Just one hour west of Boston lies a quaint little town lost in history: Old Sturbridge Village, New England’s largest living museum. Well-known for its tours and demonstrations of what life used to be like in Massachusetts centuries ago, the Village truly shines – both figuratively and literally – during the holiday season.
Old Sturbridge Village is currently hosting its Christmas by Candlelight celebration, a month-long event featuring festive activities, educational holiday demonstrations, and plenty of decorations. Just walking around the Village’s 200-acre grounds right now is an absolute treat!
Wreaths, holly, and lights shine from every corner in this tiny town. In the Salem Towne House, you can see historical recreations of Christmas decorations from various decades of the 1800s. There’s an intricate miniature nativity scene to examine in the Friends’ Meetinghouse, and a model train to follow as it makes its rounds.
During your visit, you can also learn about how Christmas celebrations began in New England. Believe it or not, Christmas wasn’t a largely celebrated holiday with the Puritans! It only gained popularity around the 1820s. Costumed interpreters can explain the full history of the holidays in New England, and you can catch demonstrations of making wool ornaments, knitting Christmas stockings, Christmas baking, punching tin lanterns, making pottery, and more!
After checking out the village, you can wander down the peaceful Christmas Tree Trail and through the Christmas Wish Bridge. Don’t feel like walking? You can even take a horse drawn carriage to show you around!
Every weekend in December, the village will be hosting live music and storytelling to be enjoyed by all. There will be hearty food and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) available, including their famous homemade cookies. Plus, a holiday market will sell Village-made pottery and tin products, Christmas decor, and craft kits.
Christmas by Candlelight is open December 17-19, 23, and 27-30 this year. Tickets are $28 for adults and $14 for kids (free for children under 3). Tickets must be purchased in advance, as it’s a very popular holiday event—and for good reason! Head to their website for tickets and additional details.
[featured image: Wikimedia Commons]