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Worcester Art Museum presents Jewels of the Nile - Ancient Egyptian Treasures - Now through January 29, 2023. Click here for details or to reserve your tickets.

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

Come for a day, stay for the ¬¬weekend: There are so many things to see and do in this historic village

Visit Old Sturbridge Village and you’ll soon discover why people who come for a day end up spending a weekend in the re-created 1830s rural New England town. Watch blacksmiths, potters and cabinetmakers at work in some of the 40 historical buildings on the 200-acre property. Listen to period music, interact with costumed historians, visit with sheep and pigs at the Freeman Farm, take a horse-drawn wagon ride or relax by the mill pond. Stroll through the gorgeous gardens or hike the nature trail through the woods and into the countryside pasture. Dine in the Bullard Tavern. Find gifts, Village-made crafts and famous cookies at the Miner Grant Store or shop for traditional New England treasures at the Ox and Yoke Mercantile. One visit and you’ll see that Old Sturbridge Village is more than a museum!
Grivet Monkey - Southwick’s Zoo - Mendon, MA
Southwick’s Zoo

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

Amazing animals and lots of exciting adventures abound in this popular zoo

At Southwick’s Zoo, they have more than animals (although the animals are amazing): They have adventures! So in addition to checking out a Bengal tiger, lemurs, lions, kookaburras and giraffes, among the 850 animals in naturalistic habitats, you can also find your way through the Rainforest Adventure Maze, take a pony or camel ride, feed pygmy goats in a petting zoo, or soar above the zoo in a zip line or the Skyfari Sky Ride. Feed fallow deer in the 35-acre Deer Forest, walk through the Parakeet Landing aviary, or take a relaxing ride on the Woodland Express Train. And don’t forget lunch or dinner at Galliford’s Restaurant & Tavern, a full-service, year-round restaurant with a menu sure to please every taste.
Atrium & Roman Mosaic - Worcester Art Museum - Worcester MA
Worcester Art Museum

55 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA, 01609 Phone: 508-799-4406

In this museum, there’s more to do than admire paintings (tho the paintings are amazing)

There is far more to do at the Worcester Art Museum than walk through the galleries, although considering the museum’s varied and extensive collections, from ancient to contemporary art, that may be your top priority. Interactive elements in the reimagined medieval galleries means you can explore the world through tales of castles, monasteries and trade routes, or contribute “alternate labels” via iPads to Old Masters. Check out a rare suit of jousting armor in the chivalric arms and armor collection or listen to a presentation on what Roman soldiers wore into battle. For children, art carts and touch carts allow them to draw and, yes, touch things. There are also tours and scavenger hunts. Check the website for updates, timed-admission information and safety protocols.
Johnny Appleseed Trail - North Central Massachusetts
Johnny Appleseed Trail Through Picturesque Towns

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 between the Freedom Trail and the Mohawk Trail, or from about Turner’s Falls at the western end to Lancaster at the eastern end. Spring, summer, and fall are perfect for exploring this region of farms, orchards, and beautiful small towns. Start at the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2 West in Lancaster. It’s full of helpful brochures and locally made crafts, books, jams and jellies, gifts and souvenirs.
Festival of Illumination 2022: Once Upon at Time - September 1 to December 31 at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, MA
Old Sturbridge Village - More than a Museum!
Antiques Shopping in Central Massachusetts
Prowl for Fashionable Objects of the Past

Prowling shops that showcase cool old stuff of bygone times (some of it cycling into fashion again) is a fun indoor winter sport. The towns of central Massachusetts have plenty to offer style archaeologists. Sadie Green’s in Sturbridge creates and sell vintage reproduction jewelry. Metal is embossed with original dies from the 1920s and jewelry is hand assembled. Find beautiful and unusual jewelry of sea glass, hand-wrapped glass, florals and shells. Perfectly unique! In Worcester, Sweet Jane’s Designer Consignment fills your sense with just the clothing treasures that the shop name promises. The shop promises to deliver “curated designer resale [goods] for the huntress, fashionista, and style queen in all of us.” Off the Common Antiques in Grafton has many vendors selling antiques, furniture and home décor. Welcoming to dogs and strollers, too.
Fruitlands Museum
Fruitlands Is Home to four Fascinating Museums

In 1843, Bronson Alcott, father of the writer Louisa May Alcott and himself a writer, founded a utopian community called Fruitlands, near the town of Harvard. Later, from 1914 to 1945, the four Fruitlands Museums opened on the site of Alcott’s village, at 102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard. The 210-acre landscape now includes a Shaker Museum, a Native American museum, a fine art gallery of Hudson River landscapes, changing exhibits, and trails through woodlands and meadows. A visit is inspiring, educational, and beautiful, with plenty of potential for outdoor walks on the trails. Lots of special events for adults and kids. Open daily, May through October.