Prairie Christmas at Living History Farms

Living History Farms is a family-friendly destination during the summer and fall months – and, sometimes, in the winter.

This weekend marked the living museum’s “Prairie Christmas” event. The visitor center was all decked out with activities for the kids: an old-fashioned taffy pull, crafts, cookies, and Santa’s workshop.

Throughout the 1875 town of Walnut Hill, children and adults could experience costumed reinactors in the Tangen home, the church, and in many shops and businesses.

Carolers from the Walnut Hill Choral Society entertained inside the church, where kids were offered cups of popcorn mixed with gumdrops.

A horse-drawn wagon provided rides throughout the town.

Inside the house, ginger cookies were being rolled and cut out, and popcorn was being strung to decorate the family’s Christmas tree.

At the General Store, kids could write and mail a letter to Santa and buy penny candy. At the print shop, kids could print their own gift tag. In the drug store, they could make old-fashioned peppermint toothpaste.

And everywhere you looked, there was Santa.

The event was held from noon to 4 p.m. today and cost $5.50 for admission. Following an afternoon of stepping back in time, visitors could buy all kinds of cool things at the museum store: old-fashioned candy, books, dishes, cookie and biscuit cutters, toys, dishcloths, straw brooms, and more.

Living History Farms operates regular hours May 1 through October 14, and a farm site is available in addition to the town of Walnut Hill. A “historic dinner” season runs from October through March. Dinners are served in the 1875 Tangen Home and in the 1900 farmhouse. Living History Farms is located at 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale.

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