Looking for Laura or How Maple Syrup Led Me To Plan Three Family Field Trips

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Maple Syrup season gets me in a Laura Ingalls mood. I spent years of my childhood wishing I was Laura Ingalls.  I inhaled the books.  I watched the show.  I dressed in long dresses and bonnets — long after my friends had matured past dress up.  I thought when I had a little girl, she would love the Little House series, too.  She can kind of take it or leave it.  She’s read a couple of the books. 

I still have hope of getting her excited about these books.  Maple Syruping is a good start.  We also hope to start doing more travels outside the Twin Cities this summer.  The following are a few historical sites I’d like to see this summer.

  • Walnut Grove, Minnesota, is slightly less than three hours from the Twin Cities.  There you can visit the site of the Ingall’s original dugout home ($5/car)  from By The Shores of Plum Creek and the Wilder Museum ($3-$6/pp).  I think we’ll aim to go during July for the Walnut Grove Family Festival.


Saturdays July 12 and July 19, 2014
Friday and Saturday July 25 and July 26, 2014
11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Festival held in the Walnut Grove City Park

  • De Smet, South Dakota, is a 4 1/2 hour drive from the Twin Cities.  We hope to stay at the Ingalls Homestead as part of our South Dakota camping vacation.  If you want to sleep in a covered wagon, its $50.00/night; but you can tent it for $10/night.  The museum is an additional $10.00 per person.
  • Pepin, Wisconsin is the closest of the Laura Ingalls Homesteads.  It’s about an hour and a half from the Cities.  The museum is closed in the winter.  Laura Ingalls Days are September 13-14th.  That would probably be the best time to visit. Admission to the museum is a free will offering, but they are currently doing a capital campaign to expand the museum and could use a little extra.

If you would rather not put the miles on your car to learn more about Laura, you can try the Little House Books website.  It offers crafts and recipes to go along with the books, plus, since I was a little girl, the original stories written by Laura have been added to and now we can learn about her mother, grandmother and daughter, Rose.

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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for FamilyFunTwinCities.com.

Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.

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