Need a change of pace this Summer?
By: Sarah Richards
Ever feel like you do the same old summer routine with the kids every summer? Need a break from the crowds? If yes, read on!
Heritage gardens and museum is a gorgeous little gem tucked away in the woods of Sandwich here on Cape Cod. Though this was only our second visit (first time was at a wedding reception), it certainly won’t be the last!!
As someone with a “black thumb,” I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of time and effort it takes to maintain the impeccable gardens and grounds at Heritage. (Nor do I ever wish to find out...gardening is just NOT my thing...anyway...that being said, please forgive me for my lack of botanical knowledge and terminology in this post.)
Upon arriving on our beautiful sunny day, we were welcomed with lush waves of purple flowers (of which species I have no idea)....aaaaaand about a million middle school children.
Lucky for us, they were on their way out!
(Tip from a staff member: avoid the morning hours the last two weeks of May and first two weeks of June as they are completely mobbed with schools on field trips)
We visited the restrooms before grabbing our tickets, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it fit our tandem style stroller! Potty FTW!
(Tip: use the restrooms at the gates and at the carousel, otherwise you may end up having to use a port-a-potty)
We took our time wandering around the grounds, admiring the flowers, and stopping for a sniff or a photo every so often. Peonies are my absolute favorite flowers (one of the few I do know!), and I had to snap photos of a few varieties along the way!
(Tip: If you are a shutterbug like me, you will definitely want to bring your camera along for some beautiful shots!)
There were several art installations throughout the grounds, and we found an interactive one along our way. It was great fun to spell out words with the blocks, and it was in a perfect spot to have a picnic!
(Tip: If you don’t bring your own picnic, there is a place inside the grounds-not far from the front entrance-where you can get concessions including hot dogs, salads, adult beverages, and even ice cream!)
As we enjoyed our lunch, we spotted a really cool antique car going around the paths!
Of course, no trip to Heritage would be complete without a spin (or three!) on the carousel! Again, we hit it at the perfect time as the school children had apparently swarmed the place that morning.
(Tip: The carousel is FREE and you can ride as many times as you would like! There was basically nobody there when we went. It is a great place to take pause in your day. You can cool off from the sun/heat, use the restroom, and check out the museum.)
Our last stop of the day was at Hidden Hollow-an enchanting little grove where the young at heart can create, explore, play, climb, learn, and enjoy! By using the contour of the natural land, this perfectly curated space provided an area for pretty much anything! Creating art, digging in the sand, playing in silk tents, climbing up to a treehouse overlook, playing music on wooden xylophones, putting on a puppet show for an audience, and the newest feature this year-a water play area!
What I love the most about Hidden Hollow is that all the elements are natural or fundamental. There were hardly any plastic elements or bright colors (aside from the silks used for the tents) in this area.
Visitors are able to appreciate the natural beauty of the surroundings, and get lost in their imagination through play! I loved seeing my kids in an environment that encourages playing with the natural elements-sand, water, wood, stones.
(Tip: bring a towel or two, and a change of clothes for your littles-and possibly yourself! They will get wet!)
As the sun was setting, we (well, I) trudged back up the steep hills and heard a beautiful flute playing. Someone in costume was playing in a secluded field. I managed to snap a few shots as we enjoyed the mesmerizing music!
(Side note: wear good sneakers, and be prepared for a good workout due to the hills! Chucks were not my friend this day...)
There is so much to see and do at Heritage, and we definitely did not do it all in one afternoon! But, that is why we chose to get a family pass for the year! Family passes are available, and are worth the admission if you and just one child go as few as three times. They offer some free and discounted passes to your guests, as well as discounts to off-season events as well as to their adventure course.
If you are looking for a change of pace from the beaches, bike paths, or playgrounds this summer, you absolutely must check out Heritage Gardens and Museum!
Sarah is a newbie to the Cape, but has a deep love for the ocean. She has recently left her job of 10 years in music education and re-located to Falmouth to support her husbands' business. This "Mom-prenuear" is busy growing her Pure Haven Essentials business by helping families to live toxic free, clicking away behind her camera, chasing after her 2 adorable sons! She enjoys cooking/baking healthy (and guilty!) foods, fitness, boating, singing, and connecting with awesome new people. Sarah also helps manage our free community calendar and events. Feel free to email her information at firstname.lastname@example.org For more insight on Sarah's adventures, or to just connect, follow her on Instagram: @bunz_n_the_oven
Cape Cod Moms