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Old Sturbridge Village offers school vacation activities

Date: 12/20/2010

STURBRIDGE — Historians and educators at Old Sturbridge Village are planning lots of indoor and outdoor activities to keep the kids busy — and happy — during December school vacation week, Dec. 26 to Jan. 2.

The fun includes ice skating — weather permitting; bring your own skates, sledding on 1830s-style sleds and sleigh rides, snow permitting.

A new exhibit of antique ice skates from the Antique Ice Skate Club will be on view, including elaborately decorated vintage figure skates from the 1800s.

School vacation week visitors can also meet the OSV oxen, help the farmers split fence rails, learn to churn butter, dip candles and write with a quill pen. Shadow puppet shows and family-friendly entertainment will be performed daily throughout the week and children can participate in lots of "make and take" craft activities, including a period-style animation toy, called a thaumatrope and a spice bag of cinnamon, cloves and allspice for mulling cider.

A variety of additional crafts are available for $5 to $10, including making a clay pot, a tin sconce and a pair of tin snowflake ornaments.

In addition, Old Sturbridge Village is offering a two-day Winter Discovery Camp on Dec. 29 and 30, open to children ages 6 to 17 and a special "Families Cook" evening from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 29, where adults and children ages 8 and up prepare a 19th-century dinner over the fireplace with help from OSV historians in costume.

After learning to chop, cook and bake the old fashioned way, families sit down together to enjoy the meal by candlelight. Reservations are required. For details: or call 1-800-SEE-1830.

At the OSV Winter Discovery Camp, children learn first-hand what life was like in the 1830s by dressing in authentic period costume, learning to cook food over the hearth and celebrating winter festivities.

They also learn how farmers get ready for winter and help them with winter work like splitting rails to repair damaged fences. Discovery Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended day care available until 5:30 p.m. For details: 508-347-0285 or register online:

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is open year round. The museum is open daily during school vacation week from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $20; seniors, $18; children 3-17, $7; children under 3, free. For details on all programs listed: or call 1-800-733-1830.