22 New Things to Check Out in Western Massachusetts

By Visit Hampshire County

September 16, 2016

With the return of the school year and the changing of seasons among us, we’re heading into one of the best times of the year in Western Massachusetts. As you plan your fall visits to Hampshire County, be sure to consider adding the some of these new places and events to your itinerary!

New places to learn

Our region continues to grow as a craft beer destination with the opening of Beerology in Northampton this fall. Beerology is a service-oriented homebrew shop and brewing educational center that will offer classes, seminars, private lessons, and group events. You might be familiar with owner Mike Schilling and his expert-guided beer tasting seminars at Provisions (psst…there’s one coming up this Thursday, September 22).

If you’re familiar with Different Drummer’s Kitchen in Northampton, you’ll be no stranger to The Baker’s Pin, which is the same space, but newly purchased and rebranded by longtime managers.  It’s still your go-to spot for kitchen gadgets and classes in the heart of downtown Northampton.

By taking the Living Building Challenge™ for its new location in Amherst, The Hitchcock Center for the Environment  aims to be the first “living” environmental education center in New England. The 9,000 sq. ft. facility features a Visitor’s Center, Den and Nest Courtyards, native landscaping, an Ecotone walkway, and more. The surrounding land enhances the Center with its miles of trails and various ecosystems, creating an extension of the building and the education it provides.

Moves and News on Cottage Street in Easthampton

Cottage Street is the cultural hub of Easthampton and many changes are happening on this innovative block. Off the Map Tattoo moved its headquarters into the Majestic Theater. With its old space vacant, Luthier’s Co-op will expand its footprint to offer more café seating, full bar and late night eats for its live music schedule. For lovers of all things quirky and retro, check out Vintage Cellar East and the brand new Spot 22 Gallery, a shared space between House of Mirth Photos and BannerQueen (don’t the names alone make you want to visit?). And coming later this fall is Mill Town Deli, which will soon be your new favorite lunch spot.

Parks: Outside and In!

Easthampton’s Mill 180 Park is truly a park for the 21st Century. It was designed to emulate all of the great urban parks – Central Park in New York City, Hyde Park in London and Ueno Park in Tokyo – reimagined for an indoor space. Through the use of hydroponics, computerized sound, and HVAC systems, Mill 180 Park brings the outside in, surrounding visitors with green space and a remarkable sense of the natural world.

The City of Northampton recently completed a major redesign of its one-acre municipal downtown park. Pulaski Park now features a movable café reminiscent of any major city public plaza; a stage for performances; unique environmental progressive features like a storm-water garden; and more green space than you’d expect in any downtown setting.

New Events

A brand new Northampton Film Festival is coming September 28- October 2. Taking place in multiple venues across Northampton, the festival includes free public screenings, virtual reality experiences, participatory art projects, special speakers, workshops, ticketed features, and more. According to Take Magazine, the Northampton Film Festival “is poised to be everything you could want in a film fest.”

Print Works 2016 combines several events into a one day festival celebrating the art of prints, books, and zines in Downtown Northampton. The day will include Zea Mays Printmaking’s Print Fair North, The Northampton Print & Book Fair, and new this year, Big Ink, a live art demo featuring giant woodcuts. Events take place Sunday, October 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at A.P.E Gallery and the plaza between Thornes Marketplace and the Northampton Parking Garage.

Three Amherst Businesses Open Second Locations in Northampton

We love when our local businesses expand! Three Amherst businesses have ventured across the Connecticut River to open second locations in Northampton. When you’re in Northampton or Amherst, you can now get your falafel fix at Pita Pockets, gourmet doughnuts at Glazed, and authentic Chinese food from Oriental Taste (Northampton) and Oriental Flavor (Amherst).

These other new spots in Northampton

The folks who brought Northampton Nourish Juice Bar opened full café as well earlier this spring. Nourish Wellness Café offers the same juices and smoothies but also a full menu of eats including its signature Wellness Bowls.

Brits R U.S. is a dream come true for fans of all things from across the pond. Featuring a variety of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish products, from sweet treats to meat pies, Brits R U.S. moved into 16 Amory Street in Northampton over the summer.

Ibiza Tapas at Sevenstrong opens this week initially with its café service. After the original Ibizia closed in July, new partners have been hard at work transforming the space with the goal of taking the meaning of local food to the next level by serving a seasonal menu using only ingredients found within the Pioneer Valley. Stay tuned for special pop-up dinners until the restaurant is open for full service.

++ New global eats in Amherst

Amherst’s list of restaurants that represent every corner of the globe grows a little bit more this fall. Malek Shawarma offers traditional Lebanese cuisine, including beef and chicken shawarma sandwiches, and Himalayan Friends Corner features food from Nepal, India and Bhutan.

Pet Places

There’s a few new places for your furry friends, whether they travel with you or you’re looking for a sweet treat to bring home from vacation. Opened since March, The Grateful Hound in Northampton is a great place to get some natural treats or a new fun toy for your pet. For any boarding, grooming and just plain pampering needs, The Good Dog Spot’s Northampton location is now open, too.

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