Living History Farm – Urbandale, Iowa

 living_history_farm.jpg   Living History Farm – Urbandale, Iowa

In the Urbandale section of Iowa’s capital city, a 600-acre open-air agricultural and historical museum has been developed. Its mission is to tell the story of Midwest agriculture over the past three hundred years, to help preserve pioneer farming skills, and to present aspects of Iowa’s history.

As visitors travel from section to section, they can stop and see a 1700 Ioway Indian village, an 1850 working pioneer farm, an 1875 frontier town called Walnut Hill, a horse-powered 1900 farm, and a modern crop center named in honor of Henry A Wallace, a Secretary of Agriculture in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.

On-site interpreters both explain and demonstrate various aspects of the history depicted. Daily visitors can watch twelve different activities taking place. (The last farm tour starts two hours before the closing.)

They have three different “at your own pace” tours to fit your schedule. The Town and Farm Tour is the complete tour which includes all of the town, the exhibit center, and the three farm sites. The complete tour lasts 3 or more hours. The Step Saver Tour is 2 to 3 hours and eliminates the walk from the 1700 Indian Farm to the 1850 Pioneer Farm. The Town Only Tour takes 2 hours or less.

The frontier town has the following in it: general store, schoolhouse, Victorian mansion, doctor’s office, bank, law office, drugstore, and implement warehouse. It also includes these shops: pottery, millinery, blacksmith, dressmaker, and carpentry.

Special events take place all during the year including different types of classes, demonstrations, displays, and holiday activities. There are certain facilities that can be rented: Victorian church, picnic shelter with stage, and a conference center.

Admission – $12.00 for adults, $11.00 for adults over 60, $7.00 for children ages 4-12

Address: 2600 111th St, Urbandale, IA 50322

Directions – take exit 125 off of Interstate I-35 and go a little ways on Hickman Road or U. S. Highway 6 to N.W. 111th Street

2011 Hours:
Open Daily: April 30-August 21
Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
Sunday, noon-5pm

August 24-October 15
Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
Sunday, noon-5pm

The last tractor-cart to the farm sites leaves at 3 pm each day. Ticket sales and admission to Living History
Farms ends at 4 pm each day.

 Phone – (515) 278-5286 or (515) 278-2400


  1. Jeri Podliska @ Allied Tour and Travel says:

    Is it possible to obtain a photo from you of the Flynn Mansion in Urbandale? We have a Christmas tour scheduled there this year and as I’m making up the brochure to promote this tour I am not able to find a suitable picture. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Jeri Podliska
    Allied Tour and Travel
    Norfolk, NE 68701
    (402) 371-3840

  2. Hi Jeri,
    I have forwarded your request to the Living History Farm public relations office and asked them to please assist you.

    We are delighted that you are going to be visiting Iowa, it’s a fabulous state that will make you welcome.
    Pat Watson

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