Meet the Newborn Lambs, Celebrate Patriots Day, Discovery Camps and More at OSV

April School Vacation Week at Old Sturbridge Village

Four new lambs have already arrived at Old Sturbridge Village, with more expected in the days and weeks to come – good news for children who look forward to meeting the new arrivals during April school vacation week. Visitors can also meet the Village oxen, cows, and chickens, and help the Village farmers with their spring work, from spring planting and plowing to splitting fence rails and sharpening tools.

To celebrate Patriots Day, April 19th, Old Sturbridge Village offers musket firing demonstrations, and invites young visitors (armed with wooden muskets) to march and drill with the militia. Fifers and drummers will perform the “top 10 military hits,” and historians will demonstrate how militia soldiers had to cast their own musket balls over the fireplace.

Spring in early New England: the “six weeks of want”

Visitors to Old Sturbridge Village can tour the farm root cellar and learn why early New Englanders called springtime the “six weeks of want,” which lasted from April to early June.

“People today think of spring as a time of renewal and abundance, but it was just the opposite in the early 19th century,” notes Deb Friedman, OSV director of public program. “Nothing was up yet in the garden, and they were getting to the ‘bottom of the barrel’ on last year’s supplies of meat and vegetables. To get fresh greens in their diet, they harvested wild pokeweed, dandelions and fiddlehead ferns to eat.”

On the positive side, springtime in early New England also meant fresh eggs to eat for the first time since fall. “Eggs are definitely a sign of spring. With more daylight and longer days, chickens begin laying eggs again,” Friedman says. “Light affects egg production – that’s why modern poultry farms have lights on all the time.”

Old Sturbridge Village has a large indoor craft center and more than 40 historic buildings, so the fun happens rain or shine. The Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is open from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., seven days a week. OSV visitors get free parking and a free return visit within 10 days. Admission: $20; seniors $18; children 3-17, $7; children under 3, free. For a complete listing of all times, activities and details: 1-800-733-1830; www.osv.org

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