If you would have asked me when I was in third grade what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have told you I wanted to be a pioneer. Living in a log cabin, tending to the animals in the early morning, walking 8 miles to go to a one room school, and you know…all the stuff the Michael Landon did on Little House on the Prairie. That is what I wanted to be. Seriously…ask my third grade teacher, Mrs. Baker.
Anywho…I won a pair of free tickets to visit Living History Farms on their facebook page. This is honestly one of my favorite places in Des Moines. They have no idea that my blog exists but I wanted to share our great experience there because honestly I was a little worried about whether or not Baby Belle would stay entertained as there is a lot of walking involved and a lot of “no touch” stuff everywhere. I asked my dad to come with me and he gladly obliged. Together we had a great time despite the kiddos early age.
Before I get too into this post I will apologize for the lack of pictures. Apparently I have way too many photos on my I-Phone which is how I document EVERYTHING. My dad did take a few photos but not many. I will try to give you a sense of how awesome this place is….even for a 28 month old.
We started by heading into the town of Walnut Hill. Baby Belle headed right into one of the businesses where a kind man welcomed her. She wasn’t impressed by a lot of the “no touch” stuff but he did point out a make shift potty to her that looked similar to a vase we have at home.
After that we waited about 10 minutes for the tractor to take us to the Indoway Indian farm. She had a blast riding on the tractor and they sweet guy driving it was so kind. 🙂 Baby Belle was able to walk the trail and once we got to the farm one of the volunteers there let her pet the bison skin. She had a lot of fun just exploring on her own terms and looking around. By the way…she instantly got dirty 🙂
Now here I will note that Living History Farms does have wagons for rent. Baby Belle asked for one when we submitted our tickets at the main building. I had a feeling that she would want to walk since she is such an independent woman ya know? I was wrong. As we headed to the 1850 Pioneer Farm (my dream life!) the trail went uphill slightly. That is when the kid wanted to be carried! So…my advice is to pay the $4 to rent the wagon…so worth it. At this farm there were pigs, sheep, chickens and a cow with her baby. One of the pioneers (literally…Baby Belle would whisper “Hi Pioneer” in the quietest voice!) told her she could pet the baby and that was a highlight. She also got to help another volunteer churn butter. They were all so patient with her and it was great they let her be involved!
Then we trekked on to the 1900 Horse Powered Farm. There were pigs, horses, cows, chickens and a kitty there and so when Baby Belle quickly realized the house there had a hot stove and lots of “no touch” stuff indoors she quickly headed out to check out the huge hogs and the garden out back.
We headed to the place where the tractor would pick us back up and played on some tractor equipment for kids. It was nice to have that stuff for kids to climb on during the wait.
We headed back into the town and explored the Flynn mansion and well…everything. The point is: This place is a great educational and VERY hands on place for kids of any age. The volunteers and employees there are patient and eager to answer questions even if it is your 2 year old repeating, “Where?” over and over! We had a blast and I can’t wait to take her back there again next year when hopefully she will be at an age to really learn how awesome it would be to be a pioneer! And when she gets a big older she can do one of their fun day camps! And I had no clue…but they have fun classes for adults too! Go check em out!
Thanks for the free tickets LHF and we can’t wait to come back!
Have you been to Living History Farms?