Midwest Wanderer Newsletter – June 1, 2022

Midwest Wanderer Newsletter – June 1, 2022

Welcome to the new Midwest Wanderer newsletter!

Life is getting back to normal! We’re experiencing far fewer mask mandates and cancelled events. Time to get back to exploring, and the Midwest Wanderer newsletter will guide you to some fun and interesting places to explore.

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Hollenberg Pony Express Station – One of the Few Remaining

Hollenberg Pony Express Station – One of the Few Remaining

The famed Pony Express served as a speedy mail delivery service, beginning in 1860. Mail could make it from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California in just 10 days, less than half the usual 25 days for stagecoach delivery. Riders rode horses at breakneck speeds along ten-mile stretches, changed horses at a Pony Express Station, and continued on. At every third station, a new rider would quickly take over. The Hollenberg Pony Express Station, located in Hanover, Kansas, is one of the few remaining Pony Express stations remaining on its original site, and you are invited to tour it.

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New Year’s Eve in the Midwest for $25 or Less

New Year’s Eve in the Midwest for $25 or Less

Due to Covid-19, many of the free or inexpensive outdoor New Year’s Eve celebrations have been cancelled. A few have come back, though, in 2021.  (Updated for New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2021.) Read more

Midwest Zoo Holiday Lights Events

Midwest Zoo Holiday Lights Events

Christmas festivals at zoos have become huge holiday attractions. In the Midwest alone, at least eighteen zoos celebrate with holiday lights, carols, animal shows, and even ice skating rinks. Brookfield Zoo, Chicago’s oldest holiday zoo event, is celebrating its 40th year in 2021. But the very first zoo holiday lights event in the nation was Indianapolis Zoo’s Christmas at the Zoo, which dates back to 1967!

Many other zoos have hopped aboard the holiday festival train over the years. Here are a few highlights of eighteen Midwest zoo holiday lights events for 2021, listed by state: Read more

Orphan Train Museum – History of Children Sent West

Orphan Train Museum – History of Children Sent West

From 1854 to 1929 about a quarter million orphaned or abandoned children, some as young as three years old, rode trains west from New York and other large cities to begin new lives. Put up for foster care in rural areas, some siblings never saw each other again. Today, the Orphan Train Museum in Concordia, Kansas, documents this little-known part of American history and relates heart-felt personal stories of orphan train riders. Read more

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Dorothy’s House and The Land of Oz

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Dorothy’s House and The Land of Oz

When insurance salesman Max Zimmerman attended a convention in California in 1978, he went to dinner with his name tag still on. His waitress told him she had never been to Kansas. Max asked what she might expect to see in the state. She replied, “Dorothy’s house,” referring to the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. So upon his return home to Liberal, Kansas, Max and the community worked to bring Dorothy’s house to Liberal. Today, the attraction includes both Dorothy’s House and The Land of Oz. Read more