Okemo Valley Events

Previews and Reviews of events in the Okemo Valley Region.


Spring Events in the Okemo Valley

The Okemo Valley of Southern Vermont has a few noteworthy events coming up this spring! There’s fun for families at the Grafton Nature Museum or at Billings Farm in Woodstock. Foodies will delight in the spring offerings at Hidden Kitchen at the Inn at Weathersfield. A variety of events will please art and nature lovers, too. Our favorites are listed below; you can also peruse the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Calendar of Events to see even more spring events.

At Six Loose Ladies, join Beginning Knitting class any Thursday through the end of May…

Six Loose Ladies, a wonderful crafts and fiber arts store just a stroll from our bed and breakfast, is offering free beginners knitting lessons. Bring your knitting needles the next time you visit Southern Vermont and you’ll walk away with new skills. No registration required; simply show up at 6 ready to learn to knit!

For adventurous kids who love getting outdoors in Vermont, discover a nature camp through the Grafton Nature Museum…

On April 21 from 10 am to 3 pm, kids ages 10-14 can join Wild Walkers. Pre-registration is required for this wilderness awareness day camp. Kids will engage their minds and bodies while foraging, fire-making, shelter-building, and more. $30-35 covers the day.

On April 22, kids ages 6-9 get their turn to explore Vermont’s woods with the Grafton Nature Museum. At “Brave Bears: Free Spirits Vacation Camp” kids will learn about how Native Americans lived in the days before European settlement. Games, activities, and exploration of a pond, a stream, and woods will make the day a true adventure…culminating in story-telling and marshmallow roasting around the fire! $25-30 for the day (also 10 am-3 pm).

The second iteration of Grafton Nature Museum’s Brave Bears Day camp is on April 23, from 10-3. Your young one will learn to “Be an Eco-Hero”! They’ll learn about the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), play green games and create eco-art. $25-30 for the day.

Foodies, consider yourselves forewarned…things could get delicious!

In addition to Golden Stage Inn’s Foodies Package (available soon!) there are some amazing offerings at Hidden Kitchen, a culinary workshop venue at the Inn at Weathersfield.

On April 24-25, they are offering a Kitchen Garden Design and Garden Cooking Adventure with special guest author Ellen Ecker Ogden (The Complete Kitchen Garden). $230 per person includes a 2.5 hour garden design class, a 2.5 hour cooking class, a 1 hour lecture, lunch and dinner.

On May 16, Hidden Kitchen is offering a workshop called “Wild Flavors: Celebrating Greens Cultivated and Wild”. Special guests are Chef/Cookbook Author Didi Emmons and David Craft PhD, author of “Urban Foraging”. You’ll learn about growing, foraging and cooking wild and cultivated greens. Dine on your culinary creations for dinner, supplemented with dishes from the Inn at Weathersfield. $195 per person includes 5.5 hour class and dinner.

Billings Farm Opens on May 1 with fun activities all weekend…

Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides and free ice cream on the opening weekend of Billings Farm in Woodstock, Vermont. On May 2 and 3, watch sheep herding with Border Collies and sheep-shearing. A children’s art show will also be on display.

On May 23 and 24, head to Billings Farm for a cheese and dairy celebration. Sample cheeses and dairy products and meet Vermont cheesemakers. Learn about how to make ice cream, butter and cheese. Discover the rich history of Vermont dairy.

We look forward to welcoming you at our Southern Vermont bed and breakfast this spring! Please give us a call with any questions you may have: (802) 226-7744

B2VT Bike Ride 2015

Calling all cyclists for the B2VT Bike Ride of 2015!  On June 13th, 2015, start pedaling in Massachusetts and end at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT.  Register here to ride this year.  Stay with us for one night on June 13th, 2015 and get your second night free, using promo code: b2vtride2015

Formerly known as the Brewery to Brewery Ride (or B2B), now the B2VT Ride has a slightly different course, with new starting and ending points that were established last year.  You’ll get on your bike between 5 am and 8 am, roughly.  Ride over 130 miles of scenic hills to end in celebration at Okemo Mountain.  The B2VT website touts the B2VT Ride as “one of the most challenging single-day rides in New England…for cyclists who are physically and mentally tough.”

This is an exciting ride, and we want to celebrate your hard work and determination.  When you stay with us on June 13th, 2015, your second night of lodging will be on us if you participated in or watched the B2VT bike ride!  After the exhaustion of the ride, spend time in comfort pampering yourself at our inn…you deserve it!  To redeem this offer when you book with us online, use promo code b2vtride2015.  If you’re reserving by phone, simply mention the promotion to get your free night’s stay.

Here are a few of the resources on the B2VT Ride website for cyclists who plan to participate in 2015….

Ride Day Timeline (from 2014; the 2015 version will go live on May 15, 2015.)

Comprehensive Athlete Guide from 2014 (the 2015 version will be posted on May 15.)

New for 2015: Short Course Loop (full details should be posted by late January.)

Registration for 2015 (just opened recently!)

b2vt ride 2015

Image courtesy b2vtride.com

Southern Vermont Events: November – December 2014

Let’s look ahead to what’s in store for November and December of 2014.  Check out the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce’s complete calendar for more information on Southern Vermont events.

 

Okemo Valley Events: November 2014 

Hear notable Vermont authors speak at the First Universalist Parish in Chester, VT.  This event takes place every Sunday in November at 2 pm!  For more information, visit Misty Valley Books’ website

On November 7th, see Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame singer Mavis Staples at Bellows Falls Opera House!  Enjoy a rockin’ night of music, and perhaps stop at a restaurant along the way.

Movie night!  Watch UP in Ludlow, VT on November 8th.  Fun for the whole family!

On November 15th (and 22nd), taste Plymouth Cheese at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham from 12-3 pm. That same evening, enjoy Celtic music in Ludlow’s Town Hall Auditorium ($15).

Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers raise the roof on November 16th at the Gethsemane Church in Proctorsville – walking distance from Golden Stage Inn.  Bed and breakfast guests can enjoy this blend of blues, soul and funk for $10.

It’s time to look forward to ski trips in Vermont!  OMS Ski Swap takes place November 21-23 at the Clocktower Base of Okemo Mountain Ski Resort.  Buy and sell new and used ski gear.

On November 23rd, Vermont is the place for holiday travels!  The Santa Express leaves from Bellows Falls to “The North Pole” at 9:30 am, 1:15 pm and 5 pm.  Great fun for the family, and to get in the Christmas spirit.  There are other ways to celebrate the season as well – Billings Farm in Woodstock, VT offers Wagon Rides every weekend in November ($14 for adults, $8 for kids 5-15).  Thanksgiving weekend happens at Billings Farm the following weekend, on November 29th.

 

Okemo Valley Events: December 2014

Think snow, skiing, and holiday season!  Lots of Christmas events, holiday shopping, and getting ready for the upcoming winter snow…

December 6th – Coolidge Holiday Open House from 10-4 in Plymouth, VT.  Enjoy sleigh rides, crafts, lunch, music and more at this historic site.  On the same day, check out Christmas in Weston, VT!  Voted a top ten winter event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.  That evening, enjoy colonial cocktails and food with Corin Hirsh at the Inn at Weathersfield.

On December 13th, two authors will talk about their books at the Vermont Country Stores in both Weston and Rockingham.  Later on, celebrate Christmas in Mount Holly with a visit from Santa, refreshments, Christmas carols and plays.

New Years Eve on Star Lake is a wonderful event happening not far from Golden Stage Inn.  Every year, people gather at Star Lake for skating, a bonfire, and fireworks.

 

We hope this brief calendar of events helps as you plan your holiday travels, your ski trips, and your Vermont vacation!  If you plan to visit Vermont in November or December, don’t forget to check out our discounted rates with the “I Hate Malls!” package from November 4th through December 15th.

Mushroom Hunting in Vermont

Mushroom hunting in Vermont proves fruitful!

Chanterelles (left) and lobsters (right) are just two of the delicious mushrooms found in the woods of Vermont.

Are you a fan of fungi?  Then Vermont’s the place to be this summer.

With one of the wettest Julys on record, Vermont’s mushrooms are fruiting to the fullest this summer!  Before you read on, please note that this blog post is not a mushrooming guide!  Eat and identify wild mushrooms at your own risk.

Lobster mushrooms are easy to spot when foraging.  Not only are they a similar color to a cooked lobster - but they also have a seafood aroma when cooked.

Lobster mushrooms are easy to spot when foraging. Not only are they a similar color to a cooked lobster – but they also have a seafood aroma when cooked.

Happy mushroom hunters are finding edible mushrooms such as chanterelles, oysters, lobster mushrooms, chicken-of-the-woods, and even the prized black trumpet.  Medicinal mushrooms can be found in Vermont as well, and include chaga, turkey tail, and reishi.

Can you spot the prized black trumpet amongst the leaves? Black trumpets are easy to miss - luckily grow in large numbers.  My favorite wild mushroom in Vermont!

Can you spot the prized black trumpet mushrooms amongst the leaves? Black trumpets are easy to miss – luckily, they grow in large numbers. By far my favorite wild mushroom in Vermont!

Love to eat mushrooms, but not a mushroom hunter yourself?

You don’t have to brave the woods (and that first-time-mushrooming fear).  Two grocery stores near Golden Stage Inn sell local mushrooms when available: The Jersey Girls’ Cafe & Market and the Springfield Co-Op.  You can also get your mushroom fix at a farm-to-table restaurant in the area, such as The Downtown Grocery, SoLo, or the Inn at Weathersfield.

Want to learn to identify wild mushrooms?

The Grafton Nature Museum is hosting a Mushroom Walk on the weekend of August 22nd!  The Grafton Nature Museum is about a half hour drive from Golden Stage Inn, and also puts on a fairy house exhibit with local artists on the last weekend of September.  But back to the ‘shrooms…

You can register to be on the waiting list for The Wild World of Mushrooms at the Grafton Nature Museum here.  Unfortunately both walks are already full, but hey, you never know!  Here’s a quick description of the event from the Grafton Nature Museum’s website:

“Ari Rockland-Miller will introduce participants to the Northeast’s safest and most distinctive gourmet and medicinal fungi, emphasizing his “ForageCast” strategy. Workshop participants will also discover how to best cook these fruits of the forest and will get a taste when our wild finds are served up right on the spot following our foray. Once you put on your forager’s eyes, your hikes will never be the same again!”

If you’re up for a further drive, check out more mushrooming workshops in Vermont from the Mushroom Forager here.  In addition to foraging, you can learn about growing mushrooms yourself!

 

Oyster mushrooms are one of the edible fungi you can cultivate yourself.

Oyster mushrooms are one of the edible fungi you can learn to cultivate yourself.

And just for fun(gi)…

What room has no doors, no walls, no floors, and no ceilings?

A mushroom!

 

What’s Going on In the Okemo Valley – July & August 2014

July and August are packed with fun summer activities, festivals, concerts around the Okemo Valley.  In this entry, you’ll find upcoming events close by the Golden Stage Inn B&B.  Some highlights are Hops in the Hills beer & wine fest at Okemo Mountain Resort, an outdoor concert by Sensible Shoes (sponsored by Golden Stage Inn!), and varied arts & entertainment at Next Stage Arts Project, in conjunction with Apron Strings Theatre Co. and Twilight Music.

2014 Cavendish Concerts on the Proctorsville Green

Hosted by the Cavendish Community Conservation Association, this concert series is a well-loved summer event.  Join picnickers on the lawn by the gazebo and enjoy a peaceful Vermont evening with homegrown tunes.  Concerts are Wednesdays throughout the summer; upcoming concerts listed below:

July 23 – Sensible Shoes – playing a funky mix of original music and cover tunes (sponsored by Golden Stage Inn and Old Cavendish Products!

July 30 – Chris Kleeman – rolling from stinging slide guitar to deft rag-time; from the Southern styles of Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell all the way up that big river to the Blues of Chicago.

August 6 – Yankee Chank – Featuring Cavendish’s own Bob Naess on fiddle, this Cajun/Zydeco band will have you dancing in the street.

August 13 – Voodoo Alien Blues Band – The Rutland based all star rhythm and blues band is led by local blues legend Steve Audsley and appears regularly at a variety of Vermont venues.

Hops in the Hills Beer and Wine Festival in Ludlow, VT

Put on by Okemo Mountain Resort, this is the 6th annual Hops in the Hills Festival.  Jackson Gore, the location of the event, is in Ludlow – a quick 15 minute drive from our B&B.  Admission is free and Hops in the Hills beer and wine festival Vermontyou can purchase sample combinations.  There are over 50 craft beers from regional brewers to try – and this year, Okemo is adding wine to the festival!

This year’s festival is 3 days long instead of 2, and will feature live music, craft vendors, and delicious things to eat.  Friday evening, enjoy live music by Cold Chocolate.

On Saturday, local restaurants will vie for the title of Okemo Valley Chicken Wing Champion, with live music by CK3.

Sunday’s festivities include a live performance by Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer.

 

 What’s going on at Next Stage in Putney, VT

July 24th:  The Stray Birds with Mike and Ruthy: acoustic folk and indie roots music.  Check out their style:

YouTube Preview Image

YouTube Preview Image

July 27th: Dinner and a movie – enjoy a locally sourced gourmet meal at the Gleanery, and then kick back for a screening of Chocolat (for dessert, haha!)  Tickets are $23.00.

August 7-16: AFTER THE REVOLUTION – a bold and moving portrait of an American family, thrown into an intergenerational tailspin, forced to reconcile a thorny and delicate legacy.  This play was written by Amy Herzog and the production is directed by Karla Baldwin.  

August 22: TONY TRISCHKA w/ HOT MUSTARD –  Tony Trischka was the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year and received a Grammy nomination.  He will play with his band and the well-known traditional bluegrass quartet Hot Mustard.  These bands feature double banjos, saucy vocals and Merlefest banjo contest winner Bruce Stockwell. 7:30 pm

Twilight Music’s Tavern Lawn Series, Putney, VT

All concerts start at 6 pm on Sundays and are free.  In case of rain, concerts are held at Next Stage at 15 Kimball Hill.

July 27  PLANET ZYDECO – High Energy accordion/guitar driven dance music of Louisiana


August 10  THE STOCKWELL BROTHERS – Newgrass and contemporary folk music with brothers Bruce, Barry and Alan

August 24  THE SNAZ – Original, indie rock band featuring four Vermont teenagers

PlanetZydeco at Putney Tavern Lawn concert series

Planet Zydeco gets ready to play!

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