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See Plymouth - History is Just The Beginning!

Central Massachusetts has lots of rural and historic things to see and do

Central Massachusetts figures prominently in America’s past, and today it offers some of the most interesting family activities in New England. Explore Old Sturbridge Village’s 18th-century setting then stay and enjoy authentic New England cuisine, cozy rooms and fireplaces, and delicious sweets from Ye Old Bake Shoppe. The Ecotarium is one of the top science museums for kids in the country. Enjoy walking tours, special events and exhibits at the Tower Hill Botanic Gardens. Find a cozy hotel room or exert yourself on a bed, breakfast and biking vacation you won’t forget.
Wool Dying - Old Sturbridge Village - Sturbridge, MA
Old Sturbridge Village

1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, off Route 20 Sturbridge, MA, 01566 Phone: 508-347-3362 Toll-Free: 800-733-1830

A trip to historic, authentic and tasty

One of Massachusetts’ 50 great things to do has 50 great things all its own to enjoy when you arrive at this celebrated living history destination, one of the nation’s largest. Settle in at the Old Sturbridge Inn or Reeder Family Lodges. Savor authentic New England cuisine, cozy rooms and fireplaces, and delicious sweets from Ye Old Bake Shoppe. Then step into the 18th century and watch and participate in what people did then. Costumed interpreters will guide your visit on foot, on a stagecoach or standing beside a potter’s wheel or the blacksmith’s forge, or meeting with farmers and their animals at work. The 19th century is here, too, in 40 antique homes, buildings and water-powered mills in this most scenic town. Open year-round. Seasonal hours may vary.
Panoramic View 500x250 - Cantor Art Gallery - Worcester, MA
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery

College of the Holy Cross - 1 College Street Worcester, MA, 01610 Phone: 508-793-3356

A gallery with a mission

As a college art gallery, the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery’s mission is to promote the intellectual and cultural life of the College of the Holy Cross and greater community by exploring the fundamental intellectual, cultural, spiritual and aesthetic issues encountered through the visual arts. Through a series of exhibitions throughout the academic year, enhanced by receptions, guest lectures, readings, and students’ presentations, you’ll always find something of interest. Current exhibition information and hours of operation can be found on the gallery’s website.
Reptile Exhibit 500x250 - Southwick's Zoo - Mendon, MA
Southwick’s Zoo

2 Southwick Street Mendon, MA, 01756 Phone: 800-258-9182

This zoo is full of animals, adventures, activities – and so much more!

Southwick’s Zoo is really more than a zoo: It’s a zoo-plus. The plus includes a carousel, a rainforest maze, a Skyari sky ride to give you a bird’s eye view of the African Plains, a Woodland Express train ride, pony and camel rides, a place where you can mine for gems and fossils – even a two-seater zipline! And have they got animals, from lemurs and lions to snakes and sloths. Feed a parakeet in the aviary or a deer in the 35-acre deer forest, interact with pygmy goats in the petting zoo, feed a giraffe or enjoy one of several live-animal presentations and educational exhibits. Lots of dining options, from burgers and wraps to New England tavern meals.
worcester art museum with kids
Take Your Kids on a Stag Hunt – from 6th Century BC

A bear and stag hunt from the 6th century BC portrayed in a giant floor mosaic. How hard would it be to get kids involved in games and explorations of this piece of artwork, speaking to them across 26 centuries? This glorious mosaic floor, excavated from a home in Antioch that was destroyed by an earthquake in 526 AD, is a centerpiece exhibit at Worcester Art Museum in Worcester and also the topic of a Family Guide exploration. A brochure invites kids to count animals and sketch the mosaic. Can you think of a better way to get your kids loving art and history?
johnny appleseed trail
J. Appleseed Country Means Farms, Art, Outdoor Fun

Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman in 1774 in Leominster, was a pioneer nurseryman who introduced apples to large parts of the Midwest. Today’s Johnny Appleseed Trail in north-central Massachusetts runs along Route 2 from about Turner’s Falls at the western end to Lancaster at the eastern end. The warm-weather months are a perfect time to explore this region of farms, orchards, outdoor sports, and beautiful small towns. Start at the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2 West in Lancaster. It’s chock-full of helpful brochures to wonderful places like Davis Farmland, Jumptown, Nashoba Paddler, Lancaster Golf Center, Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. 978-534-2302. [photo: Jay Roy Video]
hardwick farm
Family Vineyard on Historic Farm Welcomes You

The Hardwick Vineyard and Winery at 3305 Greenwich Road in Hardwick is a hospitable, family-run winery located on a quiet country road that winds around the Quabbin Reservoir. Visitors may tour the 5,000-square-foot timber frame barn, enjoy the craftsmanship of the winery’s fieldstone foundation, and walk the vineyard fields. The vineyard offers wine tastings and sells local cheese, honey, maple syrup and its signature wines. Picnicking is encouraged, and there is a jazz breakfast the first Sunday of every month. Open March-December, Friday-Sunday and Monday holidays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Phone: 413-967-7763
biking near wachusett
Biking Through the Center of the State

Massachusetts Central Rail Trail for bicycles and walkers that, when finished, will include 104 miles connecting 24 communities Boston to Northampton. Various groups are refurbishing the trail in pieces. Volunteers with Wachusetts Greenways have opened 11 miles of the rail trail, as follows Sterling from Cider Mill to Gates Road; West Boylston/Holden from Oakdale to River Street along the Quinapoxet River; Holden Connector from River Street to Manning Street to Mill Street; Rutland from Wachusett Street south to the Holden line; Rutland from Glenwood Road to Route 56; Rutland from the Charnock Hill Road to Barrack Hill Road to Rutland State Park entrance road to Route 122 and the Midstate Trail. Get out on two wheels to two feet and join the adventure. Rail trail map.
Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester MA
Broad Meadow Offers Woods, Streams, and Marshes

Within the 400 acres of woods, fields, streams, and marsh at Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary at 414 Massasoit Road in Worcester, visitors can hike, cross-country ski, watch birds, look for butterflies, prowl for owls, or learn to snowshoe. The center has a large 3-D model of the sanctuary and a huge map of the Blackstone River watershed. Nature gifts, children’s books, field guides, are available at the center, which also serves as a visitor site for the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Trails are open daily, dawn to dusk. Phone: 508-753-6087.
Old Deerfield in Deerfield MA
Historic Trades in Action in Deerfield

Crafts people will demonstrate dressmaking, shoemaking, medical care, basketmaking, gun smithing, cabinet making, coopering pottery making and even gravestone carving as these essential skills were done in places like Deerfield. See schedule for specific demos, offered on weekends from October 3 to December 12, 2015. Fun for the kids, too. 413-774-5581.