ChesterwoodEvery third Monday in February the U.S. celebrates Presidents’ Day. While most folks associate the date with two legendary figures, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the holiday was actually designated to commemorate Washington’s birthday. Interested in seeing how two famous American artists depicted General George, Honest Abe and other political figures? Check out these family-friendly destinations and activities in Massachusetts.

At Chesterwood in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, visitors can explore the home, studio and gardens of the artist Daniel Chester French. French sculpted the iconic statue of Lincoln on display at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. He also created  The Minute Man, a seven-foot-high figure of a farmer-soldier from the Revolutionary War.

Just up the road, at the Normal Rockwell Museum, you can see the illustrator’s renderings of famous American leaders like Robert Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, and Richard Nixon.

Kids on winter break? Check out the Museum’s week-long interactive art workshop on American folk heroes.  

No travel plans for February? Then check out the virtual tour of the Lincoln Memorial. Or read about Lincoln’s rail-splitting.

No matter which political camp you’re in, Presidents’ Day is a great time to get your family talking about influential leaders around the world.

Admission to Chesterwood is $15 for adults, while kids under 17 are free. The Normal Rockwell Museum charges $15 for adults; $5 for kids 6-18; children under 5 are free. Better yet, purchase the American Icons discount tickets and enjoy discounted admission for five days at two, three, or four local attractions.

Chesterwood is open May 29 through October 11 and is located at 4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge, MA 01262. Check the web-site for more information on hours and admission.

The Norman Rockwell Museum is open at 9 Route 183 in Stockbridge, MA. Hours vary depending on the season so check the Museum’s web-site for hours.


Justine Ickes writes about culture, travel, education and people making a difference.