Events and Programs
May 28: Make American Indian Pottery Day, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Learn about the traditions of American Indian pottery by making your own pinch or coil clay pot, see demonstrations throughout the day of how clay pots are fired, and hear about the tradition of American Indian pottery.
A New Look at the Carvings, 5-7 p.m. (or longer)
June 11th, June 25th, July 9th, July 23rd, Aug. 6th, Sept. 3rd, Sept. 17th
Explore the rock face in bare feet to see some of the newly uncovered petroglyphs that are located away from the regular path. Visitors can explore on their own, but an interpreter will be available to answer questions and direct visitors to carvings. Over the past several years, an extensive conservation project identified an additional 3,000 petroglyphs, which until recently have been covered in lichen. Visitors should be prepared for walking on uneven surfaces.
June 17-18: Solstice at Minnesota's Ancient Observatory, 2 Day Exploration.
Fri., Jun 17, 2016, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm. Sat., Jun 18, 2016, 5:00 am - 8:00 am.
During this two-day event, mark the summer solstice as American Indians once did on Minnesota's prairie. A replica of Minnesota's first-known astronomical observatory, created thousands of years ago, will be creatd, and sunrise during the summer solstice will be observed. The original observatory is a fragile archaeological site constructed out of boulders on private property near Jeffers Petroglyphs. The observatory's alignments mark the sunrise and sunset during the summer and winter solstices as well as during the fall and spring equinoxes.
Friday, June 17:
7:30-8:15 pm: Tom Sanders, site manager at Jeffers Petrogylphs, will present on his discovery of this ancient site, as well as documentation and science about this ancient observatory.
8:30-9:15 pm: A guided walking tour of the carvings
9:30-10:30 pm: The observatory will be constructed
Saturday, June 18
5-6 am: The summer solstice will be observed through the alignments of the recreated observatory.
6 am-8 am: Tom Sanders, site manager at Jeffers Petrogylphs, will present on his discovery of this ancient site, as well as documentation and science about this ancient observatory. A guide will also be present on the rock face to show the carvings at one of the best times to see them.
July 2: Make an Arrowhead Day, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Explore how early American Indians used projectile points for survival. Observe a flintknapper demonstrating how to create stone projectile points (arrowheads) and then make one to take home.
July 16: Archaeology Day, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Discover firsthand how archaeologists study artifacts from the past. Observe original projectile points (arrowheads) and go through the archaeological process to find out how old they are, what type of stone they are made from, where they came from and how they were used.
July 30: Make a Spearthrower Day, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Learn about the atlatl, or spearthrower, considered by many anthropologists to be one of the world's greatest inventions. Make an atlatl and try throwing spears at a wooden bison target. A collection of atlatls from around the world will be on display.
August 13: First Harvest on the Prairie, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
One thousand years ago the people of Minnesota, Iowa and the Northern Plains were farmers as well as hunters, growing crops such as sweet corn. The ripening of the first sweet corn was a time of plenty that was celebrated with the green corn festival. Taste fire roasted sweet corn, bean soup and other seasonal foods while learning about the people of the Great Plains Village period. Guests will also learn how New World farmers developed crops that changed the world.
August 27: Animals of the Night, 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Take a guided tour of the carvings when they are best seen, as the sun begins to set at 6 p.m. After the tour, head to the visitor center for a 7:15 p.m. presentation about nocturnal animals and how they survive at night. The presentation will include a variety of hands-on activities. Following the presentation, guests can go on a twilight hike of the prairie (bring a flashlight!).
September 24: Prairie Photography: A Natural View, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Local photographer Shelley Olson will be available to give instruction on photographing prairie plants. Explore landscape, close-up, lighting techniques and camera equipment. Visitors are encouraged to bring a camera to take photographs and enjoy the beauty of one of Minnesota’s most unique prairies.