Museum of the Grand Prairie is ready to welcome your family as you step back in time
With COVID-19 operating procedures in place, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District has reopened Museum of the Grand Prairie in Mahomet to families looking to enjoy a Champaign-Urbana area favorite
Museum of the Grand Prairie is an absolute gem and we have missed it so during much of the past year! Now reopened to the public with a number of COVID-19 guidelines in place, you can plan a safe and easy visit to this FREE museum in Mahomet.
Schedule Ahead of Time
You’re encouraged to sign up ahead of time for your visit. Hop on the Museum of the Grand Prairie website, look for the calendar of events, click on museum ticket registration and select your time. You will be asked to check out (it’s free, don’t worry).
The sign outside the museum does say that “there may even be spaces open now,” so you can take your chances and just show up, too.
We were met at the door by a museum staff member who greeted us and checked that we had a reservation.
If you sign up online, you can bypass filling out paperwork at the entrance, otherwise you may need to fill some things out. We were ushered right into the museum and instructed to enjoy ourselves.
Everyone will be required to wear a mask for the length of your visit and there’s hand sanitizer all throughout the building.
What Can You Do?
Well, you can do an awful lot! The museum has taken great care to place detailed signage all over the building so it is clearly marked what is open and what is closed. First of all, the “Discovering Home” exhibit and the blacksmithing exhibit are the two areas that are completely closed off at this time.
All of the other areas are open but may have some modifications. You’ll see signs that say things like “one group or individual in this room at a time” or “ENTER HERE” so there’s no question about which way traffic is flowing through the exhibit. The museum has a few areas that work as one-way traffic areas and they work quite well to direct you through the exhibit without running into others. However, it should be noted that on our weekday afternoon visit, there was only one other family visiting the museum at that time so it was quite empty.
The special exhibit for 2020 is still on display, entitled “How Long Must Women Wait? Woman Suffrage and Women’s Rights in Champaign County.” You’ll learn about Champaign County women who have toiled for women’s rights while gaining a greater perspective on this movement over time.
Some of the areas of the museum that are touch-friendly are still in use; you can use hand sanitizer if you would like. It’s the areas that are completely interactive or touch-based that are closed.
One of the things our family loves the most about this place is sitting in the carriage with “Abraham Lincoln” watching on and things like that are definitely still possible. Museum of the Grand Prairie does an excellent job with its exhibits to make the subject matter local to our area, and your kids recognize different pieces as you walk through. Our kids like looking at the pictures of the slide and people swimming IN Lake of the Woods many years ago.
If you’ve never made a visit to Museum of the Grand Prairie, now is a great time! And don’t forget to enjoy the rest of what’s available at Lake of the Woods on your visit before or after your museum time.
More info about a visit to the Museum of the Grand Prairie