Living History Farms | Fall on the Farms

Living History Farms | Fall on the Farms

Living History Farms | Fall on the Farms

If somehow the smell of pumpkin spice and the sound of crunchy leaves has escaped you…it’s fall! At Living History Farms fall means it’s time to grab the kids and get your history on. There are tons of events and places to explore that cater to kids of all ages, and let’s face it, adults want to get in on the fun too.

Fall on the Farms really gets started before that first nip of chill hits the air. In fact, it starts before the school bells ring and even before the last gate closes at the Iowa State Fair. Fall officially begins with the ever-popular Grain Harvest event that takes place in early August. This annual event was the very first event offered at Living History Farms in1970, and it’s been going strong ever since. 

Applefest is the next can’t-miss event. How can you not conjure up all sorts of fall memories when you are cranking the cider press, stirring a copper kettle filled with apple butter or bobbing for apples? And, there’s usually a visit from Snow White, one of history’s most famous apple aficionados of all time.

Next up is Family Halloween. There is nothing better than playing dress-up and being rewarded with candy. Around mid-October each year the Farms are transformed into a fall fairytale of pumpkins, wagon rides, lighted pathways and non-scary trick-or-treating. Non-scary is key when you have littles who don’t like to be tricked while collecting their treats. (Who hasn’t had to remove a screaming child from a “fun” venue that accidentally scared the daylights out of their kid?) Living History Farms understands this one and delivers with friendly faces handing out candy and guest visitors like Herky, Cy, superheroes, and princesses adding to the fun.

If you’re looking for something more history-oriented, check out the lesser-known Eats and Treats program offered at Halloween time. This kid-friendly dinner is hosted at the Tangen House, Living History Farms’ tribute to Iowa’s early immigrant settlers. This interactive dinner is led by interpreters who share a little Iowa history along with a kid-approved meal that includes chicken, mashed potatoes, buttermilk biscuits, apple pie and more. Yum. Adults have been known to try to sneak into this one without kids. Not naming names. You know who you are.

The best part is that the end of fall does not mark the end of fun. Kid-centric activities happen all year long with events like the Barnyard Readers preschool storytime and kid-friendly Victorian teas at the Flynn Mansion. Holidays are always a special time to visit with a full array of hands-on activities scheduled throughout the day for Family Christmas, Family Easter and Independence Day. Themed day camps and field trips offer older kids and teens a chance to experience history for themselves and remain highly recommended by teachers and parents alike.

Something you might not think about when it comes to Living History Farms is the opportunity for volunteer experiences. The Farms provide a warm and friendly environment for families with children as young as 10, teens who are 16+ and, groups such as churches, scouts or Silver Cord members. There are many opportunities during Family Halloween which are perfect if your kids are feeling a little too old for trick-or-treating but still love to get dressed up for the holiday. Activities include assisting with Halloween-themed games like witch broom races and pumpkin bowling, handing out treats, helping with wagon rides and directing visitors. Find out what’s available through Volunteer Local, or email Jan Milroy at jmilroy@lhf.org.

If you haven’t dropped by for a visit lately, we encourage you to see what’s new…and what’s old, too!


Entered in to win FREE four admission passes into Living History Farms before they close for the season. Living History Farms is open Wednesday – Sunday through October 18. We will announce a winner on Friday, October 4.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

2 thoughts on “Living History Farms | Fall on the Farms

  1. Trick or treating at LHF!

  2. Allison Frederick says:

    I have never been to an event at Living History Farms. My hubby took our two kids for a visit of the farms to give me a break one day, and the kids loved it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *