It’s not very often that I willingly return to places that were common destinations for middle school field trips when I was a kid- and it’s even less often that I genuinely enjoy those return trips that I make- but Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts has been the exception for myself and many others I grew up with whom I know have also gone back to visit fairly often.
Spread across 200+ acres of still-functioning farmland and with 40 historical buildings that recreate an 1830s-era Colonial New England settlement- Old Sturbridge Village is one of the more impressive historical/educational attractions you can visit year-round. Guided tours are available, of course- but you’re also able to wander/explore freely and at your own pace to learn more information about any of the buildings and events from costumed “locals.”
What really sets this place apart from other and similar recreated settlements, however- are the special and intricate events/experiences they host. For example, right now and through Halloween you can head into the village after dark for their ‘Phantoms by Firelight’ ghost walk- which includes unique performers, acrobats, and bonfires- as well as storytelling and arts & crafts for any little ones in attendance.
And Old Sturbridge Village always has something really unique and special planned for Christmastime, too.
I think the main draw, however- is that the area is absolutely gorgeous any time of year- which makes it a popular destination for weddings, birthdays, portrait sessions for professional photographers, etc. There are just so many pretty areas where you can take amazing photos.
It’s been a minute since I last visited Old Sturbridge Village- having gone with my friend Stef and some of her wedding party for an afternoon just a few days after she and her husband exchanged vows in 2018- but I decided to return this past weekend to snap some pictures since we are in peak foliage in Massachusetts right now. And, as any professional or diehard “leaf peepers” know- you only have a small window to see it before it’s gone!
Afterwards, as the day wore on and I had to prepare for the week ahead, I stopped by nearby Saw Dust Coffee- which I had written about last month– for a quick latte on my way home. All in all- it was a pretty perfect afternoon!
And I’m hoping to return to Old Sturbridge Village to capture more photographs around the holidays if my schedule allows!