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History is Fun at Old Sturbridge Village

by Barbara Rogers

Jun 12, 2023

© Sandra Foyt | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Families traveling to or within Massachusetts should include Old Sturbridge Village on their itinerary for a day everyone can enjoy. Kids can step back into the life of a New England village of the mid-1800s, going inside homes to talk with costumed interpreters who show them how people cooked meals in a fireplace, spun and wove sheep’s wool into clothing, and grew their own food.


Along with touring the more than 40 homes, workshops and farm buildings, kids can sit at a desk in an early schoolhouse to hear what school days were like, as well as try children’s games such as rolling hoops.


At Freeman Farm, families meet pigs, lambs and other animals. They can also tour the huge barn and visit nearby Cooper Shop to watch as boards are shaped with a plane and bent to create staves for barrels and buckets.


In shops throughout the village, artisans demonstrate other trades, including blacksmithing, shoemaking and tin smithing. The pottery shop is a kid-pleaser as they watch lumps of clay become bowls and pots before their eyes.


Two operating mills use water power to card wool and saw timber for buildings, and kids are especially fascinated to watch huge logs move through the sawmill to become boards.


While you can walk everywhere on the level and stroller-friendly lanes connecting various parts of the village, kids won’t want to miss the chance to hop onboard the horse-drawn wagon for a ride back from the sawmill. The route includes going through a long Vermont covered bridge.


Daily schedules include family-oriented activities such as storytelling, games or musical programs.


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