Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich is opening for the 2021 season with several new exhibits.
The extended special exhibit, “Let’s Play! New England Toy Stories” (April 24 – Oct. 17) shares the stories about the people who created Monopoly, Erector Sets and corn husk dolls, billed as a playroom, time capsule and a history lesson all in one.
Car enthusiasts will enjoy the exhibit “From Carriage to Classic: How Automobiles Transformed America“ (April 24 – Oct. 17), a story about the origins of the American automobile through cars from Heritage’s permanent collection. On display for 2021 are 26 automobiles, including the recently acquired 1965 Ford Country Squire station wagon.
This year’s outdoor art exhibit, “Bugs, Birds & Bricks“ (April 24-Oct. 17) will feature eight custom brick installations made by award-winning professional brick artist Cody Wells. Placed throughout the gardens and grounds, these sculptures of insects and birds found on Cape Cod explore the interconnected relationships between plants and animals.
This season, Heritage will also feature another new outdoor installation: a full-scale reproduction of a wetu, a traditional dwelling used by the Wampanoag tribe through the late 1600s. The wetu will be made by members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, following centuries-old construction methods.
Heritage’s breathtaking grounds with extensive plantings inspired the Rhododendron Festival (May 21–30), featuring the expanded test garden, the Hydrangea Festival (July 9–18); the Virtual Design Series, focusing on designing gardens around rhododendrons, hydrangeas and pollinator-attracting plants (May 21, July 16, and Aug. 20, respectively) and the Pollinator Festival (Aug. 13-22).
Other events this season include The Heritage Annual Auto Show (June 12; rain date: June 13), a popular, family-friendly event that highlights antique and classic automobiles, hot rods, custom cars, and motorcycles in excellent original or restored condition. Throughout the season, Gearhead Garage nights (May 19, June 23, July 21, Aug. 25, Sept. 22, Oct. 13) provide an exclusive peek at Heritage’s automobile collection in storage and give participants the chance to see these cars up close and even running and to chat with curatorial staff and auto volunteers. Each event features two vehicles that will be driven around the grounds.
Heritage’s focus on family-friendly fun includes Third Thursdays (June 17, July 15, Aug. 19, Sep. 16), with two extra hours to enjoy the gardens, galleries and more in the evening. Bring a picnic or enjoy a meal at the Magnolia Café, make a craft or visit one of the Garden Discovery Carts to learn about the plants and animals that live at Heritage. Each month’s event will feature themed activities.
Fall activities as well as events to close out the season are still being incorporated into the schedule and will be made public later this season.
More information at www.heritagemuseumsandgardens.