Winding up WinterFest Weekends at Fruitlands

Just over five years ago, I remember house-hunting with my husband in Harvard, MA.  Only a couple years prior, we had left Boston after several years of a fast-paced urban life, having settled into an easy, quiet lifestyle in Amherst, MA.  But two short years later, Boston beckoned again and we were ambivalent.  How could we leave this quiet, country life in Amherst?  But when we saw Harvard, we saw the possibilities – proximity to Boston and friends, yet a town full of open space, quality public education, and culture in the form of Fruitlands Museum.

“Fruitlands” (so named because the inhabitants hoped to live off the fruits of the land, despite only having a small cluster of apple trees) was initially a farmhouse purchased for a mere $1500 by Amos Bronson Alcott as an experimental community meant to emulate the Utopian society. The project failed, but we now benefit from the beauty and history in abundance there.

Fruitlands Museum’s complex includes a fine art collection containing over 100 Hudson River School landscape paintings, the first Shaker museum, and an impressive Native American gallery. In addition to the art history residing there, Fruitlands offers over 200 acres of breathtaking land to enjoy year-round, as well as a delightful team room open from May through October (special events only from November through April).

To take advantage of the beautiful winter landscape at Fruitlands while you have a chance, take the kids and head to the last WinterFest weekend at Fruitlands.  Pack your snowshoes, cross-country skis, ice skates and sleds for a peaceful, Utopian weekend of fresh air, exercise and relaxation.  EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) will even be there for a free snowshoe demo on Saturday!  Then, after burning some calories on the hills, ice and groomed trails, warm up and huddle by the campfire to enjoy hot dogs and hot cocoa – what kid (big or small) wouldn’t like that?

All this for only $10 per carload for nonmembers; $5 per carload for members!  And please bring non-perishable canned good donations for the Loaves & Fishes food pantry.

Tips:  Think your little ones are too little for the outdoor excitement?  Not to worry.  There is one steep hill for sledding and snowboarding, and two smaller hills for the younger set.  Also, sitting by the campfire gives you a comfortable (and warm) view of the nearby rink, trails and hills in case you need to take a break and the kids don’t.  Public restrooms are available.

So create memories at Fruitlands Museum this weekend.  Did we end up moving to Harvard?  No.  But we certainly can take advantage of this classic New England town’s beauty, nature and culture just one hour outside Boston.

Editor’s Note:  Fruitlands’ Toddler Thursdays will resume March 13 from 9-10 a.m.  Each session allows parents to explore art, nature, and history with your child and includes music, story, and an art project.  April vacation camps are also available for grades 2-6.

Fruitlands Museum

102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard


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