Why Spring Might Be the Best Time to Visit Old Sturbridge Village

Baby animals and sweet maple goodness make stepping back in time at Old Sturbridge Village just the thing to shake off those winter blues. Look back at our 2019 spring visit.

By Joe Bills

Apr 22 2022


There’s nothing quite like a step back in time to the 1830s to remind us just how good we have it today.

Photo Credit : Joe Bills

Please note that many establishments throughout New England have closed, temporarily closed, or may be operating under modified conditions in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Please travel responsibly, and check with state guidelines and individual businesses before making travel plans.

Few New England museums can claim to make learning more fun than it is at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, which allows visitors to experience a rural village frozen in time somewhere between 1790 and 1840. We love stopping by this living history museum in every season, but spring just might be the best time to check out this popular New England destination. Here’s a look back at our spring 2019 visit.

Why Spring Might Be the Best Time to Visit Old Sturbridge Village

1.  It’s Open!

After a long New England winter, the coming of spring can feel like a miracle. As the weather turns warmer and the late-winter mud recedes, the itch to get outside hits many people pretty hard. Truth be told, not all of our favorite destinations are particularly spring-friendly, but Old Sturbridge Village is a delightful exception. From late February to late May, the village is open from Wednesday through Sunday, plus every day during April school vacation week.

There’s nothing quite like visiting the 1830s to remind us just how good we have it today.
Photo Credit : Joe Bills
A horse-drawn tour is great for getting a general overview of the property.
Photo Credit : Joe Bills

2. Maple Season!

March is maple season at Old Sturbridge Village, and March Maple Days weekends start things off right. Interesting fact: As the reenactors are quick to explain, maple sugaring was already considered a little old-fashioned by the 1830s, since imported sugar was inexpensive and increasingly common in those days. However, some households still boiled syrup as a sort of protest against the slave economy on which the sugar cane industry operated.

These maples are tapped the old fashioned way — no plastic tubing here.
Photo Credit : Joe Bills
The slow process of boiling and refining maple sap starts outside, in the sugar camp …
Photo Credit : Joe Bills
… and continues inside, where the process is repeated on a smaller scale.
Photo Credit : Joe Bills

3. Baby Animals!

If maple isn’t your thing, how about adorable baby animals? In April, Family Farm Fest weekends are a great opportunity to meet spring’s new arrivals. Among the heritage-breed newborns you might encounter are Wiltshire Horn–Dorset sheep, Devon cattle, Red Dorking–Dominique chickens, English Black pigs, and Blue Slate turkeys. In addition to learning about the farming tools and techniques of the day, you might even get a chance to “meet” Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder (as played by a historian).

In April, the Family Farm Fest weekends are a fun way to meet spring’s new arrivals.
Photo Credit : Joe Bills
An inquisitive bovine comes in for a closer look.
Photo Credit : Joe Bills

And More!

In addition to special events such as Family Farm Fest and March Maple Days, a spring visit to Old Sturbridge Village gives you access to all the year-round fun: watching a blacksmith, weaver, or cobbler at work, for instance, and strolling nature trails complete with waterfalls and a covered bridge. With more than 200 acres at your disposal and thousands of artifacts on display, you can easily pass a day wandering from building to building just to see what you’ll find. And thanks to rotating exhibits on subjects such as quilting, firearms and the militia, and cabinetmaking in early New England, there’s bound to be something new every time you visit.

Have you ever visited Old Sturbridge Village? Let us know!

This post was first published in 2019 and has been updated. 

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