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Living History: Old Sturbridge Village

19th century Lily


Several weeks ago, LivingSocial had a deal I couldn’t pass up – a year’s membership to Old Sturbridge Village for $45, less than it costs to take our family there once! I had heard good things about this living history village, so we bought the membership! We finally made it out there for the first time on Saturday, and had an amazing time!


Sturbridge Village is kid paradise! Animals, farmland, and plenty of space to run around without getting into trouble. Most of the exhibits are hands-on, and if there’s something the kids can’t touch, it’s kept where they can’t get to it easily.

lambs at Old Sturbridge Village

These little lambs were adorable! The kids would have happily watched them for an hour or more.

election wagons at Old Sturbridge Village

Since it’s election year in the United States, Old Sturbridge Village is recreating the Election of 1840, which was the first modern Presidential campaign. Martin Van Buren was running against William Henry Harrison. Both of these wagons are similar to campaign visuals used by Harrison’s campaign. The ball was rolled from town to town with great fanfare, and the log cabin was used to portray Harrison as a man of the people – the log cabin reminds me of modern-day pickup truck politicians!

horse-drawn carriage at Old Sturbridge Village

Carriages and a wagon were driven by stunning workhorses – notice the period hoop and stick game, too! We also tried out stilt-walking and tug-o-war. Tug-o-war was the only one any of us were any good at! If you want to develop some serious hand-eye + gross motor coordination, take up playing with a hoop and stick!

pottery at Old Sturbridge Village

Emma and Johnny ADORED the pottery shop. Emma even got to help make this flower pot!

Befriending a hen (or trying to!) at Old Sturbridge Village

The kids made several attempts to befriend the local hens, without much success. The pigs were much more accommodating, although I didn’t get a good picture.

Covered bridge at Old Sturbridge Village

There is so much we didn’t see – we didn’t even make it over to the hands on crafts center, which I think Emma would adore.

Have you visited a living history site?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

31 thoughts on “Living History: Old Sturbridge Village”

  1. That looks like a great place to visit!
    I must have lost the link to your blog. I just saw a comment from you on another blog, and followed the link back here! Glad I found you again!

  2. I just love Sturbridge! Looks like you had a great day for it! We have also been to Colonial Williamsburg and Plimoth Plantation – we probably go their every year.

    Off subject but where did you get your daughter’s sun hat – I need those for my kids!

  3. Oh MaryAnne I have missed stopping by to comment. I am so happy to now have some time to say Hello.

    The year membership you bought seems like excellent value. What a terrific place with so much to see and do. I was also giggling watching Mike trying to walk on those “stilts”. Mike reminds me of my hubby as he seems like he is always up for playful fun with the children.

    I showed Taleea the video clip as she loves to see sheep. She said “baa, baa” when she saw the lambs and was very excited to see them.

    Did Emma get to keep the pot that she helped make?

    A hands on craft center sounds like a must see too. There really is something for everyone there.

  4. Elisa | blissfulE

    What a great family experience! I’m intrigued by the hoop and stick game – will have to try something like that out with my kids.

  5. It sounds like a terrific place. As you might have noticed from my posts, I am not super big on history and waiting for schools to take over this subject :)

  6. I love living history sites – we are very lucky because of the area of the UK we live to have quite a few different areas there is anglo saxon, bronze age, roman, iceni and Medieval all within an hour and a halfs drive from us. At the moment J and T are a little too small but it won’t be long until they can get the most from them. Thank you for hosting this fabulous linky each week.

  7. We did Plimoth Plantation almost 2 years ago, and I loved it (but I’m a descendant of the Mayflower and love history). J was a little small (just over a year old), but he loved climbing and seeing people dressed in era costumes and animals. They had a special kid play room where they can climb on and (pretend) direct a boat and put on puppet shows. I’d go back if I’m back in the area again.

  8. Oh we have been wanting to go here but haven’t made it yet! So glad you posted pictures. It looks great! We will be adding it to our summer bucket list. Maybe we’ll make it this year!

  9. So awesome! I love places like that. We have some little history museums in Temecula and the kids find it fascinating to see how people used to live before computers and iphones! Glad you got such an awesome deal.

  10. It looks like so much fun! Guess another trip is in order to visit the craft center. Good thing you have a membership! I haven’t taken the kids to a living history museum but I bet they would love it.

    1. I’m sure they’d love it! And yes, we definitely need to go back and see the craft center!

    1. Your family would LOVE it! We were there for about five hours and didn’t come anywhere near seeing everything!

    1. This one is a gem – can’t believe we didn’t make it out there before! I hope you do find one nearby…

      Thank you for linking your fantastic posts up to Learning Laboratory!!!

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