The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum opened in 1974, the same year that Little House on the Prairie began iaring on television. Most visitors over age 35 will probably recognize the choice episodes looping in a room paying homage to the long-running series.
The museum dedicates displays to the show’s stars, many of who have visited Walnut Grove and signed autographs through the years. The gift shop’s extensive book collection makes it easy to introduce younger generations to the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder and is also the place to find calico prairie dresses, aprons and bonnets. Beyond exhibits about the TV series and the author’s life, there are buildings where visitors can explore a covered wagon, typical dry goods of the era, a crude dugout house, and an in-town house from the late 1800s that includes quilt and doll collections and hands-on activities for the kids.
This isn’t a glossy, polished museum, but it’s packed with interesting stories and displays appealing to all generations—even those born long after Little House brought the drama of Walnut Grove into America’s living rooms every week.