Local Giveaway: Living History Farms Historic Dinner


Des Moines locals: if you’ve found yourself stuck in a restaurant rut, then I’ve got just the thing for you – a Historic Dinner at Living History Farms!

Historic Dinners at Living History Farms are a super unique dining experience, unlike anything else in the metro. Served at your choice of the 1900 Farm, or Tangen Home, inside the 1875 Town of Walnut Hill, historic dinners transport you back in time to see what dinner, and life, would have been like if you lived on a farm in the early 1900s, or in a middle-to-upper class Victorian-esque home in the year 1875.

Full disclosure, I used to work at Living History Farms and can fully attest to the awesomeness of these dinners. Here’s a little more about both options (please acknowledge my sour puss cameo in both videos, btw. I have no idea what was wrong with me the day we were filming!):

1900 Farm Dinner

After boarding a horse-drawn wagon and being covered with blankets, you’ll pull up five minutes later to the 1900 Farm House illuminated with lanterns, and greeted with hot cider. After sitting down to a hearty, family-style supper, feasting on everything from roast chicken to mashed potatoes, green beans to freshly baked rolls, and pie or cake, natch, you can either participate in games of the time period, or take a lantern-lit tour of the barnyard before heading home. Historical tidbits are woven in throughout the evening, making this experience more than just a meal.

1875 Tangen Home Dinner

Stroll with your historical interpreter along a lamp-lit boardwalk from the Visitor’s Center to the 1875 Tangen Home, where hot punch and a warm, crackling fire awaits inside the parlor. Sit down to a multi-course dinner that will leave you full for days, which comes complete with a dense, Fancy Cake, or dessert du jour. Learn how families would have thrown dinner parties in the time period, and how women and families would have spent days, even weeks, preparing for them. After dinner, get to know your dining companions by playing parlor games together like hide the thimble, and “In Grandmother’s Trunk” with coffee.

Like picking a favorite child, it’s almost impossible to decide which dinner I like better. The 1900 Farm Dinner is SUPER cozy, with the horse-drawn wagon ride being a fun bonus, but the Tangen Home’s crackling fire and parlor games are also really fun and unique. Whichever option you go with, the food will leave you full and incredibly satisfied! Click here to learn more >


Enter to win a Historic Dinner for 2 at either the 1900 Farm House or 1875 Tangen Home by clicking on the “+1″ button next to the option you want, then clicking “Enter”, by 11:59pm central time on Sunday, December 16. Please know that both dinners are served family-style, so you may not know all your dining companions (which is part of the fun!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that the widget may take a few moments to load, and that it may not work in Internet Explorer. The winner is chosen at random by Random.org, and will be notified by email after the giveaway has ended.

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  1. Liz 12.15.2012

    Ooh, how exciting I hope I win!! I have heard great things about this place and we only live a couple hours from Des Moines, it would make a great mini-getaway for my husband and I! (Ps. I super adore your blog)

  2. Charlotte Sparks 12.15.2012

    Pretty far away from there… but maybe spring or summer!

  3. Keegan 12.15.2012

    Is there a date you have to go on? I didn’t see anything in the post about it but maybe I just missed it.

  4. Barbara 12.15.2012

    1900 farm- like a trip back in time to grandmas – they even have her old quilting frames- native black walnut with mu uncle initial carved in them- JP :) What a NICE gift!

  5. Mollie 12.15.2012

    I didn’t know LHF held these dinners. This would be fun!

  6. Amy M 12.15.2012

    I havent been to the living history farms since I was really young, but now I pass it every day going to work. This would be such a fun way to go back!

  7. Bek @ Crave 12.16.2012

    How amazing! That would definitely be an experience :)

  8. Kim 12.16.2012


  9. Christina 12.16.2012

    Sorry, you didn’t sell me on this one IGE. It didn’t look like you were having much fun – especially during the parlor games

    • heather 12.17.2012

      aww…i didnt think she looked like it wasnt fun, i thought she looked like the filming made her nervous. i never know how to improvise, either!

      otherwise…i’d be kind of into this if i didnt live all the way on the east coast, LOL

  10. Pamela 12.16.2012

    We gathered a group for a friend’s birthday years ago and did the 1900 Farm Dinner – it was wonderful! The snow falling during our wagon ride made it perfect. I’d love to do it again someday.

  11. Pamela 12.16.2012

    Oh, and did I mention how impressive the food was? The staff clearly put a lot of time into it, and I’ve made a few of the recipes at home since then.

  12. Dorothy 12.16.2012

    How exciting!

  13. Elly 12.17.2012

    I just took my Mom to the Tangen Home dinner last week as a little Christmas surprise and it was wonderful. The food was delicious and the host, hostess, and cook were all very knowledgeable. It was a perfect evening and we’ve already made plans to go back for the 1900 Farm Dinner!

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