See program options and dates below. Registration closes at 7:00 am on the Wednesday before the start of each session.

Times: Programs run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm; Extended day care (morning or afternoon) is available for an additional fee.

Cost: $325 per non-member child; $300 per member child (unless otherwise mentioned); Boxed lunches and extended day care are available for additional fees.

Pick up and drop off are at the Museum Education Building.

Registration remains open for summer 2020 Discovery Adventures! If the museum needs to cancel because of COVID 19, we will refund you for the full price of the program, including the registration fee. 

Discovery Adventures are immersive day programs that give kids ages 6-17 a chance to step back in time and experience life in the 1830s at Old Sturbridge Village. Every session offers kids the opportunity to explore an aspect of 19th-century history and daily life–from animal care and farming, to dirty jobs and hearth cooking!

All programs include an afternoon snack, hands-on crafts, and the chance to learn something new while making lasting friends and memories.

For registration and information on program offerings, click on the appropriate age group below.

Pricing

Per Person $325; OSV Members $300 (unless otherwise mentioned)

Sign up before May 1 and SAVE $25 per child! 

Registration Notes

Programs for Abcderians (Ages 6-7)

A Day in the Life

July 6-10

Explore the week of an 1830s kid in this day-in-the-life adventure! Taking on the roles of real kids from the early 1800s, we will experience their lives first-hand; from games, to farm chores, to school lessons. This program is an excellent sampler for those who have never been to Discovery Adventures before!

World Travelers

July 13-17
August 3-7

With new products from around the world, new transportation, and the exploration of “uncharted” territory, the world was getting a little bigger for people in rural New England in the early 1800s. Our intrepid pioneers will gather stamps in their passport as they learn about how the lives of Sturbridge residents changed through contact with the whole world!

Story Quest!

July 20-24

Have you ever tried something you read about in a book? Let’s explore the 1830s through stories! Each day we will use stories to time travel back to life in the 19th century.  Then, kids will participate in crafts, hands-on activities, and adventures relating to the day’s tale.

Young Artists

July 27-31

Calling all blossoming artists! Students in this program will try out art projects inspired by paintings, pottery, and prints of the 1830s. We will get inspired by the Village’s animals, gardens, and architecture to create beautiful art. The week will culminate in a show of our works.

Programs for Peddlers (Ages 8-10)

Great 19th-Century Bake Off!

July 6-10
July 20-24

From the time they were six or seven years old, kids were really important to the daily upkeep of a household in the 1830s. Participants in this program will learn how to cook historical food in a brick hearth, learn from costumed historians in the Village about 19th-century foodways, and get their hands dirty with some typical tasks at home and on the farm. At the end of the week, we’ll have a baking completion to flex our new skills!

History Detectives

July 13-17
August 3-7

Explore the Village with fresh eyes as you try and unravel a week-long mystery! Detective trainees in this program will flex their mystery-solving skills as they decipher codes and hunt for clues. They will participate in traditional Discovery Adventures activities like hearth cooking and chores, all tinged with an element of the mysterious as they compile leads throughout the week. If you participated in this program last summer, don’t worry: there will be a new mystery to solve this time around!

Dirty Jobs

July 6-10
July 27-31

Life in the 1830s was dirty and smelly! Participants will get hands-on experience with the messiest tasks of life in the early 1800s: helping farmers around the barn, digging in the dirt of the Village’s gardens, and helping with the messy task of cleaning wool.

Barnyard and Garden

July 13-17

Calling all animal-lovers! In the 1830s, most people in rural Massachusetts were farmers. Adventurers in this program will spend the week learning all about the Village’s heritage breed animals and life on the farm. Help out with chores in the fields and in the gardens, explore animal care and husbandry, and discover the technological changes that made work easier in the 1830s.

Old School Science

July 20-24

Let’s explore 19th-century science and innovation! Learn about the science behind yeast and cheesemaking in the kitchen. Sift through sand for archaeological remains of the past. Try out old technologies and compare them to new! Participants will learn about the way people in the 1830s understood science and how the technology they created to make their lives easier.

Women’s History

August 3-7

This year is the centennial of women winning the right to vote in the U.S.! While 1920 is a long way away from the 1830s, the roots of the woman suffrage movement started during the Village’s period. We will learn about the roles of women (both famous and less-well known; both white women and women of color), try out women’s crafts and traditional skills, and explore the way women’s rights changed over time.

Programs for Apprentices (Ages 11-14)

Tools of the Trade

July 13-17
August 3-7

Sharpen your woodworking skills with this weeklong adventure! Our young carpenters will learn about tool safety while they create several projects based on items from the Village’s collections. We will also learn about different types of trees, technological change in the early 1800s, and how people in the 1830s utilized their natural resources.

Please note: Because of materials costs, the fee for this program is an additional $25/child.

Militia

July 27-31

Taking on the role of a real 18th– and 19th-century Sturbridge militia or retired Revolution military man,  our company will learn the discipline, drills, target practice, arms, clothing and personal equipment that were required of a member of an early New England militia. In addition to all the practice drills, you’ll try some authentic outdoor camp cooking and participate in other militia-related activities.

Please note: Because of materials costs, the fee for this program is an additional $25/child.

Pins and Needles

July 13-17

Learning to sew and knit was an important skill for boys and girls in the 1830s. We’ll learn the basics of knitting, work on useful sewing projects like needle cases, and create skilled and beautiful embroidery. Try out wool dyeing, spinning, weaving; and explore the Village’s textile collections!

Pen to Paper

August 3-7

Explore the written word from the past! We will hone our skills and flex our creativity through writing exercises and games. We will also immerse ourselves in the stories, poems, and songs from the 1830s and today. Participants will draw inspiration from the Village’s surroundings to create their own portfolio of writing.

Kitchen Kids

July 6-10
July 27-31

Where did food come from in the 1830s? How did people keep food good without refrigeration? More importantly, how does food from the 1830s taste? Get cooking with this exploration of 19th-century food. Chefs will participate in savory and sweet cooking projects during the week—including in one of the Village’s households–learn about 1830s food preservation and science, and investigate where people got their food in the early 1800s.

Junior Curators

July 20-24

Have you ever wondered what goes into creating exhibits? Or thought about why museums collect what they collect? And how do they keep track of everything? We will learn the answers to these questions and more as we delve into OSV’s collections and become junior curators. Participants will learn how curators and archivists uncover the mysteries behind objects and documents, curate a mini group exhibit, and more.

Programs for Journeymen (Ages 14-17)

Journeymen

July 20-24

Taking on the role of a 19th-century teen, learn the work of young men and women of this time. Three mornings a week, learn and work alongside our highly-skilled costumed historians in Village exhibits through rotating station placements. You will also work on an in-depth craft project and share the experience of preparing and enjoying a 19th-century meal with your fellow Journeymen. Participants can choose a “track” for their station placements, focusing on either food and textiles or historic crafts.