The Best Places to Keep Your Family Entertained Next Weekend
Issue   |   Wed, 10/25/2017 - 10:19
Jingwen Zhang '18
With family weekend on the horizon, make sure to take your visitors to some of the attractions the valley has to offer while taking time to enjoy campus.

Family Weekend, Nov. 3-5, is almost upon us, and although Amherst has many activities to keep everyone entertained, your family may want to see more of the area than what exists on campus. Take advantage of having a car at your disposal by checking out these spots.

Montague Bookmill
15 miles from campus
440 Greenfield Rd, Montague, Mass.

The Montague Bookmill is a used book and
music store housed within a 1842 gristmill. Block out some time to wander the stacks, sit down on one of the comfy couches conveniently placed around the store and leaf through some of your finds. Be sure to save some time to also head to the attached cafe to enjoy a cup of coffee, a good book and a beautiful view of the river.

Flayvors of Cook Farm
4 miles from campus
129 S Maple St, Hadley, Mass.

A delectable dairy dreamland, Flayvors is the rare place where you can eat ice cream and then meet the cow that the milk came from. The calves at Flayvors, besides being extremely cute, love meeting people and will lick your hand like a dog if you let them. After getting some love from the calves, head inside for delicious ice cream, with “flayvors” ranging from cow spots (vanilla ice cream with fudge swirl and mini peanut butter cups) to cookie monster (blue vanilla ice cream, cookie dough and oreo pieces). Flayvors also has great fall flavors for the season, including pumpkin and chai. If someone’s not in a mood for ice cream Flayvors also offers homemade mac and cheese, grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Dobra Tea
8 miles from campus
186 Main Street, Northampton, Mass.

If anyone in your family is a tea lover, Dobra is a must go. Entering Dobra Tea is like stepping into another world, especially if you choose to sit in the elevated space in the middle of the din- ing room, which only has low tables surrounded by cushions. Upon sitting, you’ll ring a small bell to alert your server, who will then present you with a binder full of different types of tea and their descriptions. From there, you can take your time flipping through before ordering a pot of tea and a small snack to go with it. Once the tea is brewed, you’ll receive a beautiful tea pot and cup and be left to relax and enjoy. This is the perfect place to go after a busy day of shopping in Northhampton or running around campus.

The Botanic Garden at Smith College 9 miles from campus
16 College Ln, Northampton, Mass.

Within the Smith College campus is a 12,000 square foot garden which houses both plants native to the area and more exotic plant varieties from around the world. Within the Lyman Conservatory, you can travel the globe by walking through the succulent room, fern room or orchid room. In addition, check out where some your favorite drinks come from, by looking at the conservatory’s tea, coffee and cola plants. Outside, the Capen Garden is home to a rose arbor and flower beds while Happy Chace Garden houses herbs and trees and also offers an amazing view of Paradise Pond. Additionally, Family Weekend is the first weekend of the garden’s famous Fall Chrysanthemum Show. Be sure to go the conservatory to see the explosion of red, pink, yellow and orange blooms.

If you can’t get away from Amherst, the campus itself is also home to its own interesting and under the radar spots to take your family.

Yūshien (Japanese Garden)
Enter from inside Webster Hall

Created in 2001, Amherst’s “Garden of Friendship” is a beautiful and tranquil Japanese garden created in honor of the strong ties between Amherst and Doshisha University in Japan. Amherst’s garden has even been ranked one of the best Japanese Gardens in America.

Mead Art Museum
Behind James and Stearns Dormitories

The Mead boasts Amherst’s art museum, with an expansive and impressive collection including work from Claude Monet and Thomas Cole along with pieces from contemporary artists. Currently, the Mead exhibitions represent a variety of art, with paintings, photography and multimedia from today and centuries ago. The exhibition “Tell It Like It Is — Or Could Be” features large scale photographs from contemporary photographers around the world. Another exhibition, “From the Picturesque to the Modern Vision”, traces the evolution of Euro- pean landscape paintings from the 17th to 20th century.

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Located in A-level Frost

The Archives and Special Collections area of the library is home to most of the rare books, manuscripts, photographs and historic objects the college owns. The front room of the archives currently displays the history of Amherst’s mascots and sports, including pamphlets from Amherst vs. Williams games dating back to the 1800s. Another fun part of the Archive is the is the reading room, which houses all of the past issues of The Amherst Student. Look through some past issues to see how the college has or has not changed.

Beneski Museum of Natural History
11 Barrett Hill Rd, Amherst, MA 0100

Beneski is one of New England’s largest natural history museums with over 1,700 specimens on display across three floors. Visit fossils of creatures as small as fish and as immense as dinosaurs and minerals from around the world and beyond it. Most importantly, go to Beneski to see the mammoth skeleton that provided the inspiration for Amherst’s new mascot and take a family picture with Bebu.