Valentine’s (& Galentine’s) Day Recommendations, Plus Ideas for School Vacation Fun too!
This Valentine’s Day…
Whether you’re shopping for someone you love or a friend you cannot live without, may we recommend shopping and dining locally. Our region has MANY options, here are a few possibilities:
Offering many options from an understated bouquet to a towering vase, or even flowers paired with wine, they have the perfect gift you desire. To assist you in choosing, visit their Valentine’s Shop, which provides a carefully curated selection of beautiful and longer lasting flowers to celebrate love and friendship.
With so many shops and dining choices, this charming walking mall is perfect for gifts from head to toe (and in between). For instance, consider a gift of relaxation and wellness from Oksana Salon & Spa or The Shot Shop. And since it’s a day all about love, and who doesn’t love shoes, you can go comfortable and stylish at In Chic Shoenique or fuel a passion for running at Fleet Feet. And if the saying is true, and the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, there are lots of options too including Max Burger, Posto, or you can bring a nice dinner home from Delaney’s Market.
Another retail and dining gem in our region, this unique cluster of whimsical and architecturally surprising buildings offers you an eclectic mix of retail, restaurants, and more to find your Valentine the perfect surprise. Find a unique gift or collectible at Arts Unlimited Gift Gallery, chic designer apparel and jewelry at MOXY Boutique, or a gift of fine art at Eliza Moser Fine Art Studio & Gallery. Is your love a lover of books? Visit Odyssey Bookshop, the area’s largest independent bookstore, and find the words to say how you feel.
Rather a night out together? No worries, enjoy a movie date at Tower Theaters. And maybe make a night of it with dinner before or after the show at one of the numerous restaurants including IYA Sushi, Johnny’s Bar and Grille, Duro West African Cuisine, New Main Moon Café, Foord 101 Bar & Bistro, and more. And if you’re looking for a sweet treat for your Val-(or Gal)-entine, don’t forget Batch Ice Cream (also located at Longmeadow Shops).
With over 160 years of rich history, there is nothing outdated about this dining experience. Easily integrating the white linen elegance of a bygone era with a fresh and innovative “new American” cuisine your Valentine’s tastebuds will surely be tantalized. Strong Italian and French influences inspire the contemporary culinary style of dishes such as red beet risotto, burnt tangerine glazed cod, and white-chocolate panna cotta. Reservations recommended.
It’s the perfect ambiance for a special evening of love or friendship, featuring an authentic atmosphere of comfy chairs, fireplaces, and an eighteen-seat mahogany bar. With 12 local drafts, many wines by the glass, and a seasonally driven menu featuring many local farms this restaurant is loved by all. Don’t miss the chance to gather at a true New England table in the heart of Deerfield, described as one of the best small towns in America. Reservations encouraged.
With so many choices we couldn’t possibly list them all, please click here for more ideas on terrific dining in Western Mass for Valentine’s and every day.
February School Vacation Activity Ideas
Known as New England’s Outdoor Adventure Center, they are also pioneers in the Pioneer Valley as the first ski area in the world to produce 100% of its electricity from onsite renewable energy. Family owned and operated, this hidden gem, knows a thing or two about winter school vacations, and has activities for ALL ages.
- Skiers and Snowboarders – take on 45 trails with 100% snow making and marvel at the modern facilities, including a new high-speed detachable quad and a first-class grooming operation. Need to increase your skills? No problem with their top-notch ski & snowboard lessons.
Tubers – the park offers 100 tubes, three tubing lanes, and a Magic Carpet Lift that makes getting back to the top of the hill easy. Snow tubing is a family friendly and fun alternative to skiing and snowboarding with no special equipment needed and offers a great budget friendly price point. NOTE: They strongly encourage making reservations as tubing sessions typically sell out and they may not be able to accept walk-ins. Click here for more & to reserve.
Founded with the purpose of inspiring a love of art and reading through picture books, this museum continues to be a remarkable treasure. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, and located right here in our region, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world.
Along with their collection of more than 10,000 picture book illustrations, three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, and more, they offer educational programs for families. During February vacation (2/20-2/25) they have curated a special line-up including artmaking, story times, and special guests! Click here for the vacation week activities.
A perfect vacation week activity for the kid who just cannot get enough of the court (and for the lifelong basketball fan parent), as well as a terrific introduction for families with children who are just beginning to explore the world’s most popular sport. Located in the town where basketball was invented, you can’t miss the silver sphere, designed to be one of the most distinctive monuments in the world, punctuating the Springfield skyline. Conveniently located right off of Route 91 (MA), it’s super easy to get to if you’re driving in from New York, Boston, or Hartford.
You and the family will have a blast exploring three levels of basketball fun including artifacts, fan favorite memorabilia, movies, images, interactive exhibits, and the “Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams.” Learn about the progression of the game from the initial peach baskets in the 1800s, all the way to the modern graphite backboard and hoop. Then round out the day by shooting and trying to dunk on the full-size regulation court.
Round out school vacation week with this local tradition. Beginning February 23rd (through March 17th) the Village’s working sugar camp demonstrates maple sugaring as it was done in early 19th-century New England. You and the kiddos can see the entire sugar-making process, from tapping the trees to “sugaring off,” and learn why maple sugar was more commonly used than maple syrup in early New England. Plus costumed historians will also cook period foods made with maple products and the tinner and cooper will make maple-related items.
For a full list of all February Events check out our website.
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