winter activities


Top 5 Skiing Mountains in New England

It’s going to be a gorgeous weekend to go skiing! New England is luckily enough to have some of the best ski resorts in the country.  We choose our favorites based on a variety of different criteria including largest resort, to most family friendly.  Here are our top 5 mountains within a 3 hours drive from Massachusetts!

Best Family Friendly Mountain
Loon Mountain in New Hampshire

Located in the scenic White Mountain National Forest, this mountain offers beautiful scenery and ample snowfall. Loon offers wide groomed trails, tree glades and steep moguls. At night take advantage of the variety of shops and restaurants. For those of you who need a break from skiing, the resort includes an ice castle, a winter zip-line, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, snow tubing and an adventure center.

Runs: 61

Most Terrain Parks
Okemo Mountain Resort in Southern Vermont

Okemo’s accommodates skiers of all levels. With an almost equal balance between beginner, intermediate and advanced trails, everyone is sure to find the perfect run. For boarders and freestylers, the park offers 8 terrains parks, including a Superpipe. Okemo’s trail network spans over five distinct alpine areas, and let’s not forget it has one of the highest vertical drops in southern Vermont of 2,200 feet.

Runs: 120

Biggest Mountain/ Resort
Killington Resort in Southern Vermont

The biggest resort on our list spanning 6 mountains providing 155 runs, with the longest run 6 miles. Killington’s terrain is extremely diverse, ranging from gentle groomers, learning areas to steep mogul runs and gladed trails, as well as some of the best terrain parks in the northeast. With 5 base lodges around the resort, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy Killington’s fine dining options.  By the end of the day, if you aren’t wiped out from the amazing skiing, take advantage of Killington’s awesome nightlife.

Runs: 155

Most Environmental Resort
Jiminy Peak in Western Massachusetts

Jiminy is the only one on our list in Massachusetts, and the only resort in America that generates their own energy by using alternative wind power from their Wind Turbine. A great mountain for beginners and for those who want relaxing runs with over half the runs on beginner trails. Don’t let that deter those of you advanced skiers. Jiminy peak offers advanced and expert runs on challenging terrain that you can easily get to from a ride on the six-passenger express ski lift to the summit. And if you can’t get enough skiing in during the day, stay for a night ski!

Runs: 45

Best Pricing Offers
Stratton Mountain Resort in Southern Vermont

Stratton is offering a great deal of 2 one-day lift tickets for discounted rates. Recently revamped, guests can now enjoy new snowmaking, grooming, new trails, and newly remodeled lodging and dining. With 100 acres of glades, and 95% snow making coverage, skiers and boarders are sure to be pleased. But, for some reason if you are not happy with the mountain, Stratton offers a “Great Snow Guarantee.” Ride the trails for an hour, and if you aren’t satisfied, Stratton will give you credit towards another day.

Runs: 97

ski mountain NE copy

Massachusetts Events This Month!

hockey

We may be in the middle of winter, but that’s no excuse to hibernate!  There are tons of fun events going on despite the cold, so don’t be afraid to get out and about this month and take advantage of them!

Ski Ward 75th Anniversary Party – Join Ski Ward Ski Area for their 75th Anniversary Party on Saturday, February 1st.  There will be a complimentary BBQ for season pass holders, which will also be open to the public.  There will also be tons of fun activities, an appearance by the L.L. Bean Bootmobile, appetizer specials at the Slopeside Bar & Grill, beer & wine tastings, live music, a night parade, and fireworks.  The whole family will enjoy this event so don’t miss out!

Beanpot Hockey Tournament – This is one of the biggest events going on in Boston this month.  This hockey tournament takes place the first two Monday nights in February, the 3rd and the 10th at the TD Garden.  Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, and Northeastern will go head to head to compete for the coveted Beanpot trophy and bragging rights for the rest of the year.  The first game is on Monday, February 3rd at 5 PM where Northeastern will take on Harvard and the two will compete to advance to the next round.  The same evening at 8 PM, Boston College and Boston University will play each other.  On Monday, February 10th at 4:30 PM there will be a Consolation Game followed by a Championship game at 7:30 PM. Ticket prices vary but make sure you get yours before it’s too late!

Holyoke Winter Carnival – This 10 day long celebration of winter themed activities begins on February 7th and brings together a variety of groups from the community.  This year the Carnival will have two themed weekends.  The first, from February 7th-9th will focus on recreation and sport to go along with the start of the Winter Olympics.  There will be hockey matches, a curling demonstration, an outdoor walk, polar bear swim, and much more.  There will also be plenty of food, live music, family movie night, dog show, and even a wine tasting for those 21 and over. The second weekend, February 13th – 16th will focus on Holyoke arts and entertainment with a night parade, chili cook-off, cake decorating, quilt show, free community pancake breakfast, and much more.  This family friendly event is the perfect reason to get everyone out of the house and trying something different.

New England Music Awards – Who doesn’t love a good toe-tapping tune?  Now’s your chance to see some of the best musicians in New England perform live!  Get tickets to the New England Music Awards taking place on Saturday, February 22nd at 7PM at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell.  The event will be hosted by comedian Steve Sweeney and also happens to coincide with the Lowell Winterfest taking place the same weekend!  There will be tons of events going on during the day for families and after the concert those that are 21+ should stop by the Polar Party inside Club Celsius downtown for drinks and more live music.

Bundle up and get out and about with family and friends this winter, there are too many fun events going on to miss out!

Photo By: Galatians Design

 

 

Make the Most of It! Winter Activities in Massachusetts

Boston Frong Pond by John1710 on Flickr

As the weather gets colder and days feel shorter in Massachusetts, it can be difficult finding the energy to venture outside for entertainment.  However, what many of us forget is that we are lucky enough to live in a state where we truly can enjoy a winter wonderland right outside our doors.  Why not take advantage of these upcoming months and enjoy a few fun filled winter events, some with activities for kids in MA?

Winter festivals are a great way to do something fun with the entire family. They typically have activities specifically geared for children, 21 plus events, as well as live music, food, and sporting competitions which will excite guests of any age.  Upcoming festivals in Massachusetts include:

  • Lowell Winterfest- Taking place from February 9-11 this festival features a fashion show, soup bowl competition, micro-brew competition, as well as “Lowla’s Kids Party” featuring face painting and a magician.  If you’re looking for a good laugh you definitely won’t want to miss the National Human Dogsled Competition!  http://www.lowell.org/Pages/Winterfest.aspx/
  • Berkshires’ Contemporary Art Festival- the Berkshires’ is hosting their first ever Contemporary Art Festival featuring 10 minute plays, short films shot on cell phones, local musicians and many art displays.  The event takes place February 16-26 and is being held in downtown Pittsfield.
    http://berkshirecreative.org/2011/12/28/the-berkshires-first-ever-winter-contemporary-arts-festival/

Finding winter activities for children can be especially tough due to the fact that outdoor venues are extremely limited.  However, many attractions and activities in Massachusetts are offering exhibits geared towards children during the winter season.

  • The Franklin Park Zoo is hosting an event Saturday January 14 to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  Visitors will be able to kick off the Year of the Dragon by watching a lion dance, listen to storytelling about Chinese culture, writing calligraphy, and making Chinese lanterns. http://www.zoonewengland.org/page.aspx?pid=330
  • Old Sturbridge Village is featuring “January Discovery Days at Old Sturbridge Village” from January 14-15.  Activities include cooking a meal “1830’s style”, building an old fashioned wooden sled, arts and crafts, as well as woodworking. This is a great educational experience for children but space is limited so reserve a spot early!  http://www.osv.org/activities_events/event_calendar_more.html?ID=724&DateID=1832
  • The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary is hosting a Groundhog Day Celebration Saturday January 28.  This event is perfect for families who are wondering whether or not we will have 6 more weeks of winter!  Events of the day include nature hikes, snow sculptures, crafts, a groundhog obstacle course, and refreshments.  Reservations are required so be sure to call ahead!  http://www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Connection/Sanctuaries/Ipswich_River/news.php?id=1825&event=no

If you are willing to brave the cold and head outdoors there is no better place to be than New England if you want to experience the snow.  There are a variety of winter activities in close proximity for Massachusetts residents, including tubing, sledding, skiing, and ice skating.

  • Frog Pond on Boston Common is open through March 15 to ice skaters.  This family friendly atmosphere is perfect for a romantic date night or day outing with the kids. Hours vary but rental skates are available as well as homemade Belgian Waffles!  http://www.bostonfrogpond.com/info/pricing-season-passe
  • Amesbury Sports Park offers the steepest, fastest snow tubing hills in New England.  Guests can ride the conveyor belt to the top of the hills where they can choose to ride solo or link up in groups.  A full service pub is also on site serving pizza, hamburgers, and much more.  http://www.amesburysportspark.net/
  • Trustees Reservations offer sledding trails across Massachusetts where visitors can enjoy sprawling hills that are much less crowded than local parks when you want to test out your toboggan.  http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/discover-special-places/sledding-favorites.html
  • Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford, MA offers the best of both worlds; they offer 17 ski trails and 18 tubing trails!  It is the perfect location for beginners and those looking to get a taste of winter sports.  http://www.skinashoba.com/

Looking for a fun way to experience the beauty of nature during the winter? Try snowshoeing one of the many trails in Massachusetts! Snowshoeing is a fun and easy way to exercise in the snow while also taking in beautiful views of the countryside.  Check out http://www.visit-massachusetts.com/winter-activities/snowshoeing for listings of the many Snowshoeing trails as well as details on renting equipment in and around Massachusetts.

Make the most out of your winter this year by enjoying the seasonal activities it has to offer!  Many of us in Massachusetts dread the winter because of the bitter cold and shorter days, but venturing outdoors and trying one of these activities will undoubtedly add some cheer to your season! Stay safe on the icy roads getting to these events, and don’t forget to check up on your car insurance for peace of mind.

Photo by John1710

MassDrive Winter Week!

Massachusetts Winter Week

Although it hasn’t really felt like a true New England winter yet, it is January and the peak of wintertime here in Massachusetts. As the temperatures drop, you may be tempted to stay home, but the great thing about winter in Massachusetts is that you certainly don’t have to – there is plenty going on throughout the state that will make you want to throw on that down jacket and join in the fun!

Here at MassDrive, we’ve compiled the best and most fun winter activities around Massachusetts this winter to share with you so you can make the most of your wintertime. Stay tuned throughout the week for posts here on the blog with fun activities for a snow day, the best skiing within driving distance and a listing of awesome winter events. Don’t let the cold scare you away – these activities are definitely worth a little chill!

Whether it’s hitting the slopes, enjoying a winter festival or building a snowman in the backyard, there is plenty to do during the colder season around Massachusetts. Follow us on Twitter for updates each day, and follow #mdwinterweek to join in on the conversation. You can also Like us on Facebook to participate in polls, share your winter photos and let us know what you look forward to doing every winter!

To get started early, you can check out this great website for awesome Massachusetts events this winter: http://www.bostoncentral.com/events.php. Otherwise, stay tuned!

Do you have a favorite wintertime tradition? Make sure to tell us about it in the comments!

Photo by BostonPhotoSphere

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