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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.
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.
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.
LUMINA - 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 (but 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.
tubing at ward in shrewsbury ma
Get Tubing at Ward!

To say the TubaSlide at Ski Ward ski area in Shrewsbury is “fun” is an understatement! Tubing is a great activity for all levels. It is affordable, easy to do, and requires no special equipment (tubes are provided). So grab a tube, hold on and have a blast. Ski Ward offers five tuba slide lanes with two lifts. Tube users must be age six or older and at least 42 inches tall. Phone: 508-842-6346.
frozen fruitlands at harvard ma
Play in the Snow at Fruitlands

Fruitlands Museum at 102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard is a bucolic property with a farmhouse, Shaker Museum, and a Native American Museum, welcomes all outdoors people of any age to enjoy it hills and trails on sleds, snowshoes, and cross-country skis during its Frozen Fruitlands time, every Saturday and Sunday from January through March. Bring winter boots, sleds, snowshoes, or cross-country skis and explore lots of hills and woodland trails. A crackling fire will be burning outside the Wayside Gallery and hot chocolate will be available inside. Take a break from the cold in Wayside Living Room with cozy seating, children’s books, and games. 978-456-3924.
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?
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. Fun for the kids, too. 413-774-5581.