This Little House location, though a replica, helped me and my boys (ages 9, 7, and 5) feel as Laura would have felt as she looked out her door with the string latch. As we stood inside this tiny cabin (where the historical society has tried to replicate the era - complete with a red-checked table cloth that Ma said made it seem more like a home) my boys recalled how Laura recounted stories of the Indians and their frightening, unexpected visits; and how the wolves surrounded the cabin and howled; and how Pa had built the door with Laura's help; and how the wind blew incessantly. All of these things were very easy to imagine - except the wind - we didn't need to because it blew incessantly for our visit as well. Pa's well is still there, and the boys felt a connection because they had read about it.
If you know Laura's stories, you know that she wrote about this place from others' memories because she was too young to remember, but all of that is secondary when you are there. The stories really happened, and as you gaze south across the prairie to the Verdegris River, you can't help but remember kind-hearted Mr. Edwards bringing Laura's and Mary's Christmas presents across it on his head.
We planned our trip around the festival for The Little House on the Prairie held on the 2nd Saturday of June since we had just finished reading Laura's series. There were craftsmen demonstrating their art and lots of activities for the children. Some children were dressed in period dress for a contest, I am assuming.
The other two buildings on the property were moved here later to be helpful in learning about America's pioneer heritage. The "school teacher" who shared stories about the time, although she seemed familiar with the school, didn't know as much about Laura Ingalls Wilder as my children do (having recently read the books). Maybe she should re-read the books before next year. My only other thought was that the music featured from the stage during our visit wasn't very period-like. A man with a fiddle was starting to play as we were leaving though, and that's what we wanted to hear.
There were souvenirs geared toward both boys and girls, and my oldest son wished he had brought more money (the authentic tomahawk was out of his price range!)
I am glad we were able to make a trip after reading the Little House series. I know visiting this place helped to cement part of America's history into my little guys' minds.
We continued our trip by driving to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO and then on to Laura's home that she shared with Almanzo for 63 years in Mansfield, MO (also where she wrote the books) about 4 hours away. I mention this because I'm not sure if I would have come all this way unless there were other destinations relatively close. A donation of $3 per adult was requested as we entered.
I would stop there again if I was going to be near.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.