Formerly Heritage Plantation, the Heritage Museums and Gardens is a wonderful, family-friendly Cape Cod attraction in Massachusetts. Over 100,000 people visit this attraction in the quaint town of Sandwich on Cape Cod every year. Three gallery buildings display permanent and special art exhibits indoors. Beautiful lush gardens, a Labyrinth, the Hart Family Garden Maze, Flume Fountain and Hidden Hollow delight visitors outdoors. Here are 5 reasons you should visit Heritage Museums and Gardens.
Located in the heart of Sandwich, Massachusetts, Heritage Museums and Gardens is a fun, family-friendly Cape Cod attraction. If you find yourself on the Cape, it’s worth a visit.
Growing up in eastern Massachusetts, I am fortunate to have spent a lot of time on Cape Cod. My aunt and uncle rented a beach front cottage in Sandwich every summer throughout most my childhood. I have many fond memories of spending time in Sandwich. On rainy days, we would drive over to Heritage Plantation. It is now known as the Heritage Museums and Gardens.
Why Heritage Museums and Gardens is a must see Cape Cod Attraction
Heritage Museums and Gardens is a wonderful place to visit with your family. Here are 5 things you’re going to love about the Heritage Museums and Gardens.
1. Explore Nature in Hidden Hollow
If you have little ones, Hidden Hollow is the place to be.
Hidden Hollow is one of New England’s first certified Nature Explore Classrooms. It is part of an initiative to help develop an understanding and appreciation of the natural world around them. They aim to provide kids the opportunity to have meaningful and positive experiences with nature. How wonderful is that?
In Hidden Hollow, children climb stepping stumps, navigate log balance beams, construct forts, create art, build with wooden blocks, dig in the sand, experiment with water and make music on wooden instruments. Kids even climb up into the ginormous tree house in that area.
2. Check Out an Amazing Collection of Antique Cars
Heritage Museums and Gardens houses a permanent collection of over 40 antique and classic automobiles. My boys, ages 9 and 12, loved roaming around the museum and looking at the old cars.
Some of the automobiles featured in the Heritage collection include a 1910 Sears Model P Surrey, a 1915 Stutz Bearcat and a 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster. There is even a 1909 White Steam Car Model M owned by President Taft. How cool is it that they have a car owned by a former president? Plus, the “Collector’s Corner” features cars that are on loan from private collectors.
There is a Model T on display inside the museum that families can sit in. It makes for a great photo op!
3. Picnic and Explore the beautiful landscapes
Heritage Museums and Gardens feature acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. There are many different varieties of flowers, shrubs, and world class rhododendrons. Many of the flowers, trees, and shrubs on display there are native to Cape Cod.
One of the things we enjoyed seeing was the Old East Windmill. The windmill was built in 1800 in Orleans, Massachusetts. It served that community for 93 years grinding wheat, rye, barley and salt from the local salt works.
The Heritage Museums and Gardens has several fountains scattered throughout many of the gardens. The most impressive being the Flume Fountain. The cascading waterfall from the Flume Fountain is the perfect backdrop for a family picnic. If you are planning on a family picnic, outside food is allowed at the Heritage Museums and Gardens. Make sure to pack lots of snacks, drinks, and a lunch. That way you can find a perfect spot and enjoy the scenery.
4. Get lost!
At Heritage, there is a really fun maze & a labyrinth. You can lose yourself physically or spiritually.
The Labyrinth was installed at Heritage in 2002 and it was designed by New Hampshire artist Marty Cain. This open labyrinth is made out of crushed seashells and pink granite. People who enter the labyrinth can come full circle by exiting where they entered. You can go into the labyrinth and lose yourself in contemplation.
The Hart Family Maze Garden uses a combination of evergreens, vines, and hedges to create the walls of the maze. Depending on the season, it will feature such flowering vines as wisteria, clematis, honeysuckle and Japanese hydrangea vine.
5. Discover New Art
Heritage Museums and Gardens has two building filled with amazing art. In their main gallery, the exhibits are temporary. Now through October, the current exhibit on display is “Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views”. This exhibit features American landscape paintings from 49 of the country’s best contemporary painters.
In the American Art and Carousel Gallery, there are artifacts on display. In this gallery, discover beautiful paintings, rare objects, and a display carved birds by A. Elmer Crowell.
The carousel is one of the most popular attractions at Heritage Museums & Gardens. Yes, there is an actual carousel, which made by Charles Looff in 1908 inside the building. Visitors can enjoy unlimited rides on the antique hand-carved carousel with admission.
There is a small cafe on site if you wish to purchase food or even just a cup of coffee.
I feel confident that Heritage Museums and Gardens is a must-see Cape Cod attraction. There is something for everyone there. Pack up a picnic and spend the day at Heritage Museums and Gardens. I guarantee that you’ll love it.