eliza Jane School Days is July 24-25 or 27-28, 2017

Ag Days (town celebration) August 17-20, 2017

After September 4, 2017 they close on weekdays, but remain open on weekends

They close for the season on Oct. 29, 2017

They have a holiday event – Christmas teas on Dec. 2-3, 2017 (reservations 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.

June 2016 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Spring Valley Church Museum
Spring Valley Church Museum

Although July is the month with the most Laura Ingalls Wilder events at the sites, June is right up there.

Independence KS

Prairie Days – Saturday, June 11, 2016

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days June 25-26, 2016 – This will be the 40th Anniversary of the event

Spring Valley MN

Ice Cream Social – June 20, 2016 from 5 pm – 7 pm

 

Pamela Hill Smith MOOC June 6, 2016-August 29, 2016

https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/another-chance-for-pamela-hill-smith-course/

UPDATED June 2 2016: Here is the link to my podcast for the monthly update.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2016/06/02/june-2016-laura-ingalls-wilder-update

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.

That Girl Really Has Her Towel

A labeled photo of a stove.
Labeled Stove

Packing up the lard into a moveable container, packing a towel for Plum Creek wading – trying to think of “she’s really got her towel” reference, desperately looking for bag of dried plums (per the California Dried Plum association – the rest of us call them prunes), and if you haven’t guessed heading to Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum to do “In the Kitchen With Laura” program on Saturday, July 25, 2015.

I’m really glad to be able to add another Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite to my list this year. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to do more prep with the conference going on next week, but I’m truly excited about it. This will be the 5th official Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite that I’ve spoken at and I’m so pleased to add it to the list. I’ve also been asked about a return visit at another homesite next year so stay tuned.

I added a couple of photos I had already uploaded to this post and I realized that the way I tried to link the top photo to Hillside Homestead didn’t work. So I want to be sure to credit Susan Odom who owns this particular wood cookstove, took the original photo, and was kind enough to let me edit it with the labels. Be sure to check out her bed and breakfast Hillside Homestead.

2014

On another note, I’m still on limited computer access since it turns out Windows 10 computers are shipping on July 29th. Since I’ve had bad luck updating operating systems before and I definitely don’t want to deal with Windows 8.1 and I sadly can’t get Windows 7 for less than a huge premium, I’m going to wait until after that so hopefully the second week of August will find me back up and running.

UPDATE July 29, 2015: I updated it to include credit for the wood cookstove photo.

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.

Laura Homesites Open for the Season 2015

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Season has officially gotten underway again. If you plan a Laura trip before they open, make sure you call ahead. The homesite museums that are not fully open, may or may not be able to accommodate you by opening the museum, etc. or giving lists of what there is to see.

Little House on the Prairie Museum Site
Little House on the Prairie Museum Site

 

Pepin, WI – Opens May 15, 2015

Independence, KS – Opened April 3, 2015

Walnut Grove, MN – Museum opened April 1, 2015. Dugout Site not open until May. The date is dependent on weather conditions, if there is still snow or if it’s flooded it won’t open as early. Call ahead and check.

Burr Oak, IA – Opened May 1, MonSat 10-4 and Sun 12-4 through May. Hours change with
Memorial Day.

De Smet, SD –
Memorial Society – Open in April Mon.-Fri. 9am-4pm, in May Mon.-Sat. 9am-4pm, June-August 9am-5:30pm

Ingalls Homestead – Opens Memorial Day Weekend, Sat., May  23, 2015 for regular 9am -7pm every day with activities from 10am -6pm  schedule. They are hosting school visits M-F beginning April 29.  Visitors are welcome to join up with a school group, but should call or email first to get specific times as they vary daily.  800-776-3594 – mail@ingallshomestead.com

Mansfield, MO –
Opened March 1st, 2015

Malone, NY
Open Sat., May 23, 2015 – The official season is May 23-Sept. 30, but in order to accommodate out-of-state visitors, they accept early tours by appointment beginning on May 11. Similarly, post-season tours can be arranged in October. Advance appointments depend on tour guide availability. Minimum admission for non-open season tours is $25. Please call or email to schedule, and give the Homestead two weeks’ notice so we can schedule our volunteer guides. After May 23rd, hours are Monday – Saturday, 10-4 and Sunday noon-4. Last tour each days begins at 3 p.m.

Spring Valley, MN
R
egular hours on Memorial Day Weekend, Sat., May 23, 2015.

Keystone, SD – Opens June 1, 2015

Vinton, IA – Since they are kind of in a different situation, being part of an institution that has to be open all year. They don’t have stated open hours, but will gladly give a tour by appointment. Pat Barr wrote “We  will give a tour any day Monday through Friday. They may call Justin Ruegg at 319-472-5221, Extension 1226 or myself at 319-472-5221, Extension 1110.”

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 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.

Annual Christmas Shopping Guide 2014

We’re running a little late this year, but there’s still time to get that perfect gift for your Laura fan under the tree before Christmas. Whether you are looking for the perfect present for the Laura Ingalls Wilder fan in your life or just what you want to know what to put on your Christmas want list, check out these suggestions.

This is the fifth year I’ve put together a shopping guide. Check the first post for basic gift ideas. So read that first and instead in this post look for new items, other ideas and then a list of which Laura homesites are offering Christmas mail order and the cut off dates for shipping by Christmas this year. Trundlebed Tales encourages you to do at least a little Christmas shopping from the Laura homesites because they are all local museums, highly dependent on admissions and gift shop revenue to stay open and preserve the homesites for Laura fans, so do your part.

Most of the presents that I suggested in 2011 and 2012  and 2013 are still available so take a look at past year’s posts for more ideas.

 

 

The big Laura release of the year is Pioneer Girl, an annotated published version of Laura’s autobiography, written as a precursor to the “Little House” books. Laura fans self-define themselves and be aware this won’t be appreciated by all “Laura fans.” Scope out whether they’ve read Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder by John E. Miller or anything by William Anderson and that they haven’t already gotten a copy before you buy. My brother is getting me mine for Christmas. While Amazon is still not shipping ordered copies most of the homesites mentioned when I called that they have copies available.

If they didn’t get it last year, then you’ll definitely want to get the new last year Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Walnut Grove by William T. Anderson. A new book from Bill is always big news and this one ties together all sorts of new information together about Walnut Grove in addition with classic photos that you won’t see anywhere else. It’s available at many of the homesites. Also, from William Anderson they’ve republished Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Book & Audio CD). It was originally published in the mid-1990s when it was released with an cassette tape. Look for a full report soon. So far I’ve only seen it on Christian Book Distributors, an online retailer (they have great prices, but will continue to e-mail you if you buy from them once). Hopefully it will expand to more sources soon.

The Ingalls Homestead is offering free shipping on hardcover sets and all other orders over $150 made before 10 am Dec 18.  These will be shipping UPS Ground.  They are continuing to sell their sets of books in a wooden crate. They report several people have been picking up Pioneer girl with the hardback set as a group present and to take advantage of the free shipping.

The Loftus Store, while not technically a homesite, was mentioned in the books and is a can’t miss stop for Laura fans in De Smet. They always have some unique Laura items. Nothing new from this year, but last year they reported that they brought back some nice pieces that haven’t been available for awhile. A linen wall hanging (an original from the 1980s, long has been on display at the Loftus Store and much asked about) has been reproduced with the same design as a poster. Also, the first in a series of pewter plates that were originally sold by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in the 1970s ($40 plus $10 shipping) was released last year. They intend to eventually reproduce the entire series, but want to sell most of the current issue before they move on to the rest, so help buy them out and we’ll get the next one. 🙂 A final brand new last year item was an accurate paper model pattern of Pa’s store. The Loftus Store is also one of my favorite places to shop for Laura T-shirts with the tie-dye girls fit top being the closest I’ve found to truly hot weather gear in any homesite town.

While previous ornaments are still available including the great glass ball ornaments (you can only get that site’s ornament through that site – e.g. you just can get Spring Valley’s ornament from the Spring Valley giftshop, you can only get the Pepin ornament in the Pepin gift shop, etc.). Do you have yours? Also, specifically check with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet. They have put out their first two porcelain ornaments. Each has 22 karat gold edging and a full color illustration taken from Garth Williams’s work. You can get them gift boxed.

Walnut Grove, which is another glass ball ornament site, hasn’t created a special Christmas specials page this year, but is still offering these specials from this fall. Walnut Grove points out their signed Miss Beadle Tote Bag $37.50 and that in addition to their continuing offer to get Alison Arngrim to sign her book (personalized), you can also get My Prairie Cookbook signed by Melissa Gilbert.

One of the most expensive pieces in my personal collection is the replica of Laura’s engagement ring that I posted about. Laura’s engagement ring is still getting a lot of reaction from people when I wear it if they haven’t heard of it before.  You can still get yours for Christmas and be the one flashing the ring at the next Laura event you attend, but the sooner you order the better. Find it in Walnut Grove’s online store Souvenir section, click and then scroll down. And if you’re looking for a treat for your special Laura dog, get some of the Jack’s Treats. I can’t say enough about how much my dog Blue loves these treats. He insists I add some to every Walnut Grove order. (I would insert a photo of Blue eating said treats but he eats them so fast I’ve yet to get a photo where you can see more than a blur.) They also have some great new sweatshirt designs.

This year the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet has taken my unofficial title of cutest Jack available. In fact, I bought one for my collection this summer and when my niece and nephew insisted that I get one for each of them for Christmas, despite the fact that they each got a Jack last year. You’ll love it too.

De Smet Jack 2014
De Smet Jack 2014

The Almanzo Wilder Farm in Malone/Burke says “The shop is stocked with books for all ages, including, of course, Farmer Boy and the “Little House” series, history books about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Wilder family, coloring books, cookbooks, music, and DVDs. We still have old-fashioned bonnets and straw hats, mugs, postcards, note cards, small toys, and more so save time for shopping. Be sure to check out our online store http://www.almanzowilderfarm.com

After trying multiple times on different days to get in touch with Mansfield I’ve given up. You might have better luck try contacting them at the information below.

And don’t forget you can also get your Laura fan gift memberships to the museums or a donation in your Laura fan’s name!

Walnut Grove MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

Phone 1-800-528-7280

Last Day for Priority Mail – December 19, 2014

Check out their specials from this fall.

De Smet SD

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, Click on  The Gift Shop

Phone 1-800-880-3383

Last Day for Priority Mail – December 17, 2014

Ingalls Homestead

Phone: 1-800-776-3594

Last Day for Priority Mail – before noon on December 20, 2014, call if questions

They have a specials page.

Loftus Store

Phone: 605-854-3773 (Ignore the toll free number on the site, it’s no long valid)

Last Day for Priority Mail – December 15, 2014

Mansfield MO

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum

Phone 1-877-924-7126 (Toll free)

This is their information from last year, but again I’ve tried their main number between 10 and 2 multiple days, good luck. “You can order online or by phone, but call if you have questions or want something you aren’t seeing online. Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am – 2 pm are best, but you should be able to reach someone from 10 am – 2pm Monday through Friday. Orders will be shipped Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.”

Malone NY

Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm

farm@alamanzowilderfarm.com

Malone said for their set up, online ordering has a quicker response during the off season.  If you’d rather order by phone or have a question e-mail them and they’ll either e-mail a response or call you, so please include your phone number. They didn’t respond with a date this year, so it’s up to you.

Spring Valley MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum (Store not online, but they are one of the glass ball ornament sites)

wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com

Recommends using e-mail to order for Christmas, but you may want to include your phone number in the e-mail so they can get back to you with questions quickly. If you remember from last year they did get a new credit card machine, so you can pay by credit card again.

Last Day for Priority – December 15, 2014

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum

Phone (563) 735-5916

The best way for people to shop during the winter is through the website gift shop and then pay through Paypal. They can email the museum with questions. They are no longer accepting checks for orders because of some bad check incidents.

Last Day for Priority – December 10, 2014

Pepin WI

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

Off season ordering is only online, through e-mail. Contact them through their contact form.
Last Day for Priority – Not giving a last day, it’s up to the customer

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 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.

December 2014 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Even though almost all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites close down sometime during the fall, a couple re-open for a special Christmas event. I really thought I’d get to the Christmas event at Mansfield (they take a photo of you in the living room – want to go so badly!) but I’m going to be presenting at Hoover instead, not a bad deal. If you go, please share photos.

West Branch, IA
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site – Christmas Past event – West Branch, Iowa –
http://www.nps.gov/heho/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?eventID=237606-206081

  • Friday, Dec 5: Storytelling 6:30pm – 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, Dec 6 – Packing Up 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm 7:00 pm – 7:30 pm Xmas invite

Pepin, WI –
Open for the town of Pepin celebration, Hometown Holidays, December 6, 2014 – December 7, 2014 (all-day).
http://pepinwisconsin.com/hometown-holidays

De Smet, SD –
They don’t have a Christmas event, but the Memorial Society open all year including this month with slightly reduced hours during winter. They will close December 22-January 1 for Christmas and New Years.

Mansfield, MO 
Winter hours are November 16 – December 15 by appointment only (call ahead). They are having a one day Christmas event Friday, December 5, 2014, 5:30 pm-8:00 pm. Check out their invitation and suggestions for Christmas gifts from their giftshop.

Malone/Burke, NY –
Christmas With Almanzo event Saturday, December 6th, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Spring Valley, MN –
Director Julie Mlinar shared about their annual Christmas teas: “They reopen for Christmas teas. Teas will be Dec. 6-7 with sittings at 12:30 pm each day. It is a full lunch set in a Victorian home that was built in 1888. Reservations required for the teas. The cost for the tea is $10. They will also be having house tours that same week-end from 1pm-4pm each day.  The cost for the tours is $7 and includes three area homes. For more info call 507-346-7659.”

Christmas Plays and Laura – An Annual Tradition

In addition to the Christmas events, there are Laura Ingalls Wilder plays all around the country. I’m listing the entire season’s worth below so you can make plans if one is in your regional area:

Fort Wayne, Indiana (they are incredibly vague on their website about where the production will actually be held since they describe themselves as a traveling repertory company, but the performance dates and the office contact information is listed below) – A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks, Nov. 7-9, 14-16, 2014
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
https://allforonefw.wordpress.com
Information about and photo of cast:
https://allforonefw.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/rehearsing-with-music
3901 South Wayne Ave, Fort Wayne, IN 46807, (260) 745-4364

Sarah Uthoff dressed as 1930s Laura Ingalls Wilder by Bonnet Tree
Sarah Uthoff dressed as 1930s Laura Ingalls Wilder by Bonnet Tree

 

Ashland, Kentucky –Paramount Arts Center –A Little House Christmas, Dec. 4, 2014 (Note: One night only)
Basic Information:
http://paramountartscenter.com/portfolio/a-laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas/
Paramount Arts Center, 1300 Winchester Avenue, Ashland, KY 41101, 606.324.0007

Eau Claire, Wisconsin – ECCT – A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas, Dec. 6-7, 2014
Basic Information:
http://www.ecct.org/showdetails.cfm?showid=49
Audition Information:
http://chippewa.com/entertainment/local/ecct-holds-auditions-for-laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas/article_afec768b-f914-5b89-85ea-8f866982d0dd.html
ECCT, 1814 Oxford Avenue, Eau Claire, WI, 54701, info@ecct.org, 715-839-8877

Traverse City, Michigan – Old Town Playhouse – A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas, Dec. 8-9, 2014
Basic Information:
http://www.oldtownplayhouse.com/young-co/productions/a-laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas.html
Old Town Playhouse, 148 E. Eighth Street, P.O. Box 262, Traverse City, Michigan 49684

Knoxville, Tennessee (also very vague about where production will actually be held, I’m assuming on campus) – In co-production with The WordPlayers, Pellissippi State’s Theatre program – A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas – Dec. 12-13, 2014
Basic Information:
https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=pstcc
Pellissippi State, Community College, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, P.O. Box 22990, Knoxville, TN 37933-0990, 865.694.6400

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 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.