New interactive ‘Treetop Outpost’ coming to Conner Prairie

A four-story treehouse offering panoramic views will be the centerpiece of a new 10,000-square-foot outdoor experience set to open July 1 at Conner Prairie.
Construction on Treetop Outpost started in late October and continues today in the southwest corner of the museum’s grounds close to the White River. Several diverse activity areas will surround the treehouse in which guests can engage with natural materials, experience archaeology, build, create unique nature-based artwork, explore music with instruments and more. Also, a connecting nature walk will lead visitors through woods and along the river to the prairie.
Visitors will enter the treehouse by spanning a suspension bridge or walking up an elevated walkway.
The $750,000 exhibit being built by general contractor Hagerman Group was announced at Conner Prairie’s 2016 Annual Meeting Wednesday, during which a nationally renowned dinosaur paleontologist and popular children’s show host told an audience of nearly 300 guests that now, more than any other time in history, we have to get youth connected with nature.
“The indoor migration that has occurred in just a single generation has contributed to a growing rate of obesity, attention deficit syndrome, diabetes, myopia and other diseases among children,” said Dr. Scott Sampson, host of the popular PBS KIDS series “Dinosaur Train.” “A screen looks the same in Indianapolis as it does in Miami, Tulsa or anywhere.
At left: Artist’s rendering of the final Treetop Outpost; Center-right: Construction is underway to meet the July 1st opening.


“There’s a huge disconnect between youth and nature now and if we don’t narrow the gap by getting kids outside now, people probably won’t even care about the outdoors in a generation.”
Sampson, who is an executive at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and recently authored “How to Raise a Wild Child,” said adults need to instill and encourage three basic behaviors in youth to connect them with nature for a lifetime.
“Notice that nature’s everywhere. Look at it and be curious,” he said. “Let them engage. Let them grab a stick and play, jump in the mud and climb a tree. Don’t say no. And let them wonder. Kids are naturally inquisitive and want to learn on their own. Share your own stories about your life in nature and encourage them to create their own lifelong memories.”


 MORE INFO: Conner Prairie Interactive Historic Park is located at 13400 Allisonville Road in Fishers. Call {317} 776-6000 or visit for more details. All photos/images are used with permission and thanks to Conner Prairie. 

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