Our youngest son, Lucas, recently celebrated his 4th birthday at the New Hampshire Farm Museum, which consists of two adjoining farmsteads on Plummer’s Ridge in Milton, New Hampshire. The historic Jones Farm and the Plummer Homestead have been passed down in the same families for two centuries. Today the properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and consist of 50 acres of field and forest, a working farm, historic houses and barns, a blacksmith shop, a shoe shop and exhibits on agriculture and rural life.
The day was sunny and bright. A pefect day for chasing chickens around the farm with a dozen children under the age of eight. In addition to the chickens, the kids visited with the farms two big pigs, sheep and goats.
We had never been to the museum before so this was a special treat. What a memorable place. The children had a scavenger hunt in The Great Barn, which is housed within a three story, 104 foot structure. They had to locate such items as old farm tools, pictures, bottles, books and other memorabilia and artifacts. They received a pencil for their efforts with their choice of cows or pigs imprinted on them.
The kids also made homemade vanilla ice cream the old-fashioned way (which we enjoyed with birthday cake). They took turns putting ice and salt into a wooden ice cream maker and churning. In addition, they ground corn to feed to the chickens, pumped water from the well, washed ”laundry” with a scrub board and a hand-cranked ringer and played old-fashioned games such as graces, potato sack races and hoop rolling.
The NH Farm Museum hosts events throughout most of the year, including Apple Day in September (make apple cider, eat apple pie, hayrides to the orchard, apple picking & more), Harvest Day in October (harvest farmer’s market, pumpkin carving, hayrides, pumpkin pie & more) and Christmas on the Farm in December (sleigh or hayride, make a gingerbread man, tour the beautifully decorated farmhouse). For a complete listing of events from May thru December, visit their website at http://www.farmmuseum.org/.
And if you are thinking of hosting your child’s birthday party on the farm, I highly recommend it!