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Massachusetts Travel Blog

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. Not only family-friendly, but dog-friendly, too! Please call ahead to see if one of our dog rooms is available for you. The walks around here in our state forests are a marvel of streams, lakes, interesting geology and rare flora and fauna. All good stuff for dogs and dogparents.

Glasgow Scottish Festival: Celebration of Scottish and Celtic Culture; Look Park, Northampton; July 19; $16. (413) 862-8095

Northampton Sidewalk Sale Days: Downtown Northampton, July 24-27 (413) 582-0723

Western Massachusetts Apaloosa Horse Show: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; July 25-27. Free. (413) 737-2443 thebige.com/ese

Connecticut Summer Classic Horse Show: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; July 31-Aug 2. 413) 737-2443 thebige.com/ese

East Coast Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; Aug. 8-10. (413) 737-2443 thebige.com/ese

Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival: Aug. 9, Court Square, Springfield springfieldjazzfest.com

Massachusetts Morgan Horse Show: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; Aug. 12-16. (413) 737-2443 thebige.com/ese

Westfield Fair: Russellville Road, Westfield, Aug. 15-17.

Dog Shows: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; Aug. 20-24. Free. (413) 737-2443thebige.com/ese

Cummington Fair: 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, Aug. 21-24.
Springfield Indie Soul, Books, and Art Festival – Riverfront Park, Aug. 22-24; (413) 200-8870

Northampton Arts Council Transperformance: All-day rock concert to benefit Northampton Schools. Pines Theatre, Look Park, Northampton. 4-9:30 p.m., Aug. 26; (413) 587-1269

Three County Fair: Three County Fairgrounds, Northampton, Aug. 29-Sept. 1; (413) 584-2237 www.threecountyfair.com

Summer Fairs in Massachusetts

 

Another Reason to Visit Deerfield – Memorial Hall Museum

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The oldest museum association in the country is opening again for the season. Located right here in Deerfield on Memorial Street, this three-story building, founded in 1870, in the original 1798 Deerfield Academy building, is filled with remarkable objects relating directly to Deerfield and its immediate environs. The native Pocumtuck people, Eastern European immigrants, and the African American experience are interpreted and presented here. Deerfield’s Arts & Crafts Movement, quilts, Hadley chests, paintings, photographs, tombstones, the famous 1704 hatchet-scarred door from the Sheldon house, as well as Bangwell Putt, the oldest-known rag doll in America who survived for so long partly because she was handled very gently by the little blind Clarissa Field who owned her, are just some of the things here to tell their stories. The impact of the continuum of history is very real and engaging in this special place which so lovingly preserves and documents Deerfield’s past. We invite you to stay with us at the Deerfield Inn when you visit this remarkable piece of history.

Open Tuesdays through Sundays, June through October (closed Mondays).

Hours: 11:00 am – 4:30 pm

Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for ages 6-21, and the little museum shop has some special pieces by area artisans.

And of course set aside plenty of time to visit Historic Deerfield and its absorbing exhibitions in the Flynt Center.

Memorial Hall Museum

Yankee Editors’ Pick

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

yankeeCover

Unexpected and a very delightful surprise! Here is the press release: Historic Deerfield, MA – Newly re-opened for just over a year, the Deerfield Inn has bounced back from an 18-month renovation after a five-foot wall of water took out much of the first floor during Hurricane Irene. So astounding was the come-back that the editors of Yankee Magazine, the only magazine devoted to New England travel, home, food and feature stories, have named the Deerfield Inn a 2014 Best of New England Editors’ Choice, designating it as the “Best 19th Century Inn.” Deerfield Inn is in good company in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide (on newsstands now) which features more than 300 Best of New England Editors’ Choice winners.

The Editors’ Choice Award singles out a select group of choice lodging, dining, shopping, attractions destinations and events throughout New England each year. “Reading the special Travel Guide section of Yankee and the Editors’ Choice winners is as close to sitting down with a Yankee editor and getting us to spill our favorite places as one can get,” shared Yankee Editor, Mel Allen. Freelance travel writers, David Lyons and Patricia Harris, contributed to the decision making, sharing their personal nominations for Editors’ Choices from Massachusetts.

“Just into the second year after our renovation, we couldn’t be more delighted to receive a Yankee 2014 Best of New England Editors’ Choice Award,” commented Jane Howard, co-innkeeper with her husband Karl Sabo, at the Deerfield Inn. “The affirmation of excellence from Yankee editors and freelance travel writers is a great gift, and testimony to the historic significance of the Deerfield Inn,” finished Howard.

Located in historic Deerfield, the Deerfield Inn and Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern re-opened in April, 2013 after a post-Hurricane Irene total transformation. Offering 24 versatile guest rooms, with handicapped accessible, pet-friendly and family-friendly options, the historic theme of the Deerfield Inn has been beautifully captured with period wallpapers and paint. Yet, the modern amenities including flat-screen TVs, complimentary wi-fi, a guest computer work-station, and a decidedly eco-friendly approach are very much there for today’s plugged in traveler. Additionally the “new” Champney’s takes a nano-local approach to cuisine. Foods are butchered, baked, kneaded, sliced and diced in-house. The restaurant stalwartly supports local growers, foragers, and producers. Good and fresh food is prepared with respect and creativity. Innovative renditions of classic favorites, comfort foods, and some eclecticism take advantage of what the farmers bring to the kitchen door. A wide selection of craft beers and creative and fun cocktails round out the mix. Open seven days a week, year round for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll gather at a fine New England table when you visit Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern and the Deerfield Inn.

Yankee Magazine is based in Dublin, NH. Founded in 1935, Yankee is the preeminent magazine devoted to travel, home, food and feature stories exclusively focused on New England.

For more information or to book a reservation at New England’s “Best 19th Century Inn,” please visit www.DeerfieldInn.com or call 413-774-5587.

Cheers for the Holidays Ahead!

Monday, October 28th, 2013
Classic Cars Deerfield MA Inn

Classic Frazer Nash cars at the Inn.

Such fun seeing a slew of adorable little 1930s Frazer Nash cars at our Deerfield, MA bed and breakfast on an autumn afternoon! They call a cruise around a “raid” which is very different to the raid we all know about in Deerfield.

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Cars Deerfield MA Inn

More cars, more fun!

 

 

Halloween fun in Deerfield MA

Spooktacular fun!

Meanwhile, although the frost is not on the pumpkin, we are looking beyond Hallowe’en with some spooktacular Deerfield, MA specials to add to the dinner menu, beyond Thanksgiving (where we are offering turkey-to-go for the first time), to holiday parties! Please see the menu choices on champneysrestaurant.com.

We lost all our wreaths, garlands, indoor trees, grapevine deer, giant wooden nutcracker soldiers, all baubles and other bits and bobs in the great flood, so I will be trawling for more. We have people who are here at our Deerfield, MA inn with us who are mad for festivity, decorating, and holidays, so Hallowe’en will be a blast, and just wait for December!

Christmas lodging Deerfield, MA

The Inn at Christmas.

 

Old Deerfield Fall Crafts Fair

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

cfpcThis weekend, September 21 and 22, the Old Deerfield Crafts Fair will be in the grounds of Memorial Hall on Memorial Street.  Called one of the most beautiful crafts fairs and chosen by Yankee Magazine as one of the Top 20 Events in Massachusetts, this is a sweet event right here in town.

There is a wide array of juried crafts, but not so many you feel absolutely overwhelmed: theorems, jewelry, quilts, baskets, woodwork, pottery, soaps, music, dolls, bird feeders, teddy bears, purses, clothes… It is a feast for the eyes and Champney’s is open from 12 noon on for a bite to eat and to rest your fairgoer feet.

You can park at one of Channing Bete’s car parks on 5&10 and get a free shuttle in. The price of admission is only $6 and if you go to www.deerfield-craft.org you can download and print out a discount on admission.

Hours are 10-5 on Saturday, 10-4 on Sunday, and much of the cost of the admission ticket goes towards funding the Deerfield Teachers’ Center educational programs and Memorial Hall Museum, the oldest museum association in the country.

Hot Car Flash Mob

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Cruise nights are a fun event in this neck of the woods. The summer nights bring out all kinds of cars: vintage, unusual, fun, rare, silly; all cherished and shiny, and some park with the bonnet up so you can see an engine so pristine you could eat off it.

We went to one in near  the New England Air Museum the other night. The evening air was redolent with petrol fumes, revving, tooting, and – rather delightfully – a whole field of snickering mules and horses leaning over their fence on the other side of the action.

We thought a cruise night and Old Deerfield would be a great match. We are definitely at least four of those adjectives above! I think we will shoot for Saturday, September 14th, 5-8.

Franklin Festivals for the Family

Monday, July 8th, 2013

large_butterflygirlSIZEDThe Green River Festival on July 20th and 21st, is the summer music event in western Massachusetts, with hot air balloons, two stages of music, a dance tent, local arts & crafts, food stalls, and special events for children (free admission under 12).

grfest

On stage this year, among many others, Brandi Carlisle, Gogol Bordello, The Skatalites, and the Bernie Worrell Orchestra. Everything from blues, country, rock, gypsy swing, zydeco, punk and folk, it is fab foot-stomping fun, and absolutely family friendly.

And the following weekend is Charlemont’s turn to shine with their annual Yankee Doodle Days, on July 26-28, another family-friendly fun time with the famous Atlas firework show, a bang-up demolition derby, petting zoo, chainsaw sculptures, arts & local crafts, good food, zydeco, line dancing, sheep, oxen, horses! A real rarity of the kind of country fair that is hard to find nowadays, where it is all about the land and the community.

doodledays

Mutton & Mead – mmm-mm!

Monday, July 1st, 2013

In nearby Montague on the third weekend in June, there is this splendid Medieval Festival & Fair. Carousing, fighting, hawkers, wares, wenches, knights, jesters, music – all good, high spirits fun and to collect for The Food Bank. (Check out our Dine at Nine if fun and food sound like a good match.) Robin Hood is ready to swoop in with his Merry Men if the Sheriff tries to exact tax on the collected food!

WHY SHOULD YOU GO TO THE FESTIVAL NEXT YEAR?

To…See the a full armored joust on horseback  To…Be entertained by sword fighters, mud beggars, wenches, belly dancers, singers, minstrels, jugglers and More! To…Shop the shire’s market and adorn yourself with gifts from over 65 merchants and artisans selling fantastic leather work, jewelry and other treasures! To…Play with the faeries and wood sprites of the enchanted Sherwood Forest. To…Partake in the shire’s fine mead, smoked turkey legs and other tasty victuals of the land! To…Meet the wonderful people of our shire, including Robin Hood, his Merry Men, and Maid Marion as the legendary tale unfolds around you.