Welcome to a Winter Wonderland

Whether you’re curled up by the fire or hitting the slopes, Sturbridge has no shortage of ways to keep your spirits high, even when the temperatures get low.

Saturday

Spend your Saturday enjoying classic winter sports and activities in picturesque Central Massachusetts. Don’t forget to bundle up!

Explore the Frosty Outdoors...

Don’t let the wind chill keep you inside!  Immerse yourself in a winter wildlife wonderland at Wells State Park, where you can snowshoe or cross country ski on over 10 miles of trails. Search for animal tracks in the snow or enjoy the view of Walker Pond, sparkling with frost, as you explore over 1,400 acres of oak-hickory forest. For a smaller expedition, head to Westville Lake Recreation Area, which boasts three miles of trails, an ice skating pond and several hills popular among locals for sledding.

Wells State Park

Westville Lake

** Insider Tip:  If you’re looking for more wildlife adventures, Quaboag Pond in neighboring Brookfield is a prime spot for ice fishing. Look out for Northern Pike, Chain Pickerel, and Largemouth Bass!

...Or Hit The Slopes!

If you prefer to race down the mountain rather than hike up it, head over to Ski Ward Ski Area in nearby Shrewsbury. Just a quick half hour drive will take you to an epic, eight-lane TubaSlide park, plus 45 acres of ski and snowboard terrain set on a 220-foot vertical plunge. With four lifts, nine trails, private instructors, and a full-service rental shop, Ski Ward’s got your next snow day covered.  Be sure to stop by the mountain’s on-site restaurant, Slopeside Bar & Grill, to kick back and relax after you’ve finished carving up the slopes.

Stop For Lunch

Get your caffeine fix (and some feeling back in your hands) at Sturbridge Coffee House. Warm up with a sizzling chai tea or maple syrup latte, before feasting on a variety of breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads, baked goods, and fresh-off-the-grill burgers.  Conveniently located on Main Street, near Old Sturbridge Village.

Practice Your Triple Lutz At...

Sturbridge Town Common Rink

Every winter, the historic Sturbridge Town Common is magically transformed into a free community ice rink. Open from dawn to dusk (weather permitting), this cozy rink is perfect for families with young children and ice skating novices. For the ultimate Snow Day experience, make a snowman on the town common lawn or have a vigorous snowball fight before heading across the street to warm up in Sadie Green’s Curiosity Shop or Publick House (see below)

For updates on the 2022 season and any weather-related closures, follow their Facebook page.

Note: All skaters must bring their own skates and follow the official Town Skating Rink Rules, found here.

Worcester Common Oval

If you don’t own skates, or simply need more room to practice your moves, then check out the Worcester Common Oval. Located 25 minutes away in downtown Worcester, The Oval is well worth the trip: at 12,000 square feet, this rink is 4,000 ft bigger than NYC’s famous Rockefeller Center. Rent a pair of skates, grab a treat from the snack stand, and enjoy the festive music and dazzling lights of this premier skating rink.

** Insider Tip:  If you find yourself in Worcester after the New Year, head to The Hanover Theatre for a long-overdue dose of live entertainment. Whether you catch a rendition of the iconic A Christmas Carol, or the touring Broadway production of Annie in February, the Hanover Theatre will treat you to an evening of music, dance, and show-stopping good fun.

2 Southbridge St, Worcester, MA 01608

https://thehanovertheatre.org/cats

Warm Up By The Fire at Publick House

After a long day outside, there’s no better place to warm up and chow down than Publick House, the iconic 18th century inn that overlooks the Town Common. Step back in time at the inn’s Historic Tap Room, where guests have been dining and socializing for nearly 250 years. WIth its original hardwood flooring and antique “post n’ beam” ceiling, this room oozes colonial charm; but the real centerpiece is the gigantic, six-foot-long fireplace, whose open hearth will warm even the chilliest of travelers. Enjoy generous portions of traditional New England comfort food, like the Yankee Pot Roast or roasted turkey dinner. And if you find yourself utterly charmed by the famous hospitality of Publick House, you can always book an overnight stay at one of their equally quaint and inviting accommodations.

Check Into…

Publick House

There’s no better place to escape the cold than in the cozy, charming rooms of Publick House. Located just a few minutes from Old Sturbridge Village, this historic inn has been a warm refuge for weary travelers since 1771. Indeed, you’ll find there’s nothing better than relaxing in a delightful 18th century atmosphere with 21st century amenities. A truly one-of-a-kind experience that you’ll only find in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

Comfort Inn and Suites

Parents with young children should look no farther than Comfort Inn & Suites, which offers free breakfast, WiFi, and an indoor pool, so you can still pretend it’s summer, even in mid-January.  With an emphasis on cleanliness and hospitality, Comfort Inn is a place where you can confidently put your feet up and relax after a long day of activities and adventure, all at an affordable price.

Sunday

After braving the elements yesterday, spend your Sunday enjoying the comforts of the indoors as you take in the culture, art, commerce and history of the Sturbridge region.

Saw Dust Coffee House

Stop by the newest addition to the Sturbridge coffee scene to fuel up on Panini’s, quiche, fresh baked goods and more! Be sure to also visit during the evening to sample their sizzling cocktail menu, and on Sunday mornings for their famous acoustic brunch.

Old Sturbridge Village

A popular year-round tourist destination, Old Sturbridge Village is especially enchanting during the winter months, when horse-drawn carriages trot through snowy lanes and frost-adorned cottages sparkle in the lantern light. The largest outdoor living history museum in New England, OSV allows you to step back in time as you walk through an authentic recreation of early American life, complete with costumed reenactors and detailed sets. Guaranteed to be a delightful, unforgettable experience for visitors old and young. Visit their website to book your tickets in advance.

Note: From January 15th to April 3rd, OSV will only be open on the weekends (Friday-Sunday). Visitors are encouraged to purchase or reserve Tickets for a specific time slot in advance.

Stop For Lunch

Local favorite Soup To Nuts Café has been serving food crafted with quality ingredients for nearly 30 years. Stop by this cozy cafe for a variety of freshly prepared soups, chowders, salads, sandwiches and, of course, their famous baked quiches.  Located in Sturbridge Marketplace, a charming historical mill that overlooks the Quinebaug River.

Do Some Retail Therapy

Need another excuse to stay out of the winter chill? While you’re at Sturbridge Marketplace, consider grabbing a souvenir (or two) at Sturbridge Flea Market. This bargain-hunters paradise offers three floors of eclectic knick knacks, artisanal goods, rustic decor, and rare collectibles. With so much to look through, you’re guaranteed to find something you love.

Enjoy an Afternoon of Arts and Culture

If you happen to be visiting the area on the first Sunday of the month, you can enjoy free admission to the nearby Worcester Art Museum. There’s no better way to escape the cold than spending the day indoors, touring the museum’s vast collection of art, some of which dates as far back as 3,000 B.C.! The museum also hosts traveling exhibitions as well, so be sure to check their website to see what new galleries lie in store!

Escape the Pike

The award-winning escape room, Escape the Pike, is further proof that you don’t need to venture outside in order to have an adventure. Find clues and solve puzzles in this immersive mystery experience, in which you and a group of friends race against the clock to “escape” your perplexing confines. With mysteries ranging from magical fantasies to sinister homicide thrillers, there’s something for all ages and tastes to enjoy.

Note: Due to COVID-19, all escape rooms will be private sessions with your group only. Reservations are required at least two hours in advance. Walk-ins not accepted. Complete online waiver prior to arrival for faster check-in.

** Insider Tip:  Halloween might have passed, but if you aren’t ready to give up on Spooky Season just yet, consider filling your Sunday with a day trip to Rutland Park. In addition to hiking trails and abundant scenery, this popular park also boasts a historical cemetery, an old railroad tunnel, and the concrete remains of an abandoned prison camp. 

49 Whitehall Road, Rutland, MA 01543

https://www.discovercentralma.org/articles/rutland-park/

Dine at the Salem Cross Inn

End your day at this cozy spot in neighboring West Brookfield. This 1700’s-era inn lies on a majestic 600-acre farm, offering classic American cuisine and pub fare to travelers far and wide. Meals are prepared using ingredients sourced from their own garden and rolling pastures, and the result is utterly delectable.  You can also choose to dine casually at their on-site pub, Hexmark Tavern, where you can relax by the warmth of the roaring fire while savoring the Stew of the Day being cooked over its flames. A truly one-of-a-kind experience that celebrates the history and hospitality of central Massachusetts.