Youth groups can explore sites dedicated to Abraham Lincoln’s 14 years in Indiana in Spencer County. Although Lincoln was born in Kentucky and established himself as a lawyer and politician in Illinois, he grew up in southern Indiana. Lincoln became Lincoln in Indiana.

Lincoln's Indiana boyhood
Spring Rendezvous at Lincoln Pioneer Village & Museum
Credit: Spencer County Visitors Bureau

Learn how Lincoln and his pioneer family lived more than 200 years ago at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Watch a film and view exhibits inside the visitor center, then stroll through the park to see Indiana’s largest flagpole and visit the gravesite of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Lincoln’s mother. Explore the Living Historical Farm, a re-created and working pioneer homestead reenacting the activities and lifestyle from Lincoln’s time in Indiana.

The 2,026-acre Lincoln State Park was established in 1932 as a memorial to Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Relax at Lake Lincoln beach, wander through the nature center, hike through the very woods young Abe walked as a boy and visit the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza.

At Lincoln Pioneer Village & Museum, youth groups can explore 13 Lincoln-era replica cabins from the area along with an artifact-filled museum featuring a hutch believed to have been made by Lincoln and his father.

Lincoln Indiana boyhood
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Visitors Center
Credit: Spencer County Visitors Bureau

“When Lincoln lived in this area with his family, he was the same age as those who travel with youth groups,” said Melissa Arnold, executive director of Spencer County Visitors Bureau. “We hope young visitors will leave with an appreciation for and understanding of how their lives compare to an adolescent Abe.”

Lincoln and more

Recreation activities at Lincoln State Park and the Living Historical Farm at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial are much enjoyed by youth groups and all ages, Arnold said.

Lincoln Indiana boyhood
Living Historical Farm at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
Credit: Spencer County Visitors Bureau

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, the combination amusement park and water park in Santa Claus, is another top draw in the area for youth groups. This year marks the park’s 75th season.

Arnold noted the Spencer County area is known for the sites commemorating Abraham Lincoln and the town of Santa Claus, but there is more to explore.

“The Saint Meinrad Archabbey is one of only two archabbeys in the U.S. and located about 10 minutes outside of Santa Claus,” she said. “And the Holiday Drive-In is one of few drive-in movie theaters left in the country. With six screens playing a double feature nightly, this classic attraction has been a family favorite for many years.”