CURRENT HOURS: AUG. 23-OCT. 20: Wed. - Sat. 9am - 4pm, Sun. Noon - 4pm

Adult & Family Education Programs

Adult Education group pose for photo opp on Tangen porchWant to know more about a something you saw at Living History Farms, interested in learning a new skill, or just want to have fun with friends or family? Then sign up for one of our Adult and Family Education programs!

You will work in small groups to learn more about a specific skill or trade that was common in the 19th century, from breadbaking to blacksmithing. And with a small class size, you are guaranteed lots of individualized instruction and plenty of opportunity to participate.

 

Family prepares food at 1900 farmRegistration Information

  • Member registration opens August 15 at 9am. Registration opens for the general public on August 22 at 9am. Registration closes at noon 1 week before the class date. If the minimum number of participants have not registered, the class will be cancelled.
  • Members receive an exclusive early registration period, and a 15% discount on class fees. Purchase or renew your membership now!
  • Contact us if you have questions about registration, content, or logistics of the classes at adminasst@lhf.org, or by telephone at 515-278-5286 ext. 110.
  • Please read the following program policies before registering for a class. Adult & Family Education Program Policies

 

Schedule of Adult Classes

These classes are for adults ages 18 and up.

Date


Time


Subject


Location


Tuesday, Sept. 12 5:00-7:00pm Harvest Time Broom Making Broom Shop
Thursday, Sept. 14 5:00-7:00pm Dairy Adventures 1900 Farm
Thursday, Sept. 21 5:30-8:30pm Basics of Cooking on a Wood-burning Stove Tangen Home
Tuesday, Sept. 26 5:30-8:30pm Fall Pies & Pastries Tangen Home
Tuesday, Oct. 3 5:30-8:30pm 19th Century Bread Baking Tangen Home
Thursday, Oct. 5 6:00-8:00pm NEW! Victorian Dinner Harvest Tablescaping Flynn Mansion
Tuesday, Oct. 10 5:30-8:30pm Comfort Foods Tangen Home
Thursday, Oct. 12 5:30-8:00pm Victorian Hat Trims – The Basics Millinery
Saturday, Oct. 28 9:00am-1:00pm Basics of Pioneer Hearth Cooking 1850 Pioneer Farm
Saturday, Nov. 4 9:00am-noon Blacksmithing Basics Blacksmith
Saturday, Nov. 4 1:00-4:00pm Blacksmithing: Females at the Forge Blacksmith
Saturday, Nov. 11 1:00-4:30pm Blacksmithing: Decorative Home Items Blacksmith
Thursday, Dec. 7 5:30-8:00pm NEW! Victorian Hat Trims – Holiday Edition Millinery
Tuesday, Dec. 19 5:30-8:30pm NEW! Christmas Cake & Victorian Trifles Tangen Home

Jump to the Adult Class Descriptions

 

Schedule of Family Classes

These classes are for pairs of adults and children (age 7-11) or pairs of adults and teens (age 12-17).

Date


Time


Subject


Location


Tuesday, Sept. 19 4:00-7:00pm Basic Woodstove Cooking with Kids Tangen Home
Thursday, Sept. 28 4:00-6:00pm Harvest Treats: Cooking and Baking with Kids 1900 Farm
Saturday, Nov. 4 9:00am-noon Holiday Card Letter Press Printing with Teens Print Shop
Saturday, Nov. 11 9:00am-noon Basic Blacksmithing with Teens Blacksmith
Saturday, Nov. 11 1:00-4:00pm NEW! Victorian Family Parlor Games: Parents & Teens Flynn Mansion
Thursday, Nov. 16 5:30-7:30pm Scents of the Season: The 19th Century Drug Store with Kids Drug Store
Saturday, Dec. 16 1:00-3:00pm Cookie Baking with Kids on a Woodstove Tangen Home

Jump to the Family Class Descriptions


 

Adult Class Descriptions

broom made using 1875 equipmentHarvest Time Broom Making

Celebrate the fall season with new sweeping harvest decor! Use 19th century broommaking equipment to craft a variety of attractive and useful corn brooms! Make a cake tester that can be used to test those fall baking projects or decorated as a fall centerpiece. Bind a short handled besom broom—suitable for decoration, small witches, or fireplace hearths! (retail value of brooms more than $25.00). All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class. Dress for a work environment.

  • Tuesday, September 12 from 5:00-7:00pm
  • Broom Shop (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $50.00

Register for Harvest Time Broom Making

 

LHF staff member demonstrates butter churning on 1900 farmhouse porchDairy Adventures

Got Milk…or butter or cream? Explore where your dairy comes from! Meet the 1900 Farm milk cow, as you participate in evening chores. Learn how to churn and wash your own butter, then mix up a fresh batch of buttermilk biscuits to taste it. Make whipped cream without a power mixer, and explore other uses of milk and cream on the farm! Dress for being on the farm, the weather, and for cooking. Part of the class will be outside while you tour the farm. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class.

  • Thursday, September 14 from 5:00-7:00pm
  • 1900 Farm (Check in at Conference Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $50.00

Register for Dairy Adventures

 

participant uses wood-burning stoveBasics of Cooking on a Wood-burning Stove

Do you have a wood burning stove at home that you’d like to cook on, but have no prior knowledge of how to do it? Do you just want to try cooking like your great-grandparents? Roll up your sleeves and make beef stew, a vegetable side dish, bread, and a cake. Participants will learn the design of the woodstove and how to properly use it. After the meal is prepared, sit down to enjoy the food and ask last minute questions. Make sure to bring containers in which to take home leftover goodies! All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class. You will get recipes to take home and try. Bring an apron and a water bottle.

  • Thursday, September 21 from 5:30-8:30pm
  • Tangen Home (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $60.00

Register for Basics of Cooking on a Wood-burning Stove

 

piePies and Pastries

Nothing smells better than fresh baked pies and pastries coming from the oven! Using recipes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, make pies and pastries by hand, and bake them in the wood-fired oven at the 1875-era farmhouse at Living History Farms. As you work, learn how to adapt a historic recipe for use in today’s kitchens. At the end of class, sit down to enjoy the creations you made. Bring an apron and an appetite! And don’t forget to bring containers to take home your creation. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class.

  • Tuesday, September 26 from 5:00-7:30pm
  • Tangen Home (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $60.00

Register for Pies & Pastries

 

participant braiding dough19th Century Bread Baking

Do you need a refresher course on making bread from scratch? Would you like to try baking in a wood burning stove? If so, try your hand at biscuits, yeast bread and cinnamon rolls in a 1875-era farm kitchen while learning the history of bread making. Afterwards, sit around the table and enjoy your creations. Make sure to bring containers in which to take home leftover food. Recipes and all costs of materials are included in the cost of the class. Bring an apron and a water bottle.

  • Tuesday, October 3 from 5:30-8:30pm
  • Tangen Home (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $60.00

Register for 19th Century Bread Baking

 

table setting in Flynn MansionNEW CLASS! Victorian Dinner Harvest Tablescaping

What is tablescaping? It’s setting your table for a fancy feast! Visit the Flynn Mansion at Living History Farms for a peek at elegant Victorian dining traditions and learn painless ways to incorporate simple elegancies on your own table. Activities will include setting the table with a mix of cutlery, layering dishes for best effects, artistically folding napkins, creating pretty place cards and using fall leaves and fruit for a historic center table piece setting.

  • Thursday, October 5 from 6:00-8:00pm
  • Flynn Mansion (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 4, Maximum 8; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $50.00

Register for Victorian Dinner Harvest Tablescaping

 

participant stirring ingredientsClassic Comfort Foods

Join Living History Farm staff for some “stick to your ribs” comfort food and a cup of fresh coffee. Students will learn the art of making homemade noodles and other quick comfort items at the Victorian Tangen Home. Student creations will be cooked or baked on a wood stove in the 1875 period kitchen. At the end, everyone will sit down to a late supper of their culinary projects. Recipes will be provided.  Bring an apron and a water bottle, as well as containers to take home any leftovers. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class.

  • Tuesday, October 10 from 5:30-8:30pm
  • Tangen Home (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $60.00

Register for Classic Comfort Foods

 

hat trims on display in the millineryVictorian Hat Trims – The Basics

Hat makers in the 19th and 20th century created flowers, cockades and other trims in their shops for adorning fancy hats and clothing.  Join LHF staff milliners for an evening of trims! Participants will have a chance to explore the millinery shop at LHF and then sit down to make several trim pieces out of ribbon, buttons, scrap fabric and beads to take home. Your finished trims can be used to make brooches or applied to clothing or hats at home. Students should have basic hand sewing skills and should bring a pair of sewing scissors and a thimble.

  • Thursday, October 12 from 5:30-7:30pm
  • Millinery (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 4, Maximum 8; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $50.00

Register for Victorian Hat Trims: The Basics

 

cast iron pot over an open hearth fireBasics of Pioneer Hearth Cooking

Learn the basics of hearth cooking, while exploring how new settlers in Iowa produced, prepared, and preserved food. Participants will use 1850s era recipes to make their lunch. While your meal is cooking, tour the 1850 Pioneer Farm. After eating and cleaning up, everyone will go home with copies of recipes, and information on how to care for their cast iron cooking utensils. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class. Dress for being on a farm, and for cooking! Part of the class will be outside while you tour the farm. Bring an apron and a water bottle. Note: You will be eating your meal around 12:30pm, so please plan accordingly.

  • Saturday, October 28 from 9:00am-1:00pm
  • 1850 Pioneer Farm (Check in at Conference Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $90.00

Register for Basics of Pioneer Hearth Cooking

 

participant attends to the fire in blacksmith shopBlacksmithing Basics

The class is designed to give someone with little or no metal working skills as a hands-on, fun “be a blacksmith for a day” experience. Explore the basics of forge work in a blacksmith shop while making a decorative iron project to take home. Topics will include safety, tools and equipment, and beginning techniques for shaping metal. Small class size guarantees lots of one-on-one instruction and lots of time at the forge! Dress for working in a shop with a dirt floor, and for the weather (shop is heated by a wood-burning stove only!). Bring eye protection and a water bottle. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class.

  • Saturday, November 4 from 9:00am-Noon
  • Blacksmith (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $60.00

Register for Blacksmithing Basics

 

fire and tools in blacksmith shopBlacksmithing: Females at the Forge

Never been in a blacksmith shop? No problem! As you learn you will be making decorative items for use in your home. Explore the basic techniques and tools used to do blacksmithing. Topics will include safety, tools and equipment, and beginning techniques for working with metal around a forge. Small class size guarantees lots of one-on-one instruction and lots of time at the forge! Dress for working in a shop with a dirt floor, and for the weather (shop is heated by a wood-burning stove only!). Bring eye protection and a water bottle. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class.

  • Saturday, November 4 from 1:00-4:00pm
  • Blacksmith (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $60.00

Register for Blacksmithing: Females at the Forge

 

participants work on projects in the blacksmith shopBlacksmithing: Items for the Home

Students will have the opportunity to make at least 2 of the following decorative projects for the home: candleholders, napkin rings, hooks, decorative metal paper towel holder, a letter opener, or suggest a project when you register. As a special treat, you can learn how to make leaves out of metal! It is helpful if you have already taken a blacksmithing basics course. Small class size guarantees lots of one-on-one instruction and lots of time at the forge! Dress for working in a shop with a dirt floor, and for the weather (shop is heated by a wood-burning stove only!). Bring eye protection and a water bottle. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class.

  • Saturday, November 11 from 1:00-4:30pm
  • Blacksmith (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $75.00

Register for Blacksmithing: Items for the Home

 

fur-trimmed hatNEW CLASS! Victorian Hat Trims – Holiday Edition

Winter hats need winter trims! Explore the velvet bows, fur what-nots and shiny ribbons used in creating flowers, cockades and other trims for fancy hats and clothing! Join LHF staff milliners for an evening of winter and holiday trims. Participants will have a chance to explore the millinery shop at LHF and then sit down to make several trim pieces out of ribbon, buttons, scrap fabric and beads to take home. Your finished trims can be used to make brooches, package decorations or applied to clothing or hats at home. Students should have basic hand sewing skills and should bring a pair of sewing scissors and a thimble.

  • Thursday, December 7 from 5:30-8:00pm
  • Millinery (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 4, Maximum 8; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $50.00

Register for Victorian Hat Trims – Holiday Edition

 

ingredients for baking a cakeNEW CLASS! Christmas Cake and Victorian Trifles

Join Living History Farms staff for a sweet look at Victorian treats. Bake a gingerbread cake “from scratch” and make a fruit cake actually worth eating! Consider a fruit or icing topping. Mix up a pudding and a heavenly whipped cream. Then build a Victorian Trifle in a Parfait glass to take home! Holiday cakes and preserved fruits abound! Bring containers to take home your goodies! All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class.

  • Tuesday, December 19 from 5:30-8:30pm
  • Tangen Home (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3, Maximum 5; Ages 18 and up
  • Fee: $60.00

Register for Christmas Cake and Victorian Trifles

 


 

Family Class Descriptions

participant stirs pot on wood-burning stoveBasic Woodstove Cooking with Kids

Explore the Victorian kitchen with your child, while instilling a love of cooking in your kids! Learn how to read a recipe, measure and mix ingredients, and roll out dough the old-fashioned way. This basic woodstove cooking class is designed to get kids and parents/grand-parents busy in the kitchen together! Prepare a kid-friendly chicken dish, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and a sweet treat for dessert – all from scratch! Then sit down and enjoy your creations. Bring containers to take home any leftovers. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class. And, yes, you will get recipes to take home and try! Bring aprons and a water bottle. Note: You will be eating around 6:30pm, so please plan accordingly.

  • Tuesday, September 19 from 4:00-7:00pm
  • Tangen Home (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3 pairs, Maximum 5 pairs; children must be between ages 7 and 11.
  • Fee: $50.00/pair. A pair is defined as one adult and one child (age 7-11).

Register for Basic Woodstove Cooking with Kids

 

participant and instructor add ingredients to bowlHarvest Treats: Cooking and Baking with Kids

Celebrate the fall harvest! Peel some apples and mash a pumpkin. Simmer, season, and stir up some homemade fruit butter. Sip apple cider and taste baked pumpkin treats. Enjoy eating the “fruits” of your labor and take home a booklet of fall-related recipes and facts. Don’t forget to bring containers to take home any leftover food. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class. Bring an apron and water bottles. Participants will taste their baked goods, but won’t be eating “supper” at class, please plan accordingly.

  • Thursday, September 28 from 4:00-6:00pm
  • 1900 Farm (Check in at Conference Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 4 pairs, Maximum 5 pairs; children must be between ages 7 and 11.
  • Fee: $50.00/pair. A pair is defined as one adult and one child (age 7-11).

Register for Harvest Treats: Cooking and Baking with Kids

 

girls choose type for their projects in the print shopHoliday Card Letter Press Printing with Teens

Get up close and hands on with the big printing machinery in the 1875 Advocate Newspaper Print Shop at Living History Farms! Choose from several historic designs and then print a set of holiday cards. Hand set your own personal greeting for inside. Projects will be created using historic moveable type and printed on 19th century hand-powered proof and jobbing presses. All materials are included in the price of the class. Dress for an inky, artistic environment and prepare to get your hands dirty! Bring a water bottle.

  • Saturday, November 4 from 9:00am-Noon
  • Print Shop (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 4 pairs, Maximum 5 pairs; teens must be between ages 12 and 17.
  • Fee: $40.00/pair. A pair is defined as one adult and one teen (age 12-17).

Register for Holiday Card Letter Press Printing with Teens

 

teen and LHF staff member work in blacksmith shopBasic Blacksmithing with Teens

This class will allow a parent/grandparent to work with a teen as they learn historic blacksmithing techniques in a historic setting. Everyone will get to make several small, hands-on projects, such as small dinner triangles, hooks, and so on, while learning about proper safety in a workshop environment. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class. Dress for working in a shop with a dirt floor, and for the weather (shop is heated by a wood-burning stove only). Bring eye protection and a water bottle.

  • Saturday, November 11 from 9:00am-Noon
  • Blacksmith (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3 pairs, Maximum 4 pairs; teens must be between ages 12 and 17.
  • Fee: $50.00/pair. A pair is defined as one adult and one teen (age 12-17).

Register for Basic Blacksmithing with Teens

 

LHF instructor explains parlor game rules to participantsNEW CLASS! Victorian Family Parlor Games: Parents & Teens

Victorian Games for Fun and Amusement: or how to entertain your family when the power goes out! Is company coming? How do you entertain a room full of people without the benefit of video games or an iPad? Explore the 19th century games that kept adults and children laughing and amused on a rainy afternoon or after a holiday dinner. Guests will play “serious” games, movement games, and guessing games in the Victorian parlor, suitable for adults and children. They will also learn a Victorian card game, try out Victorian puzzles, and explore some early board games. Take home a booklet with game rules along with a Victorian game. You’ll enjoy a party snack and punch, and take home the recipe too.

  • Saturday, November 11 from 1:00-4:00pm
  • Flynn Mansion (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 4 pairs, Maximum 6 pairs; teens must be between ages 12 and 17.
  • Fee: $45.00/pair. A pair is defined as one adult and one teen (age 12-17).

Register for Victorian Family Parlor Games: Parents & Teens

 

child enjoying activities in the drug storeScents of the Season: The 19th Century Drug Store with Kids

Explore potions and perfumery as you spend time at the 1875 Drug Store at Living History Farms! Discover the scents, oils and spices used to make the fall and winter special in the 19th century. Create a pomander for the holiday kitchen. Mix your own baking extract. Need a last minute gift for that special someone? Mix a scented bath salt and compound a period cologne! Students will experience the sights and smells of the Victorian pharmacy with several make-and-take items as a reward! Bring a water bottle.

  • Saturday, November 16 from 5:30-7:30pm
  • Drug Store (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 4 pairs, Maximum 6 pairs; children must be between ages 7 and 11.
  • Fee: $40.00/pair. A pair is defined as one adult and one child (age 7-11).

Register for Scents of the Season: The 19th Century Drug Store with Kids

 

child rolls out dough for cookies in Tangen kitchenCookie Baking with Kids on a Woodstove

What is better than the smell of fresh cookies from the oven? Making them with your child! In this class, parent and child will work together to make a variety of cookies using recipes from the 19th century. After mixing up the cookie dough, bake them in a wood-burning oven. When they have come from the oven, everyone gets to taste how good they are. All costs of materials are included in the cost of the class. And, yes, you will get recipes to take home and try! Bring an apron and a water bottle.

  • Saturday, December 16 from 1:00-3:00pm
  • Tangen Home (Check in at Visitor Center)
  • Number of Participants: Minimum 3 pairs, Maximum 5 pairs; children must be between ages 7 and 11.
  • Fee: $45.00/pair. A pair is defined as one adult and one child (age 7-11).

Register for Cookie Baking with Kids on a Woodstove