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“Historic Dinner”

Living History Farms
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Living History Farms is located in the western suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa in Urbandale and is conveniently located right off Interstates 35/80. It is an interactive outdoor museum which educates, entertains and connects people of all ages to Midwestern rural life experiences. 300 years of agricultural history are represented including a 1700 Ioway Indian Farm, 1850 Pioneer Farm, 1900 Horse-Powered Farm and an 1875 town. Tours are self guided and historic interpreters are at each farm site are dressed in clothing from each era to explain what it would have been like to live in that time. The general touring season is May 1 through October 14th. Many special events and historic dinners take place in the off-season. Visit the website for details.
Reviewed 31 October 2017

I had a great time at the Triskaideka Dinner at the 1870s Tangen house. The night was all about Victorian superstitions (Triskaideka means 13), so it was the perfect Halloween activity. It was very atmospheric in the house lit by lamps and warmed by fires, with a program led by the historic interpreters in costume. We enjoyed the food - traditional hearty fare, like roast ham and vegetable sides with generous helpings of butter and cream. The group played a few parlor games (no charades, thank goodness - the interpreters said people today hate charades so they try to find something more fun!). We had free time to explore the house and ask questions between dinner and dessert.

The whole evening was really well-run. They've struck a good balance of activities, so you alternate spending time listening to the interpreters, actively playing games, taking tours, and chatting with other guests, all while being served food and drinks at regular intervals.

And just FYI, while they try to keep most of the house historically accurate, there's a nice, modern bathroom available inside (no 1870s outhouses!).

Thank Alison L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 182 reviews

Reviewed 3 October 2017 via mobile

Two grand parents and two grandchildren ages 11 and 8. A wonderful experience. The "shop owners" explanations and demonstrations were easily understood by the grandchildren.

Thank Larry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2017

This was like traveling back in time and so fun and informative. The Blacksmith was super informative and friendly.Really enjoyed listening to him explain what he does. All the other flks were wonderful too. Definitely worth the admission price. Dog friendly!!! Fantastic place.

Thank ladyme1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2017

I wasn't as thrilled with this attraction as my husband (the farmer at heart), but it was very interesting in terms of 19th century farming methods and living conditions, with a mid 1800 replica town, complete with costumed store owners, farmers, etc. to talk about period customs and practices. The newsprint office was my favorite. You also travel by foot to different plots where farming is actually being performed using the tools from various eras, from pre-1800s to mid 20th century. I think it's a wonderful educaitonal tool for school groups bringing children from the city who have no exposure to farming or where their food comes from, and also exposing them to living history from an earlier time.

Thank Terry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017 via mobile

Nice to learn about farming and farm life in the past. Neat "old time" town to browse around in. Be ready to walk.

1  Thank 664aprils
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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