Explore with Kids: Field Trip to Bonanzaville

Photo courtesy of Bonanzaville


“Why is it called Bonanzaville?”

My middle son asked this as we pulled into the parking lot. It was a great first question for our mini tour of the Museum and Village of Bonanzaville. Bonanzaville

Located in West Fargo, at Bonanzaville you can experience tours, special events, or just a day visit to 12 acres of land that contain 41 buildings and more than 400,00 artifacts.

Bonanzaville is open year-round and is a great opportunity to explore the history of the Fargo-Moorhead area. It provides insight into this region’s earliest settlers, how they lived, what they possessed, and the challenges they faced. 

Why is it called Bonanzaville?

It is based off of Red River Valley Bonanza Farming, which were large, commercial farming operations that grew many acres of wheat. This took place mainly between 1870 to the 1920s.Bonanzaville

While walking through the village you are able to experience how settlers lived. The kids enjoyed walking through the homes, the post office, old train cars, the saloon and hotel, courthouse, and school house, just to name a few of the buildings you can tour. All of those buildings are original structures.

A lot of the buildings and museums are very hands-on! You can step onto an actual steam locomotive, experience telecommunications from the 1940s in the telephone museum, close yourself into a jail cell, check out 20 aircrafts, and walk into the very first house that was in Fargo. 

Special Events at Bonanzaville

Bonanzaville also holds many fun events throughout the year. Pioneer Days each summer holds lots of demonstrations, kids activities, horse-drawn carriage rides, yummy food, and a parade!Bonanzaville

In the fall, they have Paranormal Investigations on weekends in October. And one thing my older kids really enjoyed was asking where all the haunted spots were within the village, and there are multiple spots that seem peculiar.

Also, they host a Trunk or Treat each Halloween! Families can also experience Christmas on the Prairie and a Forth of July parade.

If you are local, or visiting Fargo, this is a definite must to visit. Overall, Bonanzaville is fun, educational, interesting, and great for a family outing. There is lots to see and learn!

Looking to learn more about the history of our region? Check out our post Explore with Kids: Hjemkomst Center.
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Stephanie Drietz and her husband, Tom, have three boys and reside in Fargo, ND. When she is not busy chasing around three active boys, she is running her business from home, Drietz Designs , as a freelance graphic designer. Working with graphic design, she is able to produce marketing materials for a large variety of different businesses world-wide. She has been self-employed since 2011, when her first born was 6 months old. She has appreciated being able to experience the work-from-home-mom life. When she isn’t designing or learning how to raise 3 boys, she finds time to read, work-out and focus on her faith.


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