Gore Place
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA
Hours:Grounds, dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Grounds: free; mansion tour: adults, $12; children ages 5–12, $5; children under age 5, free

goreplace.org; 781-894-2798

Bathrooms: None (unless you pay to rent a backpack or take a tour)
Water/Snacks: None

USGS Newton

At this historic property you can rent an activity backpack that will have kids racing around to explore the grounds and farmyard.

A small barnyard at historic Gore Place is home to sheep, goats, chickens, and rabbits.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Gore Place, a Federal period house built in 1806, was the estate of Massachusetts governor Christopher Gore. Rescued from demolition in the 1930s and restored by the nonprofit Gore Place Society, the 48-acre property consists of the mansion, manicured grounds, gardens, and a barnyard that tots will adore.

You can go right into the fenced-in barnyard to say hello to the animals— sheep, goats, chickens, and seemingly dozens of rabbits. Gore Place’s fantastic backpack program for kids is called Take A Walk and is offered year-round and changes with the seasons. For $5, you have use of a backpack that contains binoculars, a magnifying glass, and seasonal activities that take kids around the property for an hour. Backpacks for kids ages 3 to 8 are available, as well as themed ones, such as Archaeology, Raised Garden Beds, and Math Challenge for elementary-school-aged children. The backpacks are available Mondays through Fridays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. In winter, you can also rent snowshoes for $5.

On a 10-acre field, Gore Place grows a variety of crops; much of the food is donated to charities, but some of it is for sale. An honor-system farm stand is located behind the Farmer’s Cottage next to the barns. In season, a flag with the word “open” means you can come see what’s in stock. You might find squash, garlic, onions, or other produce. Bring exact change and leave it in a box provided.

Several fun events are scheduled at the property over the course of the year, including a sheep-shearing festival, a Jane Austen tour, Santa’s tea, full-moon house tours, and preschool story hours. Visit the website for details.

Remember: The mansion is open only for guided tours. Call ahead to check the hours in case a special event is scheduled.

Plan B:

Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary offers a chance to see more animals in the wild.

Where to Eat Nearby:

You’ll find places to eat on Main Street.



By: mommypth
Posted: 05/31/2012 12:28

We went for the sheep sheering in early may. It was wonderful- they also had hearding dogs, people dressed in period clothes marching and playing music- they had a whole encampment. I would defeniately reccommend that evetn

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By: FossT
Posted: 05/10/2012 16:52

This is a great place. I have never gone on the tour. The kids just like looking at the animals, and climbing in the trees. They have some great trees to climb. Also the spring sheep-shearing festival is a really fun event with kids.

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