It's that time of the year again, the most wonderful time of the year, that is. In what feels like a blink of an eye, 2017 is coming to an end, and with optimism, we all prepare for and look forward to an even better 2018. But before we jump ahead to the countdown on the night of New Year's, there are many holidays that will serve as the best opportunities for each of our families to come together in love and unity. Whether you'll be stringing lights on a pine needle Christmas tree, or lighting symbolically luminous candles on the Hanukkah menorah, we can all come together this winter, at many of the wonderfully spirited Holiday Events, being held in our local communities. ValleyVisitor.com shares all of the festive holiday events happening across the Pioneer Valley, from Chicopee to East Windsor, CT, to Six Flags New England!
In Northampton, The Pioneer Valley Ballet performs The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music, December 8th-10th., and Look Memorial Park is alive with their Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Display through January 1st nightly until 9pm. Stroll downtown to shop in many locally owned stores with unique gifts.
In Amherst, talk a walk downtown and vote for the prettiest holiday window while shopping or dining. On December 16th there is a fun "Flash Mob Caroling" event. Bring your bells and instruments! Enjoy a free Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 17th from 4 – 6 pm at The Pacific Lodge, 99 Main Street. Conductor Timothy Todd Anderson conducts your friends and neighbors in a rousing, endearing, familiar tribute to the season. For more info check the Amherst Business Improvement site.
Bright Nights at Forest Park, in Springfield, is described as "more than 650,000 lights along a 3 mile path," with stocking decorating, and horse-drawn wagon rides, offered during specific days, The Bright Nights Gift Shop, which will be filled with festive souvenirs and gifts, and plenty more surprises, all of which will end on New Year's Day.
For families with little ones, Publik House & Breakfast with Santa, in Sturbridge, is sure to put the kids into a bought of holiday delight. Ending this weekend, kids of all ages can sit and chow down with Santa for breakfast from 8:30AM - 10:30am on: Saturdays, December 2 & 9, 2017 and Sundays, December 3 & 10, 2017. A mouth-watering Yankee Breakfast Buffet spread, serving: Belgian waffles, french toast sticks, bacon and sausage, corn beef hash, and much more, held at the Historic Publik House Inn, will make the whole family want to yell "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
Arguably, there may be nothing better than having Six Flags New England in our backyard, and there's no better time to enjoy one of the country's best amusement park in Agawam. ValleyVistor describes the Six Flags Holiday in the Park experience as being able to, "celebrate alongside your favorite Looney Tunes characters dressed in their Christmas-best... you have the opportunity to meet toy soldiers, sing along with our roaming and charismatic carolers, take a peek at what's hiding under the tree with our ebullient elves, and visit the North Pole," Batman the Dark Knight sleigh ride, is promised to be the craziest, fastest sleigh you'll ride all winter, then after it all, enjoy the jaw dropping cirque show, Frost - A Holiday Cirque Extravaganza! The dates for the Holiday Park vary, and it will be open New Year's Eve.
We are very lucky to be in the Pioneer Valley region during the holiday season. There is plenty festive, memory making events and opportunities suitable for all families to enjoy this year!
By Tiffani Rice, Intern, UMass Amherst