16 Best Things to Do in Hadley, MA

Hadley, MA
John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hadley is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, first settled in 1659.

Some of the early settlers in Hadley come from the Puritan colonies in Connecticut.

The soil in Hadley gets thick snow cover for about 66 days a year, and the temperature usually falls below 50 Fahrenheit most of the year.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town’s land area consists of 23.1 square miles, with 1.5 square miles of water.

It is now mainly an agricultural, commercial, and residential town.

Throughout the years of continuous urban development, Hadley remains an agricultural town producing vegetables, corn, potatoes, and tobaccos.

The Hampshire and Mountain Farms Malls on Route 9 are some major shopping options for residents in surrounding communities.

The town of Hadley shows vast potential to become a top local and tourist destination.

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy indoor and outdoor activities, go to Hadley.

Here are the best things to do in Hadley, Massachusetts:

Witness the Breathtaking View at Skinner State Park

Skinner State Park is on Skinner State Park Road, named after the industrialist Joseph Allen Skinner.

Skinner State Park is a great hiking spot for your family, friends, and children.

This 390-acre park is ideally on top of Mount Holyoke, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Connecticut River Valley.

You can either hike or drive to be able to reach the summit.

Aside from hiking, you can also spend the day having a picnic with your loved ones with the park’s 20 picnic site options.

Skinner State Park is also perfect for hawk-watching, barbeque grilling, hang-gliding, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.

Restrooms and a visitor’s center are also available for your convenience.

Visit History at the Summit House

Summit House was once the Old Prospect House.

It sits at the top of Skinner State Park, and you can visit via hiking or driving.

The park reopened in 2014 after some state restoration work.

The view of Connecticut River Valley and surrounding state parks will mesmerize you once you reach the top.

The Summit House also offers tours and programs every weekend and holiday.

You can find historical displays inside the Summit House.

Learn the History of Farming at Hadley Farm Museum

Hadley Farm Museum is at Russell Street, in a barn accessible from the Town Hall and Congregational Church.

Even if you’re not into history and museums, this place will surely catch your attention for its wide variety of New England’s farms and farmhouses equipment used in the late 1700s to early 20th century.

You can find the very first broom-making machine and spinning wheels at Hadley Farm Museum.

Furnishings, butter churns, cobblers’ benches, and hay tedders are also inside.

Hadley Farm Museum is also the home of the Abbott & Downing stagecoach.

Travel Back in Time to Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum

Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is an essential part of early American history.

You’ll marvel at the house, now a museum with architecture dating back to the 18th century.

It is at the center of a large farmstead called “Forty Acres” in River Drive.

The Huntington family occupied the house from 1752 until the death of Dr. James Lincoln Huntington in 1968.

Inside Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, you can see the family’s belongings collected and preserved for more than 300 years.

A collection of letters, account books, personal diaries, and photographs are also inside.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Get Up Close and Personal with Birds at New England Falconry

The New England Falconry in River Dr. is on an open meadow and forest in Western Massachusetts.

This place will give you the once-in-a-lifetime experience of handling and free-flying a trained hawk.

New England Falconry offers everything you need to know about falconry through its introductory, extended, hunting, and group sessions.

Experienced and knowledgeable guides will give you vast information about this exciting craft.

You can also ask all the questions you have in mind, and they will promptly answer you.

You will learn many new things about raptors’ life history, environment, and conservation from a visit to the New England Falconry.

New England Falconry’s founder, Chris Davis, earned his falconry license in 1979.

He was the first ever Master Falconer in the United States of America.

Drive with Friends at Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events

Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events is the perfect place for go-kart and adrenaline junkies.

It is inside the Hampshire Mall in Russell Street.

Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events’ 40,000 square feet indoor facility also houses birthday parties, corporate events, team buildings, and much more.

You and your friends will enjoy their Grand Prix-style indoor track and high-speed electric Italian pro-karts with a speed that reaches 50 miles per hour!

No need to worry.

Spend all your time inside having fun, as Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events staff will protect your safety.

Challenge Your Mind at All in Adventures Escape Rooms

All In Adventures Escape Rooms is in Russell St. A07 inside the Hampshire Mall.

Their heart-pounding and mind-boggling escape rooms will exercise your thinking and problem-solving capabilities while still having a great time.

You only have 50 minutes to solve every puzzle, clue, and question to escape the room!

You and your pals can have the chance to play real-life detectives and mystery solvers through the variety of escape rooms that you can choose from.

Don’t worry once you get a little overwhelmed, as All In Adventures Escape Rooms staff are more than willing to help you.

The choices include Escape From Alcatraz, Treasure Island, Superhero’s Adventure, Zombie Apocalypse, Special Agent, Hollywood Premiere, and much more!

You can also rent All In Adventures Escape Rooms for your next party or corporate event.

Climb Your Way to the Top at Central Rock Gym

Central Rock Gym in Russell Street is Western Massachusetts’s biggest indoor rock climbing gym.

Its 24,000-square-foot climbing terrain will test your strength and determination to reach your goal of reaching the top!

Central Rock Gym has trained and friendly staff who will give you instructions and motivation to finish your goal.

You can also join Central Rock Gym’s yoga and fitness classes.

Besides that, they also have summer camps, after-school programs, exercise equipment, and competitions.

Youth programs for kids ages five to 18 are available here.

Shop and Dine at Mountain Farms

Mountain Farms at Russell Street is a shopping center between Amherst and Northampton.

It opened to the public in 1973 as an indoor mall

In 1997, WS Development refurbished the building into into an outdoor mall.

Mountain Farms offers an open-air shopping and dining experience for you and your loved ones.

If you ever feel the need for a break from museum tours and nature seeing, a casual stroll in this mall might do the trick.

Its proximity to Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst makes this mall a top destination to find all your needs.

At Mountain Farms, you can shop from various popular stores such as Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many more!

Shop Fresh Produce at Mill Valley Milk Company

The Mill Valley Milk Company is at Mill Valley Rd.

You should not miss the chance to shop at this dairy store when you’re in Hadley.

Mill Valley Milk Company is the home of the freshest milk, cheese, eggs, and fruits that are perfect for your next healthy meal plan.

Moreover, you’ll also visit and feed some cows, listen to live music, and do some yoga at the Mill Valley Milk Company.

Where else can you find a shop that also entertains?

Also, their frozen steaks are to die for!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Bring Your Kids to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is on West Bay Road, Amherst, Massachusetts, an easy seven-minute drive from Hadley.

This 40,000-square-foot museum is the perfect place if you want your kids to appreciate and get fascinated with art.

In 2002, the late Eric Carle and his wife founded the museum.

Three galleries display various picture book exhibitions and collections, most from donations.

Likewise, the galleries feature works from Rosemary Wells, Leo Lionni, and Maurice Sendak.

Moreover, the exhibitions fall into particular sections: Facing Fears with Picture Books, Nura and the Enigma of Childhood, Collection Focus: Wendell Minor, Keeping up with Ed Emberly, and Black Voices: Picture Books as Antiracist Resources.

Your kids can even create their own picture book art at the museum.

The Art Studio also offers classes on crayon making, drawing from photographs, drawings with stamps, and more.

Spend the day at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!

Let the Kids Have Fun at Children’s Museum at Holyoke

Children’s Museum at Holyoke in Dwight Street, Holyoke, Massachusetts, is only a 19-minute drive from Hadley.

This museum aims to enhance your child’s education and cultural awareness with the use of arts.

Children’s Museum at Holyoke encourages the children’s parents to tag along and have fun with their little ones through the museum’s interactive programs and participatory exhibits.

Enjoy the View at Mount Holyoke Range State Park

Mount Holyoke Range State Park is a 3,000-acre state-owned park that boasts a seven-mile mountain ridge line.

This state park is on West Street, Amherst, Massachusetts, only a ten-minute drive from Hadley.

The trails at Mount Holyoke Range State Park are perfect for hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding.

Take a Tour of the Amherst History Museum

Amherst History Museum is a ten-minute drive from Hadley, located at Amity Street, Amherst.

This museum is home to decorative arts, agricultural tools, paintings, and other vital pieces from Amherst’s colonial past.

Founded in 1899, the Amherst History Museum opened in 1916, under the management of the Amherst Historical Society.

See Colorful Butterflies at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens

If you want to see beautiful and colorful butterflies, then Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens on Greenfield Road, South Deerfield, Massachusetts, is the place for you.

Just a 23-minute drive away from Hadley, this 8000-square-foot conservatory houses 4,000 free-flying butterflies from all over the world.

Moreover, reptiles, fishes, birds, frogs, and insects also thrive at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens.

Go for a Weekend Shopping at Atkins Farms Country Market

The Atkins Farms Country Market in West Street, Amherst, is just an eight-minute drive from Hadley.

This market offers an array of fresh produce and even delicious wedding cakes for your big day!

Atkins Farms Country Market also has an online store, so you can still get your favorite items in the comfort of your home.

Final Thoughts

Not everyone gets the chance to visit a place with everything you need, from museums, gyms, escape rooms, mountain trails, and shops, conveniently within your reach.

If you’re longing for a quick weekend getaway trip to relax your mind and treat yourself, Hadley should be on your top list!

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Hadley!


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