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Boston, MA—November 2016—The holiday season at Trustees’ properties across Massachusetts is always a time of celebration and festivity, from sumptuously decked halls at historic homes and holiday parties for the whole family, to cooking classes and crafting workshops that will help take the headache out of holiday planning. And for those looking to keep the kids occupied over the holiday break, The Trustees has you covered. Historic houses like Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich and Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be now be open for tours and programs during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and there is even a winter camp for kids at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, which launched its first summer camp this past summer. For shoppers there is, of course, the gift of Trustees membership, as well as even more ways to gift ‘greener’ this year.
“The holidays are a magical, but often frenzied, time of year so The Trustees makes it a priority to provide a variety of programs that inspire families and friends to take a pause and enjoy the holiday season together,” says Trustees Director of Programming Kristen Swanberg. “This season we have even more vacation programs to help keep your family inspired to get out and explore together and more of our historic homes will be open for tours and special activities.”
Skip the Shopping and #OPTOUTSIDE for free on Green Friday this November
The Trustees are excited to announce that Green Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 25, is back after last year’s record turnout. Green Friday means free entry to all outdoor Trustees properties that normally charge admission or parking fees, including Crane Beach in Ipswich, World’s End in Hingham, Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield, Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, Ward Reservation in Andover, Appleton Grass Rides in Hamilton, and Rocky Woods in Medfield. Doesn’t a day out in the splendor of New England with family and friends sound better than hours in line at a big box store?
Holiday Staycation Ideas for All Ages
Appleton Farms in Ipswich will be following up its successful summer camp with a three-day Winter Camp for kids ages 7-10 from December 27-29th. Campers will learn about farm-to-table cooking during the winter at Appleton’s state-of-the-art farm kitchen, as well as the winter habitats of local wildlife and more!
Looking to show off the history, culture, and magnificent landscapes of the Commonwealth to family, friends, or out-of-town guests? Trustees historic homes, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, the Old Manse in Concord, and Naumkeag in the Berkshires will be open the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Check our website for tour and program details at each house! Earlier in December the Bryant Homestead in Cummington will have special programs including An Old Fashioned Christmas at the Homestead with an artisan gift shop, carolers and tree lighting and A Fond Farewell to the Old with parlor games and poetry readings.
If you want to get outside but prefer not to stick to a schedule over the holidays, then the Self-Guided Tour & Scavenger Hunt at Allen C Haskell Pubilc Gardens in New Bedford is perfect for you, available anytime.
All The Ways to Gift Greener
For those who prefer to give outside-the-box gifts this holiday season, the gift of Trustees membership is an eco-friendly gift that not only supports the organization’s mission but is a gift that gives back all year long. A gift membership to The Trustees includes an annual subscription to our quarterly Special Places Magazine, offering ideas on how to enjoy our scenic natural, cultural, and agricultural properties and programs every season, as well as free or reduced entry to properties and special discounts at Trustees gift shops, cafes, programs, inns, campgrounds and much more. New this year, give a gift membership at the Family level ($67) or above and your recipient will also receive a free Trustees foldaway shopper tote bag, great for groceries, picnics, a day out exploring with the kids, and so much more.
Special shopping opportunities with the Trustees this holiday season provide unique gift ideas and directly support the Trustees conservation and preservation work. On Saturdays in November, make your way down to the beautiful Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens for a pop-up shopping experience that will feature merchandise from over 20 local artisans as well as indoor plants, fairy garden supplies and holiday wreaths. The shop will be open Wednesday through Sunday, from November 10th through December 17th. For the art lover, check out the Crane Estate Art Show & Sale on November 5th and 6th. This year’s theme is ‘The Spirit of the Garden’ in celebration of this year’s unveiling of the restored Italian Garden.
Prefer handmade gifts for the holidays? Now you can craft seasonal décor with sustainable materials on your lunch break! Join the Boston Public Market KITCHEN team and partner Stow Greenhouses for Seasonal Craft Drop-Ins on select Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12PM-2PM and make a fall bouquet to enhance your Thanksgiving table, or a holiday garland to give to a gracious host. If you’d like to check out a class led by a museum interpreter, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard’s Simple Gifts craft drop-in day will be right up your alley. Then there’s Appleton Farm’s popular annual workshop, Gifts from the Farm Kitchen on December 3rd which includes preparation of five homemade culinary gift items, or learn how to make infused oils, herbal salves and aromatherapy sprays at Stevens Coolidge Place in Andover at the DIY Herbal Gifts Workshop and try your hand at a sweet body scrub and silky body butter at Bath & Body Gifts at Powisset Farm in Dover. Or get your craft materials straight from the source at Rocky Woods Wreaths from the Trees workshops in Medfield and The Farm Institute’s Foraged Wreath Making class on Martha’s Vineyard.
Need a hostess gift of planning a party? Get your cheese fix and support your local cheesemakers and small dairies at The Trustees’ Appleton Farms Shop at the Boston Public Market, which offers the largest selection of Massachusetts-made cheeses available in one place. Thanks to a partnership with the MA Cheese Guild, the Shop sells over 100 varieties of cheese from 18 different local cheese makers, including cheese from Appleton Farms itself, the oldest continuously operating farm in the country. The Shop is excited to announce hand-curated artisanal catering platters, just in time for the holidays. The platters, named after the four Trustees properties where guests can stay (two inns and two campgrounds), will come in four sizes: Dunes’ Edge, recommended for 4-6 people; Field Farm, recommended for 8-10; Tully Lake, recommended for 15-20 and Castle Hill, recommended for 30-35. Each will come with tasting notes as well as seasonal accouterments like jam and mustard. Place your order now by stopping by the booth or reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to follow @AppletonBPM on Twitter and Instagram for details on new cheeses, special tastings and events!
This holiday season, check out the Holiday Open House at the Fruitlands Museum Store and consider doing some holiday meal shopping for meat, eggs, and more at the farmstand at The Farm Institute, open all year.
And last but not least, the tree! Notchview, the popular cross-country skiing location in Windsor invited you to cut down your own Balsam or Fraser Fir, grown for this special Christmas Tree Sale & Artisan Gift Shop and trees will also be for sale at Weir River Farm.
Seasonal Cooking Classes
Did you know that The Trustees also runs culinary programs in the Boston Public Market KITCHEN? This holiday season you can take a class with Boston Wine School or bring the whole family and learn how to cook farm-fresh local meals (with paired mocktails!) at Family Dinner Night , a new workshop series running Friday evenings through December 9th.
Appleton and Powisset’s farm kitchens will be heating up with even more Cooks! programs this holiday season—celebrate Hanukkah by learning a variety of potato pancake recipes using farm fresh ingredients at Powisset Farm’s Latkes and Lanterns or take a Sweet as Pie Culinary Workshop at Appleton.
For 10 days in December (December 7th-17th) the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate will be celebrating Holly Daze & Be Dazzled with tree decorating and lighting, readings, songs, cocktails and craft beers! Opening day will be geared towards families with young children and the final evening will culminate in a formal dance under the stars amid ice sculptures and a live band. And don’t miss the Annual Wreath Raising Party! on December 3rd at Weir River Farm in Hingham, with children’s holiday crafts, cookies and hot chocolate. Also for kids, the The Farm Nisse, a farm elf from Scandinavian folklore will visit Appleton Farms for two special nights this year, and magical hijinks are sure to ensue!
The Roaring 20’s Cocktail Party, the holiday version of the well-known summer event, Roaring 20’s Lawn Party, returns to Castle Hill for a night of vintage fun. Or come for Christmas at Castle Hill the first weekend of December and enjoy self-guided tours of the house, live music, children’s activities, mulled cider and more! If you can’t get enough historic homes, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be free to visit during Christmas on Main Street on December 3rd.
Come see the splendor of the gardens at the Stevens-Coolidge Place all-aglow at Illumination Nights, on select evenings this December. Wander among the twinkling lights and then enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores around the fire pit. For more outdoor holiday fun, you can Search for Santa at picturesque Bart’s Cobble in Sheffield, great for kids five and up.
Welcome the true beginning of winter at one of The Trustees many solstice events. There are celebrations at Appleton Farms, the Old Manse, Fruitlands, Ward Reservation in Andover, Francis William Bird Park in Walpole, the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Notchview, Powisset Farm, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Governor Hutchinson’s Field in Milton and Weir River Farm! Visit thetrustees.org/things-to-do/ to see them all!
Home Stretch of Hike 125 Challenge—still going until December 31st!
The Trustees continues to celebrate its 125th anniversary as the world’s first conservation organization, and the fun isn’t over yet! The Trustees’ statewide hiking challenge, Hike 125, is in its final stretch. Hikers (and walkers!) have until New Year’s Eve to get that mileage in at any of The Trustees 116 properties and be entered to win prizes from Trustees partner REI Co-Op. It’s not too late to join in the fun or continue to get those miles in and be entered to win prizes for mileage achievements at 25, 50, 75, 100 and, of course, 125 miles! To date, over 1,100 hikers have taken over 3,000 hikes and logged over 12,000 miles on Trustees properties! Some of our favorite peaks include include: Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, inspiration to legendary authors Herman Melville and Nathanial Hawthorne; Peaked Mountain, with views stretching to Vermont; and Pegan Hill, the highest point in Natick offering a panoramic view of Mount Monadnock and Mount Waschuset. This challenge is not just for the experienced hiker, however. Many Trustees properties feature easy walking footpaths and trails that are stroller-friendly. Visit Best First Hikes and Stroller Friendly Trails pages on The Trustees’ website for more ideas on how to get started. Guided hikes and walks are also available through the Hike 125 challenge period, with upcoming events featured on the Hike 125 website throughout the promotion. Create your hiker handle and get started at thetrustees.org/hike125.
Give Back Through Service
For those looking to volunteer and give back, which can be especially rewarding to do as a family during free time over the holidays, The Trustees is offering a special promotion through May 20th, 2017, called Serve 1-2-5. All volunteers who serve at one Trustees property, for two or more hours, five separate times will receive a commemorative patch to celebrate their service and also be entered to win a variety of great prizes in periodic drawings throughout the year. For more information visit thetrustees.org/125 and sign up at volunteer.thetrustees.org. When you sign up to volunteer, you’ll be automatically signed up for Serve 1-2-5.
The Trustees preserves and cares for some of Massachusetts’ most treasured natural, scenic, and historic sites for public use and enjoyment. Founded in 1891 and celebrating our 125th Anniversary in 2016, we are the world’s first land preservation nonprofit and the Commonwealth’s largest conservation and preservation organization. We believe in protecting the irreplaceable for everyone, forever. Our passion is to connect more people to outdoor recreation, culture, agriculture, and healthy, active living by using our 116 diverse properties, community spaces, and over 5,000 annual programs as a powerful and compelling platform. Located within minutes of every resident and visited by 1.6 million people in 2015, our properties span more than 26,000 acres across the state – from working farms, landscaped and urban gardens, and community parks, to barrier beaches, forests, campgrounds, inns and historic sites, many of which are National Historic Landmarks. In addition to our properties, we are also an active leader in land conservation. We hold conservation restrictions on more than 20,000 acres and have worked with community partners to help protect another 25,000 acres across the state. In 2014 we became a founding partner of the Boston Public Market, the first all locally-sourced indoor market of its kind in the nation where we operate our Appleton Farms vendor booth and serve as the educational programming partner for the Market’s demonstration KITCHEN. Funded by our nearly 125,000 members and supporters, we invite you to get out, get inspired, and find magic in the moment at a Trustees property near you: www.thetrustees.org.