10 Ways to Explore Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, VT
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.
City Guide: 20 Ways to Have Fun in Mystic, Connecticut
Mystic, Connecticut is a quick, hour long drive along the coast from our home that our family enjoys making several times a year. The seaside town is home to many popular family friendly spots, and the nearby towns and cities of Stonington, New London, East Lyme, Norwich, and Niantic offer plenty more to see and do. Mystic was one of our first City Guides back in 2018; we have recently discovered some new-to-us places and thought we would update our guide.
Our Summer 2020 Recap
Summer 2020 wasn’t exactly what we were expecting, and it definitely wasn’t what we had been planning for a LONG time. June marked a milestone birthday for me and we had planned on celebrating with a big trip to places that have been on our bucket list for many year. Luckily, we rescheduled this trip for next summer- so cross your fingers and stay tuned!
Each summer, we make individual “Bucket Lists” of things we want to do. Some common goals that the four of us shared are part of the highlights below. We’re grateful we were able to accomplish so much and fully recognize how fortunate we are. Here are the highlights:
Once the pandemic hit, we knew we’d have to shift our perspective and our travel plans. Our major goals for any trip include: staying safe and healthy; doing our best to keep others safe and healthy; respecting local and state guidelines and regulations; learning new things; having fun.
10 Things Kids Will Want to Do at Hancock Shaker Village
Traveling during a still present pandemic: If you’ve been following our adventures this summer, you know that our family has taken precautions to stay safe. We’ve limited our exploration to nearby states with lower COVID cases and to mainly outdoor spaces that take proper precautions to keep staff and visitors safe. Hancock Shaker Village was an easy choice- tons of open space to socially distance, only one family in a building structure at a time (with all doors and windows open to allow for better ventilation), and absolutely nothing to touch. While Hancock Shaker Village is a great place to visit anytime, it’s a very safe bet for family fun during these uncertain times.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2020, the Hancock Shaker Village is the oldest working farm in the Berkshires part of western Massachusetts. The Village was originally home to the Shaker community from the late 1700s until 1959, when it was turned into a museum that includes over 22,000 original artifacts and a research library. The 750 acre complex has a 20 acre working farm, 20 buildings with live interpreters, a massive garden with a very popular Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and tons of hiking trails, meadows, and woodlands that abut the Pittsfield State Forest.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Connecticut
The Stamford Museum and Nature Center in Stamford, Connecticut is practically in my backyard and yet it’s taken me almost 12 years to visit! We’ve felt most comfortable visiting outdoor locations due to the COVID 19 pandemics, so this seemed like the perfect time to explore the farm and nature center.
There are over 80 acres of gardens, trails, and buildings spread out across the complex. Visitors are welcome to visit with animals, smell the fruits and vegetables in the garden, check out the playground, explore the mansion, and hike and walk some of the trails.
Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA
If you grew up in New England, you most likely took an elementary school field trip to Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. When I was publicizing my upcoming trip to Sturbridge Village, dozens of friends, followers, and readers exclaimed “oh I loved going there as a kid!” It is definitely a must visit, but not just when you’re in elementary school. As an adult, I have been able to recall some parts of the village from past visits, yet I still learned a lot of new things when we visited this past weekend.