You’ll find plenty of things to do in Deerfield MA including visiting a living history museum of colonial America, having fun at Yankee Candle Village, and partaking in numerous activities for children.
Located in Central Massachusetts’s Pioneer Valley, Deerfield MA is a gem of a town worth a day or more to explore.
Walking down Deerfield’s Main Street feels like stepping back in time. Lining the streets are exquisitely preserved colonial homes that serve as living history examples of early American life. History buffs with also be astounded by the multitude of historical objects preserved in the town’s museums.
And while history is a major focus of the town’s identity, Deerfield is also home to a number of other activities including the immersive Yankee Candle Village, a gorgeous scenic hike, and a number of seasonal events.
There are also plenty of things for children to do in Deerfield including a wide variety of kids’ events organized by Historic Deerfield. Kids will also enjoy being surrounded by hundreds of butterflies in a conservatory and hunting for fossils and gems at a roadside attraction.
So without further ado, here are the best things to do in Deerfield MA.
Wander through Historic Deerfield
The main attraction in Deerfield MA is Historic Deerfield.
Best described as a living history museum, Historic Deerfield is centrally located in the town and gives visitors the feel of stepping back in time. Twelve preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850, the Deerfield Inn, and a museum make up Historic Deerfield and they’re surrounded by other privately-owned antique homes.
Visitors can tour each house to learn what life was like in Deerfield during colonial times and the first few years of the United States. The homes also feature period furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts, and a few feature period gardens.
Other attractions surrounding Historic Deerfield include the Old Burying Ground, the Channing Blake Footpath that leads past a working farm, and marked burials of enslaved peoples.
Historic Deerfield is open from mid-April to November from 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Wednesday – Sunday, and on Monday holidays. Tickets can be purchased at the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, and at the Hall Tavern Visitor Center. Guided tours of the houses begin on the hour and last about 35 minutes. (80 Old Main Street)
Stay or visit Deerfield Inn
The perfect place to stay or eat while visiting Deerfield is none other than The Deerfield Inn.
Centrally located along Old Main Street, The Deerfield Inn was built in 1884 and is owned and operated by Historic Deerfield. A stay here adds to the experience of being immersed in an early American village.
Within the inn, you’ll find Champney’s Restaurant and Tavern, a surprisingly good restaurant given that it’s the only place to eat within Historic Deerfield. The food and atmosphere are casual but slightly upscale and the menu features many classic American dishes. (81 Old Main Street)
Visit the Yankee Candle Village
For a distinctly different thing to do in Deerfield MA, visit the Yankee Candle Village – the flagship store of the popular candle-maker.
Lovers of Yankee candles will enjoy the enormous selection of scented candles here (over 200,000 candles and 200 fragrances!). But this store offers more than just shopping.
Inside there’s also a Bavarian Christmas Village, a candle-making museum, and Wax Works where you can create your own jar candle. There’s also a brewery and pizza cafe on the premises, a selection of gourmet popcorn to choose from, fudge, and 125 different types of candy.
Yankee Candle Village is open daily from 10 AM – 6 PM. (25 Greenfield Road)
Walk through the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens
Among the fun things to do in Deerfield MA is to visit the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens.
As you step inside the conservatory, you’ll be surrounded by 4,000 exotic and domestic butterflies, lush gardens, and a cascading waterfall as you feel the warmth of a tropical environment.
Walking through the 8,000-square-foot space, you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of butterflies. And if you’re lucky, one may even land on your shoulder.
Magic Wings’ hours change each season but in the summer they are Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM (check the website to confirm). Admission is $16 for adults and $10 for children (ages 3-17) with special pricing for seniors. (281 Greenfield Road)
Go hiking on Mount Sugarloaf and the Pocumtuck Ridge Trail
Going for a hike on the Pocumtuck Ridge Trail on Sugarload Mountain is one of the best outdoor things to do in Deerfield MA.
Lace up your hiking boots and embark on this windy trail as it leads up to the Sugarloaf observation deck. This moderate hike offers panoramic views of the Connecticut River Valley, like the one featured above, and also provides opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. (300 Sugarloaf Street)
Explore Memorial Hall Museum
Continue your journey exploring old Americana with a visit to the Memorial Hall Museum, just a short walk from Historic Deerfield.
Started in 1880, this museum is one of the oldest in New England with collections dating back to 1797.
There are 19 galleries in the museum showcasing early American art, furnishings, paintings, textiles, documents, and manuscripts, among other objects.
You’ll also find a recreated colonial kitchen, the desks and tables of a schoolhouse, and a gallery dedicated to local Native American tribes.
Hours of the museum vary throughout the year with greater availability in summer months. (8 Memorial Street)
The Rock Fossil Dinosaur Shop
Among the fun things to do in Deerfield MA for kids is The Rock Fossil Dinosaur Shop, a roadside attraction along Route 10.
This campy shop and experiential center lets kids “pan” for gemstones, explore mine shafts filled with treasures, and “dig” for dinosaur fossils.
There’s also a dinosaur exhibit and games to explore. And the gift shop includes a wide array of gems, fossils, minerals, and toys. (213 Greenfield Road)
Partake in Seasonal Events
Deerfield hosts a number of fun seasonal events throughout the year so be sure to check if one is happening when you visit.
Some of the more popular ones include:
- Old Deerfield Craft Fairs: Held outside the Memorial Hall Museum in the autumn, spring, and winter, the Old Deerfield Craft Fairs bring together artisans and crafters from around the region to showcase their handmade goods. Visitors can browse a variety of crafts, including pottery, jewelry, textiles, woodworking, and more.
- Yankee Candle Village Christmas: During the holiday season, the Yankee Candle Village transforms into a festive wonderland. The village features elaborately decorated Christmas trees, festive displays, visits with Santa Claus, and seasonal entertainment.
- Historic Deerfield Events: Historic Deerfield puts on numerous events throughout the year. Examples include open hearth cooking, history tours, antique shows, and arts and crafts demonstrations, among others.
About Kerry Flatley
Kerry Flatley has lived in New England for the past 26 years. She has roots in Maine & Massachusetts, family in New Hampshire, and grew up close to the Connecticut border. She loves all that this region has to offer – the ocean, mountains, islands, history, villages, and cities. When she’s not writing about New England, she’s relaxing at home in the Boston suburbs with her two teenage daughters and husband.