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.

Wind from the Hills is now on view! We are now in our winter season, please see the hours and admission tab for the most updated information and a link to passes.

The Hyve at Fruilands Cafe is open Saturdays and Sundays, 11AM-3:30PM during our winter season. 

 

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.

The Hyve Fruitlands Café is open 11:30AM-3:30PM during our winter season.

Admission & Hours

We recommend you reserve passes in advance to secure your spot. Passes

FROZEN FRUITLANDS
Winter Season at Fruitlands Museum
November 7, 2022 – March 2023

Open Saturdays and Sundays 11am-4pm
Closed Weekdays
Special Grounds-Only Hours offered on Friday, November 25th
Closed Saturday and Sunday, December 24th and 25th

Winter Season Admission

Nonmember Adults, seniors, students & children ages 5-13: $5
Children under age 5: FREE
Trustees Members: FREE!

During Winter Open Hours visit the Art Gallery, Wayside Gallery, Museum Store, and Grounds. The Native American Gallery, Shaker Gallery, and Fruitlands Farmhouse are closed for the winter season and will re-open for the Main Season in mid-April.

Weather permitting, enjoy sledding runs on our many hills (be sure to bring your own sled!) and snowshoe or cross country ski on our grounds. Snowshoe rentals are available on a first come first serve basis with limited sizes available. Please note, the trails are not groomed for skiing, though guests visiting with their own skis are welcome on the trails and meadows.

Private Fire Pit Rentals are also available each weekend day. Book your fire pit here. Fire Pit rental includes admission for up to six guests.

The Hyve Fruitlands Café is open 11:30AM-3:30PM during our winter season.

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.

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.

Wind from the Hills is now on view!

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.
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: We ask that photographers or their clients become Supporting Level Members before conducting portrait sessions at this property. Click here for more information, and to request permission for any portrait sessions. The Trustees of Reservations reserves the right, and may give permission to its designated photographers and videographers, or to outside media, to photograph or video visitors and program participants at all its facilities and properties.
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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