Okemo Valley Events

Previews and Reviews of events in the Okemo Valley Region.


Holiday Shopping Without the Stress

Along with supporting local arts, The Golden Stage Inn has much pride in our local businesses. We try to source our foods and products from small businesses in the area as often as we can. Lucky for us, this is a fairly easy task because Vermont has legislation that makes it tough for chain stores to open in the Green Mountain State. I believe I’ve seen two McDonalds during my entire time wandering the state, and certainly never a single Walmart, Target, or mall! As a way of encouraging guests to visit these mom-and-pop stores, we have set up a promotion that allows you to get holiday shopping done in a stress-free – dare I say delightful – way. Check out the I Hate Malls  package to see what sort of savings and complimentary treats are currently available at the Inn. Meanwhile, take a peek at our smorgasbord review of Ludlow’s small businesses and gift shops that provide an eclectic diversity of offerings for seasonal shoppers in Vermont.

 

Blue Sky Trading Company is one of my top two favorite gift shops in Ludlow…mostly because everything (and I mean everything) inside the store appeals to my taste. They offer a few Vermont Products, most notably the slate coasters from Vermont Stoneworks and fine natural candles for Bennington Candle. Even if you wander in with no money, as I did, the stunning visuals of colorful scarves, seasonal photography and creative earrings may keep you occupied and exploring for several minutes, and Greg or Betsy will likely strike up a conversation with you in the meantime.

 

The Silver Spoon Gallery is my other top Ludlow shopping destination. When I walked in for the first time, I expected to spend my time quietly staring at do-not-touch paintings and statues way out of my price range. While there are indeed some amazing pieces of art that I didn’t even think about laying my hands on (including pieces by Robert Sydorowich featured on the Inn’s first floor!), the Gallery is an accessible, almost participatory New England-based artisan and craft store. I found myself unashamedly laughing out loud at the custom magnets and cards in one room. The best part is – many of the products are totally affordable! I bought two hilarious refrigerator magnets from Maine for my dad, handmade Hawaiian soap for my aunt, and the Silver Spoon’s own cutlery earrings (for myself…oops). The owner brings his own crafts, which usually involve cutlery in unexpected ways, to fairs and festivals across New England. When he meets artists he finds particularly compelling, he offers to sell their products in his store. So not only does The Silver Spoon exhibit the owners own imaginative flare, it showcases his personal taste when it comes to offering a well-selected array of appealing products.

 

Right next-door to the Silver Spoon Gallery is the Wine and Cheese Depot. I don’t need to go into any more detail about how well wine and cheese are received at any point in the year, only to mention that many of the cheeses and a few of the wines and hard ciders are Vermont-sourced and produced. Across the road is Tina’s Fun Stuff to Wear clothing and accessories store. I have yet to go inside, but I’ll bet the name speaks for itself. Other stores within walking distance include Chrisandra’s Home and Furniture, a small pet boutique, Chaos Casbah and Chapter XIV Bookstore. Within a five minute drive is The Fletcher Farm School, a dynamic organization whose VT crafts gift shop is just one facet of what it has to offer.

 

Stay tuned for more profiles of nearby towns with abundant locally owned businesses – up next week: Chester!

Haunted House Insanity at Golden Stage Inn

At our Vermont Bed and Breakfast, we just barely finished wrapping up Halloween decorations (just in time to start wrapping those holiday presents, I suppose!). Halloween is always a big to-do at the Inn – this year we had over 90 trick-or-treaters stop by! And for any of you from the big cities who may not be impressed, that’s quite a claim for lil’ ol’ Cavendish, VT.

The tradition of transforming the Inn into a haunted house was passed on from the previous innkeepers, Sandy and Peter. With the help of generous donations of Halloween costumes and decor and energetic volunteers, we successfully continue to spook and startle trick-or-treaters of all ages. Sadly, however, the century-old ghosts that are rumored to wander in and out of the building have yet to make their presence known on October 31st. We’re still working with them on that…they are a bit harder to train than the ever-loyal inn dog, Nelly.

This year the humble Inn practically put on a disguise of its own, masking the front door with a fog tunnel and admitting guests into a terror-filled madhouse. Once you crossed the threshold, you were no longer in a quaint New England home…you had dared to enter The Cavendish Insane Asylum! We spook-ers dressed as crazy patients, gorillas, torture victims, and doctors gone off their rockers. The first floor overflowed with high-pitched laughter, animal roars, odd thumps and screams, and one of the doctors yelling “I hate his guts!” as she pulled her patient’s entrails from his stomach. I especially enjoyed popping out from behind doors in my blood-stained night gown, or sneaking up behind parents who thought their kids would be the only ones to jump!

Don’t worry, we toned it down for the little ones…

We’re looking ahead to next year’s haunted house – perhaps a carnival gone wrong or a witch’s cult headquarters? Let us know if you have any great ideas for themes, costumes, or spook-tacular tricks and treats! Until then, we’ll stay in the present and enjoy the jam-packed holiday festivities steadily approaching on our calendars.

 

Sophi Veltrop, Marketing Assistant for the Golden Stage Inn

Summer Theatre at Weston Playhouse, 2013

Summer theatre at Weston Playhouse in Vermont is one of my favorite attractions of Okemo Valley.  Earlier this month, I went with my daughter Samantha and our exchange-student family member Yui to see Educating Rita.  The cast of two put on an engaging performance.  Even though the play was not my favorite selection, the play was thought provoking and insightful. The acting, the set, and overall the whole evening was a delight – as it typically is at Weston.

The line-up for the rest of the 2013 season looks great!  At the beautiful historic Main Stage, located on the green in the heart of Weston village, the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is performing three more shows this season. They’ll plunge directly into some heavy issues about family life and mental health in Next to Normal, a rock musical with a Tony-award winning score.  And then they turn to some long-standing classics as they perform 42nd Street, the Tony-award winning musical about an actress trying to make it on Broadway , and To Kill A Mockingbird, a play that brings to life two of America’s favorite characters, Scout and Atticus Finch.

Just a few miles from the Main Stage is the “Other Stage,” located in the Weston Rod & Gun Club building on Route 100.  Tickets are a bit less expensive for shows performed here, but really, I don’t see why – every seat is a great one, and the quality of each performance is just as good too!  Each summer starts with a children’s show and this year’s was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  (My kids loved this book, I’m sad that we missed this performance.)  Upcoming shows include Loving Leo, a new musical that explores family relationships, and The Blessed Plot, a one man play about the battle for free Shakespeare in Central Park.

Whether you are a seasoned theatre-goer or someone who thinks maybe it’s time to try theatre for the first time, Weston Playhouse is a great choice.  Of course, we recommend that you consider our theatre package so you can enjoy two nights at our Vermont Bed and Breakfast.  It’s a gorgeous drive between our inn in Proctorsville (Cavendish) and the Weston Playhouse.  And our breakfasts are sure to impress you at least as much as the theatre does!

-Julie-Lynn, Innkeeper, Golden Stage Inn

Craft Classes at the Wild and Woolly Weekend

When it comes to woolly craft classes and workshops,

I’ve always been much more of a spectator than a participant – though I admit to harboring a steady curiosity (or maybe envy is a better word).  At county fairs, I always seek out the craft barn and – okay, I’ll admit it – I get excited when I see that the spinners are doing their thing.  It’s like watching a fairy tale come to life as fluffy piles of wool are changed into spools of rough-hewn yarn.  Well, maybe it’s not quite as magical as spinning straw into gold, but it still impresses me every time! 

So it was a real treat for me to attend last year’s craft classes at Wild and Woolly Weekend, a fiber arts fair hosted by Six Loose Ladies and Fiber Arts in Vermont.  ­­­Now, I’m looking forward to this year’s installment, on April 27 and 28 at the Pointe Hotel.  This fiber arts weekend is 50% fair, 50% craft classes, and 50% social networking.   No, that’s not careless math; it’s just that this weekend has so much packed into two days that it overflows!  Veteran and virgin crafters alike really ought to swing by to check out the vendors and craft classes being offered by this energetic group of artists and do-it-yourself-ers.

Those who are new to this sort of event may have the wrong impression.  A weekend about yarn?!  Probably a bunch of old ladies sitting around with knitting needles, balls of yarn, and maybe even a cat or two by their feet.  You couldn’t be more wrong. When you look up the meaning of the phrase Wild and Woolly, you’ll find synonyms such as boisterous and unruly.  And, based on the energy that is present from the moment you walk in the door, boisterous and unruly seem like achievable descriptors!  (I mean, with a retail store name of Six Loose Ladies, you know that rowdy humor will be a part of the fun!)

The Wild and Woolly Weekend has craft classes available for the very beginner, like me, but they also have classes appropriate for those who are already pretty established in the crafting tradition.  In some classes, you’ll go home with a finished product; in others you’ll go home with enough knowledge and enthusiasm that you can tackle a new project on your own.  You can choose between three-hour classes or 50-minute ‘mini-classes.’  The topics range from spinning on a wheel or on a drop spindle; choosing and working with colors; making mug rugs (coasters), chair pads, animal pins, and mittens with needle felting; designing decorative boxes from paper collage;  and creating sparkly bracelets using beaded knitting.

Whether you’re still a latent crafter or an admitted junkie of all things wool, this event is well worth checking out.  Entrance is not only free, but there are door prizes galore.   The costs of craft classes are $5 or $10 for the mini-classes and between $30 and $45 for the 3-hour classes.  Class listings are available at the Six Loose Ladies website.

 

-Julie-Lynn, Innkeeper, Golden Stage Inn

Snowmobile Vermont: Yet another great winter activity for your Okemo Valley vacation! 2013-01-06

“What winter activities can we do in Vermont other than just skiing?”  As innkeepers, we are often asked this question, and when we reply with a long list of ideas (sleigh rides, snow shoeing, cheese tours, and so on), we always recommend that our guests snowmobile Vermont.  And this is why…

What a blast!  Our family of four just got home from a 2-hour guided tour through Calvin Coolidge State Forest in Plymouth, Vermont.  Not far from Killington, and less than a half hour from Golden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast, the tour company offers tours of varying lengths and cost.  Helmets and boots are included in the cost and I am happy to report that safety is only one feature of the helmet; it also provides incredible warmth!

The Woods go Snowmobiling in Vermont Wonderland!

After some brief instructions on how to use the snowmobile, we were led by a guide to snowmobile Vermont’s trails, up and down the rolling hills (mountains may be a better word), winding through the forests, and careening through the open meadows.  (Okay, so maybe some of us were a bit too conservative to actually careen, but my memory tends to exaggerate my speed and confidence!)  In the open area, we were offered some time to drive around, practicing our speed and turns, and just goof off a bit where the potential for damage was pretty minimal.  Overall, the entire tour filled nearly two hours and we covered about 25 miles of scenic Vermont trails.

The customer service at Snowmobile Vermont was fantastic from the initial phone reservation through the representatives in the shop and certainly including our tour guide. We absolutely recommend this snowmobile tour as a fantastic way to see the winter wonderland of Central Vermont.

 

 

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