The original home to American conservationist George Perkins Marsh and later transformed by Frederick Billings after the Civil War, Billings Farm and Museum opened as a museum in 1983. Located right outside the downtown village of Woodstock, Vermont, the 200+ acre complex includes indoor and outdoor exhibits, plenty of opportunities to get up close to farm animals, and daily activities and special programs. The museum opens for the season this week and is open every day through October.
The farm and museum operate in conjunction with the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, located across the street. Tours of the mansion and garden are offered from late May through the end of October. Find more information here.
10 Ways to Explore Billings Farm and Museum:
- Start at the Visitor Center and view the 30 minute film A Place in the Land in the Theater, which provided an overview of farm life and the families who lived on the property.
- Follow the almost 300 year timeline starting with the 1700s history of the land until the 1990s when the National Historical Park opened. There is also a cozy book nook with plenty of books for children to relax and read.
- Walk through the Making the Land Produce exhibit which features dozens of farming tools.
- See what daily life was like the the Farm Home exhibit, including displays describing school, church, grocery store, and home life.
- Tour the 1890 Farm Manager’s House. The first floor features a parlor, dining room, guest bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and office all displayed with period artifacts. The home was built for George Aitken, his wife, and four daughters, who lived in the home from 1890 until his death in 1910. Be sure to grab one of four tour cards that provide in depth descriptions of artifacts.
- Learn about the butter and cream making process in the basement Butter Factory, which showcases authentic tools used in the process.
- Meet some of the 40+ jersey cows in the Cow Barn and chickens, sheep, oxen, and draft horses in other barns and learn how each calf earns his or her three names.
- Walk, cross country ski, or snowshoe along the trail loop.
- Have a sweet treat. In the winter, purchase a s’mores kit from the Gift Shop and roast them in an outdoor fire pit located throughout the farm. In the summer, try one of flavor of homemade ice cream at The Dairy Barn. During late winter months, guests can also sample maple syrup and learn how it is made right on the farm.
- Tour the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and learn about Frederick Billings’ dairy farm.
For more fun in the Woodstock area, check out our full City Guide, our post on where to eat in the Woodstock area, and our posts featuring VINS Nature Center and the Montshire Museum of Science. And follow along on our adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.