Memorial Day Feature: Paradise City Arts Festival

Come visit the famous Paradise City Arts Festival this Memorial Day weekend. Located in Northampton, MA, this annual arts festival draws artists and art lovers to a fun-filled extravaganza each year. With hands-on exhibits, breath-taking visual art, delectable food samplings and lively music, there is plenty to see and do during this exciting three-day festival.

paradise-city-art

Come for the Art

The main attraction that draws thousands of visitors each year is the plethora of visual art on display at the Paradise City Arts Festival. From showcase paintings to handmade artwork, every type of visual art will be represented by 260 selected artists. Meet the artists and ask them directly about their work. Visit this year’s Directors’ Picks to take a closer look at many of the featured artists. Enjoy hands-on exhibits or take in a lecture at a “smARTtalk” presentation. Whether you prefer to purchase a painting for your home, create your own masterpiece or enjoy the positive vibe of watching artists at work, the Paradise City Arts Festival has it all.

Stay for the Food

Culinary arts are in full display at the Festival Dining Tent. Sample the best of Northampton’s exquisite restaurants as the local chefs do their best to outdo each other. Some of the featured food items include gourmet pizza, mouth-watering curries, pad thai, pulled pork sliders, delicious lobster rolls, dim sum, fresh salmon salads, spicy burritos, garden-fresh strawberry shortcake and homemade ice cream.

Dance to the Music

After strolling through the fantastic art exhibits and sampling some amazing food, it’s time to sit down and enjoy some music from the local bands or kick off your shoes and dance a while. The Paradise City Soundstage offers live music on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 4pm and Monday from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Some of the featured musical groups include the Paradise Jazz Group with New Orleans-style swing, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones with a variety of blues music and the O-Tones playing everything from Motown to Big Band Swing music.
paradise-city-art-music

What You Need to Know Before You Go

The Paradise City Arts Festival is held at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton, MA. This year, the dates of the festival are May 28th, 29th and 30th. Saturday and Sunday hours will be from 10am to 6pm while Monday’s festivities are from 10am – 4pm. General admission is $13 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 years and older, $8 for students and free for children 12 years old and under. If you’re planning to attend all three days of the festival, invest in the three-day pass for only $16.

For more information on things to do or places to stay in Northampton and all over the Greater Springfield area, visit Valley Visitor. Whether you come for a day or stay for the weekend, the Paradise City Arts Festival provides a fantastic artistic experience.

Spring Activities in Western Massachusetts

Fun for the Whole Family

If you’ve recently moved to the Western Massachusetts area or you’re visiting New England for the first time, there are a few must-see attractions you simply can’t miss. Listed below are three popular destinations that offer something for every member of your family. The vacation season has just started, so plan your adventures today.

Visit Six Flags New England for an Adrenaline-Filled Day

With more than 100 rides and New England’s largest water park, Six Flags New England is a place where fun is all around. Last year, the park added the intense, breathtaking Wicked Cyclone roller coaster, giving it a total of 11 coasters. The New England SkyScreamer is the tallest coaster of its kind on the planet. If you’re not afraid to brave a ride that climbs 400 feet above the park, come and give your lungs a workout today. Your little ones can play in the four kiddie areas filled with less intense rides, and family members who want to skip the adrenaline rush can enjoy the fun atmosphere and the great shows.

Celebrate Your Favorite Sport at the Basketball Hall of Fame

The 80,000-square-foot Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a piece of heaven for those who love the sport. Even if you don’t play the game itself, the rare artifacts, interactive exhibits and fascinating history will keep you entertained for hours. Those who prefer to celebrate in a more physical way can shoot baskets or play virtual reality games. The inquisitive can test their trivia knowledge, and extroverted fans can try their hand at being a sportscaster.

Find a Treasure at the Brimfield Outdoor Antique Shows

In May, July and September, the area is home to the Brimfield Outdoor Antique Shows. Antique experts and collectors from everywhere come to see the world’s biggest and best outdoor exhibit of rare and valuable vintage goods. The event takes place on a stretch of land along Route 20. Items from every era and in every price range are available for your discerning eyes. Plan for a long and productive day of enjoying history through its treasures and trinkets.

Discover More Exciting Opportunities at the Visitors Bureau

With access to the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, you’ll never struggle to find a fun and exciting way to spend your day. In addition to highlighting the area’s most exhilarating tourist attractions, we maintain up-to-date info about shopping, transportation, accommodations, education, outdoor activities and more. Whether you’re a local or you’re just stopping by, visit us online to learn about everything Pioneer Valley has to offer.

Spring into Action in the Pioneer Valley

Fun Outdoor Activities for the Whole Family

Whether you live in New England or you’re preparing to visit Western Massachusetts, you’re probably ready for winter to pass and welcome the warm spring climate. It’s time to crawl out of hibernation and enjoy the best outdoor activities with family, friends and loved ones. Check out a few of our favorite activities in Springfield, MA and nearby communities.

Fun on the Farm

For wholesome fun for the family, visit McCray’s Farm, located in South Hadley. Enjoy a game on our 18-hold mini golf course or feed the animals at the free petting farm. Make sure to visit the creamery where you can find lunch, and for dessert a cone of homemade ice cream, and a jug of fresh farm milk to take home with you, from their own cows. Featuring seasonal events like hayrides, harvest picks, and plenty of surprises, you’ll surely find something to enjoy.

Divine Wine

For a taste of refinement, try a romantic and relaxing tour of the Connecticut wine region, one of the most exciting and fastest growing wine regions in the United States. Set in an stunning scenic backdrop, an impressive variety of wine styles may be enjoyed as you discover the beautiful region. throughout our beautiful state. The Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association’s blue wine trail signs will help guide you to the 25 wineries that comprise the Connecticut Wine Trail.

Scenic Byways Riverboat Cruise

If you’re looking for a relaxing activity among beautiful natural features, enjoy a day time excursion or a beautiful sunset cruise on the Connecticut River. The Lady Bea is a locally famous 49-passenger river boat docked at Brunelle’s Marina in South Hadley. This 53-foot climate controlled cruiser offers guided river tours as well as private parties with their stereo, video system, full bar, indoor and sun deck seating. Birthdays, weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, retirement celebrations, baby and bridal showers, and corporate events are always a great time out on the Lady Bea. They’ll help you plan and organize the event and decorate for the occasion to make your event as stress-free as possible. The Lady Bea’s regular schedule runs from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

Are you looking for even more great ideas to get out and about and enjoy activities in Western Massachusetts this spring? Visit our website to learn more.

Dining Destinations for Valentine’s Day

Romantic Restaurants to Warm Up With Your Beloved

It may still be chilly outside, but the time is nigh for warming up with a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day. Looking for the perfect place for the perfect evening? For a memorable dinner, choose a restaurant that can offer you a unique experience. There are countless Pioneer Valley restaurants, so we’ve created a list of five outstanding Valentine’s Day dinner destinations.

Europa

782 Center Street, Ludlow

Specializing in Mediterranean cuisine and the ultimate interactive dining experience, Europa Black Rock Grill presents your meal cooking on our volcanic rocks at your table.  You can then enjoy a meal freshly prepared and cooked to your personal taste. Europa offers a unique experience for a memorable evening to eat, drink, relax, and celebrate.

Delaney’s Grill

3 Country Club Road, Holyoke

If you want a great steak, you will love Delaney’s Grill. Featuring mouthwatering steaks and amazing appetizers, perfect sides and a family-style chop-chop salad, Delaney’s Grill is among the best steaks in the Valley. For a twist on Valentine’s Day dinner, try their acclaimed Sunday Signature Brunch.

Lattitude Restaurant

1338 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield

Helmed by New England native Chef Jeffrey Daigneau, Lattitude’s menu is inspired by the changing seasons. Featuring a range of dishes inspired by the farm to table dining philosophy, Lattitude offers and unique and refreshing experience that brings excitement to dining out.

Max’s Tavern

1000 West Columbus Avenue, Springfield

Featuring an innovative menu of contemporary American cuisine, classic chophouse fare, craft cocktails, and more, Max’s Tavern makes for a sporting take on fine dining. Sports fans will especially love its proximity to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Max’s team will make sure you have a memorable dining experience each and every time.

Chandler’s Restaurant and Yankee Candle Village

Routes 5 & 10, South Deerfield

For a romantic candlelight dinner, experience extraordinary dining at Chandler’s. This award-winning restaurant at Yankee Candle Village features a menu that changes regularly and one of the region’s best wine cellars. Combine with an afternoon at Yankee Candle Village for a full day of sensory delights.

Whichever style of restaurant you seek, you’re sure to find an exciting dining option in the Pioneer Valley. Make sure to make your reservations soon, because booking will surely fill up fast. Looking for more info on fun activities in the Pioneer Valley? Visit the Valley Visitor website today.

Where to Warm Up This Winter

Places to Have Fun and Get Warm in Western Massachusetts

Winter is in full swing in Western Massachusetts. Like many, you’re probably tempted to hibernate until the spring. However, sitting around will just make the cold months drag on that much more slowly. Stay busy–and warm–by exploring the many great activities, attractions and destinations that the region has to offer. From trendy breweries to intriguing museums, opportunities for warm indoor and outdoor fun abound. Give as many of them a try as you can, and winter will be over before you know it.

  • Abandoned Building Brewery – This Easthampton brewery is more than just a run-of-the-mill watering hole. Swing by to sip pints of American and Belgian ales that are brewed on-site using locally grown hops and barley. Even on the coldest Massachusetts day or evening, the camaraderie and cheer of this place will warm you right up.
  • Springfield Museums and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial – On a frigidly cold, snowy day, round up the little ones and head over to this Springfield attraction, which includes life-size Dr. Seuss characters, a dinosaur exhibit, a planetarium and more.
  • The New England Air Museum – The majority of the more than 80 aircraft that are stored here are kept in heated hangars, so this is a great place to check out when the weather is less than optimal. Located in Windsor Locks, it also features an extensive array of aircraft-related artifacts. Kids love not only all of the real planes but the Kidsport, which is a child-sized version of an airport that they can explore.
  • Berkshire East Mountain Resort – Enjoy a quick getaway at the exhilarating sports resort in Charlemont, Massachusetts. Stay at the lodge and enjoy an action packed experience, complete with night skiing, snowboarding, zip lines, and North America’s longest mountain coaster, The Thunderbolt. Wind down after a day of adventures at the Crazy Horse Bar & Grill.

The Candlemaking Museum in Yankee Candle Village – Get warmed up while learning about the art of candlemaking at this South Deerfield attraction. Authentically dressed chandlers demonstrate the processes that were used to make bayberry and beeswax candles during the 18th century. A variety of lovely candles is also available for purchase, so you can stock up on candles that will keep your home warmer, cozier and, in many cases, wonderfully scented.

That’s merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the indoor fun that’s to be had throughout Western Massachusetts. If you find yourself with cabin fever this winter and aren’t sure where to go or what to do, Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau has plenty of ideas. Learn more about fun wintertime activities in Western Massachusetts by contacting us or by visiting our website today.

Ski Season Hotspots in Western Massachusetts

As you wind along a rural highway, meandering among the trees, what’s better than seeing a snow-capped mountain looming in the distance? Pulling out your ski gear and hitting the slopes, of course. Western Massachusetts isn’t far from big city life, but it provides a rustic retreat and plenty of adventure. Even better, the ski resorts in this area are located close to each other, so you can try out more than one on your next ski vacation. No matter where you’re skiing or snowboarding, check out conditions before you strap on your boots at On the Snow.

Berkshire East

If you’re looking for lots of excitement in one place, head to Berkshire East. This family-run resort provides 45 trails for skiers and snowboarders as well as zipline tours, tubing and a mountain coaster that will take you on a roaring ride, twisting and turning around beautiful forests, sheer drops and incredible vistas. The resort is as friendly to the environment as it is to guests; all of its electricity is produced by an on-site wind turbine.

Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort

This four-season resort offers skiing and snowboarding for the whole family. If you’re not into soaring down a mountain on your own two feet, ride Jiminy Peak’s mountain coaster, which reaches speeds of 23mph as gravity pulls you down the winding track, the crisp air whipping around your head. The resort also has multiple loops of snowshoe trails that provide a more serene way to enjoy the winter wonderland. Jiminy Peak offers seven dining options, from donuts and waffles to burritos and gourmet salads, to satisfy your hunger after a long day on the mountain.

Mount Snow Resort

Just a couple of hours from Boston, Mount Snow Resort in West Dover, Vermont, is still a popular option for skiing near Western Massachusetts. In addition to the well-groomed skiing and snowboarding trails, Mount Snow offers tubing, snowmobile tours, cross country skiing and sleigh rides. You can even try your hand at mushing as you’re pulled by a team of sled dogs through the frozen countryside. When you’re ready to take a break, Mount Snow offers its very own spa and wellness center, complete with massages, facial treatments and holistic health therapy.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation on your next outing, check out the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau for comprehensive information on where your journey can take you.

Autumn Fun in the Pioneer Valley

Looking for some fun and adventure this fall in Western Massachusetts?

Whether you prefer roaming through nature or revisiting history, there’s plenty to enjoy before the winter sets in. Check out these fun activities while you’re visiting the Pioneer Valley.

Mike’s Maze – Enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon by exploring this 8-acre corn maze with your friends and family. Solve the puzzles to make your way safely around the unique design in the cornfield before enjoying a satisfying lunch at their Corn Café.

Art in the Orchard at Park Hill Orchard – Grab an apple and stroll through the orchard as you gaze upon twenty-eight new and interesting sculptures made by local artists. Bring your furry friend since leashed pets are allowed.

Historic Deerfield – Step back in time at Historic Deerfield’s Trade demonstrations and Open Hearth Cooking. Visitors can observe local craftspeople act as colonial printers, joiners or blacksmiths with period-style tools.

Springfield Armory National Historic Site – For some authentic Civil War history, check out Springfield Armory’s firearms Exhibit. Running through to the end of March, this historic collection showcases weapons and other Civil War items that were returned to the Armory at the end of the Civil War.
CiderDays in Franklin County – Get a real taste of fall with Ciderdays. From fresh apples to hard cider, many of the local orchards offer tours, workshops and tastings from their specific orchards. For two days in November, this event is perfect for an outing with friends or family.

Basketball Hall of Fame’s Elks Hoop Shoot –With basketball season fresh in the air, you can jump into this weekly shooting contest sponsored by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Held every Sunday at 2pm at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, you can grab a basketball and give the hoops your best shot!

Norman Rockwell Museum – The museum is showcasing a new exhibit called “Harvey Dunn and His Students”. Harvey Dunn was a Golden Age illustrator who studied under another renowned artist, Howard Pyle. If you’d like to attend the opening of the exhibit, stop by the museum on November 7th between 6 and 8pm.

Yankee Candle Company – For scintillating smells from over 160 candle scents, stop by the Sampler Emporium at the famous Yankee Candle store. They also offer several activities where you can make your own jar candle, create a wax sculpture or discover your own custom wax blend.

The cool, crisp air and the stunning, colorful leaves bring thousands of visitors to New England each fall. Be sure to plan ahead to create your own memorable adventure in Pioneer Valley. When you’re making your schedule, check out our events calendar. For further information on visiting Massachusetts, click here. With so much to see and do, autumn is an ideal time to enjoy Pioneer Valley.

Top 5 Family Destinations in Pioneer Valley

zoar-outdoor-1

Fun things to do in Springfield, MA

The Pioneer Valley is filled with a wide variety of fun and educational options for families. If you’re planning to head to the Springfield area, you’ll have no trouble finding several things that’ll interest each member of your family. To help you narrow it down, we’re featuring five enjoyable and popular options that are suitable for people of all ages and interest levels.

5 Great Things to Do During Your Springfield Vacation

1. Six Flags New England – Most families have a blast when they visit an amusement park together, and Six Flags New England is known as the thrill capital of the area. Six Flags New England has over 100 rides, shows, attractions and New England’s largest water park, Hurricane Harbor.  New in 2015, is the intense Wicked Cyclone hybrid coaster!  This innovative attraction will be the 11th coaster to join the Coaster Capital of New England with the classic thrills of a wooden coaster and the speed of steel track.

2. NASH Dinosaur Track Quarry – Do you have a child who is fascinated by dinosaurs? If so, you should definitely add the NASH Dinosaur Track Quarry to your itinerary. You’ll be able to walk through the quarry to see where dinosaur tracks have been located and excavated, and you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase dinosaur tracks, minerals, and fossils from the nearby rock shop.

3. Zoar Outdoor – If your family loves the spirit of adventure, you’re certain to be invigorated by a trip to New England area’s most impressive outdoor adventure resort. Depending on the age of your children and everyone’s skill level, you can take a half-day family raft trip or spend up to a week learning how to tackle whitewater rapids. Other options include rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, biking, and zip-line canopy tours.

4. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art – Children who love books such as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” will be very excited by a trip to this unique museum. This is also a fantastic way to instill a love of art at a young age, and it’ll enable adults to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane. As an added bonus, children can participate in a hands-on art studio to create their own masterpiece.

5. Lupa Zoo – This nonprofit zoo gives children the opportunity to see domestic and wild animals up close, including bears, monkeys, sheep, and goats. Unlike many other zoos, the size of this location is not overwhelming, and this makes it the perfect place for an educational and recreational outing.

There are many more intriguing locations within the Pioneer Valley for each member of the family. To find even more fun things to see and do in the greater Springfield area, visit our homepage or contact us today!

Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley’s Educational Utopia

World-Class Education, Natural Beauty, and Culture in One Compact Region

Thanks to stunning natural beauty, world-class cultural institutions and popular attractions, Pioneer Valley has long been known as a popular tourist destination. However, it’s also gaining long-overdue recognition as a center for education and innovation. Since the region has long labored in the shadow of Greater Boston, this is a welcome development for the thousands of students, knowledge workers and academics who make the Pioneer Valley what it is.

Colleges and Universities Galore

Centered on the legendary “Five College Area,” the Pioneer Valley has seven individual colleges and two major research universities. Whether your youngster is applying to undergrad or you’re looking to go back to school for an advanced degree or continuing-education/enrichment certificate, you can choose from:

•    The University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass-Amherst)
•    Westfield State University
•    Western New England University
•    Springfield College
•    Springfield Community Technical College
•    Amherst College
•    Hampshire College
•    Smith College
•    and more!

What Program Works for You?

These schools offer opportunities for first-rate technical education, advanced degrees, mind-expanding liberal arts learning and lifelong enrichment. Some of the most noteworthy programs and courses of study include:

•    Tourism and hospitality management at UMass-Amherst
•    Information technology at UMass-Amherst and Westfield State College
•    American studies at Hampshire College
•    Biology at Amherst College

Times They Are A-Changin’

It hardly sounds possible, but the Pioneer Valley’s educational assets look poised to become even more attractive than they are at the moment. UMass-Amherst recently put the finishing touches on a state-of-the-art laboratory sciences building that has already attracted hundreds of millions in investment and will serve as an innovative engine for the greater New England region. Meanwhile, Westfield State recently completed a massive new dormitory complex and is in the process of erecting an impressive science building that could push it into the next echelon of research institutions. All in all, it’s a great time to be involved in higher education in the Pioneer Valley!

Take Advantage of the Pioneer Valley’s World-Class Educational Assets

If you’re not yet sold on the world-beating educational assets available right here in the Pioneer Valley, there’s only one way to find out for sure: Come visit at your convenience! Whether you’re passing through to drop your kid off at UMass-Amherst or simply want to experience the incredible cultural variety of our valley, we’re happy to give you pointers on what to see, when to visit and how to stretch your dollar furthest. Visit us online to learn more.

Top 5 Family Destinations in Pioneer Valley

Talk, walk and roll through Springfield

Pioneer Valley and family fun go together like sunshine and blue skies, peanut butter and jelly, or even Dr. Seuss cats and hats. There’s so much to explore and plenty to enjoy when you talk, walk, and roll with these five family-friendly things to do in the Greater Springfield area.

Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden1. Explore Your Favorite Museum

If you can’t decide between science, history, or art, head for the heart of downtown Springfield. Everyone can agree on a favorite when you explore the five world-class museums that comprise the city’s renowned Museum Quad. In between exhibits, visit with that famous cat in the hat at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.

2. Enjoy a Riverbank Picnic

Ask the friendly locals about their favorite outside things to do in Springfield, MA, and they’ll suggest everything along the beautiful Connecticut River Walk. This winding promenade features more than three miles of scenic biking paths, lovely foot trails, and panoramic overlooks. Pack a lunch basket, choose your picnic table, and enjoy casual dining outdoors along the rolling riverbanks.

The Forrest Park Zoo is one of the most popular family destinations3. Talk to the Animals

Wallabies, bobcats, and ring-tailed lemurs all speak a universal language. Camels, pythons, and macaws are ready to start a conversation. You don’t need a translator to talk to the animals at the 735-acre Zoo in Forrest Park. Visit cougars, leopards, and porcupines in an incredible woodland setting, and marvel at the wonderful diversity that makes this one of the best zoos in the country.

4. Walk Through Massachusetts History

Storrowtown Village MuseumImagine a living portal to the past where you walk back in time, stroll down historic streets, and explore 19th-century Springfield. Make that fantasy come true at the Storrowton Village Museum complex where nine buildings grace an authentic New England green. Watch blacksmiths at work, visit with folks in period dress, and dine on delicious Yankee fare at the Storrowton Tavern.

5. Roll a Wild Coaster

Most amusement parks boast two or three roller coasters. At Six Flags New England, the count roars in at 10, and each one rolls with a different wild ride. Test your courage flying over Gotham on the Batman Dark Knight. Treat the little ones to kid-sized thrills on the Great Chase. Don’t stop with the coasters. This fantastic park covers more than 230 acres with rides, slides, and family fun.

Please accept our cordial invitation to visit, play, and relax in the City of Firsts. If you’d like more information about great family destinations here in Pioneer Valley, just contact the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. We look forward to seeing you soon.