Metro West

Fruitlands Museum

Harvard

210 acres

Scott Erb

Explore a bygone Transcendentalist community, whose pastoral landscape houses wide-ranging collections of art and artifacts.

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Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • Directions & Contact Info
  • What You'll Find
  • Facilities & Accessibility
  • Venue Rental
  • Property Map
  • Regulations & Advisories

Overview

Fruitlands Museum has a diverse collection of art and material culture on 210 acres of land, stunning views, and miles of walking trails.

In 1843, Amos Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane turned a swath of Harvard farmland into a Transcendentalist experiment in subsistence farming and Emersonian self-reliance, named Fruitlands, which ultimately disbanded after only seven months. In 1914, Clara Endicott Sears opened the grounds to the public, establishing a museum in the property’s 1820s farmhouse. Now, the 210-acre landscape encompasses five collections first established by Sears: the original Fruitlands Farmhouse; the Shaker Museum, the first such museum in the country; the Native American Museum, celebrating the history of indigenous peoples;  the Wayside Visitor Center, a classroom, education, and exhibition space; and the Art Museum, this season fully dedicated to the New England Triennial 2022. 

Advance passes are encouraged for Fruitlands Museum, with onsite sales if capacity allows; please click here to reserve them. To book a spot on our “Visions of Utopia” guided tours of the Fruitlands Farmhouse and Shaker Gallery, click here.

The Hyve at Fruilands Cafe is now open for the season! Serving farm fresh fare from 11:30AM-2:30PM Wednesday-Sunday | Closed on Tuesdays. 

 

Ideas for Your Visit

Enjoy the exhibits, hike the grounds, or attend events like the summer concert series or the annual craft festival in fall.

10th Annual Craft Festival!
September 24 & 25

Admission & Hours

Advance passes are encouraged for the Fruitlands Museum, with onsite sales if capacity allows; please click here to reserve passes.

MAIN SEASON HOURS
Saturday, April 16 – Sunday, November 6

Monday, Wednesday-Friday | 10am-4pm
Saturday and Sunday | 10am-5pm
Closed Tuesdays

MAIN SEASON ADMISSION

  • Adult $12
  • Child $6
  • Senior/Student $10

Free for Trustees Members

Admission includes access to the Art Gallery, Native American Gallery, Wayside Gallery, Shop, Café, and Grounds.

Access to Fruitlands Farmhouse and Shaker Gallery is available through timed entry “Visions of Utopia” guided tours with a $5 admission add on. Space on guided tours is limited and pre-registration encouraged. Click here to book your tour.

The 4th Saturday of each month May-October we will also be offering “Open House Days” when the Fruitlands Farmhouse and Shaker Office will be open throughout the day for self-guided access included with Museum Admission. Guided tours will not be offered on Open House Days.

The Hyve Fruitlands Café is open for the season! Serving farm fresh fare from 11:30AM-2:30PM Wednesday-Sunday | Closed on Tuesdays.

Grounds Only Admission

  • Adult $6
  • Child $3
  • Children Under 5 Free

Free for Trustees Members

We welcome school and youth groups for experiential educational programs. Please visit our Education Page for details and to initiate a visit request.

Directions & Contact Info

Fruitlands Museum
102 Prospect Hill Road
Harvard, Massachusetts 01451
Phone: 978.456.3924

Get directions on Google Maps.

Fruitlands Museum is located in eastern Massachusetts about 45 minutes west of Boston off of Route 2. The Museum has a spectacular view to the west of Mount Wachusett and, on a clear day, to Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire. The view west overlooks the Oxbow Wildlife Refuge and the Nashua River Valley.

Explore our museum collections and historic buildings as well as 210 acres of woodlands and meadows. Our site offers a great location for weddings, corporate events and family outings.

FROM THE EAST
Take Route 2 west to exit 109A. Head south on Route 110 and take your first right onto Old Shirley Road. The Museum is about two miles ahead on the right.

FROM THE WEST
Take Route 2 east to exit 109A. Head south on Route 110 and take your first right onto Old Shirley Road. The Museum is about two miles ahead on the right.

FROM THE NORTH
Take 495 South to Route 2 west to exit 109A. Head south on Route 110 and take your first right onto Old Shirley Road. The Museum is about two miles ahead on the right.

FROM THE SOUTH
Take 495 north to Route 2 west to exit 109A. Head south on Route 110 and take your first right onto Old Shirley Road. The Museum is about two miles on the right.

What You'll Find

At Fruitlands Museum, explore art, history, and nature in current exhibitions, historic house tours, and expansive grounds.

On view in the Fruitlands Museum Art Gallery (April 8-October 2, 2022) is the New England Triennial 2022. This exhibition featuring New England Contemporary Art spans two museum sites with installations at Fruitlands Museum and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln.

Please note, at this time the permanent collection of Hudson River School landscape paintings and 19th Century Folk Portraits is not on view in the Art Gallery.

In the Native American Gallery is Building Relationships: Artwork from the Permanent Collection.

The Fruitlands Farmhouse and Shaker Gallery are currently accessible only through guided tours. Hour-long “Visions of Utopia” tours offer an opportunity to step inside these spaces with a guide, exploring the contrasts and overlaps of these two utopias. Learn more and pre-register to secure your tour time here.

Facilities & Accessibility

Accessible Features

Accessible parking is located at the upper lot by the Museum Shop, and the lower lot by the Wayside and Art Galleries.

Rides are available in a 4-seat gator to facilitate access around the hilly terrain at the center museum campus. This amenity has been placed on hold during COVID, so please call ahead to check availability.

Accessible bathrooms are available at the Prospect House Café/Gift Shop and at the Wayside Gallery.

The Art Gallery, Native American Gallery, and Wayside Gallery, as well as the Fruitlands Museum Cafe and Shop are all wheelchair accessible. The Shaker Gallery and Fruitlands Farmhouse are not currently wheelchair accessible.

Venue Rental

For more information about hosting your wedding or private event at Fruitlands Museum, please visit our website.

 

Property Map

Free trail map distributed from bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out. We recommend that you take a photo of the map on your phone so you can refer to it during your visit, or download a trail map before you head out.

Regulations & Advisories

Advance tickets are required for Fruitlands Museum; please click here to reserve them.

  • Dogs must be leashed at all times
  • Disturbing, removing, defacing, cutting or otherwise causing damage to vegetation or any natural feature, sign, poster, barrier, building, or
  • All fires are prohibited
  • Camping is prohibited.
  • Hunting and firearms are prohibited.
  • Mountain biking is prohibited.
  • Horseback riding is prohibited.
  • The Trustees reserves the right to photograph or video visitors and program participants for promotional use, and usage of our properties implies consent. Please read our photo and video policy.

 

Before Setting Out
More to Explore

Advance Passes

The grounds of Fruitlands Museum are currently open in a controlled manner to limit overcrowding. Advance passes are required.
Passes
Upcoming Events

History

In 1843, Amos Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane turned a swath of Harvard farmland into a Transcendentalist experiment in subsistence farming and Emersonian self-reliance, named “Fruitlands,” which ultimately disbanded after only seven months. In 1914, Clara Endicott Sears opened the grounds to the public, establishing a museum in the property’s 1820s farmhouse.

Learn more
The View From Here
See What People Say

This place is a hidden gem, between the views and the food!

James, Facebook

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