Where to stop with a toddler in Western MA?
June 17, 2019 4:50 AM   Subscribe

We are driving from Boston to Western MA (Lenox) with our 2-year-old. Any recommendations for pit stops along the way?

I'm looking to have an option or 2 in my back pocket for the latter half of the drive (basically anything past Worcester). Close to I-90 is best. Parks/great ice cream/cute walkable towns are better than museums, since I'm not looking to turn this into a 3-hour stop. Thanks!
posted by Bebo to Travel & Transportation around Western Massachusetts, MA (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I did this drive earlier this year and we stopped in Northampton. It’ll take you a little bit off route but it’s very cute and walkable.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:26 AM on June 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Easthampton, MA (a tad closer to I-90 than Northampton) has the best ice cream in the area (Mt. Tom's). And you can eat it on a little boardwalk by a pond. (Which has pedal boats, if you're stopping on the weekend.)
posted by dayintoday at 5:54 AM on June 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

When our son was a toddler, we'd stop at Magic Wings, a butterfly conservatory, in Deerfield while on our way out west.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:22 AM on June 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Eric Carle Museum in Amherst?
posted by mahorn at 6:26 AM on June 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Not too far off 90 via 91 in Holyoke there is a nice playground for running around called Community Field. The Easthampton ice cream and pond suggestion is also good. From 90 you would go to Easthampton by going over Mt Tom and you can stop for some pretty views. You can also drive into the state park and hike and let your little enjoy the playground.
posted by ElizaMain at 6:50 AM on June 17, 2019

Best answer: If the weather is bad, Easthampton has an indoor park that is amazing. It's called Mill 180.
posted by chaiminda at 7:17 AM on June 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

Be aware that there's a relatively long stretch (30 miles) without any exits from Westfield to Lee, though there's a service plaza in the middle for potty emergencies.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:10 AM on June 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

You could also exit the Pike at Westfield and take US 20 the rest of the way to Lenox. I haven't been that way in years but there should be something interesting to do along the way.
posted by leaper at 9:15 AM on June 17, 2019

You could stop at exit 9 (onto rt 84) and then take the first exit off 84 (sturbridge) onto rt 20. Jimmy's ice cream is there. Other restaurants as well. There are family friendly walking/nature trails too (Google 'trek sturbridge' for maps and descriptions - there is an extensive network but it's also good for a quick walk - you can park very close to the ice cream shop and be strolling in minutes) and Olde Sturbridge village is basically in the backyard of Jimmy's.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:26 PM on June 17, 2019

Just to be a little more specific, the arbitus trail at this link is the one I was thinking of as easy to access. It's the blue trail on the right side of the map and the little parking icon is on Olde sturbridge village road.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:30 PM on June 17, 2019

Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden in Springfield for some out-of-the-car time?
posted by piro at 2:21 PM on June 18, 2019

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