October Brings Harvest, Foliage & Fun
With a crisp chill in the air, autumn is in full swing with beautiful foliage, delicious seasonal foods, and fun fall happenings at Billings Farm & Museum.
Common Threads: Land, History, Art Solo Exhibition by Artist-in-Residence Margaret Dwyer on display through October 21
Take a visual expedition into the threads of history and conservation. With works bound together by technique, style, and incredible watercolor brushwork, the Billings Farm Artist-in-Residence Margaret Dwyer will present Common Threads: Land, History, Art, a solo exhibition through October 21. Billings Farm’s historic barn will be transformed by a display of Dwyer’s colorful creations. The exhibition will feature recent works including art produced during her residency at Billings Farm & Museum, from June – October of 2022, as well as art from her Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park residency from 2019-2021. The exhibition is included with the price of admission to Billings Farm & Museum.
Harvest Celebration, October 8 – 9, 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Swing your partner and do-si-do as the farm reaps the bounty of the summer. In this season for gathering crops, what better way to honor the harvest than with food, crafts, games, live music, and a traditional barn dance. At the two-day Harvest Celebration, there will be activities for the whole family, including stories and pumpkin bowling. Guests will have the chance to husk and shell corn, harvest sunflower seeds for next year’s garden, and press cider. There will be harvest programs in the garden and an array of demonstrations in the Learning Kitchen including quick pickling, squash processing, and preserving garden produce. In the 1890 Farm Manager’s House, there will be demonstrations of peeling and drying apples as well as apple butter and apple sauce making using techniques and cooking implements from the past. The Farmhouse Café will feature the quintessential taste of fall: spiced cider and apple cider donuts, available for purchase from 11:00AM – 5:00PM. The Wicked Awesome BBQ Food Truck will be on site Saturday and Sunday from 11:00AM – 4:00PM, serving traditional American BBQ for purchase. The Harvest Celebration is included with daily admission to Billings Farm & Museum
Autumn Leaves Watercolor Workshop with Artist-in-Residence Margaret Dwyer on Thursday, October 20, 5:30pm-7:30pm
As a palette of red, yellow, and orange leaves blanket the famous Vermont fallscape, participants will learn to paint a slice of the vibrant autumn colors. From a single leaf to a sweeping impression, this watercolor workshop will engage a sense of wonder and appreciation for nature’s display. Participants can learn subtle ways to capture unique characteristics without overworking the subject and explore techniques including wet-into-wet, negative space painting, glazing and more. In this workshop designed for all painting levels, each student will produce an autumn treasure to take home. The workshop is $65/person, $60/member with materials included. Advanced registration is required. For information visit billingsfarm.org/events/autumn-leaves-watercolor-workshop/.
A Family Halloween, Sunday, October 23, 10:00AM – 5:00PM
At this spooktacular Halloween on the farm, there will be fun for the whole family with trick-or-treating, hayrides, and costume parades. Guests can get a little scared in the not-too-spooky Sunflower House and the decorated graveyard and exhibits. There will be pumpkin bowling, crafts, and an opportunity to vote for the best pumpkin crafted by Billings Farm & Museum staff. The Wicked Awesome BBQ Food Truck will be serving traditional American BBQ for purchase from 11:00AM – 4:00PM. The Farmhouse Café will feature hot spiced cider, cider donuts, and pumpkin ice cream, available for purchase from 11:00AM -5:00PM. Children in costume receive free admission when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Admission to Billings Farm & Museum includes the Animal Barns, Vermont Farm Life Exhibits, and the 1890 Farm Manager’s House featuring the creamery, the kitchen, and in-home innovations that were considered state-of-the-art for the time. Visitors can meet the farm’s cows, draft horses, sheep, goats, and chickens in the barns and scenic pastures. Guests can learn from the Farm and Museum educators through cow programs at 11:00AM and 2:00PM, sheep programs at 12:00PM and 3:00PM, and harvest programs at 1:00PM and 4:00PM. Families can enjoy the Story Walk as page by page, Before We Eat by authors Pat Brisson and Mary Azarian unfolds along the pasture fence. Guests can walk along the Ottauquechee River with views of Woodstock, the East End Park, and the farmstead. Sweet and savory treats including hot apple cider and cider donuts will be available for purchase at the Farmhouse Café from 11:00AM – 4:00PM.
The Billings Farm Volunteer Program is a way to make meaningful connections with the Billings community. In October volunteers will have the chance to share their love of the Upper Valley with people from around the world, as groups visit the site to experience the best of fall foliage. Volunteers will greet tour groups, give out Billings Farm cheese samples, serve ice cream bars, and help support the Gift Shop. Volunteers can join Harvest Celebration to help with crafts, read stories to children, play historic games, and do some barn dancing. Don a costume and join the SPOOKtacular Family Halloween to help with pumpkin bowling and handing out delicious candy. There are a range of positions and flexible shifts available. To get involved, please visit billingsfarm.org/volunteer/.
The site will be closed on October 31, and will be open on weekends, and select holiday weeks from November through February.