Love is in the Air Jane Austen-style at Gore Place… and so much more!

Posted by Tara, Ziptivity’s Metro Boston Community Ambassador

Is your 10-year-old already an expert on the history of fashion, interior design or architecture? Does your middle-schooler know that Jane Austen was a PK or that her brother was her literary agent? Is your high schooler in love with the idea of love? Then get thee to Gore Place this Sunday afternoon for their Jane Austen Tours. Gore Place was the Federal period house and estate of former Massachusetts Governor Christopher Gore. According to the folks at Gore Place, the English- and French-influenced design of the house “greatly resembles the manor houses described in Austen’s novels.”

During the Jane Austen tours, a guide dressed in period clothing will use quotes from Austen’s novels and letters to describe the highs and lows of love in Austen’s time. If you feel like you need to brush up on your knowledge of the era or of Jane Austen’s novels, show your kids this website. You can read over their shoulders and then act like you already knew which of Austen’s novels were published posthumously, the title of her first play, or that the fashion of Austen’s time is called The Regency Period.

Of course, Jane Austen may not be your child’s cup of tea. Gore Place has a lot to offer families with children of all ages and interests. Next Friday night, you and your kids (ages 6 and up) might enjoy exploring life before electricity during the Full Moon Tour, Living in the Dark. If your preschooler is all about farm animals, check out the sheep, goats and poultry on the small Gore Farm. Gore Place’s 24th Annual Sheepshearing Festival is also coming up at the end of April. This big outdoor fest features a crafts fair, wagon rides, live music, historic re-enactors, food vendors, and an activities tent.

The 48-acre grounds of the Gore estate are open and free for family exploration from dawn to dusk every day. To enrich the experience, you can rent an activity backpack for $5 and take a self-guided tour of the farm and grounds. Gore Place offers backpacks with seasonal activities appropriate for ages 3-8. You can also request a special backpack for your school-age children. These backpacks allow kids to delve into topics such as Archaeology or Raised Garden Beds or to take a Math challenge. When the grounds are snow-covered, snowshoes are also available to rent.  For backpacks and snowshoes, just ring the bell at the mansion Monday through Friday, 10am-3pm and Saturdays from 12 to 3pm. You may want to call ahead to check for availability of backpacks.

Looking ahead, save the date for  Alastair Moock’s concert with his band at Gore Place on May 22nd. If you want your kids to roll up their sleeves and get a little dirty this summer, Gore Place is offering two farming programs: Tuesdays on the Farm at Gore Place, a weekly farming class on Tuesday mornings in July for kids (ages 8-12), and On the Farm at Gore Place, a week-long hands-on farm program for children 6-9 years old.

Learn more about regular tour times, directions, discounts, and other useful information.  There is no food on site, but there is a D’Angelo sub shop nearby, at 49 River Street. As you munch on your foot-longs, you and the kids can reflect on your journey back in time and marvel at our modern conveniences.

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