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De Smit, SD...Little House

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For those who have been there, will little boys find it as much fun as girls? My daughter, I know, will love going, but we also have 2 boys (6 and 9)...will they enjoy it or not? thanks.



Yes, the boys who were there were having just as much fun as the girls. The kids can climb around in a wagon, make rope, ride in a pony cart, drive draft horses, go to a one-room school, or climb up a huge observation tower. My 3 (all girls, but boys would like this too) were fascinated with the water pump on the well and watered the garden quite thoroughly. My middle would've been quite happy doing the laundry all day.


This was at the Ingalls' homesite right outside of town that all of this went. We ended up staying several hours exploring everything.

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I think your boys would find things to enjoy. Ma's little house is mostly an interactive museum about indoor living back then. There is a barn to explore, kittens, the field and an old school house. They might be able to take pony rides. If you walk it rather than just take the wagon, they will lke the wide open spaces. My boys were older so it wasn't as thrilled with it, but they knew that this was for their sister and we had other things planned in the trip for them.

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I was there last summer with 2dds (nearly 12), ds 9 and ds 3. We all loved it. It was part of a larger trip that included Mansfield and Walnut Grove. We were in De Smet for two days, which was good. The first day we saw the town and took the tour of the houses in town. These can be seen only by tour, iirc. We also did a postcard hunt that we bought at the giftshop and spent a lot of time walking/driving around trying to find the history.

The second day we spent out at the homestead, which was great. The kids did all the activities, from doing laundry to making ropes and cornhusk dolls to going to school. As we were there on a Friday, we had tickets to go to the pageant in the evening, but unfortunately there was a thunderstorm and the pageant was cancelled.

How much time you would need depends I think on how thoroughly you want to track down references in the books. I could have spent another couple of days there quite happily, but I suppose you could make it one long day with the morning in town and the afternoon at the homestead. I think that you should do both of these, though. It is possible to stay out at the homestead, which I thought sounded great but for some reason we ended up staying elsewhere.

I would love to go back sometime soon.

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From what I've read there is plenty to interest boys whether or not they're fan of the books. At 9 my son still enjoyed the Little House Books, but Farmer Boy was his favorite. I think your sons will find a lot to enjoy. I'd love to tag along myself.

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