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Sturbridge, Massachussetts, boasts one of the most visited tourist attractions in the US. It is home to Old Sturbridge Village, a recreation of a 19th century New England farming villiage and surrounding countryside.
Children find as soon as they step in the Visitors Center that they have stepped back in time. Costumed greeters dressed in 1830's clothing, direct them to KidStory, a please touch mini microcosm of what they are about to experience before they actually set foot in the Village including clothes to try on and a pretend farm complete with animals.
There is usually some kind of craft to try our before entering the 19th century. As of this writing there are now interactive displays as well.
As soon as families set foot on the other side of the Visitor Center they are transported to another era. They first see the Village green and see Villagers plying their daily tasks. Children are encouraged to ask questions and at least one house has children's games and things to touch.
On the green in the summer time, families can try out 19th century outdoor games and play baseball of the period. In the winter, an ice skating rink allows familes to enjoy the setting while having fun.
The second area of the Village is the farm and mill area where parents and children alike can find out what life was really like in rural New England.
New to the experience this year is the opprtunity to take part in mini workshops (for an additional fee) to make something or to learn more about New England life.
There are nature trails, a boat ride, a horsedrwn carriage ride special holiday celebrations, candlelit walks and even movies.Most importantly are the famous cookies!
The Village is open year-round and visitors can experience different things at different times. Membership is also available and economical for familes that live within a two to three hour drive. The Village is reached off of interstate 84 in Sturbridge, Massachussetts.