where can we mini golf with puppies?
July 9, 2014 7:01 AM   Subscribe

I work with an adult with disabilities in western Mass. I take him out a few times a week, and we're running out of stuff to do! Can you help us find more things to enjoy?

He likes:

> watching games and sports
> spending time with animals of any kind
> any kind of interesting visual stimuli which can be seen close by
> seeing lots of people
> listening to music, especially from the 50's, and dancing
> bowling, playing pool, and minigolf


> poor vision for distant objects
> limited mobility for stairs and rough ground
> must be within a 45 minute or so drive of Greenfield

What has worked so far:

> visiting a bookstore with a cat and games
> bowling alley with arcade
> walking anywhere with lots of people
> visiting museums

I would love ideas from locals or just general suggestions! Thank you!
posted by chaiminda to Travel & Transportation around Massachusetts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You could go to a local animal shelter and volunteer as a dog walker.
posted by phunniemee at 7:03 AM on July 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Have you already been to the Western MA Family Golf Center on route 9 in Hadley? (I've driven by quite a few times but never played there, so can't comment as to the quality of their mini golf.)

Maybe farmer's markets? Lots of people, lots to look at. The one in Amherst on Saturday mornings seems pretty vital.

Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in Deerfield?

It's a little over an hour away, but I have heard that Friendly Farm in Dublin, NH is lovely.

Oh! Look Park in Florence has a miniature steamer train, zoo, and mini golf.
posted by usonian at 7:16 AM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: (Forgive the multiple posts if I keep coming back with things as they occur to me!)

The Tuners Falls Block Party (August 2 this year) is a fun time; they close off the main drag for a few blocks and have vendors and music. Last year there was a wonderful little ragtag community parade.

Turners Falls also hosts the Franklin County Pumpkinfest. (October 18 this year) I haven't made it to one yet but it seems to be gaining momentum while being a little less crazy than the one in Keene, which is also on the 18th. The one in Keene is a sight to behold, but the last time I went it was really crowded, like shoulder to shoulder people all the way up both sides of main street.

The Franklin County Fair parade (Looks like Thurs. Sept 4 this year) is usually a pretty good one - and right in Greenfield!

Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum

And speaking of Shelburne, they have a Moonlight Magic event every year on the day after Thanksgiving. I've never been but it sounds lovely.
posted by usonian at 7:39 AM on July 9, 2014

Best answer: Has he tried therapeutic riding? It looks like there are centers in western Mass, but I don't know the area well enough to know if any are within 45 minutes of Greenfield. Even if he didn't want to ride, they'd likely be happy to have you both volunteer and they might have other animals besides horses around the barn.
posted by jshort at 8:45 AM on July 9, 2014

Best answer: Are you near the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary? They have a sensory trail that he might enjoy.
posted by jabes at 10:47 AM on July 9, 2014

Best answer: Can you take him swimming/wading? I don't know your area but some pools have those lazy river things. Water is a lovely tactile experience. Also, those interactive fountains.
Paddle boats are fun.
Croquet, bocce, horseshoes, kite flying. Have a picnic and make a day of it.
Cat shelters for some kitty petting.
Is there an aquarium nearby or even a fish store, those can be amazing.
Some of the towns near me have outdoor concerts and movies all summer. Bonus points: they are free.
How about children's theatre and puppet shows? I've gone to children's theatre productions that were pretty wonderful.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:03 PM on July 9, 2014

Best answer: McCray's Farm in South Hadley has mini golf and farm animals you can pet. And you can eat ice cream.
posted by sineala at 9:16 PM on July 9, 2014

Best answer: Visit dog runs. Also stables (take apples). Petting zoos.
Any minor league baseball near you? Or college games?
posted by LonnieK at 7:11 PM on July 10, 2014

Best answer: Music on the Porch at the Florence Civic and Business Center: Thursdays in the summer 6:30 - 8 PM. Free, outdoors, lots of people, new band every week. Bring your own chairs/blanket/etc, picnicking encouraged. Rain location: Florence VFW across the street.

Try places where you can get ice cream/treats & watch the animals like the North Hadley Sugar Shack (goats, chickens), Flayvors of Cook Farm (cows), and Barstow's (also cows).

Also cool: a lot of museums and other places are doing Free Fun Friday in the summer. Free admission = lots of people watching!
posted by carrioncomfort at 10:06 AM on July 11, 2014

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