Fun For Families

There are endless family events and kid-friendly places near Golden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast. Discover Vermont fun for families when you stay with us – even if this means simply visiting our sheep and splashing about in our pool! Staying in the winter? How about building a snowman or fort in our backyard! Take a day trip to go on a picnic at a hidden swimming hole or experience adventure at Okemo with zip lines, a mountain roller coaster, and more. Horseback riding and blueberry picking are popular hits with the young folks.


Okemo’s Other Offerings

Okemo is not just for skiers anymore…

Maybe you’ve booked a ski vacation and the weather isn’t what you’d hoped for downhill and cross-country skiing – pouring rain or extreme windchill.  Perhaps there’s someone in your group who doesn’t ski or snowshoe and is looking for different things to do.  Some families might have young children who can only spend half a day on the slopes, or want various activities and extra excitement.  There are plenty of reasons one might pursue winter activities in Vermont aside from cross-country and downhill skiing.  So, we’ve compiled a resource list of the many, many things to do at Okemo Mountain: kid’s snowmobile tours, mountain coaster rides, snow tubing, ice skating, massage & spa services, fitness & pool center, snowcat excursions – even indoor golf!

Okemo clock tower

New this year: Kid’s Snowmobile Tours

At Jackson Gore, kids can experience a snowmobile ride for $29.  Tours are 20 minutes, with 15 minute ride time.  There are only 4 sleds available per tour.  You can purchase tickets in advance, or when you get there at Jackson Gore’s Resort Services desk.  Children between 5 and 12 years old, under 120 lbs and less than 5′ 4″ are eligible to ride.  More details here or by phone: 802-228-1600.

Through March 30th, the coaster is open on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11 am to 4:30 pm, and on Saturdays from 11 am to 6 pm.  Timber Ripper is also open for extended hours during holiday periods: from 11 am to 6 pm on January 18th, from 11 am to 6 pm February 14th through 21st, and from 11 am to 8 pm on March 14th.

Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster

Imagine flying smoothly through the air down a mountain, and you’ve got the Timber Ripper.  This mountain coaster operates out of Jackson Gore, taking off by the Coleman Brook Express Quad.  Each sled can hold two people, but you can go it alone as well.  To drive the sled, you must be over 48″, and to ride with a driver, a child must be over 36″.  The mountain coaster operates in most weather conditions, so it’s an outdoor alternative to skiing that maintains a thrill-seeking element.  Call 802-228-1600 if you’re wondering if the coaster will be running in the current weather.  Hours are the same as listed above for kids’ snowmobiling.  

Pricing:

  • 1 ride: $13 driver, $9 rider
  • 3 rides: $36 driver, $24 rider
  • 5 rides: $55 driver, $38 rider
  • 10 rides: $100 driver, $72 rider

Indoor Golf Simulator

For golf lovers missing the course over the winter, keep up your game at Okemo’s indoor golf simulator.  The course includes a 6,000 square-foot practice area, a putting green, three swing stations, and a locker room.  The simulator is booked fairly frequently during the winter, so call ahead to reserve your spot: (802) 228-1396.  You can reserve the course as a group of up to 16 players, or as an individual.  

Pricing:

  • Simulator Group Fees: $50/hour
  • Simulator Individual Fees: $30/hour
  • All-day access to hitting stations and putting green: $15
  • Hourly access to hitting stations and putting green: $7/hour

Snowcat Excursions

This is a unique opportunity to book a ride in a snowcat, which grooms the mountain’s terrain.  On this hour-long journey, you’ll get to see the mountaintop view of Vermont at night – lit up under a starry sky.  Seats are $39 per person – unless you want to ride shotgun, a privilege which will cost you an extra $10. Rides are weather dependent and consistently fill up; we recommend making your reservation several days before you plan to go.  (For example, if you plan on taking a Friday ride, call on Monday.)  Holiday excursions fill up more quickly, so reserve your spot at least a week in advance.  Call 802-228-1600 to book your spot on the tour.

Excursions leave from Jackson Gore on Tuesdays at 5 pm and 7 pm, on Fridays at 7 pm, on Saturdays at 5 pm, 7 pm and 9 pm.  There are special extra tours on MLK weekend and President’s Day Week.

snowcat excursions at Okemo Mountain

Snowcat Dining Adventure

An added layer of luxury to the typical snowcat excursion, this trip takes you to Epic, Okemo’s fine dining restaurant.  Snowcat Dining Adventures are offered every Saturday night through March 7th, 2015, as well as Sunday, January 18th (for the Craft Beer Dinner Special) and Sunday, February 15th.  Call 802-228-1600 to reserve your spot; $125 includes a snowcat ride and fireside 5-course meal (but does not include tax and gratuity).  You’ll want to make your reservation about a week in advance, and perhaps even earlier during holiday periods.  Childcare is offered for $20 per child with the Kid’s Night Out Program.

The Spring House

The Spring House has excellent indoor recreational facilities, including pools, exercise classes, spa services and a fitness room.  Contact the Spring House at 802-228-1419.   

  1. Aquatics:  Open from 8 am to 10 am for lap swimming, and from 10 am to 9 pm for open swim, hot tub and splash pool.  Heated recreation pool, maximum depth 4.5 feet.  Heated splash pool for small children with fountain and slide, maximum depth 1.5 feet.  ADA-accessible hot tub.  You can host a pool party at the Spring House too, but only between April and Thanksgiving; call the number above for more info.
  2. Fitness:  Open from 7 am to 9 pm.  Reserve time in the courts between 7 am and 9 pm to play racquetball or volleyball.  There are locker room facilities with saunas.  The Studio offers fitness classes of all types: Zumba, yoga, aquatics and kickboxing.  Check out the schedule and sign up by calling the number above.  The fitness room features ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, weights, mats and other various strength training equipment.
  3. Spa Services: Massages of all kinds (even for mommies-to-be!), facials, body scrubs (Vermont maple and brown sugar, anyone?) all offered by trained, accredited therapists.  See all of Okemo’s spa options and pricing here.  By appointment only at 802-228-1419.

Pricing:

  • $14 day pass ($4 for seniors 65+, free for children under 3.)
  • $10 per fitness class
  • $3 Racquetball court fee (includes equipment)

Snow Tubing

This is one of the best options for an affordable day of fun.  Each hour on the hill is $12, which includes snow tube rentals.  Children must be over 42″, and all snow-tubers must sign a waiver.  Snowtubing hours are the same as listed above for kids snowmobiling.  Call 802-228-1600 for information on conditions.

The Ice House

Another affordable option for non-skiing winter fun.  Skate and helmet rentals are $5 each, and unlimited skating pass is $5. The ice is kept in great condition for smooth skating, and there is a warming area as well.  The Ice House is open Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 am to 9 pm.  Monday through Friday, skate anytime from 1 pm to 9 pm.   Call 802-228-1406 for more information.

Fall Foliage Views from Mt. Ephraim

Mt. Ephraim is a relatively short and easy hike, located in Springfield, VT.  The hike is a 20-25 minute drive from Golden Stage Inn.  Due to its gentle grade, it is a fun hike no matter the season.  Even snowshoes or cross-country skis can make it up for some winter views of the snowy ski trails on Okemo, Magic, Bromley, and Mt. Snow.  I recently took a hike with my dogs to take in the stunning fall foliage of 2014.  We’ve been lucky to have vivid, stunning color from the leaves as well as an especially long New England foliage season.

 

Fall foliage views in vermont

You can view a Trail Guide and Map to Mount Ephraim and other hikes in Springfield, VT here.  Mt. Ephraim’s guide is on page 12.  There are several different trails you can take, but no sign posts or blazes, so be sure to take a map and compass with you if this is your first time up Mt. Ephraim!

Vermont Autumn foliage

 

These photos were taken on October 13th.  The foliage is sticking around a while longer, so if you’re interested in getting to Vermont before the leaves disappear, check out our Last-Minute Leaf Peeper Special.  (Expires October 24th, 2014.  Applicable to new reservations only.)

 

View from the top of Mt. Ephraim

The views from the top of Mt. Ephraim make for a hike worthwhile!  You can see to New Hampshire and to several ski areas, including Killington.

Happy hiking!

Voluntourism in Vermont…

…with Golden Stage Inn and Black River Action Team!

Looking for a way to travel while doing good?  Spend a pampered weekend at Golden Stage Inn bed & breakfast while volunteering for a great cause.  Our September ‘voluntourism’ inn special is a deal you won’t want to miss.

The Black River Action Team (BRAT) protects and restores the iconic Black River of Southern Vermont – and you can be a part of their work.  On September 6th, 2014, join Black River Action Team’s River Sweep to clear trash and pollution from this gorgeous Vermont ecosystem.  The Black River gives Vermonters and visitors a place to swim, canoe, kayak and fish.  A day of volunteering with BRAT is also a day of appreciating nature.  Volunteers contribute to keeping VT beautiful!

VT Volunteer Tourism

Now here’s the fun part…

In exchange for your time at the Annual River Sweep on September 6th, BRAT will reward you with a free lunch, water bottle and t-shirt.  But Golden Stage Inn also wants to thank you for opting to volunteer during your summer vacation!  We’ve created a B&B package deal for all volunteering guests.  The bed & breakfast will supply you with a lunch bag of home-baked cookies, a signature Golden Stage Inn tote bag, and a 25% discount on lodging!  Plus, GSI innkeepers will donate $10 to BRAT for every voluntourism package booked.  Now thats a feel-good deal you can’t beat!  Stay at our inn this September to get in your pre-season leaf-peeping, your late-summer swimming, and your volunteer vacation.  We’ll see you then!

The VAULT Gallery in Springfield, VT: July & August 2014

Our bed and breakfast, located in Proctorsville VT, is very close to several great art & craft facilities.  One of these is the Vault Gallery in Springfield, VT.  It is about 20 minutes’ drive away from Golden Stage Inn, located in the downtown of an old industrial town located right on the Black River.  The VAULT Gallery showcases uniquely creative arts and handmade crafts from around Vermont.  It is accessible, affordable, modern and gorgeous.  The summer exhibition’s focus is flowers.

The VAULT gallery also offers art classes for wannabe artists and seasoned crafters alike.  There are even camps for your kids – if you’d like to get some alone time during your vacation!  Check out the offerings for 2014 summer at the Vault:

Art Workshops for Adults

Saturday, July 26 (rain date Sunday, July 27)
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Plein Air Workshop in Watercolor Instructor: Rob O’Brien AWS, NWS
This class will meet at the gallery and then set off for a day of outdoor painting. The workshop will begin with a demonstration by the instructor followed by student painting. A critique and discussion will take place at the end of class.

Workshop fee $65 Members/$70 Non-members
Materials list available upon registration
Plein Air Painting workshop in Vermont
Saturday, August 23
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sun and Shade – Late Summer Landscape in Pastel
Instructor: Robert Carsten, PSA-M, IAPS-MC
Explore the Dynamics of painting the warm, sunlit landscape, the coolness of a special shady spot or how to include both in one composition. How you convey that feel of late summer in your work and that lovely golden light that we experience as the sun moves lower on the horizon as we start shifting toward autumn. Working from your sketches or photos, we will explore concepts of color design, and techniques. Various approaches will be presented and demonstrated. Critique, at easel assistance, and lots of painting time will make this an educational and enjoyable painting experience. All levels welcome from beginner through advanced.
 
Workshop fee $70 members/$75 Non-members
Materials list available upon registation

Art Camps for Kids

VACATION ART CAMP
Held at Parks and Rec on 139 Main Street
Mon-Fri July 21 to 25 
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Experiment with Papermaking
Taught by Diane Kemble and Melissa Post
Create your own handmade papers! Start with paper scraps and water. Churn it up in a blender. Add dried flowers, colored threads, and other surprises. Press through a screen, dry and iron. Then use your paper to make cards, books, night lights, collages, and other creations.
 
Age 8 and up Art Camp Fee $70. Class size limited. Pre-registration required.

You’re Invited!

Gallery at the VAULT invites you to
Celebrate the Season with a Summer Party 
Saturday, July 26 from 2 to 5 p.m.
at the Inn at Weathersfield

An Afternoon Collage of Food, Celestial Drinks, and Outdoor Pursuits!
  • Taste unique craft cocktails and imagine celestial navigation with Max Overstrom-Coleman of Vermont Spirits.
  • Enjoy delicious food made from local ingredients.
  • Ramble through the gardens and grounds of Inn at Weathersfield.
  • Explore photography with Richard Cofrancesco. (Bring your own camera.)
  • Learn the art of Fly Tying with Dennis Fontaine.
  • Try your hand at flower arranging.
  • Play Croquet and Bocce Ball or Relax on the deck.
Reservations are necessary.
Stop in at VAULT, or call 802-885-7111.
Tickets are $40 each, Checks payable to Gallery at the VAULT.

Happy Independence Day from Golden Stage Inn

From all of us at the Golden Stage Inn B&B, Happy Independence Day!

Well, technically the 4th of July just passed, but the weekend has just begun and the festivities aren’t over.  Vermont is the perfect place to spend Independence Day, and while yesterday (the real 4th of July) was a bit rainy, there is a bluebird sky today with clear breezes and temperatures in the 70s.  Vermont vacation-ers certainly won’t have to worry about ‘beating the heat’ this weekend!!

 

Image courtesy Celebration Fireworks of Vermont

Image courtesy Celebration Fireworks of Vermont

 

Spending the 4th of July in Southern Vermont

Last night, I’d planned to see fireworks in Ludlow, VT but was thwarted by the rain!  Luckily, Saxton’s River still had fireworks going off and the drizzle stopped just in time.  I stood in line for cotton candy, watched glowsticks being catapulted through the air by excited children, and enjoyed the fireworks.  It was a spectacular show.  If the day hadn’t been so grey, I may have spent my entire 4th of July in Saxton’s River -watching the morning parade, eating a lunch of Thai or Middle Eastern cuisine, and then dancing to fiddler’s tunes at the Rec Area in the evening.

If you’re thinking of spending next 4th of July in Vermont, consider visiting the Calvin Coolidge historic site or Billings Farm, which both have historical Independence Day events and activities.  Far from being antiquated, these events appeal to all ages and there is something for everyone.  Billings Farm & Museum hosts ‘An Old Vermont 4th‘ every year from 10 am – 5 pm in Woodstock VT.  The organization puts on historic orations and music all day long, hosts old time-y crafts, and serves up some farmhouse fare including homemade ice cream.  Kids (and adults!) can participate in a gunny sack race, spelling bees and  visits to the farm animals.

Calvin Coolidge was the only American president born on July 4th, and is one of two presidents born in Vermont.  The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation always puts on a great celebration for Independence Day to commemorate the birth of the USA and of President Coolidge.  This year’s diverse events all sounded like a lot of fun.  History buffs enjoyed attending a group reading of Coolidge’s autobiography and seeing the recent reproduction of the Coolidge family’s woolen blanket.  Foodies munched on chicken BBQ at the Wilder House restaurant and sampled wine and cheese at the Plymouth Artisan Cheese Factory.  Kids and families took a ride on horse-drawn wagons.  Don’t miss this event next year, and remember that you can tour the Coolidge homestead and historic site year-round.  After all, the site is just a short drive away from the Golden Stage Inn, and makes a great day trip!

parade

 

(Image courtesy coolidgefoundation.org)

Extending your Freedom – July 5th Events

The fun doesn’t stop today, and there are tons of events happening within driving distance from Golden Stage Bed and Breakfast.  If you’re looking for the excitement of fireworks tonight, look no further than Magic Mountain or Stratton Mountain, both in Londonderry, VT.  At 6 pm, Magic Mountain will proudly introduce The Butties, Vermont’s premier Beatles cover band.  Stratton Mountain will have activities all afternoon long into the evening including face painting, dance demonstrations, live music, caricatures, hay rides, eating contests, and gondola rides.  See the full schedule of events here, and don’t miss the grand opening of Green Apron, a brand new VT farm-to-table restaurant near the golf course.

Want to stay a little closer to your home away from home? (Golden Stage Inn, that is!)  Check out Fletcher Farm’s Annual Arts and Crafts Festival, today from 10 am – 4 pm.  Over 90 artisans from across New England will have their high quality, original work on display.  Stop by to check out everything from paintings to dolls clothes, dried flowers to wood carving, glasswork to food…

Okemo Mountain hosts the Great American Party today, and while there are no fireworks here, you’ll certainly have plenty of other things to keep you busy from 1-8 pm.  Barbeque, two free concerts, a waterslide, dunk tank, eating contest, midway games, and adventure zone will fill your day with fun.

Don’t let the fire die…Fireworks in Ludlow on July 6th!

Although the rain last night caused the Ludlow fireworks to be cancelled, never fear because they have been rescheduled for Sunday, July 6th.  Fireworks are sponsored by Ludlow Streetscapes at West Hill Park.  The Chris Kleeman Band will entertain Vermonters and vacation-ers alike with fantastic rhythm and blues music, with fireworks slated to go off at dark around 9 pm.  You can stop for dinner first at one of Ludlow’s many restaurants – Mr. Darcy’s, the Killarney, Sam’s Steakhouse, the Stemwinder, Downtown Grocery or DJ’s.  If you want to enjoy Chris Kleeman’s music, create yourself a picnic basket with treats from Wine & Cheese Depot and Singleton’s General Store.  You might also ask Julie about Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch available at Golden Stage Inn…

Road-Crew-Crunch-mud-local-VT-snack

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