Unless you’re the type who doesn’t mind driving dark rural roads after midnight, you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to stay in small Walnut Grove during the popular outdoor Laura Ingalls Wilder pageants, and that most likely means camping. The closest hotels and B&Bs are a good 20 to 40 minutes away in Marshall, Springfield, Sleepy Eye and Windom.
The annual pageant runs during three weekends in July, and campsites for those weekends tend to book up completely by April. During hot, humid weather, the Plum Creek campground offers plenty of shade provided by mature cottonwoods and oak, along with hedges for additional privacy. That privacy is harder to come by in the bathrooms, though, with shower curtains instead of stall doors, but all in all, this is a nicely kept—and certainly the most convenient—place to stay in Walnut Grove. The campground includes a playground, a beach along the manmade Lake Laura, nine holes of disc golf and a few walking paths through the 205-acre county park. Guests without trailers or tents can also find cabins at Lake Shetek State Park, about 15 minutes south of Walnut Grove.
Plum Creek tent sites rent for $20 a night, electric sites for $25. Sites with water and electricity go for $27.50. Two-night minimum.