It’s springtime and the Village’s gardens and nature walks are coming to life again. Leaves are budding on the trees, and there are babies on the farm. Our hands-on workshops this month will give participants a chance to draw inspiration from nature and get their hands dirty.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Times: The Village is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Join us for one of two identical September Home School Days at Old Sturbridge Village. This month’s Home School Days will focus on the written word and storytelling. Many of the day’s workshops are related to reading, printing, and books.

Home School Days offer you and your family the opportunity to explore the Village and participate in hands-on activities. From games, to woodworking, to tending to the garden, this is a great opportunity for kids to gain exposure to many aspects of 1830s New England life in an interactive way. Both September Home School Days will offer the same workshops; in the interest of creating the most availability for the most people, please consider signing up for workshops on only one date.

Sign up for a workshop or explore the Village on your own using one of our many self-guides and scavenger hunts, available at both Museum Education and the Visitor Center.

Admission and Ticketing

On Home School Day, homeschoolers (ages 4-17) get in at the discounted rate $10 and one adult is admitted per home school youth at the discounted rate of $15. Additional adults above the 1 to 1 ratio are admitted at the full rate of $28. As always, members get into the Village for free.

Workshops are an additional fee; see below for details.

Click here to purchase/reserve tickets for September 14, 2022

Things to know:

Check back the week prior to the event for more information on in-Village activities.

Hands-On Workshops

Weave a Bookmark | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 10:00 (Ages 8+) SOLD OUT
Register for 11:00 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT
Register for 1:00 (Ages 10+)

Participants will learn the basics of weaving on a loom, and then start weaving a small and useful bookmark to take home with them.

Make a Family Register | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 10:00 (Ages 8+)
Register for 11:00 (Ages 8+)
Register for 1:00 (Ages 8+)

A family register was an important way for 19th-century families to record their genealogy. Students in academies sometimes made intricate, sewn registers on fabric. We will use paint and theorem stencils to create a one-of-a-kind register for you to record your family history!

Working in the Print Shop | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 10:00 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT
Register for 11:00 (Ages 8+) SOLD OUT
Register for 1:00 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT

Learn about the printing trade in the 1830s. Activities include making your own unique piece of marbled paper, using a printing press, trying to set type, and writing with a quill pen.

Make a Broadside | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 10:00 (Ages 8+)
Register for 11:00 (Ages 8+)
Register for 1:00 (Ages 10+) SOLD OUT

Broadsides were an important way of passing information to the public during the 19th century. Large flyers with bold type and strong images, broadsides hung on the walls of public buildings to promote anything from a circus to a new miracle cure. We will look at broadsides from the Village’s collections and then create our own eye-catching announcement.

Make a Decorative Plate | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 10:00 (Ages 10+) SOLD OUT
Register for 11:00 (Ages 8+) SOLD OUT
Register for 1:00 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT

By the 1830s, New England stores were stocked with products from all over the United States and the world. One of the items New Englanders might purchase would be ceramic plates, bowls, and cups, often made in England. Some ceramics were plain, but others were more elaborate with landscapes and figures. We will decorate our own plates using ceramic paints, inspired by period designs.

Play with Clay | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 10:00 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT
Register for 11:00 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT
Register for 1:00 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT

People have been using pottery for a long time to hold and store food. Sometimes the pottery is simple and sometimes it’s more decorative. We will learn about pottery in the 1830s and then hand-shape a piece of pottery to bring home using air-dry clay!

Open-Hearth Cooking: Cider Cake | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 10:30 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT
Register for 11:30 (Ages 10+) SOLD OUT
Register for 1:30 (Ages 8+) SOLD OUT

Follow a 19th-century “receipt” for cider cake to make a delicious snack to share together. Participants will also take a look at other historic receipts to see how food has changed over time. Ingredients will include: cider, flour, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, milk, butter

Stories and Crafts: Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 10:00 (Ages 5+)

Enjoy storytime with a classic picture book, then try out a craft or activity relating to the tale.

Together, we’ll read the story Dave the Potter, about an enslaved man who was also a gifted artisan and poet. We will talk about how the Village’s potters make redware vessels and then make our own ceramic goods from air-dry clay.

Stories and Crafts: Breaking into Print | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 11:00 (Ages 5+)

Enjoy storytime with a classic picture book, then try out a craft or activity relating to the tale.

This tale tells the story of the creation of one of history’s most important inventions: the printing press. After we read the book, we will examine printer’s type, look at books from the Village’s time, and make our own block prints.

Stories and Crafts: Six Dots: A Story of a Young Louis Braille | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 1:00 (Ages 5+)

Enjoy storytime with a classic picture book, then try out a craft or activity relating to the tale.

We will read Six Dots, a picture book about Louis Braille, the French educator and inventor who developed the Braille system of reading for the visually impaired in the 1820s. After the tale, we will learn about communication in the early 1800s and create a tactile craft.

Make a Bubble Wand and Giant Bubble Contest | 50 Minutes | $7

Register for 10:00 (Ages 6+)
Register for 11:00 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT

Using just wood and string, create a bubble wand to make some really huge bubbles. Afterwards, we’ll have a contest to see who can make the biggest bubble.

Sew a Reticule | 90 Minutes | $12

Register for 1:00 (Ages 10+) SOLD OUT

Hone your sewing skills by creating a reticule, a small velvet pouch with stenciled designs. Your reticule will be the perfect size to carry writing implements or a small journal for when creativity strikes.

Farmhouse Breakfast | 90 Minutes | $12

Register for 10:00 (Ages 10+) SOLD OUT

Work together over an open hearth to create a delicious and hearty breakfast like the ones farm families would have enjoyed on a 19th-century morning. While breakfast cooks, we will examine cookbooks from the period and learn more about their authors. Ingredients will include: ham, potatoes, cucumbers, eggs, flour, butter, cheese, bread

Going West | 90 Minutes | $12

Register for 10:00 (Ages 10+) SOLD OUT

During this workshop, participants will learn more about the ways in which the American landscape was changing during the 1830s. How did people travel West, and why? We will read letters and journal entries from 19th-century people who moved to the Western territories, and then make our own faux-leather journal to record our adventures.

Make a Broom | 90 Minutes | $12 

Register for 1:00 (Ages 10+) SOLD OUT

Broom making was a very common industry in Massachusetts in the early 19th century. Especially in communities along the Connecticut River, broom factories employed many people to make useful brooms from broom corn. Make your own small version of this tool for cleaning around the house!

Make a Footstool | 90 Minutes | $12

Register for 10:00 (Ages 10+) SOLD OUT

Use your woodworking skills to make a small footstool, perfect for resting your feet while you settle in with your favorite book.

Village Tour: Crafts and Trades | 90 Minutes | $7

Register for 1:00 (Ages 6+) SOLD OUT

Join a museum educator for a Village tour focused on trades and artisans in the 1830s. Participants will learn how you became a printer, blacksmith, or shoemaker, and what your everyday life was like. Please note: this tour involves a lot of walking and will last about 1.5 hours. Adults are welcome to join on the tour, but registration slots are for students only.


A inside view from the print shop

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