Walnut Grove 40th Pageant

So, for our anniversary, Josh decided to surprise me with a random nerdy outing. Unfortunately for him, I talked him into giving me a hint and I accidentally figured out what the surprise was. Whoops! Due to my bookwormish tendencies since I was a child, we were heading to Walnut Grove, MN to see the annual pageant that is performed in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It’s a bit of a drive, and made for a late night as it is performed outside and doesn’t start until 9pm, but it ended up being a really fun day since we both appreciate a bit of cheese, but also history, and we of course both took plenty of pictures to share with everyone.

So, the first place on our list was at someone’s house. It was quiet and we weren’t sure if parking there would lead to us being tied up and hidden in a barn or an actual sod house. Turns out they actually have recreated sod houses (very few if any original sod houses remain).

It was extremely hot out, but we made the most of it.  It was actually not that hot inside the sod houses, and the main one was surprisingly nice.  Apparently at one point the owners actually let people sleep overnight as a fun B&B.

Lap of luxury.


Cozy, but not awful… it stays nicely cool in the summer and I imagine it warms up well in the winter months much as I imagined when reading the books.  Granted, we got a more realistic look at what most sod houses started out as with dirt floors and without plastered walls.

Not gonna lie… I didn’t stay in the less refined ones for long.  The spiderwebs were out of control and I don’t do spiders, especially these ones which were freakishly fast.  I have to admit, though… there is something enchanting about a prairie, and we weren’t even to Walnut Grove yet or near the banks of Plum Creek so

We headed to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove next!

Sorry for the glare on these, but I think you’ll find the rules as laughable as I did!  Well, maybe not for the children as much, but wow… no less than 2 petticoats? Really?

We took a break and went to dinner at a nearish-by brewery and of course had to sample quite a few beers before heading back to Walnut Grove for the actual pageant.

Honestly, it’s things like this that makes me love small towns. Everyone was friendly and happy and there were people of all ages there to see the pageant.

We got seats that were nearish the “stage” and it was a delightful.   It was a well oiled machine they have and nary a peep from the smaller actors when one of the live animals decided to take a massive dump during a somewhat touching moment.  Oh, animals. Surprisingly the mosquitoes weren’t too awful either, which I was so grateful for.

Seriously, though… there was something very magical watching this little show in this little town under the stars.  I’m always torn between wanting to be closer to cities for all of the amenities and wanting the quiet of small town living.  Well… once it was dark and I looked up at all of those stars I haven’t spent time watching lately and I started to remember just why it is I’ve never moved closer to a city than we have.  All of the amenities will never come close to small town pageants and a vast expanse of stars to look up at right off your back porch.