Youth Group Reservations

The following tours and programs are available to preschool and day care providers, scout groups, and others.

kids walk on boardwalk outside tangen homeTours (May – October)

Group pricing is available for groups of 12 or more. To book your visit, fill out the reservation form below at least two weeks in advance.

Sign up for a Group Tour

* Note: this youth group reservation form is intended for groups not affiliated with K-12 schools. Are you a teacher or homeschool group coordinator? K-12 reservation info / Homeschool group reservation info


boy doing farm choresExploration Programs (October – April)

Exploration programs are “hands-on, hands-in” programs designed to give students a unique learning experience about the history of farming and rural life in Iowa. All programs are 3 hours in length (except the Schoolhouse Program) and require 3 adults, (teacher plus two additional adults), admitted free of charge. Reservations must be made three weeks in advance.

Sign up for an Exploration Program


students at Outreach programOutreach Programs (October – April)

Let Living History Farms come to you! LHF is proud to offer several outreach programs, which involve a mixture of multimedia presentation, artifacts, and hands-on activities, built around a central theme. These programs are intended for children in grades 3-6. Each session can accommodate 25 students. Reservations must be made three weeks in advance.

Sign up for an Outreach Program



About Living History Farms

Living History Farms is a one-of-a-kind self guided visit through 300 years of agricultural history. Discover America’s agricultural heritage as you walk through three working farms — each with authentic crops and livestock. Learn how Native Americans grew crops in Iowa at the 1700 Ioway Farm. See how early farmers opened the prairie with oxen at the 1850 Pioneer Farm. Find out how the horse-powered and cast-iron machines revolutionized agriculture at the 1900 Farm. In the 1875 town of Walnut Hill, join in the excitement of a bustling Iowa town with 14 shops and business including a general store, blacksmith shop, print shop, drug store, implement warehouse, and two Victorian homes, including the Flynn Mansion, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Historical interpreters work at each of the farms, homes and shops and are ready to show you the whats, whens, hows, and whys of everyday life in the past. The sights, sounds, smells and sensations at the site will immerse you in history.
Living History Farms is conveniently located at the intersection of Interstates 35 and 80, Exit 125 at Hickman Rd on the northwest corner of Des Moines, Iowa.


3 Ways To Visit

Guests can move from site to site at their own pace. Tours are self-guided, but visitors will encounter historic interpreters throughout the museum at each of our working farms and in our historic town. These museum guides will offer information about the respective time period they represent and answer questions for visitors. Groups are free to split up to pursue different areas of the museum, or remain together as they explore our historic sites. Most groups spend between three and six hours to visit all the sites, but groups with just a couple of hours to spend can be accommodated. Visitors receive a short orientation and a map at the Visitor Center. Tractor carts are available for transportation from the 1875 town of Walnut Hill to the beginning of the “300 Year Walk” of historical farm sites. The walking tour of these farms is just less than one mile along a beautiful wooded path.

Flynn Mansion


General Visit – lasts 3-5 hours

Our General Visit includes all three farms, the town of Walnut Hill, and the Wallace Exhibit Center.

visitors and a mule at the 1900 farm1900 Farm Visit – lasts 2-4 hours

The 1900 Farm Visit is ideal for a group with time or mobility limitations. This visit includes the town of Walnut Hill, 1900 Farm and Wallace Exhibit Center, and omits the 1700 Ioway Farm and 1850 Pioneer Farm, along with the majority of the walking.

girl using bellows in blacksmith shopTown Visit – lasts 1-2 hours

Our Town Visit includes all town sites including the Flynn Mansion and Victorian Tangen Home.



  • Free Paved Motorcoach Parking
  • Group Discount for 12+ Guests
  • MarketPlace Museum Store on site
  • Fuel and Dump Station – 2 miles
  • Adjacent Lodging and Dining
  • Easy Interstate Access
  • Visitor Center with restrooms
  • On site Snack Shop (May, September & October – Open Fridays & Saturday, 11:30-2:30, June to August – Open Mondays to Saturdays, 11:30-2:30) and vending machines throughout the museum
  • First come, first served picnic area located near the Visitor Center, free for all visitors
  • Boxed lunches available for pre-order upon request
  • Come and go from the museum all day (out to lunch, for example) – just keep your admission sticker for re-admittance
  • Shaded rest areas along walking tour
  • Limited number of wheelchairs, free of charge

Visitor Code of Conduct

2019 Visitor Guide & Map


Pre-order Boxed Lunches

Save time and hassle by pre-ordering your lunch from Living History Farms.

Order Boxed Lunches



If you have questions, please email or call 515.278.5286 ext. 158.


Group Tour Reservation Form

* Note: this group reservation form is intended for groups not affiliated with K-12 schools. Are you a teacher or homeschool group coordinator? K-12 reservation info / Homeschool group reservation info