Living History Farms
Step back in time by visiting Living History Farms. You can visit a 1700 Ioway Indians Farm, 1850 Pioneer Farm, 1875 Town of Walnut Hill, and a 1900 Horse-Powered Farm. It's educational. It's fun. It's well worth a visit.
Visitors are also encouraged to get their hands dirty and help out with the chores (you can groom the work horses, make ice cream or help dig a grave for the Victorian-era funeral) and such if they so desire.
Living History Farms specializes in what the textbooks can’t teach. Historical interpreters greet visitors at three working farm sites and a recreated frontier town to show what daily life was like in early Iowa.
During the cold winter months (Nov 1-March 15), you can warm up to the wood-burning stove and enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal in your choice of the 1900 Farm kitchen of the 1875 Tangen House dining room. The interpreters are prepared to treat you to period-authentic food in 2 historic atmospheres. You must make reservations for the Historic Dinners.
Living History Farms is open from May 1 to the 3rd Sunday in October.
Children (4-12): $6
Senior Citizen (60+): $9
Living History Farms, Des Moines
In DesMoines visit Living History Farms (in Urbandale)and the governor's mansion, Victorian Terrace Hill.
At the Farms there are actually three working farms where you see crops and livestock. There is the Farm of 1700, the Farm of 1850 and the Farm of 1900.
My Grandpa's Iowa
We had so much fun at Living History farms. We really enjoy history anyway, but the town of Walnut Hill immersed us in another time. We especially enjoyed the two homes that we toured. We loved how the character actors were actually cooking bacon on the woodfire stove and playing parlor games in the parlor. We spent an extra long time at the Flynn house asking questions and walking around. We had a great time and spent a few hours there. I'm sure every day is different. We came on a day where nothing "special" was going on, but I would love to attend the weekend wedding, funeral, or the like.
Come Hungry, Leave Happy
After a full day of sightseeing at Living History Farms, located next door, you can refuel at the Machine Shed restaurant. Warning: Come hungry.
The decor of the Machine Shed is old-style, farm decor. Servers are dressed in overalls. On the table is a wooden basket with your condiments as well as a pitcher of water to wet your whistle.
So far, there are 7 Machine Sheds, with the very first one springing up outside Davenport, Iowa. I try to order something different each time I dine at a Machine Shed (which isn't very often, unfortunately). We ordered the Country Fair Onion Rings ($4.99), which was nearly a meal in itself. I ordered the Old-Fashioned Pot Roast "just like mom used to make" ($8.49). Could not finish it all. With a meal, you get family-style portions of cole slaw and cottage cheese. Between the four of us, we couldn't finish everything. There is a lot of food available.
Have never been able to order dessert, but it sounds tempting: a thick slice of homemade pie (Apple, cherry, blueberry, peach, red raspberry, pecan, lemon, chocolate cream, coconut cream, banana cream) for $2.99; a heaping scoop of vanilla, chocolate or cinnamon ice cream for $1.99; hot fudge brownie sundae for $3.49; and a chocolate chip cookie sundae $3.49, to name a few.
Living Back In The Day
If you are in to life in the time of like the 1700 to the 1900's ,, Then Living History Farms is a good place. I found it very entertaining.
Almost every building has someone to explain the ways back then. A plus for me was, You can go at your own pace and enjoy every little detail of each building.
They have many event that go on there also.