10 Ways to Explore Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, VT

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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.

Travel Tips:

  • The farm and museum are typically open from 10am-5pm June through the end of October, and until 4pm on weekends and holiday weeks from November through February . The complex is closed for approximately 6 weeks in March and early April each year; information on admissions and updated hours here. There are discounted admission prices for teachers, AAA members, and members of the military.
  • Plenty of free parking for both Billings and the National Park site located in front of the Billings Complex.
  • Restrooms are located in the Visitor Center and on the lower level of the 1890 Farm Manager’s House. 
  • The main museum space, barns, and 1890 Farm Manager’s House are all handicap and stroller accessible. See a full map of the property here
  • There is a gift shop in the Visitor Center, which features homemade cheese and local artisans and souvenirs.
  • Check here for the daily schedule of events, and here for special events and programs, like Sheep Shearing, Sunflower House, Farm to Ballet, Wassail Weekend, and the Magic of Maple.
  • The Dairy Bar is open during warmer months and serves homemade ice cream, sweet treats, and Billings Farm cheese. Otherwise, there are no dining facilities on site, but there are many restaurant choices in Woodstock Village less than a half mile away; check here for a good index. 
  • Plan on 3-4 hours to explore the major exhibition spaces and walk throughout the property. 

10 Ways to Explore Billings Farm and Museum:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Walk through the Making the Land Produce exhibit which features dozens of farming tools. 
  4. See what daily life was like the the Farm Home exhibit, including displays describing school, church, grocery store, and home life.
  5. 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.
  1. Learn about the butter and cream making process in the basement Butter Factory, which showcases authentic tools used in the process. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Walk, cross country ski, or snowshoe along the trail loop.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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12 Comments

  1. That snow looks thick, lol… Is that a souvenir store, Id like to check out. You have amazing photos, thanks for the detailed post to visit Woodstock, Vermont.

  2. Wow, Billings Farm and Museum looks like a lot of fun! Do they sell the milk or related products? Looks like the perfect trip to take kids along. Thanks for sharing!

  3. The Billings Farm and Museum looks like a great place to visit with kids! Your photos give a great indication of everything you can expect from a visit there. I’d love to check out the farm gift shop!

  4. Very cool! I’m from Vermont and I’m sad to say that I’ve never visited Billings Farm. I have a vague memory of maybe going on a school trip when I was very young, but I definitely need to plan a trip. It looks super interesting, and I also love the cute cows.

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