As the fall chill changes into the winter cold and daylight gets shorter and shorter, East Hill Farm starts to change as well. In the dining room, you can see guests crafting candles. In the barn, you can see the animals, with their thick, furry coats, grow bigger bellies as lambing season approaches. Up past the tennis courts, you can hear the kids laughing as they sled down the hill or go skating in the rink. Adults and children alike will cross-country ski and snowshoe only to come back into the dining room to enjoy some hot coffee or cocoa. The fireplaces in the living rooms come roaring to life with the crackling of logs, the cozy firewood smell, and the guests gathering around to play games or nap on the couches next to the heat. What other off-property activities are there to complement your stay? Here are our top picks:
1. Burdick Chocolate & Ye Goodie Shoppe
Winter blues have you down? These chocolate shops are home to some of the best goodies the area has to offer—sure to warm up your mood on cold winter days. At Ye Goodie Shoppe in Keene, New Hampshire, customers can watch confections being created through the large window into their kitchen. They offer create-your-own chocolate boxes so that you can mix and match your favorite flavors! L.A. Burdick Chocolate, although a farther drive to Walpole, New Hampshire, offers both a chocolate shop and café experience. After purchasing some chocolate mice or penguins, you can head over to their pastry kitchen where they offer delicious and decadent confections and some unique drinks, including their famous iced hot chocolate!
2. Toadstool Bookshop
Ready to curl up with a good book? Visit the new Toadstool Bookshop. Their new location on Main Street in Keene makes this book store a simple drive from Troy. They have several books by local authors as well as the usual top sellers. Even better, they offer a café with vegan options so you can read while enjoying a nice, warm snack, coffee or tea.
3. Harrisville Designs
Winter crafts at the farm have you excited? Harrisville Designs offers crafting supplies and lessons for the knitter, weaver, and other types of hobbyists. Located in Harrisville, New Hampshire, this location has supplies to please the most inexperienced beginner to the most experienced expert. They have also been spinning their own virgin wool yarn for over 40 years!
4. New England Sweetwater Farm and Distillery
Looking for an adult treat to warm you up? New England Sweetwater Farm and Distillery has what you need. This distillery, located in Winchester, New Hampshire, offers a unique tasting experience. They hand craft vodka, rum, whiskey, bourbon, moonshine and gin that are sure to warm you on even the chilliest winter days. Love the taste? Bring some home to share around the holidays!
5. Granite Gorge Ski Area
Love to stay active all winter long? Take a few hours to visit Granite Gorge Ski Area. Located on the Keene and Roxbury border, this mountain is small but packed with a lot of adventure. They offer tubing, downhill skiing and snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. Their trails vary from beginner green to expert double black diamond. Don’t want to add skis and snowboards to your vacation packing list? They offer rentals as well!