Spend a day or make it many December days in Western Massachusetts. From early December and right through New Year’s Eve, there’s comfort and joy to find in our sweet, laid back corner on “the other side of Massachusetts.”
This article has been re-posted from an email sent by The Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council (HCRTC), a partnership of the Amherst Area, Greater Easthampton, and Greater Northampton Chambers of Commerce. To view the original message, click here.
Find the uniquely crafted gifts you’re searching for
Our artisans and independent shop owners know how to inspire and delight. Start your gift shopping at Thornes Marketplace, in Northampton, a 3-story collection of locally owned stores. Stop for lunch at Paul and Elizabeth's Paul & Elizabeth's, a restaurant that sources its menu from local farms.
For hand-made gifts lovingly created by nationally- and internationally-known artists, visit Cottage Street Studios in Easthampton for their Annual Open Studios and Holiday Sale, December 1, 2 3 and 9.
If you have a book lover in mind, The New York Times once wrote that our region is “arguably the most author-saturated, book-cherishing, literature-celebrating place in the nation.” Forget the Kindle. Browse our independent book stores for rare finds.
For your beer and wine lovers, you’ll find growlers to gift from our local breweries and fine bottles of wine from our local wineries. Give a brewery tour from Brew Practitioners How about a gift card for a beer-making class at Beerology?
Make time to lunch and dine.
Our local food culture is legendary—The Huffington Post called it "food cred" Drop in to any place and you’re likely to see not only what’s to eat, but the local farms it came from. Find the food scene here.
Celebrate with us!
If you’re looking to see the closest thing to the real Santa, look no further than Santas Workshop and Trains at Look Park in Northampton, December 8-24. Featuring huge display of model trains whirling by a whimsical wonderland of village landscapes. Admission is free. Enjoy the park’s holiday light display by car or hop on the Look Park Holiday Express train for $5.
An Old Fashioned Christmas at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington on Saturday, December 16. Tour the house's festively decorated rooms, complete your holiday shopping at an artisan pop-up gift shop, and bring home a Christmas tree from Notchview Farm,
Gather for a winter solstice celebration at the Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Thursday, December 21 5:30 - 8:30 PM.
First Night Northampton
Whether you’re planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the whole family, your better half, or your group of amazing friends, First Night Northampton is THE New Year’s Eve event in Western Massachusetts for all. First Night is a daylong celebration of the arts with performances at 20 venues in Northampton beginning at noon. There are fireworks at 6:15 p.m. to signal the start of evening performances, many of which wrap up at 11 p.m. At the end of the night, traffic is stopped for the masses to gather at the intersection of King and Main Street to watch the globe on top of the Hotel Northampton rise up at midnight to welcome the New Year.