Located at 11121 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, IA 50322. Living History Farms is a 500-acre museum that offers visitors a glimpse into the past. With full-scale replicas of homes, farm buildings, and small town living structures, the farm brings the history of Midwestern agriculture to life. The farm also provides guests with educational programs, special events, and seasonal activities.
The museum features three working farm sites that offer visitors a taste of the agricultural life of Iowa's early pioneers. The first is the 1700 Ioway Indian Farm, which displays traditional farming methods used by Ioway Indians in the 1700s. The site also features demonstrations of traditional pottery and food preparation. Guests can sample blue corn and Omaha melons as well as traditional Ioway foods.
Another site is the Walnut Hill Town, which demonstrates the lifestyle of an early Iowa frontier town. The town features a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, a drugstore, and a general store. Visitors can also observe daily chores, such as milking cows and chopping wood. Visitors can also learn about heirloom crops and traditional tools.
Visitors can also learn about the lifestyle of an early Iowan through a third-person interpretation by guides, who dress in period clothing and perform daily routines as early Iowans did. The guides inform visitors of how men and women worked, provided for the family, and made their living.
Aside from the historical buildings and buildings that date from the 1700s, the farm also features an implement warehouse, a carpentry shop, and a general store. The site also features an 1876 frontier town called Walnut Hill. The town is also home to an 1889 homestead, which includes a granary, chicken coop, and outhouse. The house is surrounded by heirloom gardens, an apple orchard, and a wheat field.
Living History Farms is a privately-operated, not-for-profit organization. The farm is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. The farm offers free parking. Visitors can also attend day camps, special events, and pioneer weddings. The farm's goal is to educate people of all ages about Midwestern rural life. A portion of the proceeds from classes and events benefit the educational mission of the museum.
Visitors can also enjoy the Machine Shed Restaurant, which serves delicious food and supports local heart foundations. The restaurant also offers a 10% discount for museum members. The museum is also home to Hops and History, a beer and history lesson.
Living History Farms is open daily from May through October. The farm is located just north of the Hickman Road (US 6). Visitors can also access the site via Interstate Highway 80/35. The farm is about 10 miles northwest of downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Guests can also visit the museum on weekends and holidays. If you are planning a trip to the museum, please contact the museum for more information.
The American Alliance of Museums reviewed the living history farm and granted accreditation to the museum. The American Alliance of Museums called Living History Farms "a working agricultural museum" that is "not just dusty." The museum is also a steward of the public trust.