Winter Activities: Tree House + Old Sturbridge Village

Last on our list of winter activities: a trip to Tree House Brewing and Old Sturbridge Village. We went Sunday the 19th—two days after our Thunderbirds game—since Josh had the weekend off from work.

This was our second trip to Tree House together; the first time was back in July right before we made it official, so it has a special place in our hearts.

I got Juice Machine and Josh got Julius with mango, and, of course, I had to get truffle parmesan fries from the food truck out front because I wasn’t going to make it to dinner without having a snack. I also unintentionally looked like Fozzie Bear with my sherpa pull-over and beanie.

The decorations inside and outside made it feel really festive, and before we left, we got our cans that we pre-ordered that morning. (Prior to the pandemic, you’d wait in line for your can order, like I did two years ago for an hour and a half, but now they offer online ordering and you can go pick up your order as long as you have your confirmation email.) Plus we saw a bunch of dogs, which always makes a Tree House trip worth it.

Next, we headed to Old Sturbridge Village, which was about five minutes away from Tree House in Charlton, MA. We were going for Christmas by Candlelight; it was my first time going to this event but Josh had gone last year with his family and thought it would be a cute winter date idea for us.

We got there around 4:00 p.m., and our intention was to be there after the sun went down so we could really see all of the lights. After we checked in with our tickets, we were handed a map with descriptions of what each of the buildings were and what they offered.

In some of the buildings, there were holiday tradition recreations, like baking and making pottery and ornaments, but we steered clear of any of the smaller buildings just because they’d become quickly crowded.

Around 4:45 p.m., the sun finally went down and we were really able to see the lights. Around the pond—in the picture below—they had lights around the trees as well as inside the covered bridge.

Inside the bridge, you could write down your wish on a paper tag and hang it on the trees. Josh and I wrote out our wishes: mine is on the left, his is on the right.

(And the irony of my wish is that the next day I woke up with a cold that I’d have all the way into Christmas weekend. It was great.)

We only got lost once because I misread the map, but everything basically looped back to the center green area.

In the white house on the left, we did stop in for a few minutes; there were room re-creations of what Christmas decorations looked like in the 1830s, 1850s, and 1870s. We didn’t go in the brown house on the right, I just liked how it looked from the outside.

This was in the center of the village; in the back, you can see the church, and there was an oval path around the center green where a horse-drawn carriage was bringing people around.

And, of course, we had to find some animals for me to look at. There were also a couple of cows in the barn.

So this marks the end of our current winter activities list, but that doesn’t mean we won’t find things to do in the new year. Let’s just hope if we do any more activities, I won’t get a cold immediately after.

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