Winter

Winter in Vermont brings hot soup and cider for chilly days. Enjoy downhill and nordic skiing within minutes of the inn, as well as snowshoeing, sleigh rides, tubing, dogsledding, ice-skating and more. You won’t want to miss Christmas in Vermont!


Vermont Winter Activities

Not a skier or snowboarder?  Need a different way to get outdoors and explore other Vermont winter activities?

Luckily, near Golden Stage Inn, there is no shortage of winter activities.  Whether you want a relaxing day enjoying scenic beauty, a thrilling adventure, or are a more “indoors-y” type, we have you covered.  Check out our Top Ten List for non-skiing wintertime activities in Vermont!  Book your room for a winter-y wonderland vacation.

  1. Dog Sledding in the Moonlight

  2. Snow Tubing

  3. Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides

  4. Cross-Country Skiing

  5. Snowmobiling

  6. Ice Skating

  7. Cozying up by the fireside

  8. Snowshoeing

  9. Build a snowman and a snow fort!

  10. Spa & shopping day

dog sled dogs 2013

Dog sledding with Great River Outfitters of Windsor, Vermont is a fantastic way to get on the snow.  You can go during the day, get a custom tour, or even have a moonlit dogsled ride!  Meet all the dogs before you zoom along over the snow through gorgeous Vermont winter scenery.  Best of all, you won’t have to do any of the work!  This is what the husky sled team loves to do, and you’ll feel the dogs’ and trainer’s enthusiasm, too.  You may have the opportunity to do a bit of the sled driving yourself!  Dog-sledding is new this year to Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center as well.

Snowtubing is a thrilling way to spend an afternoon! Take the kids (or kids at heart!) to Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center, which also offers snowshoeing, XC-skiing, and sometimes ice skating. Magic Mountain and Okemo also have snow-tubing hills.  You’ll have a hard time wiping the smile off your face.  :)

“Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh…o’er the fields we go, laughing all the way!”  Take an old-fashioned horse drawn sleigh ride, one of the most classic family-friendly Vermont winter activities.  Horse-drawn sleigh rides are offered at several locations around Southern Vermont.  You’ll want to call in advance to be sure of times, weather conditions and cost.  Here are a few places within driving distance from our Inn:

Billings Farm & Museum: (802) 457-2355

Great River Outfitters802-674-9933

Kendron Valley Stables: (802) 457-1480 or (802) 457-3015

Taylor Farm: (802) 824-5690

Green Mountain Orchards: (802) 387-5851

Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center (December 20th and 24th-28th only; 11 am-3pm)

Cross-Country Skiing may not seem as thrilling as downhill skiing, but there are tons of benefits.  Vermonters love cross-country skiing because you really get into nature – no mechanized ski lifts, no crowds – it’s just you and the trail.  Cross-country skiing is a fantastic workout if you like to get your heart rate up, or if you miss running and hiking during the snowy season.  And, best of all, it’s way less expensive than downhill skiing!  Check out Viking Nordic Center in Londonderry, Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center, Okemo’s cross-country trails, or Wild Wings in Peru.  Wild Wings offers yoga, and Viking Nordic Center has a cookie trail…cool!

Ever considered snowmobiling?  Rent a sled nearby!  The Wood family tried snowmobile rentals through Snowmobile Vermont in 2013 – and loved it!  This snowmobiling company is less than a half hour from our bed and breakfast, and is located in the scenic Calvin Coolidge State Forest.  Read about their snowmobile experience here.

You can go ice skating at Okemo’s Ice House for $5.  Skates and helmet rentals are an extra $5 each.  There is a warming hut decorated with antique ice-harvesting equipment.

Grab a hot drink and cozy up with a blanket by our Inn’s fireside.  Grab your favorite book or browse our selection in the common room.  Choose one of our many games to play, or solve a puzzle on your own.  We also offer free Wi-fi connection, if you need to do some holiday shopping or browse the web.  Stay satiated with hot cider, endless access to the cookie jar, and hot coffee and tea.  Winter afternoons offer homemade soups!  Soups, cookies and beverages are all complimentary when you stay with us.

Snowshoe in style…with wine and cheese!  Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center offers wine & cheese snowshoe tours for $25 per person.  Call ahead for a reservation: 802-843-2400.  Difficulty level of the tour is determined by the group.  Enjoy wine and Grafton Village Cheese by a crackling fire in the warming hut.  Feel like staying closer to home (or, ahem, the Inn)?  Borrow our snowshoes for a tromp around Proctor-Piper State Forest, directly adjacent to our backyard!  (This option is completely free.)

Got kids?  After you’ve had your fill of our delectable homemade breakfast, bundle up and head out to play in the yard!  Build a snowman, snow sculptures or a snow fort…and prepare for the inevitable flinging of snowballs.  While you’re out there, say hello to our friendly sheep and backyard chickens (which supplied the eggs you ate for breakfast!)  Our latest addition is a young lamb…yet to be named.

Snow farm animal at Vermont lodging

Looking to get out…but not in the snow?  Enjoy a unique spa and shopping day.  There are plenty of year-round activities in our area of Vermont.  Get a spa treatment at the Castle Resort next door.  You can borrow our punch card to access their fitness room and pool for just $15.  Through us, you can also get $10 off of a pedicure at Salon 2000 and $8 drop-in yoga classes at Sama Yoga, both in Chester.  Ask about our other numerous coupons for shopping and dining.  Explore locally-owned bookstores, sugar houses, cafes, wine & cheese shops, galleries and craft stores.  Finish your day on the town with dinner at one of the fantastic restaurants in South Central VT.

Christmas Eve Smorgasbord 2014

Each year, Golden Stage Inn decks the halls for Christmas Eve festivities.  Innkeeper Julie celebrates her Swedish heritage with her family, and all are invited to participate in the feast.  Appetizers and beverages start the evening off.  Traditional Swedish dishes are served in a buffet-style dinner, followed by an array of desserts.  It is truly an evening of light and laughter!  Guests are invited to participate for $25 per person.  Dinner is served around 7, but arrive earlier for appetizers and mingling!  For more information, please read 2013’s blog post about the Christmas Eve Swedish Smorgasbord at Golden Stage Inn.  Here are a few photos from last year’s Smorgasbord:

Swedish Smorgasboard with decor at the Golden Stage Inn

Swedish decorations and tablecloth.

Delicious almond cake and apple cake

Santa Lucia offers Swedish desserts of apple cake and almond cake.  “God Jul,” as the napkin says, is pronounced “Good Yule” and means Merry Christmas!

How to Plan a Ski Trip in Vermont

Killington is already open for business and Okemo, Bromley, Magic and Stratton are busy making snow.  Skiers and snowboarders are dreaming of the snowfall soon to come.  If you are hoping to plan your ski vacation in Vermont, we have a few tips that will help make life easy.

How to Plan a Ski Trip in Vermont

1. If you have kids or are traveling with a large party, plan early.

There is a bit more flexibility for last-minute bookings for parties of two, but when traveling with a family or a party of friends, book in advance.  Golden Stage Inn and many other small bed and breakfasts offer suites.  Our double-roomed suites offer multiple bed size options, privacy between the two rooms, and a better deal than booking multiple separated rooms.

Cavendish Suite

The Cavendish suite has one room with a Queen-sized bed, and a second that can have two twin beds, or one king-sized bed.  

The Beehive Suite has a Queen-sized bed in one room.  The second contains two twin beds and a pull-out couch.

2. Choose accommodations that are close to the slopes…

…but maybe not too close.  While some people enjoy staying slope-side, many find that the quick drive between the mountain and their choice of accommodations makes for a cozy home base.  If your preferred ski mountain is Okemo, Golden Stage Inn is just 10 minutes down the road.  This is a perfect distance because we are also close to Killington, Magic and Bromley, giving you multiple options if you’d like to ski the many mountains Vermont has to offer.

3. Find an Inn or B&B that has many dining options nearby.

Ideally, you’d like those dining options to be close to the Inn.  Better yet if there are restaurants between the ski slopes and your lodging, making for a convenient apres-ski and less time on the road.  Between Okemo and Golden Stage, you’ll come across many dining options.  Restaurants in Ludlow are diverse in their offerings of food.  Some of our favorites include Stemwinder, The Downtown Grocery, Sam’s Steakhouse, and Mr. Darcy’s.  If you ski Bromley, check out Johnny Seesaw’s or the Mill Tavern on your way back.  A diversity of dining options is nice as well, so that you might sample the wide range of delicious food Southern Vermont has to offer.

Downtown Grocery dinner ludlow VT

A delicious daily special at The Downtown Grocery, a fine farm-to-table dining establishment located midway between Okemo Mountain and Golden Stage Inn.

4. Choose accommodations that offer fireplaces and warm treats.

There’s like a crackling fire to warm you up on a snowy day!  Golden Stage Inn’s sitting room has a fireplace front and center.  You’ll also have unlimited access to hot tea, coffee, and cider…as well as the bottomless cookie jar, whose contents are often freshly baked!  Curl up with your hot beverage on a comfy couch by the fire and enjoy your book or puzzle.  The back sitting room and several of our guest rooms offer gas fireplaces as well: Otis’ Room, Cornelia’s Room, and the Cavendish Suite.  Another great reason to book early…you can snag the fireplace rooms!

Golden Stage Inn Sitting Room

5.  Purchase ski & stay packages to get discounted lift tickets.  See if you can swing a midweek getaway to save big time!

When considering how to plan a ski trip in Vermont, money is always a factor.  You’ll save big on your ski trip if you combine your tickets and lodging.  Skiing midweek gets you even greater discounts on lodging and ski tickets.  At Golden Stage Inn, we offer ski & stay packages that will let you save money on lift tickets at Okemo Mountain.  If you’re not booking a ski & stay package, you can still order lift tickets through Golden Stage Inn at lower prices than Okemo’s retail value!

6.  If you have non-skiiers, choose a location that offers activities and winter adventures for them as well.

Occasionally, we’ll host parties where one or two people don’t ski or snowboard.  Luckily, our bed & breakfast is right in the middle of several quaint Vermont towns that have so much to offer non-skiiers.  The innkeepers often recommend that guests visit the Vermont Country Store in Weston or take a sleigh ride at Billings Farm in Woodstock.  Visitors also love to shop for antiques in Chester, taste cheese or maple syrup at nearby local producers, and tour art galleries.  For non-skiiers who still want to get outdoors, borrow snowshoes to trek around the woods of Proctor-Piper State Forest in Golden Stage Inn’s own backyard, or go skating at Okemo’s skating rink.  There is even a place to go dog-sledding in Windsor, VT: Great River Outfitters!  Non-skiiers even love just hanging out at the inn – which offers a spacious common room not found in your typical hotel or condo.

Dog-Sledding

7.  Finally, plan ahead for lunch.

Buying food on the mountain can be EXPENSIVE, and ski mountains might not offer the kind of lunch you’re interested in.  Stop at a grocery store on your drive up to Vermont and stock up on lunch supplies.  Ask the Inn or B&B you’re staying at if you’ll have access to a fridge and kitchen accessories for creating and storing your lunch.  (Golden Stage Inn offers both).  And remember that at Golden Stage Inn there will be warm homemade soup awaiting you back at the Inn (starting after Christmas!)

 

We hope these insider tips help guide you in how to plan a ski trip in Vermont.  More questions?  Feel free to call the Innkeepers at (802) 226-7744.

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.

March Events in Ludlow, Chester, Springfield and Londonderry

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! In the spirit of having fun while you can, we want to connect guests staying at our bed and breakfast with Southern Vermont events in nearby towns including Ludlow, Chester, Springfield and Londonderry! Mardi Gras was celebrated in our own town of Proctorsville VT with a celebratory party at the Crow’s Cafe Bakery pictured below.

Mardi Gras Party at Crows Bakery Cafe in Proctorsville Vermont

Events for this weekend, March 8th-9th

On March 8th, demo all types of skis and snowboards at Jackson Gore base of Okemo Mountain Resort, just a 7-minute drive away from Golden Stage Inn bed and breakfast. Get your energy up with some delicious maple syrup at the Vermont Country Store’s ‘Sugar on Snow’ tastings during every weekend in March! Yummmm. Two of their locations are not far from our bed and breakfast; one is in Rockingham and the other in Weston. If your sweet tooth is satisfied, keep in mind that our bed and breakfast has a new special for maple lovers during the weekend of March 22nd-23rd, which is Vermont’s Annual Open House Weekend for sugarers across the state. March 8th is also Okemo’s Light the Night Rail Jam with tons of prizes. If you’re looking for fun with the family, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ is playing in Ludlow Town Hall at 7pm as part of the town’s free film festival.

On Sunday, March 9th, you can learn to ski or snowboard for free at Bromley! They have a new Terrain-Based Learning slope…from the perspective of a snowboard instructor, it sounds like a great way to learn and I might even check it out myself just to see how it works. For foodies or those who want to do some shopping on their way back south, the Taste of Winter Market is happening in Springfield at the plaza from 2-4 pm. There’s no produce like Vermont produce.

Next weekend’s events, March 13th-17th

On March 13th, The Downtown Grocery, a new farm to table restaurant in Ludlow Vermont, is hosting a benefit event. Each ticket is $75, a steep price but a good cause for constructing a bike path through Ludlow to make our town more sustainable and accessible. The menu includes a five-course meal paired with beer, wine and cocktails. March 14th brings another merry evening of food and drink with Fullerton Inn offering a wine tasting paired with dinner. Looking for music to enjoy? Okemo’s Sugar Daze concert series continues March 14th and 15th with Kip Winger at the Sitting Bull  on Friday and Matisyahu at Jackson Gore Base on Saturday. Local band Gypsy Reel will be opening; they are a fantastic blend of Celtic tunes, French Canadian folk and New England roots music…I would go just to see them! They are also playing at the Sitting Bull at 2:30 on Sunday, and at Killarney’s St. Patrick’s Apres Ski Party on Monday the 17th…St. Patty’s Day!

If you visit Vermont in March, we hope to see you soon at Golden Stage Inn Bed & Breakfast in Proctorsville VT!

-Sophi Veltrop, Golden Stage Inn

 

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