Discovery Adventures happen in July and August; See below for details

Times: 9 AM – 3 PM

Cost: Member--$325; Non-member--$350 (Unless otherwise noted)

Sorry! 2021 Discovery Adventures are SOLD OUT!

Discovery Adventures are immersive day programs that give kids 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. All programs include an afternoon snack, hands-on crafts, and the chance to learn something new while making lasting friends and memories. Click the appropriate age category below to see 2021 program options!

COVID Safety Protocols

Summer Discovery Adventures will look a little different this year. We are working to ensure that your child has the most enjoyable and safest experience possible during this difficult and ever-changing time. We will take all possible safety precautions to ensure that we abide by the Massachusetts Department of Education and CDC guidelines. Safety measures include masking at all times (except for while eating), social distancing, and thorough cleaning of shared spaces and materials.

Click here to read more about COVID-related Protocols

Here are some things to know about this summer that are different from past program sessions:

For more extensive information about COVID protocols, see the Discovery Adventures COVID-19 Guidelines here. This document will be updated regularly in accordance to changing guidelines.

Pricing (Unless Otherwise Mentioned)

Through April 30, 2021:


From May 1 Onward:


Lunch can be added for an additional $43 per child per week during registration. Learn more here.

Registration Notes

2021 Program Options

Abecedarians (Ages 6-7)

A Day in the Life

Register for July 5-9 SOLD OUT
Register for July 26-30 SOLD OUT

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!

Barnyard and Garden

Register for July 12-16 SOLD OUT
Register for August 2-6 SOLD OUT

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 discover the technological changes that made work easier in the 1830s.

Young Artists

Register for July 19-23 SOLD OUT
Register for August 9-13 SOLD OUT

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.

Peddlers (Ages 8-10)

History Detectives

Register for July 5-9 SOLD OUT
Register for August 2-6 (Group A) SOLD OUT
Register for August 2-6 (Group B) SOLD OUT

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 crafts 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

Register for July 12-16 SOLD OUT
Register for July 26-30 SOLD OUT

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.

New Frontiers

Register for July 19-23 SOLD OUT
Register for August 9-13 (Group A) SOLD OUT
Register for August 9-13 (Group B) SOLD OUT

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. It was also a time of great social change. Participants in this experience will join the ranks of early explorers, activists, and inventors as they learn about the discoveries and movements of the time!

Apprentices (Ages 11-14)

Crafts and Trades

Register for July 12-16 SOLD OUT
Register for August 9-13 SOLD OUT

Plunge into the world of 19th-century artisans with this adventure that will give you hands-on experience with 1830s craft. Each day, participants will focus on a different trade like blacksmithing, textiles, pottery, and woodwork. After meeting with the Village’s knowledgeable costumed historians, we will work on our own exciting projects from clay, wood, fabric, and metal. Please note: Because of materials costs, the fee for this program is an additional $25.


Register for July 19-23 SOLD OUT
Register for August 2-6  SOLD OUT

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.

Pins and Needles

Register for July 5-9

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

Register for July 26-30 SOLD OUT

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.