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!)

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