Due to the ongoing restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Old Sturbridge Village has had to make several operational changes that will allow us to deepen our focus on our mission of preserving history and the visitor experience. Some of these changes include closing our lodging for the season and closing our banquet division until further notice. Additionally, during the fall, we will be leaning into weekends where we will be open Friday-Sunday. View our hours here and purchase/reserve tickets here.
Read the official statement from President and CEO Jim Donahue:
September 2, 2020
First, I want to thank you for your continued support of Old Sturbridge Village. We were thrilled this summer to welcome so many visitors to the Village in July and August. While the experience was different, visitors reported that they enjoyed visiting with our costumed historians in new and different ways.
We plan to continue to offer a robust experience this fall – and hope that you will visit us during one of New England’s most beautiful seasons. Our outdoor museum offers the perfect setting for fresh air, exercise and new way to celebrate New England history. In fact, we are extending our Kids Free promotion through November 28th, to help parents and grandparents take their children for a fun and immersive history experience, especially since so many are attending school remotely right now.
This is not our new normal – but it is our “now normal.” As we await a vaccine for Covid-19 and the relaxation of restrictions on indoor spaces, we will continue to provide a high-quality program for our visitors throughout the fall.
Covid has presented some unique financial challenges – and opportunities – to Old Sturbridge Village. The Board and the Management Team have been using data to guide our planning for the rest of our fiscal year to ensure that OSV can continue to maintain a strong staffing presence, and offer as many programs as we can to our members and visitors.
To that end, I would like to share some changes at the Village that will launch in September.
1. For September through November, Old Sturbridge Village will be open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – and on Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day. Leaning into the weekends and holidays in the fall will align to visitor trends we saw over the summer and will allow us to put our best foot forward every day that we are open. Again, up to 3 kids per paying adult will be offered through the end of November 28, 2020.
It will also give us Wednesdays and Thursdays to do important work in the Village that we cannot do when the visiting public is there. It will give us a jump on many of the deferred maintenance projects that we have not had the time to complete – again, with the goal of giving you the best experience that we can.
2. The Oliver Wight House and the Reeder Family Lodges will be closed for the season on Labor Day. We simply are not seeing enough bookings to merit keeping the business open for the rest of the season – and those resources are better spent now ensuring that the museum can operate at full steam.
3. We will also not be taking reservations for weddings or other banquet functions until we have a clear line of sight to being able to hold those events without restriction. We feel it is unfair to promise dates without that certainty.
4. The restrictions of Covid-19 also make it impossible for us to host The Sleepy Hollow Experience at the Village this October. Fear not, though – the Village is working on some Halloween ideas that we plan to bring to life in October that will provide a safe and fun experience for everyone.
Finally, we are working now on the details for an amazing holiday program in December. We know that almost 25,000 people visited the Village last Christmas as part of their family’s holiday tradition – and we want you to be able to enjoy Christmastime at the Village again. We will be sharing more details in November.
You know what they say about the best-laid plans. All of this is contingent on continued guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regarding the operation of outdoor museums. Please check our website regularly for any schedule changes or program announcements. You can also sign up to receive regular emails from the Village.
Let me close by expressing my sincere thanks for your interest in the Village, for your visit, for your membership and for your support. Each of those things is a gift to the museum – and we need your support now more than ever. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at the Village in the fall – safe, healthy, and happy.
Old Sturbridge Village
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Thank you for your understanding and your continued support during these times.