During this time of year, in the middle of winter in New England, the cold can start to get to me a little bit. When that happens, I like to escape to an oasis from the cold in South Deerfield, Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. The conservatory is 8,000 square-feet and houses nearly 4,000 exotic and domestic butterflies. The butterflies can flutter among various tropical plants and flowers and small ponds which hold Japanese Carp, or Koi fish. If you’re lucky, a butterfly might even land on you! The best part is: they keep the conservatory at tropical temperatures, so you can enjoy the warmth, even when it’s wintry weather outside.
Magic Wings also has a gift shop to purchase some butterfly souvenirs, outdoor gardens for the warmer weather, and a food court. They offer the option to host events in their facilities, as well, such as weddings, birthday parties, meetings, or other private parties.
Magic Wings is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. The cost of admission is $16.00 for adults and $10.00 for children under 17. They also offer discounts for seniors and students. So if you need an escape from winter without taking a flight, just drive to Magic Wings in South Deerfield.
Click here to check out their website.
Was your new year’s resolution to get in shape? The middle of winter can be a tough time to get into a workout routine. The good news is Franklin County has many exercise facilities with a variety of offerings to tailor to your style. So you can stick to your New Years resolution this year!
Whether you’re looking for a single or family membership, the YMCA can suit you. They offer different levels of membership and even daily passes if you’re not looking for a commitment. The Y is great for people who are looking to exercise in a variety of ways. They have a full workout room with machines and weights, a pool, a gym, plus they offer classes ranging from spin to aqua aerobics. There are plenty of programs for kids, as well, such as sports teams like gymnastics, and school-aged child care.
Common Ground Fitness Center is perfect for adults who could use some support getting into and maintaining a healthy workout routine. While you can drop in and use the equipment at your own desire, they promote attendance of their group workout classes and use of personal trainers to help you keep coming. Common Ground offers high intensity workout classes such as TRX, PIYO, and boxing, as well as low-intensity ones like elasticize and yoga. Plus, their memberships are very affordable with tiered levels ranging from $30 to $70 a month.
Sometimes, the best way to take control of your workout routine is by having a personal trainer, someone to hold you accountable for showing up. For those who live in West Franklin County, there is a great personal fitness studio right in Shelburne Falls - Riverside Fitness Studio. Personal Trainer Tim, has been in the fitness industry for over 6 years and has been holding his own steady workout routine for over 10. He offers one-on-one or one-on-two training sessions that give results.
I hope this list is helpful in your start towards physical health and wellness this new year! Happy training!
Naturally Cleaning, Organizing, and Decluttering Your Spaces!
Where are you located?
We are based out of Shelburne Falls, MA.
When did you open?
We started on November 1, 2018.
What inspired you to start this business?
We both have felt the impact of clearing physical space and becoming intentional in how we are organizing our homes. It has had a positive effect on our well-being and inspired us to start our business with the desire to bring this quality and effect to other’s homes and spaces. We believe that a clean and tidy home has the power to bring physical wellness, clarity of mind and productivity to one’s life.
What is your mission?
To support health and wellness in others through natural cleaning, decluttering and organizing spaces.
What goods or services do you offer?
We offer: general cleaning; deep cleaning; decluttering and purging of items; organizing spaces; preparing for guests; arranging spaces for optimal flow, function and aesthetic.
What is your favorite service that you offer? Why?
Our favorite service that we offer is decluttering and purging followed by organizing. We love this because it opens space up and allows for improvement of physical and mental health, free-time, relationships, productivity, and a healthier home. Removing extra “stuff” from one’s space allows for there to be a higher likelihood that the space will stay tidy. General and routine cleaning feels great to come home to, and if one invests in going further with decluttering and organizing, it lays the foundation for maintaining a happier and healthier home.
Do you have any special events or promotions coming up?
We do not at the moment, but Stay Tuned in the future!
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers about your business?
We have a wide skill set. If there’s something you need but is not listed, let us know! We can probably help you out!
Hours of operation:
We operate Monday through Friday during day-time hours, and sometimes on the weekends.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/spruceduphilltowns/
Check out one of their recent jobs- Before and After!
Summertime in the valley means local farmers markets full of fresh produce, artisanal products, and handcrafted items. Just because the winter months are upon us doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to this wonderful part of living in the valley. Here are some local winter farmers’ markets where you can still get your farm fresh fix:
On one Saturday per month, the Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market will pop up in Four Corners Elementary School. Check out this wonderful market on the following dates from 10 am to 1 pm: December 15, January 5, February 2, and March 2. Buy lots of goodies from local farm vendors such as Clarkdale Fruit Farm, Barberic Farm, and MycoTerra Farm. Plus a few other local favorites will be there too such as M&G Kettle Korn selling their delicious non-GMO kettle corn, Comida Latina selling delicious Latin cuisine, and Prospect Prints with their fun, hand-screened shirts. For a full list of vendors visit www.greenfieldfarmersmarket.com.
If you’re more of a once-a-week Farmers’ Market goer, head south to the Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market, every Saturday until April 20th. Located at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street, this market is open from 9 am to 2 pm. The vendor list changes from week to week, but you can find the updated list at www.northamptonwintermarket.com. Some vendors you might find include Red Fire Farm, Holyoke Hummus Company, Bread Euphoria, and Winter Moon Roots. Plus, enjoy different events from week to week such as live music by local artists, storytimes, and craft workshops.
Happy Farmers’ Market-Going!
Join me for the 19th Annual Art & Leisure Auction to benefit United Way of Franklin County. The auction, to take place on Saturday, December 1 at Greenfield Community College, will feature a silent and live auction. Quality items have been donated by businesses and individuals around Franklin County. Bid on especially fine items in the live auction such as a $1000 gift card to Southwest Airlines, 4 pavilion Red Sox tickets, and a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard by private plane.
Arrive at 5:30 pm for the silent auction at and then stay for the live auction at 7:30 pm. Guest auctioneers Liz Fisk from WHAI 98.3/Bear Country 95.3 and Representative Paul Mark will lead the live auction. All activities will be held in the Cohn Family Dining Commons at GCC. Enjoy live music and food while you bid!
Tickets to the Annual Art & Leisure Auction are $35 per person or sponsor a table of 8 for $275. Click here to register now!
The mission of United Way is to improve the quality of life in our area through special focus on education, financial stability, and health. As a member of the board, I am proud to support the many ways that United Way benefits Franklin County and hope you will be too!
This Friday, many shoppers will head to corporate stores across the country for Black Friday shopping. However, here in Franklin County, we like to do things differently by supporting our local businesses and kicking off the holiday season in style with Moonlight Magic.
This annual event known across the region will take place in the beautiful village of Shelburne Falls. The Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association has worked together with local businesses to put on this magnificent event. The village has already been beautifully decorated with holiday lights and garlands spiraling up the lamp posts along with pole tags with sponsors’ names showing their support. On the eve of Moonlight Magic, luminaria will line the streets directing event goers to various points of interest throughout the village.
Moonlight Magic is also one of the few times of the year where Bridge Street and Deerfield Ave will be shut down to traffic, allowing pedestrians to wander the streets, browsing vendor tents and businesses, which will stay open later for the event. Soon after sunset, the Parade of Lights will make its way down Conway Street, over the Iron Bridge and down Bridge Street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be part of the parade, greeting shoppers and then ending at the Mason’s Lodge, for visits and photos. Throughout the event, there will also be various performances, including one of my favorites, the Ageless Waves of Rhythm, Shelburne Senior Center’s drumming group.
Moonlight Magic starts at 4 pm, giving you plenty of time to sleep in the day after Thanksgiving! Visit shelburnefalls.com for more information or pick up an event brochure the day of to find out what’s happening around the village.
Looking for something fun and fall-y to do this weekend? Head to Bernardston for the 6th Annual Scarecrow in the Park, hosted by the Bernardston Kiwanis Club! This two-day event, happening Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, October 21st has become an annual tradition, where Cushman Park becomes filled with artists and craftspeople, live music, food vendors, a Halloween dance party, and of course, handcrafted scarecrows, on top of much more.
The scarecrow contest is a signature part of this event, where participants can pay $10 to enter their scarecrow and could win a cash prize. This year, scarecrows will be judged based on the categories of scariest, funniest, prettiest, most interesting use of materials, and best art. The radio station, Bear Country 95.3, also gives a prize to the best “Bearcrow.” Enter your own specially made scarecrow or simply walk around and enjoy viewing all of the amazing ones made by other people. For more information on the contest, click here.
Be sure to bring the whole family because there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Browse the artists’ booths, featuring fiber arts, preserves, gourd art, seasonal decorations, home adornments, and more. Listen to live music by local favorites Appalachian Still and enjoy a live performance by Celtic Heels, local Irish step dancers, as well as the Tractor and Rag Shag Parade. There will also be hay rides, a visit and demonstration with local canine police officers, and face-painting and balloon-sculpting by Melha Shriners clowns.
For more information on Scarecrow in the Park, visit their Facebook page. Don't miss this awesome event!
It’s October! That means pumpkins, cider, foliage, and Fall Festivals! Next weekend, October 6 and 7, Ashfield’s main street will be filled with people for the Ashfield Fall Festival. Admission is free to this annual event, which started in 1970. Celebrate Ashfield and browse over 50 arts and crafts exhibitors, book sales, and tag sales. Enjoy locally-grown and prepared foods, live music, and dancing. There will also be plenty of kids’ events, including the annual Pumpkingames! For more information, visit www.ashfieldfallfestival.org.
Another great fall festival that you won’t want to miss is the Great Falls Festival aka Pumpkinfest in Turners Falls on October 20th. From 2 to 9 pm, Avenue A in Turners Falls will be filled with over 150 food and craft vendors, 3 live music stages, 2 performance stages, a beer garden and of course, a pumpkin display! Bring your own pumpkin to add to the beautiful pumpkin display or carve one there for free. There will also be free kids activities. For more information check out their Facebook page.
Here are some other exciting fall festivals in Franklin County coming soon:
8th Annual Riverside Blues, Brews, and BBQs - October 6 - Greenfield
Old 78 Festival - October 6 - Orange
Scarecrow in the Park - October 20 - Bernardston
24th Annual Franklin County Cider Days - November 2-4 - Various locations throughout Franklin County
This Saturday and Sunday, visit your local shops and take advantage of Massachusetts Tax Free Weekend. On August 11 and 12, the state’s 6.25% sales tax will be eliminated for all retail goods. Exceptions to this include meals, motor vehicles, motorboats, tobacco products, and any single item over $2,500. After two years without this holiday, Gov. Charlie Baker has decided to sign a bill that brings back this tax exemption.
With schools starting up again in less than a month and autumn just around the corner, this weekend is the perfect time to get your shopping done. Check out Wilson’s Department Store in Greenfield for name brand clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup, houseware, toys, and more. Also in Greenfield is The Outlet Store, which carries heavy-duty work clothes and boots from brands like Carhartt and Dickies.
If you are looking for more unique, handcrafted items, there are several small boutiques and shops in Franklin County, such as Bridge Street Bazaar, Enjoy, Marjorie Moser Print & Dye Workshop, and A Heart for Art in Shelburne Falls. Turners Falls also boasts several small shops, such as Honey & Wine, a women’s clothing store, and Stenhouse Furnishings, a vintage consignment shop.
If you’re looking for something new for your home, the Greenfield area has several furniture and antique stores. Andy’s and The Oak Shoppe in Greenfield offers quality-made finished and unfinished wood, pine, and oak furniture. You can also score some incredible antiques at Whitney Hill Antiques in Greenfield, Freight House Antiques in Erving, and Arts & Antiques on 5 & 10.
Enjoy saving that extra money you would’ve spent on sales tax and buy yourself that extra little thing you wanted. Happy local shopping!
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