Beat the Winter Blues:

The Trustees Suggest Ways to Get Out and Embrace Winter 

Fruitlands Museum, Harvard

Long Point Wildlife Refuge, Martha’s Vineyard

Powisset Farm, Dover

Boston, MA—December 2017— Did you know that over 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? Numerous studies show that time spent outdoors can have wondrous healing effects on the body, mind, and spirit! This winter, The Trustees is offering an even fuller line up of programs, events and activities to inspire Massachusetts residents, visitors, and members to get out, explore, and beat the winter blues. The Trustees is the Commonwealth’s largest conservation and preservation nonprofit with 116 scenic, natural, and cultural sites spanning Greater Boston to the Berkshires, many of which are open year-round, sunrise to sunset and are ideal for strolling and hiking, sledding, winter wildlife watching and more.

“Each year we’re finding that our members and visitors are looking for more ideas on how to beat the winter doldrums and embrace the winter season, both indoors and out,” says Kristen Swanberg, Director of Programming for The Trustees. “This winter we have hundreds of options for indoor and outdoor adventures for all ages and interests, including guided hikes followed by hot drinks, cooking classes at our cozy farm kitchens, snowshoe and ski rentals, and even drop off programs for school vacation weeks. It’s hard to be blue when there’s so much to do!” 

Below is a sampling of ideas on how to embrace winter at Trustees properties, but many more can be found at  Most Trustees properties and programs are free or discounted up to 50% for members who also receive many other benefits year-round.


For those who have resolved to be more active and fit in the New Year, start 2018 off right by working off some of those holiday sweets or getting a jump on your fitness routine in the great outdoors. Popular Medfield outdoor destination, Rocky Woods, encourages visitors to take a walk in the woods, at any pace, as long as you’re breathing in the fresh air and clearing your mind. Stop by the recently transformed Chickering Pond Cabin visitor’s center for snacks, weekend snowshoe rentals, a nature corner and kids’ area and add your New Year’s Resolution to the list! The cabin is open on weekends and during programs. For those who live in Western Massachusetts or are up for a road trip, Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield is the place to get your First Day Hike on, and has its own ‘resolution tree’ back at the Visitor’s Center. Known affectionately to regulars as Bart’s Cobble, this National Natural Landmark is a snowy playground for all ages in the winter months and is the go-to Trustees spot for snowshoe rentals in the Berkshires, available on Sundays this winter. If you’d prefer a guided hiking experience on New Year’s Day, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard is ready with a First Day Hike to the Willard Farmhouse archaeological site led by museum staff. For more New Year’s Day events, check out the ranger-led New Beginnings program at World’s End in Hingham, the In with the New Hike through the dunes at the Crane Estate, or the gentle New Year’s Day Walk at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton. 


And if we have a snowy winter this year, there’s great sledding and winter fun to be had throughout the season at Ward Reservation in Andover which has the highest point in Essex County, Holt Hill, offering great sledding and views of Boston on a clear day. Later in the month, don’t miss Ward’s Winter Fun Day, an annual tradition which draws families from all over Greater Boston. For a new twist on an old classic, try night sledding at Chestnut Hill Farm, featuring Light-Up Lanes with hot drinks after! The winter weekend tradition of Frozen Fruitlands continues this year through March, with opportunities for visitors to enjoy sledding and explore the hills by snowshoe, cross-country skiing, hiking or walking, followed by a warm up with hot chocolate at the fire outside the visitor’s center. For more sledding favorites, click here.

As snowshoeing has become more and more popular over the last few years, The Trustees has added rentals and activities to get people out enjoying this classic form of great exercise at several properties around the state. The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate offers rentals on Saturdays and Francis William Bird Park in Walpole offers Snowshoe Meetups throughout the season.

For those who live nearby or are up for an excursion, The Trustees’ unparalleled winter gem of a destination is Windsor’s Notchview, the largest Nordic ski center in Massachusetts, with more than 3,200 acres of rolling terrain offering skiing, snowshoeing, and opportunities for winter fun daily. Trustees staff regularly groom 17 kilometers of trails for classical cross-country skiing and 12 for skate skiing. The property also offers a separate trail system groomed for “skijoring,” or skiing with dogs. Visitors can go off track and explore the backcountry, or snowshoe on the dedicated snowshoe trails that traverse the property’s woods and meadows. For après recreational enjoyment, the Budd Visitor Center lodge features a café serving locally-sourced menu items including soup, hot cocoa, sandwiches and other delicious offerings. Visit XCSKIMASS.COM for daily conditions and updates. Nordic Ski Lessons are available on weekends or by appointment. Notchview offers a Newbie New Year Skiing discount for those purchasing a Learn to Ski program on New Year’s Day as well as multiple Brew Moon: Moonlight Ski & Snowshoe events with plenty of beer, wine and cheese tastings after a moon-lit outing. For more cross-country spots, click here.


Sure, the days are shorter for a while longer, but The Trustees is offering even more programs after dark to keep the winter doldrums at bay. Full Moon Hikes and Owl Prowls (guided hikes to find local owl species!) will take place at Rocky Woods in Medfield, Stevens Coolidge Place in North Andover, Francis William Bird Park in Walpole, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, World’s End in Hingham and Crane Beach. Rocky Woods will also host its highly popular monthly Brew Moon Hikes, a trek followed by local beer tastings and snacks, as will Chestnut Hill Farm, if you’d prefer an agrarian locale. There’s even a Full Moon Transcendental Meditation at the Old Manse and a Silent Meditations Hike at Castle Hill for those looking to get their ‘om’ on. If you’d prefer to be indoors, check out the unique Landscape Ladder Tour at Fruitlands, where guests can get up close to the beautiful “A New View” landscape exhibition paintings with ladders and magnifying glasses, led by curator Shana Dumont Garr, and stop by the other exhibits featured there.


Always wanted to attend a masquerade ball? Now’s your chance! The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate is hosting a Mardi Gras Masquerade with Cajun dishes and specialty cocktails, new this year at this country estate located right off 128 in Canton. Also new this year, the iconic Castle Hill on the Crane Estate offers a 21+ Carnival Costume Ball featuring live music and sumptuous treats, and two complimentary drinks included in the ticket price.

This year the day after Mardi Gras is another cause for a celebration, Valentine’s Day, and The Trustees has you covered whether you’re looking to celebrate as a couple at the adults-only Aphrodisiac Alert: Cooking Class & Dinner at Powisset Farm, the Creative Romance Paint Night at Stevens-Coolidge Place, or the Truffle Experience with Taza Chocolate at the Boston Public Market KITCHEN. For families,  Fruitlands Museum is hosting a Valentine Craft Party and Appleton Farms is offering two installments of the Valentine’s Farm Dinner & Culinary Workshop at, a great option for all!


Get your kids excited about unplugging from their electronics over school vacation weeks with tons of exciting programs, and no need to travel far from home! The Trustees offers drop-in options for kids and a caregiver as well as drop-off partial-day camps, like Farmer for a Day or a Week, at Powisset Farm, The FARM Institute, Chestnut Hill Farm, Weir River Farm, Appleton Farms and the Boston Public Market KITCHEN. Appleton Farms also offers the Families in the Farm Kitchen series, great for families with kids ages 5-10. And there are no parents allowed at Rocky Woods’ Rocky Ranger Vacation Adventures, where kids will learn animal tracking, shelter and fire building, campfire cooking and more with Trustees staff.  

For some family staycation fun, join your kids at Old School Yard Games for capture the flag and more or Abominable Snowman Tracking at Stevens-Coolidge Place and Fruitlands Museum. Or if your littles ones are masters of the white stuff, let them go wild at the Snow Sculpture Building Contest at Stevens-Coolidge Place or Snowman Contest on the Grand Allee at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate. Just add snow and go! If the weather outside is still frightful, make your way to the Old Manse for special family tours or handmade Journal Making. Fruitlands Museum will be kicking off February Vacation Week with a Winter Fun Day of sledding, hot cocoa and s’mores at the outdoor fire pit, and a scavenger hunt, followed by a Snow Globe Making workshop later in the week! Coastal expeditions for the family include World’s End Explorers in Hingham, and island-dwellers and visitors can explore Long Point Wildlife Refuge on Martha’s Vineyard all week.

Farmer for a Week at Appleton Farms and the Boston Public Market KITCHEN will be running again during March vacation week as well.


What is New England without Maple Sugaring? For those who’ve always wanted to try their hand at this classic New England tradition, Chestnut Hill Farm in Southborough will host both a tapping techniques workshop, called the Maple Tree Tap-a-Thon, in February and a celebration, The Magic of Maple, in March, featuring pancakes with the delicious syrups, as well as candies and other treats. Appleton Farms offers The Maple Culinary Class and Sugaring Tours as well as Sugar Shack Saturdays throughout March, both great for families who want to learn about the process together. For the 21+ crowd, the farm will host a Happy Hour at the Sugar Shack featuring local beers as part of the mix. For a more historical experience, the William Cullen Bryant Homestead presents Maple Days at the Old Homestead, a day of activities starting with a pancake breakfast and talk on the history of maple sugaring, followed by a walk on the trails and outdoor demo.  

Easter fun abounds across the state this spring at The Trustees, with even more offerings for all ages to enjoy. From the Egg-Citing Egg Hunt at The FARM Institute on Martha’s Vineyard, to the Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure at Appleton Farms, perfect for ages 2-6, parents can bow out of their own hunts at home at these family events. Other offerings include the Bunny Escapade & Egg Hunt at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, an Easter Nature Quest at Francis William Bird Park and both the Egg-Ventures on the Farm at Chestnut Hill Farm and the Egg Challenge at Rocky Woods featuring separate egg hunts based on age! For adults only, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate will hold a Spring Soiree to mark the vernal equinox, with live music, dancing, cocktails and snacks. 


Trustees state-of-the-art farm kitchens are scenic and cozy spots to learn a new skill. Powisset Farm in Dover holds classes for kids and adults on things like Easy Healthy Snacks, Dips, Ayurvedic Cooking, Indian Cooking, Knife Skills and Turning Wasted Food Into Plenty. Appleton Farms is renowned for its cheese-making classes and has a popular From the Farm Kettle series where participants can focus on seasonal essentials like Soups, Chowders and Stews with Chef Carolyn Grieco. The KITCHEN also offers a Families in Farm Kitchen series back by popular demand this winter, perfect for bringing the littles along. The FARM Institute on Martha’s Vineyard also offers a four-part Kids Can Cook Series, great for learning kitchen safety and basics like eggs, pancakes, burgers and cookies. Sign up for one or all four!

Did you know that The Trustees also run culinary programs in Boston Public Market KITCHEN? There’s everything from Mixology Classes with Bully Boy Distillers to classes with market vendors like Ceviche & Poke Workshop with Red’s Best and Pasta Making with Nella Pasta, all featured vendors at the Market.  The KITCHEN also hosts a regular Farm-to-KITCHEN series on various cuisines like Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, African, and even New England Comfort Food. And every Thursday Chef Vanessa from Project Bread features her Fresh, Fast & Delicious for Less class with tastings and healthy recipes for attendees to take home.


The Trustees also offers numerous skill-building classes, many on the subject of gardening! Check out Garden Tips, Teas & Tours and Master Gardeners classes at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Medicinal Herbs of New England and Creating at B.A.M.! Herb Garden at Francis William Bird Park, and Vegetable Garden Planning and Start Your Own Seeds at the Boston Public Market KITCHEN. 


More about The Trustees

Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 125 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s first preservation and conservation organization, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit, supported by members, friends and donors and our 116 sites are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually.