WOODSTOCK, Vt. - The wood stove will be cranking out the BTUs over Thanksgiving weekend at the Billings Farm & Museum as guides in period garb make oyster soup, succotash, and mincemeat pies in the 1890 farmhouse kitchen.
The interpreters will be cooking up a holiday storm as they roast big turkeys and a holiday goose and bake batches of cookies. Plan to stop into the kitchen for a warm cookie before you climb aboard a wagon for a ride along the Ottauquechee River behind a brace of Percherons.
During the Thanksgiving presentations, visitors can get an earful of farm history while relaxing in the Victorian parlor. Exhibits chronicle rural life in Vermont at the end of the 19th century and recount the grand experiment of the Billings farm, which was established by Frederick Billings, a lawyer and conservationist, in 1871 as a model scientific dairy farm operation.
Billings had cattle shipped from the Isle of Jersey, and the farm continues to breed these famous producers of milk with high butterfat content. Visitors are welcome to the barns every afternoon for the 3:30 milking of the classic "brown cows." (No, they don't give chocolate milk.) There's even an introduction to milking session daily at 3:15.
Thanksgiving Weekend at the Billings Farm & Museum, Nov. 23-25, Route 12 and River Road, Woodstock, Vt. Adults $10, seniors $9, children ages 13-17 $8, 5-12 $6, 3-4 $3. 802-457-2355, billingsfarm.org. Directions: Woodstock is 140 miles or almost three hours from Boston. Take Interstate 93 north to I-89 north into Vermont. Take exit 1 (Woodstock/Quechee) and turn left onto Route 4. Continue about 10 miles into Woodstock and follow signs to Route 12 north. Turn right onto Route 12. About a half-mile out of town, turn right onto River Road.