Trustees Announces Fall Jaunts and Haunts!

Best Things to Do in Massachusetts this Fall from the State’s Largest Conservation and Preservation Non-profit

Contact Information

Kristi Perry
PR Director
617.542.7696 x2123 

Katie Marshall
PR Specialist
617.542.7696 x2124 

Boston, MA – September 2018 – Fall in New England means the end of summer bugs, humidity, and traffic and the beginning of crisp air, stunning foliage, and plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. The Trustees has a statewide programming calendar overflowing with ways for Massachusetts members, residents, and visitors to make the most of this beautiful season.  

“Fall is a very festive time at The Trustees,” says Kristen Swanberg, Director of Programming for The Trustees. “It’s important to us to celebrate the natural beauty and bounty of this season in Massachusetts by offering our members and visitors tried and true, as well as totally new, ways to get outside and connect with nature, culture, and history.” 

Many summer hits from The Trustees will continue through the fall, like the Notch Brewing Traveling Biergarten series and farm dinners, and fall favorites like festivals, free days, and Halloween events for all ages return by popular demand, with new offerings as well including a farm-based cooking series and writing workshops. 

The world’s oldest and the Commonwealth’s largest conservation and preservation nonprofit, The Trustees cares for 117 scenic, natural, and cultural sites from Greater Boston to the Berkshires, which offer year-round opportunities that connect more people to local farms and food, nature, culture, and the great outdoors. Below is a sampling of ideas on how to make the most of fall at Trustees properties, but many more can be found at   



Inspired by European-style, family-friendly outdoor beer gardens and the growing popularity of craft beer, The Trustees and Salem-based Notch Brewing launched a series of family-friendly Traveling Biergarten events this spring that has been traveling to Trustees parks, farms, and cultural sites in the Greater Boston area—and has drummed up quite the following! These pop-up beer gardens will continue through November, featuring outdoor seating, custom steins and Notch’s acclaimed session (low alcohol) beer from a custom-designed ‘mobile tap room’ van. There are still many more dates on the calendar in September, October, and November to come out and enjoy this experience. Each event is built to highlight the unique character, history, and natural beauty of the host site and including activities for all ages like lawn games and scavenger hunts, local food from Trustees farms and community partners and live music. For details and dates, visit  

Fall festivals are a special way to celebrate the new season and make new family memories! Fruitlands Museum’s 8th year of its popular two-day Craft Festival is coming up in September, joined by a Notch Traveling Biergarten for even more fun. Also in September, there is a Fall Festival at Weir River Farm in Hingham, a Homestead Harvest Festival at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington and Appleton Farms in Ipswich will celebrate its seasonal Family Farm Day Fall Festival. And in early October, there’s a whole lineup of Harvest Festivals at Chestnut Hill Farm in Southborough, Powisset Farm in Dover, and The FARM Institute on Martha’s Vineyard. 

Get in quality family time over a sumptuous local meal at farm dinners that continue through the early fall with dates at Weir River Farm, Powisset Farm, Chestnut Hill Farm, and Appleton Farms. Each farm has a different bucolic setting but at each one, you can expect a delicious multi-course meal, views, activities and live music. For even more foodie fun down on the farm, don’t miss Powisset Farm’s new three-part Culinary Tour of China series offered in October.  

Halloween is another time to gather the whole family for spooktacular fun. Non-scary options for the wee ones abound on Trustees properties, and now grown-up Halloween festivities are fast becoming a new staple. Weir River Farm’s Boo in the Barnyard, a South Shore family favorite, will now be offered at Powisset Farm and The FARM Institute. The Mummy: A Castle Hill Halloween Party and the Appleton Farms Costume Cocktail Party are appropriate for older kids but the hors-d'oeuvres and cocktails were definitely chosen with mom and dad in mind! For real frights, check out the Haunted House at Naumkeag in Stockbridge and the William Cullen Bryant Homestead’s Homestead Haunted House. Don’t miss Hillside Halloween at Fruitlands for trick or treating at each museum building, be awed by Mystery Theater with Magician Melies at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead or try your luck with the Spirits of the Manse at the Old Manse in Concord, known for its hauntings. Pumpkins in the Park at Bird Park, the Nocturnal Animal Pumpkin Trail at the Stevens Coolidge Place and Naumkeag’s Pumpkin Trail are all suitable for all ages. 


Trail races are a fall staple, a great way to run off the hot dogs and ice cream of summer, and the mileage counts towards your Hike 125 stats! Tully Lake Campground in Royalston offers the 12th annual Tully Triathlon, a 17-mile paddling/trail running/mountain biking extravaganza that culminates with a free concert and awards ceremony. World’s End will host a Race to the End of the World 5K, Bird Park offers a Trail Run and Obstacle Course, Fruitlands Museum has a Cyclocross, Notchview has the dog-friendly Cani-Cross Race and 3K Fun Run, and the ‘Barn to Run’ trail race series will continue at Weir River Farm and Chestnut Hill Farm in September, and Powisset Farm in October.   

Urban gardens are vital sanctuaries of green among the hustle and bustle of city life. Thanks to TD Bank, and with the City of Boston, three Trustees Community Gardens, Nightingale Community Garden in Dorchester, Chilcott & Granada Community Garden in Jamaica Plain, and the Fenway Victory Gardens, now have site-specific art installations and community-building events through October as part of Community Grown: Art & Design in the Gardens.  

The foliage, the crisp air, and the lack of mosquitos and summer crowds make fall possibly the best season for hiking. And there’s still plenty of time to join The Trustees’ Hike 125 hiking challenge—hikers have until December 31st to hike 125 miles or more and be eligible for prizes such as outdoor gear and Trustees merchandise and memberships. So, grab a friend, pile the kids in the car, or go solo, and immerse yourself in the woods, beach, or fields. The challenge is free to enter and most Trustees properties are free to hike, year-round. Explore over 350 miles of Trustees trails and 75 miles of coastline. Many properties feature easy walking footpaths and trails that are stroller-friendly as well. Visit Best First Hikes, Stroller Friendly Trails and Picnic Spots for more ideas on how to get started. 

For another way to become immersed in the great outdoors, Fruitlands Museum will offer its Forest Bathing program again—a popular sell-out program for the mind, body, and soul. Fruitlands is also launching a new two-part Writing Workshop offered in October with the Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative where you can get inspired by this beautiful place. 


Part of the Trustees statewide mission is to grow the next generation of conservationists, especially in this crucial time when our natural resources are under threat from our changing climate and rising sea levels. As a result, more than 50% of the Trustees more than 5,000 annual events focus on connecting children and families to Massachusetts’s natural and cultural treasures in hopes that they will grow up appreciating nature and the outdoors and understanding the value of caring for the environment.  

For the littlest littles, Appleton Farms and Weir River Farm both continue their regular Preschool Farm Explorers program and Barnyard Story Hours, Fruitlands Museum has Wednesday Wonderings, a pre-school series, and the Stevens Coolidge Place has a regular Nature Playgroup! For bigger and school-age kiddos, the Junior Ranger Workshop series at Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge or the After School FARM Club at The FARM Institute, both on Martha’s Vineyard, are surefire ways to instill a love of nature.  

Trustees farms’ Open Barnyards (Pigs! Chickens! Goats! Sheep! Bunnies!) at Weir River Farm and Powisset Farm are also still open through October, as are farm stands selling produce, meats and more, plus there are fields, hills, forest and trails aching to be explored, making them a full day destination for the family. 


Returning this fall, The Trustees is offering three special free entry days. On Columbus Day, Monday, October 8, admission to Trustees historic houses, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, the Old Manse in Concord, Naumkeag in the Berkshires and Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, is free for residents of those counties. To celebrate Veteran’s Day, admission all Trustees properties is free to veterans, active and retired military, and their families, on both Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12. Several Trustees historic houses are open for tours on one or both days. On Green Friday, the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, November 23), back by popular demand, The Trustees will also offer free entry to all outdoor properties with admission or parking fee. Skip the shopping and get outside with family and friends! Many properties are offering special programming on these days.  

Every family has a tech-lover (or two or three!), and while The Trustees encourage visitors to unplug, tech can also be a great way to explore on your own and help history and geography come alive. If you’re headed to Castle Hill, the TourTrustees app provides the first-ever smartphone-guided garden and landscape tour of the National Historic Landmark. Visitors can explore at their own pace or follow suggested tour routes and become ‘introduced’ to the Crane family throughout. The GoTrustees app is always a helpful tool for exploring on your own, using GPS as your live guide to Trustees trails and the app as a reference for property features, events, and even local weather. 

And whether it’s on your own, with friends, or a planned family affair, volunteering is also a great way to plan an outing and explore your home state while giving back and having fun at the same time. Special volunteering events are available in addition to more regular opportunities. Visit to see the full calendar of volunteer opportunities.  


What to do when family and friends come to town or you’re staycationing for a holiday weekend? Be a tourist in your own state! There is world-class adventuring to be done right here in Massachusetts, and The Trustees has destinations statewide that are beautiful, historically and culturally significant and perfect for fall outings.  

The Trustees’ latest Art & the Landscape public art installation TunnelTeller opened this May will remain at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate until April of 2019. This large-scale, maze-like structure designed by renowned contemporary artist Alicja Kwade, rests on the site of the property’s former hedge maze and invites to explore its concrete walls, reflective steel tubes and stone spheres, which harkens back to the Crane family’s history in plumbing while creating entirely new experiences. Afterward, take a house or landscape tour or participate in one of the many special events and programs offered regularly.  

For a nearby getaway, consider a day trip or weekend jaunt to a much more serene Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket where The Trustees operates some of the most pristine beaches in the state – without the crowds -- such as Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, Wasque,  Norton Point Beach, and Long Point Wildlife Refuge on the and Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge on Nantucket. The FARM Institute even offers family-friendly programming through the fall and early winter!  

Many may not know the Trustees runs two inns and two campgrounds that offer great getaways destinations close to home. All four sites are open into the fall and offer the unique opportunity to stay on acres of pristine conservation land while also supporting the nonprofits efforts to preserve its beauty for future generations. For the first time in over ten years, the 10-room Inn at Castle Hill in the heart of Ipswich’s Crane Estate, which offers stately elegance and views over the salt marshes and ocean, will be open on weekends through February 17! The Guest House at Field Farm in Williamstown boasts unparalleled views of Mount Greylock with mid-century modern flair and is open through the fall, not closing for the season until January 1. Both B&B’s welcome kids ages 12 and up. For those looking for more rustic accommodations ideal for couples, families or large groups, Tully Lake Campground in Royalston is known for tent-only camping, waterfront and inland campsites, and tons of recreational opportunities and is open through October, while Dune’s Edge Campground in Provincetown provides a quaint and quiet atmosphere amidst sand dunes and pines, and is open through September.  

For food lovers of all ages who want to learn new cooking skills, The KITCHEN at The Boston Public Market offers hands-on cooking classes and workshops right in the heart of Boston. For your youngest chefs, Kids in the KITCHEN is a hands-on cooking class for kids ages 6 to 10.  For those young at heart (but over the age of 21), The KITCHEN offers a mixology workshop with Bully Boy Distillery, plus Taza Truffle Making Workshops paired with either local wine or Bully Boy whiskey. Interested in a hands-on cooking experience? There are several options this season: Native Foods of Massachusetts, Autumn in New England, All Food leads to Rome, Athens vs. Santorini, Greece, Sea-to-KITCHEN: Seafood Feast with Red’s Best, Gnocchi Workshop with Nicco Muratore, and Pasta Making Workshops. You can also take a deep-dive into various cooking and baking styles with KITCHEN Master Class featuring Noodles of the World or Steak Three Ways or Baking School: Essential Breads. The KITCHEN also offers private cooking classes and private rentals; book your next teambuilding or family outing! Email for more information. 

Most Trustees properties and programs are free or discounted up to 50% for members who also receive many other benefits. For a full list of fun programs and events for all ages happening at these and other Trustees reservations, visit: