Top 10 Best Things to Do in Deerfield Massachusetts

You’ll find plenty of things to do in Deerfield MA, including visiting a colonial living history museum, having fun at Yankee Candle Village, and partaking in numerous activities for children.

A historic home in Deerfield MA

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. Exquisitely preserved colonial homes line the street that serve as living history examples of early American life. History buffs will also be astounded by the many historical objects in the town’s museums.

And while history is a significant focus of the town’s identity, Deerfield is also home to several other activities, including the immersive Yankee Candle Village, a gorgeous scenic hike, and numerous seasonal events.

There are also plenty of things for children to do in Deerfield, including various 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

A farm and homes that are a part of historic Deerfield MA

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. All are surrounded by other privately owned antique homes, adding to the ambiance.

Visitors can tour each house to learn what life was like in colonial Deerfield 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 Monday holidays. Tickets can be purchased at the Flynt Center of Early New England Life and 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 Historic Deerfield Inn
Photo credit: Daderot / Creative Commons

The perfect place to stay or eat while in 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 is 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, 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

A butterfly at the Magic Wings Conservatory Gardens
Photo credit: Heartlover1717 / Flickr

Among the fun things to do in Deerfield MA is to visit the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens.

As you step inside the 8,000-square-foot 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.

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

The view from Mount Sugarloaf
The view from Mount Sugarloaf

Going for a hike on the Pocumtuck Ridge Trail on Sugarloaf Mountain is one of the best outdoor things to do in Deerfield MA.

Lace up your hiking boots and embark on this windy trail to the Sugarloaf observation deck.

This moderate hike offers panoramic views of the Connecticut River Valley, like the one featured above. It also provides opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. (300 Sugarloaf Street)

Explore Memorial Hall Museum

Continue 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 the summer months. (8 Memorial Street)

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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 several fun seasonal events throughout the year, so check if one is happening when you visit.

Some of the 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.

See related:

Top 31 Best Things to Do in Amherst Massachusetts

Top 26 Best Things to Do in Northampton Massachusetts

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A photo of Kerry Flatley leaning against a wall

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.

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