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Old Sturbridge Village, a quaint, 1830s living history museum nestled in Central Mass, appeals to anyone with an appreciation for Massachusetts’s history and the early New England way of life. A major family attraction and popular field trip destination, the Village is currently offering free admission to children with every adult ticket purchase as part of Kids Free on Winter Weekends through March 30.
But did you know that it’s also sugaring season? Every weekend from now until the end of March, visitors crowd the Village for Maple Days, a celebration of the history of maple sugaring in Massachusetts and a hit with both kids and adults.
Photo: 19th-century sugaring technique demonstration at Old Sturbridge Village via John Ferrarone
During this hands-on learning adventure, you’ll experience the maple sugaring process from beginning to end — while learning about the early years of maple sugaring, including an interactive Maple Scavenger Hunt, tapping technique demonstrations, and a 101 on how maple sugar was used for cooking.
This weekend’s schedule includes authentic crafts, tall tales, horse-drawn rides, poetry readings, and many other activities that fuse learning and fun.
Photo: Maple Days tapping demonstration at Old Sturbridge Village via John Ferrarone
Maple Days is also a great experience for history buffs and foodies. Historians can take in a fascinating look at the differences between Native American maple tapping techniques, observe early 19th-century rural New England methods, and experience 20th-century tapping tools and even the maple sugaring equipment of today. Foodies will have the perfect opportunity to stock up with a fresh batch (or two) of delicious syrup from the Village gift shop, just steps away from the sugarhouse.
If you’re due for a romantic escape this month, the Village also offers Maple Days Couples Getaway Packages. Reasonably priced, many of them include a stay for two at the cozy Old Sturbridge Inn and Reeder Family Lodges, as well as village admission tickets, tours, and Sunday brunch. There are plenty of other places to stay near Old Sturbridge Village, too, which you can explore here.
Photo: Kids playing at Old Sturbridge Village by Kindra Clineff
So, don’t shy away from making too many pancakes this month, you’ll need them to go with all of this fresh, locally made maple syrup! To see where else you can experience living history in Massachusetts, click here. And if you’re more interested in the sweets than times gone by, find a new delectable dessert shop to try here.
What’s your favorite spring tradition? Let us know in the comments!