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Living History Farms

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Address: 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale, IA 50322
Phone Number: 515 278 5286
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Description: Living History Farms is located in the western suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa...
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.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 66
    Excellent
  • 27
    Very good
  • 9
    Average
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Really, really interesting

Our visit was great - really enjoyed the town. The impersonators really explained their business - we really learned a lot about commerce back then. The farms were interesting... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 24, 2015
ChuckBrooks
,
Alamogordo, New Mexico
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104 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Level Contributor
339 reviews
169 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2015

Our visit was great - really enjoyed the town. The impersonators really explained their business - we really learned a lot about commerce back then. The farms were interesting but not as much as the town. The only knock is that lunch selections were very limited. You need at least 3-4 hours to see everything.

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Johnston, Iowa
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2015

I took the kids here for the first time this summer. They spent the rest of the summer asking to go back. It's A LOT of walking, which we all enjoyed but something to be aware of. They got to see how the newspaper used to be printed and how the pharmacist made medicine, how brooms were made, and so... More 

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Wisconsin
Level Contributor
39 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2015

We stayed at the Sleep Inn next to the Farm . We spent 6 hours enjoying all of the attractions from the 3 pioneer Farms the other side of the interstate accessed by A wagon ride [ most all areas handy cap accessible ] and the town of Walnut Hill withe 24 buildings to check out some withe themed interpreters... More 

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Edward
Level Contributor
79 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2015

We really enjoyed our visit. We started with the tractor ride to the 3 sample farms. Our favorite was the 1850s farm. Then back to town to see an awesome old pharmacy, school house, bank and doctor's office.

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Dixon, Illinois
Level Contributor
69 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2015

I thought that Living History Farms would be primarily devoted to farming, but I was WAY wrong. This really is an exceptional depiction of how non-urban life progressed in the Midwest (not just Iowa) from 1700 to 1900. You can read about life in earlier eras in a book, but Living History Farms takes you back in time ... to... More 

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Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

It was a lot of walking, but informational. The kids did learn some and get to interact. It took you back in time and you learned about how things were years ago. The tractor rides were fun.

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Carnation, Washington
Level Contributor
165 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2015

A great way to learn about life on the great plains in multiple different time periods! Fun to explore life-like depictions of how people lived throughout the 17, 18 & 1900s. My family always enjoys this experience and we try to visit the Farms every time we're in Des Moines!

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West Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

this is a great place to check out with your spouse or your kids. it is a working old fashioned farm. you can easily spend a pleasant 1/2 day here as an activity in the des moines area. i've been here with all 6 of my kids on their field trips. it also has a summer camp that sells out... More 

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Monterey, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
44 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

I was visiting family in the area and decided to spend an afternoon with my two kids, ages 8 and 10, at Living History Farms. I have been to many historic re-enactment museums -- namely Sturbridge Village and Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, among others -- so I had some ideas for what to expect when going here. My expectations were... More 

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Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2015

Used to visit LHF every summer as a child (30 years ago). I brought my family (8 & 9 year old) to visit this return trip to Iowa and it was as great as I remembered. The farms and farmers were wonderful and the town great. I liked the new visitors center. It's a good deal of walking and it... More 

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