The Heritage Museums & Gardens is located at 67 Grove St, Sandwich, MA 02563. They are closed for general visits from January through March, but they have programs and workshops during these months. The seasonal hours of the museum are April through October from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. They have many comfort stations throughout the area, free parking, and shuttle transportation on weekends from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Admission prices for adults are $12.00, seniors 65 and older $11.00, children ages 4-16 are $6.00, member guests $11.00 and children under 3 are free as are members. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Heritage Museums & Gardens.
Dexter Rhododendrons bloom in late May and early June to show off the landscaped grounds on the upper edge of Shawme Pond. There is a Shaker style round barn that houses an antique automobile collection. The American History Museum has military miniatures, bird carvings and antique firearms. Children of all ages enjoy riding the hand carved carousel. There are miles of walking paths throughout the museums and gardens. Three of the museums feature American Art work. Guests of the museum may bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the gardens. The museums and gardens are entirely wheel chair accessible. There are also a limited number of wheel chairs for visitors to use at the ticket office.
The Old East Windmill that is on site at the Heritage Museums & Gardens was built in Orleans, MA in 1800. The windmill worked for 93 years grinding rye, barley, wheat and salt. In Civil War times it also ground corn meal so that it could be used for rations for the Union Army. The windmill was purchased by the founder of the Heritage museums, J.K. Lilly, III. At this time it was moved to its present site. The windmill had to be dismantled for the 32 mile trip to Sandwich and it took ten days to make the move. Electric power lines had to be lifted to accommodate the four different pieces of the windmill. Once the windmill was returned to its normal state it was fitted with an electric motor so that it runs even without wind. The windmill is open only on special days, so visitors wishing to see the windmill in operation should call ahead.
Children between the ages of 4 to 13 are invited to attend the many programs that the museum sponsors. These include visits to the museum, crafts, games and rides on the antique carousel. They have the Little Museum Explorers Club for children ages 3 - 5 years of age. They have monthly themed programs for this age group that includes: Terrific Toys, Magic and Mystery, Follow That Footprint, Set Sail, Slime + Goo = Fun and Movers and Shakers. The programs begin at 9:30 am and run until 10:30 am on Wednesdays. Members pay only $3.00 per person and non members are charged $4.00 per person. Registration is required by the Monday before the event.