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Living History Farms


2600 111th St
Urbandale, IA 50322

(515) 278-5286
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Living History Farms Link to their website for more info: We just went to Living History Farms this weekend, July 8, 2006. 1st and fore...


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Go back in time with Living History Farms (including hands-on activities) 7/11/2006

Living History Farms Link to their website for more info: We just went to Living History Farms this weekend, July 8, 2006. 1st and foremost, some suggestions for you before you head out to Living History Farms: A) Use sunscreen and bug spray B) DO NOT wear anything fancy or white, as it can be quite dusty when you are riding the tractor ride. C) If you want to walk on the trails, which are off of the main trail, wear jeans/pants. We wore shorts so we only stayed on the main one. D) Wear comfortable shoes, you will do ALOT of walking E) Take a camera and extra film and batteries F) Bring some water/something to drink, but carry only things that are light. Who went: My mom (57), my children (11, 8, 5) and myself (28). When you first get there, if you would like a mini (short) tour, they will provide it. Basically they show you a large scale map, and explain where everything is. They also offer you gloves w/their name on it that you can keep, and I HIGHLY suggest getting them as you will have opportunities for hands-on activities, and petting some animals. It was beyond Amazing! It is 500 acres. We started out visiting the farms. (You have the choice to either begin at the towns or the farms). At each farm there are workers/volunteers who will guide/show/demonstrate the lives of the people back in that time era. They are also dressed in appropriate attire. You begin at the 1700 Ioway Farm. This almost looks nomadic. Here you get an opportunity to scrape the fur off of a hide, which will then be used to put on to a teepee. They hide is quite big, so you won't really do it all but could if you wanted too. Next up is the 1850 Pioneer farm. There are 2 ox, and a herder that you can watch walk the ox. Inside a home, you get to watch some women sewing and cooking and sometimes spinning wool. If you go up the ladder to the attic/top you will also see how they smoke/dry meat. My kids got to drill holls using a handmade & hand propelled drill, which was then installed on a house they are building. They have pigs and chickens at this farm. There is an underground cellar you can go in, though none of us braved it. Then there is the 1900 Horse Farm. There are about 6 horses that you can watch and pet. I believe at times they use the horses to plow but they did not on the day we were there. There is a windmill that is powered by the wind that also pumps water. There is a corn bin you can go into. Some old tractors. Inside one of the houses is an old piano (it don't work though), an old cast-iron stove, and some really pretty antique furniture. We actually got to witness a bunch of the workers eating a meal outside, they even posed for a picture. The kids got to stand near a bicycle from this era. Now for the Town of Walnut Hill, 1875. So realistic. We watched one man use a machete type thing to 'mow'/cut the grass. He said it usually takes him 1-2 hours to do the entire yard. You can also go in and tour: Dentist office, doctor office, general store (you can actually buy things in there), Black Smith, Broom shop, printer, a bank, and a school. Or you can just sit at one of the benches and watch all of the people go about their lives in that era. In the town is a lunch shop (more modern day) that you can buy and eat your lunch at. They serve cold sandwiches, hot dogs/brats, pizza, nachos, ice cream, candy, and some potato salad (which I highly recommend). The price isn't too bad either. They have a rather large gift shop, where you can buy souvenirs and items the workers have made from each era. So if you ever have the chance to visit Living History Farms in Des Moines, Iowa, I HIGHLY recommend going. Expect to spend at least 2 hours if not the whole day. The time you spend there depends on how thorough you want to be at each area. more

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Great way to learn some history! 4/1/2006

This is a great way to spend the day, whether by yourself, with your spouse or your entire family, or friends. When you arrive you hop on a tractor that takes you out to the 1700 Ioway village to learn about the Ioway Indians during the 18th century. Complete with crafts, farming and housing. A short walk later and you arrive at the 1850 Pioneer farm. Check out the animals, the log cabin, or the barn. See staff milk cows, drive oxen, cook over an open fire, churn butter and much more. A short walk after that you're at the 1900 farmhouse. Where more activities are taking place. A stop at the corp center brings you up to date on farming through today. Then take the tractor back to the 1875 town where you can visit the local bank, schoolhouse, mansion, a middle class home, church, millenary, blacksmith and so much more. The staff and volunteers know their history and make it fun to enjoy. Don't forget to check out their special events throughout the year too, 4th of July, a Victorian funeral weekend, baseball classics, Christmas and Halloween! more

Unique museum in the Heartland 11/8/2005

What can I say, a must see for any local Iowan or a tourist! There is so much to see and do and it is so realistic. You can even book the town church and get married here if you like. I can remember coming here as a child and it was still as much fun 25 years later! There are three different farms, one for each century and you can really re-live an experience for that time period. There is also a futuristic area of what the future may bring for energy and agriculture...very educational and fun!!! They do theme from holidays, so check their website!! more

Living History farms....lots of fun and educational too! 9/8/2005

The first time I visited this farm was when I was in college. A friend wanted to check out the farm simply because she was going to go see the Pope when he was coming to visit and she wanted some idea of what the farms were like. While she checked out the area I checked out what it had to offer! I found and old time print shop which reeked with the smell of printers ink, a general store, barns, homesteads and history galore! There is so much to do in the immediate area that it is virtually impossible to list all and a shame to do is better experienced than read about! It is not uncommon for groups of schoolchildren to be here on any given day on field trips....all which seem to have their fair share of adults present who are enjoying the area as much as if not more than the children! So if ou are looking for a slice of the Midwest from years gone by....head on out to LIVING HISTORY FARMS and transport yourself to the age of horse and buggy and one room schools....I promise you will leave appreciating the rich history of Iowa anew! more

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Living History Farms 8/9/2005

There are several different farms to visit at this site. I enjoyed the Tangen House. You get to walk through this old farm house and learn about how life was and who this family was to this area. They offer horse drawn rides in a wagon around the area farms. Be sure to check out what events are going on. We got in on the Wells Fargo Stage Coach one year. more

Fun place to take city kids 7/29/2005

Living History Farms is an educational experience that every city kid should see. It takes you through what life was like for farmers throughout the ages, and how farming changed with new machinery and technology. There is a neat progressive tour that takes you through each period, and part of it is on a horse-drawn carriage. You also go through a mock pioneer town to see what that might have looked like. There is a church there that was built when the Pope came in the late 70s to Des Moines. Many weddings take place there. more

A touch of the olden days 7/22/2005

Living History Farms gives you and your familiy to experience what life was like back in the 1800s. It is an experience that will stay with you. The reenacters are super friendly and make you trip there very memorable. The farm has LOTS to explore, so be prepared to do some walking. Highly recommended more

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History farm and buildings 7/21/2005

There is an entry fee to get into this site. They offer horse drawn rides to view the different areas of the farm. The different farms to visit are: 1700 Iowa Indian Farm, 1850 Pioneer Farm, 1900 Farm (my favorite and the Percherons), 1875 town of Walnut Hill (with a druggist who has some strange things in bottles). Be prepared to spend a lot of time walking. This place is huge! Don’t forget to go through the Tangen House. Very neat house and the stories that go with it. more
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