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Massachusetts Travel Blog

Things To Do with Kids in MA :: Family Friendly Deerfield Inn

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Things to do with Kids in MA

We have family-friendly rooms at the Deerfield Inn, and a kid’s menu for the under 11 – “healthy (groan) but good” as Abby said. Sometimes you want to leave the children with mom and get away for some time for yourselves, and we can do that too, but there are some delightful children activities in our neighborhood, even in the winter.

 

Consider Magic Wings just down the road from us – a warm and inviting ecosphere of flowers and flutterbies that will charm you all. You might spot a bright parrot or two, and watch out for hitchhikers when you leave! Those butterflies seem to choose the brightest clothes to settle on…

Just beyond is the self-named ‘Scenter of the Universe’, the huge and spectacular headquarters of the famous Yankee Candle. Check out all the wacky and wonderful candles like the Boyfriend – hmm, what does that one smell like – jealousy and despair or chocolates and flowers? Or Wet Lab? Marketing Manager Jack Dog likes that one. Children enjoy the Bavarian Village where a train and carriages rush around, the Nutcracker King has his castle, and it is always winter.

And drive on a bit more and you come to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. You don’t even have to have a child in your life to know The Very Hungry Caterpillar with its beautiful design for small hands and sweet message, The Mixed-Up Chameleon to learn about color, or The Very Quiet Cricket with its laugh out loud surprise at the end.

Eric Carle is a local author and illustrator. His dream was to create a center for picture book art to promote and encourage literacy. There are thousands of picture books from all over the world, reading time, plays, recitals, author visits, performances, hands-on learning activities, ever-changing galleries and exhibitions. In fact this part of northwestern Massachusetts is awash in talented illustrators and children’s book authors. Natasha Lowe lives right here in Deerfield! You can buy autographed copies of her books in the gift shop!

The calendar of events at the Eric Carle Museum for 2016 is full of incredibly fun things to see and do throughout the year.

Come and stay, with or without children to share these pleasures with! You might just want to bring out the kid in you and enjoy these magical places by yourselves!

 

Fly Fishing the Deerfield River

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Fly Fishing on the Deerfield RiverSome of the finest fly fishing for trout found in the northeast is right outside our back door. Flowing from Vermont, and with bottom releases from hydropower dams, the Deerfield is perfectly cool even in the summer months. In addition to the resident fish population, Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game stocks rainbow and brown trout throughout the river. This gently flowing, tree-lined river is one of the most charming and scenic in the region. Along with our traditional 1884 inn and farm-to-fork tavern, it makes for the perfect setting for the fly fishing enthusiast or those traveling with one.

If you have always wanted the chance to learn how to fly fish on one of the most beautiful and perfect rivers, your time has come! We have two packages for you from April to August. Get 20% off your room of choice and add on a 4-hour afternoon fly fishing trip with all you need to get started. You will come back knowing how to roll cast and overhead cast and how to get your fish in the net. If you are an intermediate angler, you can enhance your skill knowledge.

And another fun way to experience the river is by a float trip. Cast out a line and let the drifting do some of the work! Bring in rainbows, browns, and brookies to the net.

The Deerfield River is one of the most productive trout rivers in New England, and these packages offer an excellent opportunity for the novice or the more advanced angler to learn the many miles of heavily populated trout water using the strategies and correct imitative flies that fish are keying in on during the spring and summer.
Pristine waters, bubbling plunge pools, narrow runs and riffles make for a conveyor belt of beautiful trout hungry for the hatching insects floating within the edge of the seam!

Your expert guides – Mike and Jonathan, have been on the rivers around here as soon as they could walk. They know the pocket water, rapids, riffles, and deep pools, every bend, every eddy. They know what fish are out and about and when. They have patience and sharp eyes. Being out on the river is one of the happiest and most serene places they know. From beginner to expert – if you have a question about their domain, they will have the answer.

They also tie flies, nymphs, and streamers for luring the right fish; flies with delightful names like woolly bugger, crickhopper, and hothead. There is even a specific Deerfield fly that you can see on the wall in a frame as you enter Champney’s, tied for us by a local angler – but that’s another story!

For these packages, you will need a 2016 MA fishing license, and don’t forget to bring in your suitcase when you come to stay at Deerfield Inn:

  • extra set warm clothing
  • waterproof jacket
  • hat
  • polarized sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • water
  • snacks
  • camera

Franklin County Community Meals :: Deerfield, MA Charity

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

food bank in Deerfield, MAWe have two ways to give a hand up this year.

First, the Deerfield Inn and Champney’s will be collecting non-perishable food items to go beneath the tree, starting on December 1st. Every time you come by to enjoy a plateful of something delicious here, please bring something that can go towards a plateful of food for someone else in Franklin County.f

There is a second way to help. Pop a dollar or whatever you can spare in the envelope in the check holder, and this will go to the Franklin County Community Meals program. 1 in 5 children in Western Mass is “food insecure” meaning they miss meals or do not have enough to eat. That is something I know we all want to do something about.

We are surrounded in this most rural part of western Massachusetts with fields and rivers, producers and growers, foragers and farmers. We have orchards, acres of bounty, and yet there was the need to provide nourishing meals to more than 20,000 last year. 247,000 pounds of food was distributed at food pantries. Twelve percent of our residents are on the poverty line; people both young and old.

Share the bounty with the county, and help us spread the joy of a good meal! Thank you!

Flamenco Dance Troupe :: Exclusive Deerfield Performance

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

flamenco dancersOn Sunday, October 25th, while on a tour, we are lucky to have a flamenco troupe of one singer, one musician, and two dancers from the language and flamenco school Carmen de las Cuevas in the heart of the Albaícin, Granada, Spain coming to perform here at the Inn from 7-9 pm.

If you have never experienced the fire of flamenco, this is your chance. And if you know what this music and dance is like, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get that emotional, physical rush!

The price is $12 which includes the show and authentic tapas, and tickets are available now at BrownPaperTickets

(If we have space at the Inn, tickets on the night will be $20.)

Here is the word on three of the performers:

“My name is Paco Fernández. I am from Granada and I began to dance when I was very little. My people don’t like flamenco, but I wanted to dance and to tour Japan, France, Germany, and the US. Currently I dance at the flamenco caves and pubs in my city. People say that I have an aggressive dance-style. Therefore they call me ‘The Savage.'”

Born in Almería, Spain, Jorge has shared a passion for guitar since age nine. Thanks to his father’s love for music, he grew up listening to famous Andalusian guitarists such as Paco de Lucía and Manolo Sanlucar. After years of training, he began his artistic career in Granada, Spain, accompanying a diverse range of singers and dancers from all parts of Spain and from many other countries such as France, Italy, Russia, Germany and Egypt. Despite being a flamenco guitarist, throughout his career he has played several “fusion” show with musicians of Jazz, Rock and other genres. Today he works as a flamenco guitar teacher at the renowned flamenco school, Carmen de las Cuevas, in Granada.

“My name is Sandra Santiesteban. I was born in Granada. A love for flamenco was born in me when I was very young. It was difficult for me to pursue this passion for flamenco because no one in my family was a flamenco performer. I currently work at various flamenco bars and caves in Granada.”

Sandra took her first steps of flamenco dance in Algeciras, Cádiz, the town in which she was born. After several years of flamenco dance studies, she moved to Granada, passing the entrance exams for the Mario Maya International Center for Performing Arts. There she completed her training with Mario Maya and other flamenco masters including Belén Maya, Rafaela Carrasco, Manuel Liñan and Antonio Canales. Upon completing her studies she began to dance at flamenco caves and clubs in Granada, at festivals and in international tours. She currently teaches flamenco at Carmen de las Cuevas in Granada, Spain.

Exciting Summer Activities in Deerfield, MA!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Summer activities in Deerfield, MA

A ravishing jacket by Marlene Housner

Plan ahead for your summer! We have family-friendly rooms, but call well ahead as these rooms sell fast.

For artisan arts and crafts lovers, there is the spectacular Berkshires Arts Festival, now in its 14th year in Great Barrington on July 3-6. An hour and a bit from us, but a pretty and an easy ride, and so worth it! Jewelry, glass, mixed media, sculpture, wood, wearable art, leather, ceramics, fiber, photography… They have food, music, workshops and demos. The festival starts at 10am, and it is truly a beauty.

We have tickets here for $2 off admission, and the first four to make a reservation to stay with us will get complimentary tickets for the Festival! Call us at 413-774-5587, or make a reservation online, putting Arts Festival into the comments line.

Into horses? June 25-27 brings the Arabian Horse Show of New England to The Big E, with the Championship Arabian Horse Show on July 8-11, the Appaloosa Horse Show on July 24-26, the Summer Classic Horse Show on July 30-August 8, and Friesian Championships on August 27-30. Erin, who is one of our team leaders, can make her horse smile on command! FaceBook!

Being the most rural region of Massachusetts, we celebrate farming and farmers around here. July brings sheep shows to West Springfield in July, and there are kennel club dog shows aplenty in July and August.

Check out www.TheBigE.com for the listing of events and discount advance tickets. An easy shot from the inn down I-91 to exit 13B, one mile farther on rte 147.

See you this summer at the Deerfield Inn!

Spring Activities :: Hampshire County, MA

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Massachusetts Pottery Studios

With thanks to visithampshirecounty.com, this blog is to let you know about a couple of activities that you and your family might find fun in Hampshire County this spring. We have family-friendly connecting rooms, and there is still space available on crisp April nights before the May Commencement and Parent Weekends.

Bees, Butterflies, and Bugs: Starting April 7, you can explore The Art of Eric Carle: Bees, Butterflies, and Other Bugs at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (April 7 through August 30). As a child, Carle became very interested in small animals, a curiosity sparked by his father, who would take him on walks in the woods and fields, exploring the tiny creatures that lived there. Carle says “I remember the excitement of lifting stones or peeling back the bark of dead trees to discover the living things that crawled, crept and scurried about there.” The exhibition celebrates the wings, stings, and crawling things that have appeared throughout Carle’s work, ranging from allergy tab advertisements he created in the late 1960’s to perennial picture book favorites including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug.
Bowls: Nine western Massachusetts pottery studios open their doors to visitors on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, for the 11th Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. This free, self-guided springtime event showcases both the work and the work spaces of a group of nationally-known local potters, along with 12 guest potters from around New England and as far away as Oregon State. In barns, reclaimed factory buildings, and even a converted Airstream trailer, visitors will find much more than bowls along the trail: tableware, garden sculpture, architectural tile, and decorative pieces in a range of styles and prices. All nine studios will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days with work for sale, and several of the studios will offer demonstrations during the weekend. This is one of the most gorgeous and interesting trails ever.

Deerfield Spring Sampler Craft Fair :: March into Spring

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

tools to create jewelryThink ahead beyond this snow to the promise of spring. The Old Deerfield Spring Sampler Craft Fair is held in West Springfield at the Big E on March 7 and 8. Extraordinary crafters, free demos for DIY ideas, music, good eats, and the chance to win $50 shopping certificates. If you have ever been to the Craft Fairs held here in Old Deerfield, you will know that these fairs organized by PVMA are juried, and considered by Yankee magazine to the be among the best in New England. Four free passes to the first four to book a room on this weekend!

BUT WAIT – there is more! You can check out The Jurassic Roadshow on March 28 and 29 at the Clarion Conference Center in Northampton. The Western Mass Mineral, Jewelry and Fossil Show will be there as well. This is your chance to come and stay with us at the Deerfield Inn and bring your small fossil or dinosaur fans with you. (We have family-friendly guest rooms.) You can check out the gems, rocks, and jewelry, and little ones can see local fossil dinosaur footprints, insect trails, and more. And you can bring your own fossils to have them identified by a professional geologist or paleontologist! Cool!

Visit Deerfield’s Arts & Crafts Movement!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Old Deerfield Painting Group
Did you know that the Arts & Crafts Movement was really significant in Deerfield and its history? From the last quarter of the nineteenth century in particular, women in Deerfield, both permanent residents and summer visitors, were drawn into the arts and crafts movement, many of them looking for a way to express themselves in paint, silks, copper, silver, and clay. You can see an exhibition all about that when you visit.

Also open for viewing at the Flynt Center of Historic Deerfield is an exhibition of  gorgeous craftwork pieces from their extensive collections.

As an addition to the  metalware, (more…)

Free Fun Friday!

Friday, August 8th, 2014

hd free friday

The Highland Street Foundation has enabled 67 museums and cultural venues to be visited with no admission charge on every Friday throughout the summer. Under their generous auspices, Historic Deerfield and Memorial Hall museums will be open absolutely free to all-comers on Friday, August 15th!

From 9:30-4:30, visitors will have the opportunity to experience everything from period re-enactors, the first floor of the museum houses, historic trades and handicrafts, and artifacts and (more…)

Summer Fairs & Fun in Western Massachusetts

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

After the seemingly endless, brutal winter, we and our visitors are more ready for summer shorts and Chacos than ever before.

Luckily there are loads of fun summer events around here in Western Massachusetts, from various town fairs to the Eastern States Exposition. Thank you to masslive.com for the useful listing below.

There is a lot to do with horses in our neck of the woods, as well as arts and crafts and music. We are 20 minutes north of Northampton, and close to the I-91 corridor, so the Deerfield Inn is a good middle spot to stay. We are family-friendly! The walks around here in our state forests are a marvel of (more…)