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Living History Farms

11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale, IA 50322
515 278 5286
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Ranked #1 of 5 Attractions in Urbandale
Type: Historic Sites, Ranch & Farm
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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.

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84 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2014

Extended family took us here, and we were rather unsure with two young kids how it would go. It was great fun for all of us, aged between 1 and 74. There are a variety of display areas, good food, and nice outdoor walking. Never boring, and a good night's sleep afterward. A word of caution if you have little... More

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Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
39 attraction reviews
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014

I would urge any parent out there to take their kids just once if nothing else. Where would we be if not for our history!? Take your walking shoes, bottle of water (if in the summer) and a good sense of history. Yes, it has it faults and is not perfect but then again who of us is perfect. They... More

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Urbandale, Iowa
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
40 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2014

Living History Farms provide a glimpse into the past highlighting three farms from different eras. The farms are operated as they would have been in the 1800 and 1900s. Children are provided hands on learning from farming with horses and they can even experience a one room school house. Their teachers often have them memorize a poem to be recited... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2014

Visiting Living History Farms is like traveling back in time. You really get a sense of what an 1870's town and farm was like. When you go, be sure and buy some Sarsaparilla and lemon drops. I can't wait to visit again.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Texas Gulf Coast, Texas
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2014

Went with a school tour and it was bad. Maybe just because it was tour but I'm not sure. I felt EXTREMELY rushed.

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Richmond, Texas
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

I wish I had allowed myself more time for our visit to the Living History Farm. We only had three hours and could easily have spent three more. The buildings here gave me a good feel for what life was like in small town Iowa back in the days when my Grandpa and Grandma were growing up there. I was... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
27 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

From the Native American Indian Village through several other homesteads and village, this was a great experience. Our family included hare 3-10, and they all found it fascinating. We actually visited twice in one month and learned something new each time! The kids had a great time. We lunched by the Flynn Mansion, and completed our day in the town.... More

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Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
12 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014 via mobile

I hadn't been here in 20 years or so, but I returned for another look. This time my wife was with me. She hadn't seen it before. It was pretty much as I remembered. There are 3 pioneer farms, each from a different time period in Iowa. From any of the farms, it's impossible to see the others. As you... More

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Owasso, Oklahoma
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
32 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

My nephew lives in Urbandale and this is a place where he brings the kids for a history lesson. While we feel it is geared for the young, everyone gets the experience of a farm life in different era's. Each area has different demonstrations to watch and some hands on events. The people in each area are dressed in period... More

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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

Very interesting how they have farms from different time periods. People dressed in the period are very informative and answer all questions. Our 11 year old was really interested and we all enjoyed.

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