(Sturbridge, MA) - Snowy weather means winter fun in the Sturbridge, Mass. area, where winter scenery is best enjoyed the old-fashioned way -- dashing through the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh or dog sled. Visitors can choose sleigh rides from three different venues: Old Sturbridge Village, the Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, and Yves-Lynn Horse and Carriage Co. in Charlton. Dog sledding packages are offered by the Yankee Cricket Inn in Brimfield in conjunction with Northern Exposure Outfitters in Brookfield. The Sturbridge area is less than an hour's drive from Boston, Hartford and Providence and just 20 minutes from Worcester and Springfield: www.sturbridge.org.
"There's something magical about a sleigh ride," says Alexandra McNitt, executive director of the Sturbridge Area Tourist Association. "We've got the perfect combination of open space, outdoor trails and the sleds and sleighs from which to enjoy them.
If you go:
Old Sturbridge Village
Sleigh rides (snow permitting) or horse-drawn carryall rides
Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tues.-Sun., and all Mon. holidays. Admission: $20; seniors $18; children 3-17, $6; children under 3, free. For more: www.osv.org or call 1-800-SEE-1830.
Salem Cross Inn
West Brookfield, MA
Sleigh rides (snow permitting) or horse-drawn wagon rides offered with
1700s style Fireplace Feast dinners; Prime rib roasted on the fire with the only known Roasting Jack still operating in America. Fri., Sat., Sun. through April. $52 per adult; children 12 and under: $25. Multi-course, all-you-can-eat, family-style meal with pie-making, mulling and chowder demonstrations. Diners can have fun helping to make the meal.
Yves-Lynn Horse and Carriage Co.
170 Dresser Hill Rd.
$5 per person for an 8-10 minute sleigh ride across a five-acre field in a modern reproduction of a Victorian-era Robert carriage with velvet, tufted seats drawn by a Percheron horse.
Yankee Cricket Bed and Breakfast
Overnight stay for 2, breakfast plus dog sled ride: $360-$380.
Northern Exposure Outfitters
Standard 2-passenger tour: $250; each additional rider: $100; group tours: $800 for up to 15 riders; each additional rider: $100; group tours up to 30 riders: $1600; each additional rider: $100. Northern Exposure Outfitters offers an array of sled dog experiences aimed at educating the community about the adventures of dog sledding.