CURRENT HOURS: Closed for general touring until May 2023 • Open to registered guests for camps, classes & dinners

Historic Skills Classes

January–March 2023

collage of tangen kitchen - flynn mansion table - print shop

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 Skills Classes let you work in small groups to learn a specific skill or trade that was common in centuries past, from baking to printing. With a small class size, you are guaranteed individualized instruction and plenty of opportunity to participate.

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Schedule at a Glance

Sat Jan 289:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.Basics of Cooking on a Wood-Burning StoveTangen Home
Sat Feb 49:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.Comfort FoodsTangen Home
Sat Feb 41:30–3 p.m.Victorian Perfumes and PamperingDrug Store
Sat Feb 119:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.Victorian Chocolate AdventuresTangen Home
Sat Feb 111–4 p.m.Letter Press Printing: Victorian ValentinePrint Shop
Sat Feb 189 a.m.–noonWood Stove Cooking with KidsTangen Home
Sat Feb 1812:30–2:30 p.m.Beginning CrochetTangen Home
Sat Feb 259–11 a.m.Doughnuts and CoffeeTangen Home
Sat Feb 2512:30–2 p.m.Table Manners for Victorian Ladies and GentlemenFlynn Mansion
Sun Mar 512:30–3:30 p.m.Irish Heritage CookingTangen Home

fire in stoveBasics of Cooking on a Wood-Burning Stove

  • Saturday, January 28
  • 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Tangen Home (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $100 per person / $90 for members
  • Ages 16 and up

Do you have a wood-burning stove, but no knowledge of how to use it? Or do you just want to try cooking the way your great-grandparents did? Roll up your sleeves and make hearty meat stew, a vegetable side dish, bread, and a cake. You’ll learn the design of the woodstove and how to properly use it. After the meal is prepared, sit down to enjoy the food you made and ask last-minute questions. And yes, you will get recipes to take home!

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

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staff in period costume cooking on stoveComfort Foods

  • Saturday, February 4
  • 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Tangen Home (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $100 per person / $90 for members
  • Ages 18 and up

Join us for “stick to your ribs” comfort food and a cup of fresh coffee. You’ll learn the art of making homemade noodles and other quick comfort items on a wood stove in our replica of an 1876 kitchen. At the end of class, everyone will sit down to enjoy their culinary projects. Recipes will be provided to try at home.

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

Sold out

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closeup of perfume bottle in drugstoreVictorian Perfumes and Pampering

  • Saturday, February 4
  • 1:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Drug Store (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $50 per person / $45 for members
  • Ages 16 and up

How was beauty defined in the Victorian era? How does that compare to today’s standards? Explore the Schaffer Drug Store and the beauty products offered to Victorian-era Iowans. Mix a cologne or perfume and stir up some bath salts to indulge at home.

Please bring:   Water bottles

SIGN UP

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chocolate cakeVictorian Chocolate Adventures

  • Saturday, February 11
  • 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Tangen Home (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $100 per person / $90 for members
  • Ages 16 and up

Join us for a sweet look at Victorian chocolate treats: cakes, sauces, and more! Create several goodies, then sit down to enjoy them with your classmates. All materials included in the cost of class.

Please bring: Apron, water bottle, & containers or baggies to take home your goodies

Sold out

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staff member in period costume at letterpressLetter Press Printing: Victorian Valentine

  • Saturday, February 11
  • 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Print Shop (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $85 per person / $76.50 for members
  • Ages 10 and up; ages 10–16 must register with a paid adult

Learn about Victorian Valentine’s Day traditions at the 1876 Advocate Newspaper Print Shop. Choose from several historic designs, then print a set of personalized cards using moveable type and 19th-century hand-powered presses. Dress for an inky, artistic environment, and prepare to get your hands dirty!

SIGN UP

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child mixing doughWood Stove Cooking with Kids

  • Saturday, February 18
  • 9 a.m. to noon
  • Tangen Home (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $100 per person / $90 for members
  • Ages 7 to 12 accompanied by a paid adult

Explore the Victorian kitchen while instilling a love of cooking in your kids! Learn to read a recipe, measure and mix ingredients, and roll out dough the old-fashioned way. 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. This class is designed to get kids and adults working together in the kitchen.

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

SIGN UP

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closeup of crochet book and crochet sampleLearn Together: Crochet for Beginners

  • Saturday, February 18
  • 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Tangen Home (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $50 per person / $45 for members
  • Ages 16 and up

Learn to hold a crochet hook, then work on chain, single, and double stitching. Go home with at least the start of a mug mat or cozy, a hook, and a new hobby! Perfect for a parent/grandparent and a youth to spend time together.

SIGN UP

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sugary doughnuts piled on plateDoughnuts and Coffee

  • Saturday, February 25
  • 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Tangen Home (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $50 per person / $45 for members
  • Ages 16 and up

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

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

SIGN UP

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fancy tables setting at flynn mansionTable Manners for Victorian Ladies and Gentlemen

  • Saturday, February 25
  • 12:30 to 2 p.m.
  • Flynn Mansion (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $50 per person / $45 for members
  • Ages 10 to 14 accompanied by a paid adult

Discover how Victorians ate in fine company and sift out the manners we still want to practice today. Adults and teens will work together to set a dining table and have fun role-playing how to handle different dinner pitfalls and problems. What do I say to the server? Where does that pesky soup spoon go? Can I pick up fried chicken in polite society? We will sort out what was acceptable and go away with a new list of best manners for use in the present.

Please bring: Water bottle for each person

SIGN UP

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fresh loaf of irish soda breadIrish Heritage Cooking

  • Sunday, March 5
  • 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Tangen Home (check in at Visitor Center)
  • $100 per person / $90 for members
  • Ages 16 and up

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! Irish stew, soda bread, and sweet oatmeal have become synonymous with Irish food culture. All these foods use basic farm ingredients, with flavor embellishments added by later generations. Mix and bake versions of these foods while learning to use the wood-burning stove at the 1876 Tangen Home. Recipes and suggestions for your own flavor additions included!

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Questions? Call 515-278-5286 or email us.

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