Winter Fun in Western Mass.
When you live in the Northeast, you probably grew up enjoying outdoor activities and making the most out of winter. But if you’re from a warmer climate, doesn’t a cozy sweater sound suitable for a change? The months after the holidays can be a drag, so get off your chair and get some fresh air in Western Mass!
Forest Park – Since Forest Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the country, it’s no surprise that they have plenty of room for outdoor winter activities. They have two areas for sledding and tubing – The Amphitheater (only safe when covered in snow) and Barney Hill are adjacent to each other, so you and the kids can switch on and off hills! It doesn’t end there. Bring your snowshoes and cross country skis because during the day there are plenty of trails to be found and snow-covered areas in the park. If ice skating is your jam, Cyr Arena offers public skating.
Berkshire East Mountain Resort – Looking for a more extreme experience? Berkshire East is the place. Snow tubing is an fun activity and offered at Berkshire East in addition to skiing. No need to check the weather report because Berkshire East ensures the mountain will always be efficiently covered in snow (snow-making machines). No gear? No problem! You can get lessons and rentals right at the mountain!
MGM Springfield Ice Rink – The Plaza at MGM Springfield has been transformed into an ice rink for the winter months. Their ice skating rink is open to all guests of all ages through January 27th. New at MGM Springfield this year, TAP Sports Bar presents the ultimate outdoor holiday retreat with cozy igloos and a hearty beer cabin called “Base Camp.” The lively experience includes three life-sized and interactive igloos fully stocked with blankets, pillows, heaters and Bluetooth speakers. Guests can eat, drink and be merry with signature appetizers and sharable cocktails. Base Camp at TAP Sports Bar runs through March.
Northfield Mountain Recreation & Environmental Center – Take advantage of the fresh powder with snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or one of their guided hikes. Northfield Mountain can take on the largest blizzard or the lightest dusting of snow with their fleet of grooming vehicles. The trails receive regular grooming–usually in the early morning, with tracks set for classical skiing and areas groomed flat for skating. If you are heading out to the trails, feel free to download their trail map.
Adventure East – Forest Bathing (yep!) in the winter may seem counterintuitive, but as Adventure East guide and naturalist Ami-Jean puts it, “The forest can seem silent this time of year but as we slow down, you may find yourself listening to the unique winter sounds.” The folks at Adventure East love the forest in the winter, especially in Western Mass where it can seem uniquely peaceful and beautiful. See their full calendar for more Forest Bathing opportunities, as well as mindful walks and more rigorous winter hikes.
New England Falconry – New England Falconry is located on open meadows and forestland in beautiful Western Mass. They offer the extraordinary opportunity to handle and free-fly a trained hawk. You will experience the ancient art of falconry while learning about the life history of raptors, their role in the environment, and the efforts underway to ensure their survival and conservation.