CURRENT HOURS: Tuesday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–4p.m.

Historic Skills Classes

*All spring 2022 classes have sold out or have closed. Fall 2022 classes to be announced.

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Want to know more about something you saw at Living History Farms, interested in learning a new skill, or just want to have fun with friends and family?

Historic Sampler   |   Historic Food Skills   |   Historic Folk Skills   |   Learn Together

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

 

 


Need to Know

  • Read our Historic Skills Classes policy here.
  • Read our cancellation and refund policies here.
  • Only registered participants will be allowed in the class.
  • Most classes are for ages 18 and up.
  • Fees vary by class (see below) and must be paid in full at time of purchase.
  • Class fees are all-inclusive, meaning there is no additional cost for materials.
  • Members receive a 15% discount on fees. Purchase or renew your membership here.

 

Fee per person:Members:
90-minute classes: $40 per person (non-member)15% discount & early registration 
120-minute classes: $50 per person (non-member) 15% discount & early registration
180-minute/3-hour classes* $65 per person (non-member)15% discount & early registration
Learning Together classes: $35 per person15% discount & early registration

*Classes longer than 3 hours specify pricing in descriptions


March & April 2022 Schedule of Classes

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Historic Sampler Classes

Saturday, April 29:3011 a.m.Doughnuts & CoffeeTangen House

 

Doughnuts & Coffee (90 min.)

Saturday, April 2 @ Tangen House (Check in at Visitor Center) 

Victorians loved doughnuts, and apple-cider doughnuts are one of our favorites. Mix and fry a doughnut to munch with hot coffee. 

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Historic Food Skills Classes

Sunday, March 612:30–3:30 p.m.Cakes & Pies in a Wood-fired OvenTangen House
Sunday,  March 2012:30–3:30 p.m.Cooking with Sourdough starterTangen House
Saturday, April 2 12:30–3:30 p.m.Victorian Dinner Side DishesTangen House
Saturday, April 239 a.m.–1 p.m.Basics of Open-Hearth Cooking1850 Farm
Sunday, April 24 12:30–3:30 p.m.Tastes of the IowayConference Center 

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Cakes & Pies in a Wood-fired Oven (3 hrs.)

Sunday, March 6 @ Tangen House (check in at Visitor Center)

18 and older 

Have your cake and eat pie too! Learn where pound cake got its name and discover why 19th-century cakes were heavier than modern mixes. Make pie crust and mix up a delectable fruit pie. Bake your creations in a wood-burning oven, then enjoy the sweet fruits of your labor as you discuss adapting historic recipes.

Please bring: Apron, water bottle, and containers or baggies in case there are leftovers.

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Cooking with Sourdough Starter (3 hrs.)

Sunday, March 20 @ Tangen House (check in at Visitor Center)

18 and older

Discover the history of sourdough and the uses for this interesting leavening. Try different historic preparations using sourdough starter as a base, including pancakes and breads. All recipes will be cooked in our 1870s wood-burning stove.

Please bring: Apron, water bottle, and containers or baggies in case there are leftovers.

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Victorian Dinner Side Dishes (3 hrs.)

Saturday, April 2 @ Tangen House (check in at Visitor Center)

18 and older

Join the Living History Farms Historic Dinners staff for a tour through historic cookbooks in search of new side dishes for your dinner table. Participants will prepare historic vegetable and non-vegetable side dishes from 19th-century recipes on a wood-burning stove, such as baked macaroni and cheese and stewed red cabbage and carrots—the German way. Enjoy tasting what you made, and leave with recipes and new ideas.

Please bring: Apron, water bottle, and containers or baggies in case there are leftovers.

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Basics of Open-Hearth Cooking (3 hrs.)

Saturday, April 23 @ 1850 Pioneer Farm (check in at Murray Conference Center on Douglas Ave.)

18 and older

Learn the basics of hearth cooking, while exploring how 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 your meal and cleaning up, you will go home with copies of recipes, and information to care for cast iron cooking utensils. Dress for a farm, for cooking, and for the weather. Note: You will eat your meal around 12:30.

Please bring: Apron, water bottle, and containers or baggies in case there are leftovers.

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Tastes of the Ioway (3 hrs)

Sunday, April 24 @ Murray Conference Center (on Douglas Ave.)

16 and older

Early native Iowans made use of natural food resources, as well as beginning Iowa’s agricultural traditions. LHF staff will introduce the Ioway culture and talk about the resources available to them before and after European contact. Discover the tastes of the early Native American Ioway nation. Participants will help to prepare traditional recipes and then sit down to taste different dishes. 

Please bring: Apron, water bottle, and containers or baggies in case there are leftovers.

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Historic Folk Skills Classes

Saturday, March 12  9-noon, 1–4 p.m.Blacksmithing BasicsBlacksmith Shop
Saturday, March 191–4:30 p.m.Blacksmithing: Items for the HomeBlacksmith Shop
Saturday, March 269-noon, 1–4 p.m.Blacksmithing BasicsBlacksmith Shop
Saturday, April 2Noon4 p.m.Blacksmithing: Camp TripodsBlacksmith Shop
Saturday, April 239 a.m.–1 p.m.Basics of Horse Driving1900 Farm

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Blacksmithing Basics (3 hrs.)

Saturday, March 12, or Saturday, March 26 @ the Blacksmith Shop (check in at Visitor Center)

18 and older

The class is designed to give someone with little or no metalworking skills a hands-on, fun “be a blacksmith for a day” experience. Explore the basics of forge work while making a decorative iron project to take home. Topics will include safety, tools, equipment, and beginning techniques for shaping metal. Dress for working in a shop with a dirt floor, and for the weather (shop is heated by a wood burning stove only).

Please bring: Heavy work gloves, eye protection, and a water bottle.

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Blacksmithing: Items for the Home (3.5 hrs.—$75)

Saturday, March 19 @ the Blacksmith Shop (check in at Visitor Center) 

18 and older

Previous Blacksmithing Basics course is helpful. 

Students will have the opportunity to make at least two of the following decorative projects for the home: Candleholders, napkin rings, hooks, decorative metal paper towel holder, letter opener. You may also suggest a project when you register. Dress for working in a shop with a dirt floor, and for the weather (shop is heated by a wood burning stove only).

Please bring: Heavy work gloves, eye protection, and a water bottle.

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Blacksmithing: Camp Tripods (4 hrs.—$90)

Saturday, April 2 @ the Blacksmith Shop (check in at Visitor Center)

18 and older

Students will get a good workout as they learn historic blacksmithing techniques. Participants will forge a large camp tripod that doubles as a rotisserie or decorative outdoor plant hanger (retail value over $50). The finished project will stand between 5 and 6 feet tall, and is based on a Civil War era design, great for those who camp or do re-enacting. Students will learn these blacksmithing skills: drawing out metal, making eye bolts, and advanced forging. Dress for working in a shop with a dirt floor, and for the weather (shop is heated by a wood burning stove only).

Please bring: Heavy work gloves, eye protection, and a water bottle.

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Basics of Horse Driving (4 hrs.—$90)

Saturday, April 23 @ 1900 Farm (meet at Murray Conference Center on Douglas Ave.)

18 and older

Learn the basic commands for driving a team of draft horses or mules. Go through the process of harnessing and grooming and practice the basic commands by doing some ground driving, and then by driving a wagon. Dress for the weather and for being on a farm around animals. Class will be held rain or shine. Participants will receive handouts about the basic care of horses and basic driving techniques.

Please bring: Heavy work gloves and a water bottle.

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Learn Together Classes

  • Suitable for older children and/or teens with an adult.  
  • Age requirements, class length, and fees vary by class.
  • Any registrant under 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

 

Sunday, March 1312:303:30 p.m.Wood Stove Cooking with KidsTangen House
Sunday, April 312:303:30 p.m.Victorian Tea with TeensTangen House

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Wood Stove Cooking with Kids (3 hrs.)

Sunday, March 13 @ Tangen House (check in at Visitor Center) 

Kids must be between ages 7 and 12, and accompanied by a paying adult. 

Explore the Victorian kitchen, while instilling a love of cooking in your children. Learn to decipher a period recipe, measure and mix ingredients, and roll out dough the old-fashioned away. This basic woodstove cooking class is designed to get children and parents/grandparents busy in the kitchen together. Prepare a hearty main dish, vegetable side, quick bread, and sweet treat for dessert. Then sit down and enjoy your creations. Note:  You will be eating around 2:45/3 p.m.

Please bring: Apron, water bottle, & containers or baggies to take home any leftovers.

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Victorian Tea with Teens (3 hrs.)

Sunday, April 3 @ Tangen House (check in at Visitor Center) 

Kids must be between ages 12 and 16 and be accompanied by a paying adult. 

Nothing is as cozy as teatime with a friend. Begin in the kitchen assembling tasty tea sandwiches. Whip cream by hand and bake sweet biscuits for a berry shortcake.  Move into the dining room and discover how to set up a relaxed tea table with Victorian touches. Learn to “pour out” for your friends and other tea etiquette rules. End the day by brewing a fresh pot of tea and sitting down to enjoy your creations. Perfect for a parent/grandparent and youth to spend time together.

Please bring: Apron, water bottle, & containers or baggies to take home any leftovers. 

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If you have a question, please contact us at registration@lhf.org

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