A Prairie Adventure

I mentioned in my summer list that I was planning to go on a Little House on the Prairie trip with my mom. And I did this past weekend!

First we went to Walnut Grove, Minnesota. This is where the book On the Banks of Plum Creek takes place. Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family lived there for four years, first in a dugout near the river and then in a house.

Then we headed further west across the prairie to De Smet, South Dakota, like the Ingalls did (but our trip had AC). Laura lived there for a long period of her life. This is where she met and married her husband Almanzo. The books By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Happy Golden Years are all set in and around De Smet.

The following are snapshots I took during the trip.

1 can’t go into the woods without some bug juice
2 pretty wild flowers on the prairie
3 Plum Creek
4 likely site of the dugout the Ingalls family lived in

1 more prairie
2 Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
3 beginning of Walnut Grove’s pageant, “Fragments of a Dream”
4 dancing scene in the play

1 South Dakota State University ice cream
2 site of Laura and Almanzo’s homestead
4 surveyor’s house that the Ingalls family lived in
5 historic sites sticker

1 diner menu
2 little girls in sunbonnets abound
3 De Smet pageant, “The Long Winter”
4 prairie dresses, aprons, and bonnets
5 seriously the little girls in sunbonnets were everywhere!
6 gorgeous sunset over the prairie

If you made your own summer list, how are you doing on it? What’s the most exciting thing you’ve done this summer?


  1. Bridget says:

    I am a Little House fanatic! I dream of taking this trip one day…so jealous. :-)

    • jacqueline says:

      We didn’t have time, but you should also go to Pepin, Wisconsin if you get a chance to do this trip. That’s where she was born and where ‘Little House in the Big Woods’ was set.

      • Bridget says:

        I really want to hit them all someday! I am originally from Missouri and am so ashamed I never made it to Rocky Ridge Farm at least.
        By the way, there’s a few entertaining books by women who took sabbaticals and hit all the LHotP sites but my favorite is probably “My Life As Laura: How I Searched for Laura Ingalls Wilder and Found Myself” by Kelly K Ferguson. I think you’d like it!

  2. Jo says:

    Oh my lord! The sunbonnets!!!!! They’re killing me.

    We are kicking ass on ours!

  3. miss alix says:

    this is so cool. often i wish i could travel back in time to wear only bonnets and prairie dresses. have you seen Meek’s Cutoff? maybe not the best movie ever but great for the costumes. sun protection, hooray!

  4. Terri says:

    We didn’t make a list…but my summer has had so much unplanned traveling, I hope to stay home during my break between semesters. I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. And the country in these photos reminds me of the land/prairie around Red Cloud, Nebraska where Willa Cather lived.

  5. karen herbaugh says:

    I’m jealous. I have always wanted to go see the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites. We are making a trip to New York City this summer because Reid really wants to see the Statue of Liberty and I’m very excited to go to Ellis Island.

    • jacqueline says:

      Have fun! Unfortunately every time I have visited NYC, I’ve stayed with friends who had already done the typical tourist things so I still have never been to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

  6. Kristin says:

    I would LOVE to take a trip like this. I didn’t read the Little House books until I was about 19, but I think they’re just incredibly charming. Also, I’ve never been to the mid-west, so that would be great in and of itself.

    As for my summer list, I’m pushing through it very slowly, but nothing too exciting except a trip to Atlantic City. I’ve got to get moving on it if I’m going to be able to finish by the end of the summer!

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