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

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

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 Art Museum, with a variety of rotating exhibits, contemporary art, and showcasing a combined collection of more than 300 Hudson River School landscape paintings and 19th-century vernacular portraits; and the Wayside Visitor Center, a classroom, education, and exhibition space.

Open Now:  “Unseen Hours: Space Clearing for Spirit Work,” featuring new works by Allison Halter and Maria Molteni.  In the Native American Gallery is a new exhibition “Echoes in Time.” 

Access to the Fruitlands Farmhouse and Shaker Gallery is available through an indoor/outdoor guided tour “Visions of Utopia.” Tour capacity is limited and advanced registration is highly recommended for this limited offering. Please note, different from past years, access to these historic interiors is only available through the guided tours. Learn more and book your tour here. 

 

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.

Admission & Hours

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

Main Season 2021

Fruitlands Museum is open Main Season Hours, 6-days a week (closed Tuesdays) through November 7. After November 7 we will transition to weekend-only Winter Season Hours. 

Main Season Access includes Art Gallery, Native American Gallery, Wayside Gallery, Grounds, and Trails. The Shaker Gallery and Fruitlands Farmhouse will be open with limited access through a new “Visions of Utopia” Indoor/Outdoor Guided Tour beginning June 12th. Learn more and book your tour pass here.

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

The Fruitlands Museum Café is open with walk-in counter service 6 days a week (Closed Tuesdays), 11am-2:30pm, serving a take-out menu with outdoor tables available under the tent.

Gallery and Grounds Admission
Adults $12
Children (5-12) $6
Children Under 5 Free
Seniors/Students $10
Trustees Members receive free admission
Pricing is per person, please reserve for each member of your party
Grounds Only Parking Passes $10 per car

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

The Trustees and TigerLion Arts presents Nature: an outdoor walking play celebrating the dynamic connection between humanity and the natural world. After previous sold out engagements at the Old Manse in 2017 and 2019, this immersive and family-friendly telling of Emerson, Thoreau, and their mutual love of the natural world arrives at three Trustees properties this summer, offering a deeply thought-provoking opportunity to experience a live performance in beautiful and historic outdoor settings.

Nature runs at Fruitlands, August 27 – September 6

Passes

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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