100 Fun Things to Do Fall Winter

100 Fun Things To Do in

The Last Green Valley


#1 Accommodations

  1. The historic, tastefully renovated Barn at Gray Mare Hill in Brooklyn offers rural comfort and privacy for you and your entire family.
  2. The Bed and Breakfasts of Mystic Coast & Country offer 13 fabulous inns plus bed and breakfasts to choose from across southeast Connecticut, including a few in The Last Green Valley.
  3. Want to stay where Josias Byles lived and walk out the door to a peaceful wooded trail? The Henrietta House B&B & Red House Farm has that in Ashford.
  4. See lots of green and scenic vistas over gourmet meals at the Inn at Woodstock Hill.
  5. Whether you’re visiting Old Sturbridge Village itself, exploring central Massachusetts in general, or just passing through on business stay at the Old Sturbridge Inn & Reeder Family Lodges.
  6. Enjoy mouthwatering homemade cuisine and comfortable accommodations in Sturbridge at the Publick House Historic Inn & Country Lodge.
  7. The Quiet Corner Inn welcomes you to Brooklyn, right in the middle of the National Heritage Corridor for a day, a weekend or longer.
  8. The Sturbridge Tourist Association welcomes you to the Sturbridge Townships, whether for a quick visit or an extended stay to make the most of their beautiful town.
  9. A quality stay is waiting for you where traditional New England meets modern lodging  at Taylor’s Corner Bed and Breakfast in Woodstock.
  10. Woodstock Sustainable Farms hosts hearth dinners with ingredients sourced from their 200 acre property and has a great get-away at the Manton-Greene Bed & Breakfast.



#2 Astronomy/Night Sky Views & Scenic Overlooks/Views

  1. Borrow your local library’s telescope. Thanks to the Aldrich Astronomical Society, five MA communities in The Last Green Valley have these available to the public.They can be found at the Charlton Public Library, Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library of Dudley, Oxford Free Public Library, Jacob Edwards Library of Southbridge and the Gladys E. Kelly Public Library of Webster.
  2. Tour the universe at the Eastern CT State University Planetarium. Great for schools, scouts and community groups to learn about the night sky.
  3. Make plans to see the dam views from one of the US Army Corps of Engineers recreation areas and even camp out next season under the stars at the Buffumville Lake backcountry site or at one of the well-maintained spots at the West Thompson Lake Campground.
  4. Walk Norwich’s Yantic Falls/Uncas Leap is a stunning view in any season, an easy walk, and you can see much more during winter months with no leaves on the trees.
  5. All four seasons offer photogenic scenes at Roseland Park looking out over Roseland Lake. Great chances to glimpse eagles flying during winter months, too.
  6. Take advantage of the expertise of TLGV Rangers Geoff & Kim of McLean Research Associates and invite them to make a dark sky presentation for your group.
  7. Keep your eyes on the skies with Friends of Sturbridge Trails, because they offer hikes year-round, including some super daytime outings at Leadmine Mountain and even some night ones too with a telescope out in a Heins Farm field.
  8.  Feeling too chilly for a night under the stars or a daytime walk to a view? Take a drive along the Rt. 169 National Scenic Byway in The Last Green Valley, it’s a stunner.
  9.  Joshua’s Trust and the Town of Mansfield together own and maintain the Coney Rock Preserve Overlook trails, offering dramatic views which seem ever more expansive during the winter months.
  10. The Wyndham Land Trust’s Bull Hill Preserve is an ever-growing preserve of more than 500 acres of diverse habitat with an outstanding view in all directions at its overlook.

#3 Hiking/Walking/Strolling

  1. The Grand Trunk Trail is a 3.5 length National Recreation Trail along the Quinebaug River in Sturbridge. Following a former railbed through spectacular landscapes, with options to connect to other town trails as well as even more trails in the Westville Lake Recreation Area which is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
  2. Stand on the only remaining unaltered portion of an early road system that first connected cities and towns in early America on the Boston Turnpike Trail & Greenway in Eastford.
  3. The Putnam River Trail and Killingly’s Quinebaug River Trail are both paved trails offering an easy, accessible walk or bike for all. Keep your eyes open for wildlife as you stroll alongside the Quinebaug River.
  4. The Sprague Land Preserve sits below the Scotland Dam on the Shetucket River. Enjoy miles of trails weaving through the woods and to the riverfront.
  5. Mashamoquet Brook State Park looks bigger than ever with winter scenes and leafless trees. Keep in shape and enjoy history as you take the moderate 4.75 mile loop hike to the “Wolf Den” and “Indian Chair.”
  6. Lake Siog Recreation Area offers a short, flat nature trail at just under one mile with ample parking and is perfect for younger kids to work on their balance and walking skills. You will return to the car with rosy cheeks and smiles.
  7. Trace the banks of the serene Quinebaug River looking for frogs and spotted salamanders before ascending a wooded ridge at Holland’s Quinebaug Woods.
  8. Stroll miles of trails at Mohegan Park while viewing the beautiful Norwich Rose Garden and its hundreds of rose varieties.
  9. A former camp, Mooween State Park in Lebanon offers views of chimneys, stairs and other camp relics returning to nature, as well as remains of the 300-year-old Granny Austin Tavern.
  10. Want to be in three states at once? Hike off the Air Line Trail in Thompson to the Tri-State Marker erected in 1883. You can also connect with the Mid-State Trail for a full day of hiking, weaving in and out of The Last Green Valley.

#4 Museums/Historic Sites

  1. Listen in to Heritage Information Radio’s 24/7 online streaming for all things history (and more) in The Last Green Valley.
  2. Digging into your genealogy? Killingly Historical & Genealogical Society can help you with their library – the largest east of the CT River. The Finnish American Heritage Society in Canterbury also houses one of the largest archives of Finnish heritage in the country and can help your family trace its history. They also put on events with traditional foods, crafts and music throughout the year.
  3. Want to enjoy local history with national significance through compelling events and an array of tours? Head to Norwich. Connect with the robust Norwich Historical Society and their Heritage Trails and a pre-Revolutionary War tavern. Visit an example of the evolution of American architecture at the Leffingwell House Museum and don’t forget to stop by the Slater Memorial Museum to admire examples of fine and decorative art representing a broad range of world cultures.
  4. Feeling Revolutionary? Walk in the footsteps of Washington and Rochambeau on the mile-long Lebanon Green before visiting the Lebanon Historical Society Museum. Visit the homestead of statesman and signer of the Declaration of Independence Samuel Huntington in Scotland too.
  5. The Clara Barton Birthplace Museum & Barton Center for Diabetes Education in Oxford teach timeless lessons of compassion and service through Clara Barton’s life story. The Center is also one of the largest, independent camping and educational programs in the country dedicated to children who live with diabetes and the people who care for them.
  6. Southbridge’s American Optical was at one time the largest producer of lenses and related instruments in America – come and see the unique items of national and international importance created in The Last Green Valley by visiting the Optical Heritage Museum.
  7. Visit the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry in Storrs for a marvelous experience for people of all ages. Another Storrs delight down the road on the UConn campus is the William Benton Museum of Art, with a mix of permanent art from past centuries to present plus an ever changing array of visiting exhibits.
  8. It’s a Putnam family affair in Brooklyn. First, see the statue and exhibits memorializing Revolutionary War Hero Israel Putnam at the Brooklyn Historical Society, including his great-grandson Daniel Putnam Tyler’s law office. Then a few minutes away visit Putnam Elms, the once estate of Daniel Putnam, Israel’s son.
  9. The CT Eastern Railroad Museum sits on the site of a former train junction yard and offers a collection that includes locomotives and rolling stock, as well as vintage railroad buildings and a six-stall roundhouse reconstructed on the original foundation.
  10. Oxford’s Huguenot Steamer Museum displays in excellent condition a late 19th century firefighting machine in a restored firehouse from the same era.

#5 Nonprofits

  1. The Arc of Eastern CT is making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual, physical, developmental and other life-affecting disabilities – and you can help by shopping at the Arc Emporium and donating cans or bottles to the Arc Redemption Center.
  2. Epitomizing community education, Brimfield’s Hitchcock Free Academy offers interesting and inspiring cultural, educational and recreational classes and programs to people of all ages.
  3. The Boy Scouts of America – CT Rivers Council and the Girls Scouts of Connecticut offer a multitude of enriching opportunities for youth in The Last Green Valley to grow as individuals and give back to our communities and the world.
  4. Participate NOW with Northeast Opportunities for Wellness if you support their mission of making a positive impact in the lives of Quiet Corner children by ensuring each child’s access to fitness, nutrition, and athletics.
  5. Art happens and artists support each other grandly in NECTAG (Northeastern CT Art Guild) and Windham Arts. Join and broaden your artistic horizons.
  6. Land trusts and nature preserves. We’ve got them in The Last Green Valley. Investigate and join, volunteer, or donate to make a difference in our region, and help keep it 84% green with forests, woods and farmlands. Avalonia Land Conservancy, Capen Hill Nature Sanctuary, Connecticut Audubon Society at Pomfret and Trail Wood, Dudley Conservation Land Trust, ECFLA/Wolf Den Land Trust, Groton Open Space Association, Joshua’s Trust, New Roxbury Land Trust, Opacum Land Trust, and Wyndham Land Trust.
  7. Our Chambers of Commerce are full of people working hard for our region. Join and participate. You can make a difference with the Chambers of Central Mass South, Eastern CT, Greater Norwich Area, Northeastern CT, Webster-Dudley-Oxford and the Windham Region.
  8. Hay Burr Inn Equine Rescue & Sanctuary is dedicated to saving the lives of horses in order to rehabilitate and restore their physical and emotional health and find them a loving home, or continue to give them the special care they need to live out their days in peace.
  9. Who raises funds so all residents of northeast Connecticut have the opportunity to attend QVCC regardless of income? Yes, the same folks that give us the “Tackle the Trail” marathon-length event on the Air Line Trail – the Quinebaug Valley Community College Foundation.
  10. A center for social justice and sustainable living, the Voluntown Peace Trust is a nonprofit education center offering programs, workshops,and retreats, as well as hospitality and resources including overnight accommodations on a 54 acre property.

#6 Retail-Arts/Antiques/Uniques

  1. Support and encourage local artists and artisans by shopping at ARTicles Gallery in Danielson. They offer an ever-changing array of fine art, gifts and vintage items from a growing number of local consignors beyond the owner-artist-in-residence.
  2. Visit for fine books and coffee at Booklovers’ Gourmet of Webster and Pourings & Passages of Danielson – you will not want to leave once you enter these marvelous escapes from our busy world. Visit. Relax. Enjoy.
  3. Find furniture, collectibles and more to enrich your home at Coventry Art & Antiques.
  4. Did you know Dexter-Russell in Southbridge is the largest manufacturer of professional grade cutlery in the United States? Shop their excellent selection of knives crafted to perfection since 1818.
  5. Garden centers and more, galore. Treat yourself or a friend to a bouquet of flowers or a plant at Garden Gate Florist, Goudreau’s at Nash Garden Center, Hart’s Greenhouse & Florist, Ladd’s Garden Center, and Select Seeds.
  6. Custom wide-plank flooring made right here and shipped worldwide is available at Hull Forest Products. Visit their wood flooring showroom to see what they can make for you.
  7. The farm stores at Morning Beckons Farm and Pine Hill Alpaca Farm will provide all your alpaca wool and product needs to keep you warm and comfortable year round.
  8. Don’t leave Putnam empty handed when you can stop by Sawmill Pottery and sift through their gallery of locally crafted goods or even take a class and make your own.
  9. Search through Semaki & Bird’s website for museum quality jewelry and stationery products inspired by nature, now available to anyone to enjoy.
  10. Looking for a community market? Look no further than the Willimantic Food Co-Op, a member owned and operated food store carrying a  full line of grocery items, produce, cheese, juices, grains, spices, vitamins, dairy products, homeopathic remedies and paper goods.


#7 Service Businesses

  1. Need print or promotional items? Look to the incredible selections from 101 Business Solutions and Chase Graphics who can do that and so much more.
  2. If the insurance and benefits process has you feeling down, talk through the details with a local friendly face at Archambault Insurance Associates, the Byrnes Agency or Gerardi Insurance Services.
  3. Clarus Studios captures The Last Green Valley’s diverse scenes, people, events and activities like no other.
  4. Providing financing, working capital and professional services to agricultural business owners in seven northeast states is just the tip of the iceberg of what Farm Credit East has to offer, with a team nearby in Dayville to serve you.
  5. Trust your hard earned money to one of the many fine financial institutions of The Last Green Valley including bankHometown, Berkshire Bank, Chelsea Groton Bank, Cornerstone Bank, Jewett City Savings Bank, Putnam Bank and Savers Bank.
  6. Experience a community of caring with expert short-term rehab, award winning long-term nursing care, adult day care, independent and assisted living all offered thanks to the PierceCare community and team.
  7. Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well. The experts at Weiss & Hale Financial have more than 50 years’ combined experience in the financial industry and are here to assist you with your financial goals.
  8. Longmeadow Automotive and Landon Tire provide quick, quality service for all of your repair, used car and tire needs.
  9. If you’re looking for a new home in The Last Green Valley, look no further for help than with The Loomis Team at RE/MAX Bell Park and Sullivan & Company Real Estate.
  10. Don’t procrastinate with that odd, difficult and dirty job you have waiting for you around your house or in your yard – it can be easily solved by the specialists at Helgerson Excavating & Septic Services and ServiceMASTER by Mason.

#8 Tastes/Sips

  1. Good eating just got even better with Azuluna Foods, which offers chef-crafted, locally sourced and ready to eat meals delivered right to your door.
  2. Green Valley Hospitality operates four restaurants in The Last Green Valley, each unique and offering something delicious and remarkable for everyone – 85 Main in Putnam, Vanilla Bean Café in Pomfret, Dog Lane Cafe in Storrs and the Fenton River Grill in Mansfield.
  3. The ever-popular summer Coventry Farmers Market at the Nathan Hale Homestead, and its companion Winter Market, provide a dynamic, sustainable marketplace and vibrant gathering place for the exchange of high quality, locally-grown and crafted products and services directly to the consumer.
  4. If you’re visiting walkable downtown Danielson, look no further than the tasty comfort options of George’s Galley and Pizza Pizzazz.
  5. Gobble up ice cream, fresh baked goods, take home fresh meat and more from the freezer and shelves at Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm.
  6. The wine trail rolls rough The Last Green Valley at three stops, each offering unique scenery and pleasant tastes – Preston Ridge Vineyard, Sharpe Hill Vineyard and Taylor Brooke Winery.
  7. The Oliver Wight Tavern at Old Sturbridge Village offers hearty meals in dining rooms with fireplaces where you’ll be served with historic New England hospitality.
  8. The yellow roof of Union’s Traveler Restaurant is unmistakable to passers-by. Stop in for a good book while you wait for a good meal.
  9. Located on 200 acres in the rolling hills of Ashford, Westford Hill Distillers produces six types of eau de vie – a clear, delectable fruit brandy made from 100% natural fruit.
  10. Willimantic Brewing Company is a living landmark restaurant and brewery housed in a former post office with great food and an amazing selection of beer brewed in-house.


#9 Entertainment/Theaters and More

  1. Bogey Lanes will bowl you over with fun & a super-friendly staff.
  2. Charter Communications/Spectrum offers public access TV programming for and by the residents of the eastern Connecticut. Take advantage of their free training, studio time, on-location equipment and editing suites so you can create your own TV show.
  3. Local community radio exists and thrives in The Last Green Valley at WINY Radio. You want to know what is going on and really connect to your community? Do it at 1350am, com and now 97.1FM.
  4. 70,000 annual visitors each year can’t be wrong. See what you are missing at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, offering a robust events schedule conveniently on the UConn campus.
  5. Great food, family fun, music, events, playground, antiques and tourist information-all at the peaceful, pet friendly site of Frog Rock Rest Stop.
  6. The Bradley Playhouse Theater of Northeast CT is a 114 year-old vaudeville theatre in the heart of downtown Putnam, offering a diverse slate of main season shows each year as well as a variety of “Off-Bradley” productions, too.
  7. Hall Communications is a family-owned radio company with six stations throughout eastern CT on WICH1310, WILI1400AM, 97.7WCTY, i98.3, 98.7WNLC and 100.9KHITS.
  8. Visit Scotland’s Highland Games every October to experience Scottish culture through athletic, dance, piping, and harp competitions; a clan village; food and merchandise vendors; and pipe bands performing in opening and closing ceremonies. It’s a bonnie good time.
  9. The Mansfield Drive-In Theatre & Marketplace is Connecticut’s only three screen drive-in theater with current double features, and even more, it hosts a flea market every Sunday.
  10.  Labor Day Weekend means one thing – you have to get to the Woodstock Fair, the state’s second oldest agricultural fair featuring fun for the entire family.


#10 Winter Activities

  1. The Air Line Trail offers more than 50 miles of flat and easy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for beginners and seasoned hikers alike.
  2. The Roseland Golf Course Hills is open to the public for respectful sledding activity, so be sure to treat the hills as if they were your own.
  3. At Westville Lake Recreation Area, there are 3 miles of great trails for cross-country skiing ranging from flat to rolling hills.
  4. Whether there is snow or not, Mansfield Hollow State Park and West Thompson Lake both have trails that are spectacular and invigorating in winter.
  5. Fisherman don’t need to stop if the ice freezes as there are ample ice fishing spots in The Last Green Valley, like East Brimfield Lake.
  6. Skate at UConn’s Freitas Ice Forum, which has public skating, lessons, skate sharpening & rentals available. Try it, you’ll like it.
  7. Miles of unplowed forest roads and seasonal hiking trails await you and your snowmobile in CT’s Natchaug State Forest, Nipmuck State Forest, Pachaug State Forest as well as MA’s Brimfield State Forest and Wells State Park.
  8. Goodwin State Forest offers miles of trails for you to trek on your own this winter or take advantage of many informative programs.
  9. A portion of Lebanon’s historic Town Green is flooded and lit for ice skating every winter.
  10. Quaddick State Park can be enjoyed throughout the winter when the ice is safe for both ice fishing and skating.