Conner Prairie’s Festival of Machines

A popular central Indiana weekend festival in September will celebrate Indiana’s rich history of transportation innovation by showcasing machines of all kinds throughout its property.

The 2016 Festival of Machines at Conner Prairie runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 17-18. The event, now in its third year, is free with paid general admission to Conner Prairie, which is $17 for adults, $16 for seniors ages 65 and older and $12 for youth ages 2-12. Admission to the museum is free for members and children under age 2.


New this year, guests of all ages can take a go-kart ride with New Castle Motorsports, get up close to a collection of vintage motorcycles and take flight on a hovercraft.

Again this year, the festival’s cornerstone exhibit will be a 20-plus car display of concours-quality, one-of-a-kind automobiles, including:

  • A 1932 Chrysler Imperial Custom 8 by LeBaron; Chrysler built a limited number of the Imperial and today, only 17 are left;
  • A 1959 Bentley S Type, once owned by William Ball Sr., a member of the Muncie family that founded the Ball Corp.;
  • A 1965 Shelby Cobra Roadster; today, it’s one of the most  valuable and replicated sports cars in the world; and
  • A 1980 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible once owned by Indianapolis philanthropist Ruth Lilly.

Other machines that will be displayed throughout Conner Prairie’s property include vintage aircraft, antique steam engines and tractors, race cars, emergency response vehicles, military vehicles, large farming and construction equipment and more.

RELATED: Conner Prairie Treetop Outpost opens!

>> Take a look back at last year’s Festival of Machines

>> Watch a video showcasing the festival

Younger children can test drive soapbox derby cars, build fizzy rocket dragsters and drive pedal cars through a creative track.

Top exhibitors at this festival include Reynolds Farm Equipment, MacAllister’s Machinery, the Indiana National Guard, Celadon Trucking, Engineering for Kids, IN First Robotics, Kokomo Automotive Museum, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indiana Classic Car Club, LA Cycles and Vincennes Aviation.

The 2016 Festival of Machines at Conner Prairie is sponsored in part by Ray Skillman Auto Group.

Spanning 800 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes nearly 390,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.


About Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie’s mission is to inspire curiosity and foster learning about Indiana by providing engaging, individualized and unique experiences. Created by Eli Lilly in 1934, Conner Prairie combines history with science, technology, engineering and math and encourages visitors to explore Indiana’s natural and cultural heritage through hands-on, immersive and interactive experiences. Inspiring visitors of all ages to discover more about the events, discoveries and forces that shaped the American Midwest, Conner Prairie offers various historically themed, indoor and outdoor experience areas throughout its 800 acres of wooded property in Fishers, Ind. Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute Affiliate and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Conner Prairie is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization that relies on grants and philanthropic donations from corporations and individuals for sustainability and growth. Visit or call (800) 966-1836 for admission dates, hours, ticket prices and opportunities to donate and volunteer. Conner Prairie is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flicker and YouTube.

Indy's Child
Indy's Child
For 40 years, Indy's Child has been the trusted source for Indianapolis families seeking fun, educational, and enriching experiences. Our award-winning magazine and website are dedicated to providing expert advice, insider tips, and up-to-date information on everything from the best local attractions and events to parenting resources and support. As local experts deeply rooted in the central Indiana community, our passionate team at Indy's Child is dedicated to uncovering the best family-friendly experiences and resources our city has to offer. Whether you're new to parenting or looking for new ideas, Indy's Child is here to help you enjoy the adventure of raising a family in central Indiana.

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