8. Billings Farm Museum, Woodstock, Vermont
Traveling to number 8 will take you into beautiful Woodstock, Vermont to Billings Farm Museum. Christmas at the Farm is an annual celebration that is centered around a 19th-century farmhouse. The house is authentically decorated and opens for the holidays on December weekends, as well as from December 19 – January 3rd from 10-4pm (not Christmas).
Holiday activities include things such as making Christmas decorations and pomanders, candle dipping, making Christmas silhouettes and poppers. There will also be showings of the film A Place in the Land and interactive programs such as Introduction to Milking and Milking the Herd. During Christmas week there will be sleigh/wagon rides. Maybe Christmas on a working farm in rural New England was different than one celebrated in a city or town. Chores on a farm had to be done regardless of holidays. Come and experience life in Vermont. Take in the sights and scents of the farm decorated with local greens and fruit.
Tickets are $14.00 for adults, $13.00 for over 62, $8.00 for 5-12, $4.00 for 3-4 year-olds, and free for those under 3. Combine your trip to the farm with Woodstock’s Wassail Weekend (December 9, 10, 11) and enjoy all that is offered in the area. Or stop at Simon Pearce to see glass blowing and enjoy the 9th most romantic restaurant in the US (according to word on the street).
7. Sauder Village, Archbold, Ohio
Our 7th Christmas adventure is at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio, the largest living history museum in Ohio. There are roughly forty homes, farms, shops, and gardens with authentically dressed guides and craftspeople willing to share their life and work. There are classes on rug hooking, caning, Christmas cookie baking and decorating, gingerbread house making (something I could use help with) and so much more. Many of these crafts were staples at one time, but have been replaced with cheaper mass production. Try one, you might like it and find a new skill or hobby.
Sauder Village offers Holiday Lantern Tours featuring an interactive trolley ride called “Yuletides of Yesteryear.” Imagine a 90-minute trolley ride that can transport you back to 1850 and offers you a chance to set a table, learn about holiday food at the time, decorate homes, make a craft and most importantly, learn about gift giving at a time when shopping was limited. Carols will be sung, cookies frosted and stories shared. See how the holiday changes as the trolley moves from the 1880’s into the late 1920’s. The trolley runs November 26th to December December 24th, 4-8:30 pm. Adults $13.00, children 3 and up $7.00. Of course, there is shopping.
6. Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut
Number 6 is Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut. Mystic Seaport is a maritime museum with four sections: a recreated 19th-century village made of authentic businesses and trade shops from the 1800’s that were transported and reconstructed from around New England, a working shipyard, exhibit halls and an artifact storage facility. Plenty to see and do all year. The Mayflower II is headed there for a thirty-month restoration (that’s a spa visit for old ships).
November 25th through December 23rd features the Lantern Light Tour. This year the performance is “The Nutcracker Sweets,” which was inspired by the Nutcracker, and falls on Christmas Eve in 1876. The 70-minute performance of six scenes has a horse drawn carriage ride, an inspirational circle dance, a visit from St. Nick and there is something about imish mice. The show is progressive and requires participants to walk about half a mile on different types of terrain. Dress for the weather. Children under 4 may find this a challenge. The voyage begins at 5 pm and runs every 15 minutes.
Ticket prices range from $32.00 for adults to $25.00 for ages 5-17. Ages 4 and under are free. Come see how residents of this community lived, worked and made a life by the sea in the 1870’s. Enjoy Christmas Eve in 1876.