With breathtaking snowy peaks and charming countryside cabins at (or before) your doorstep, the Lakeville area is truly the heartthrob of romantic getaways. Whether you envision yourselves strolling down a snowy trail or you’d rather keep warm by a crackling fireplace, use our Litchfield Hills lovers’ guide to map out your couples’ escape to Connecticut.
The Outdoorsy Date: Snowshoe On Scenic Countryside Trails
No romantic escape to the Litchfield Hills is complete without taking in a beautiful mountainside view or two. Grab some snowshoes at Sportmen’s of Litchfield and meander through a series of winding trails at the White Memorial Conservation Center. For some uphill adventure, hike the Lion’s Head Trailhead in Salisbury — your journey to the top will be handsomely rewarded by a 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside (an undeniable Litchfield Hills photo-op for any duo).
The Extra-Mile Romantic Date: Gallop On A Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride
It may be a bit further afield, but Wood Acres Farm in Terryville is well worth the drive if you’d like to add some magical memories to your romantic getaway. With gorgeous views of snow-covered trees across 25 acres of wooded trails, snuggling up under a warm blanket on an old-fashioned Victorian sleigh is one of the most romantic things to do in Connecticut. (Plus, there’s a couple mugs of hot chocolate with your names on them in the warm and cozy Banquet Barn!)
The Movie Date: See A Flick At The Cozy Cinema
Just across the New York border, you can always count on the The Moviehouse in Millerton to screen a picture-perfect movie date. Snuggle up in front of the big screen at one of three intimate theaters showing blockbusters and independent films alike. After the credits roll, stop by their Gallery Café to sip on some Harney & Sons tea or coffee as you browse local artwork at the latest exhibit.
The Dinner Date: Dig Into A Delectable Dinner for Two
Love isn’t just in the air — you can find it on the plate at Morgan’s Restaurant! Nothing warms the heart and soul on a chilly winter’s night like a bowl of New England clam chowder, a enticing entree of grass-fed beef, or any of the other culinary delights from our flavorful fall-winter menu (to be paired with a couple glasses of fine wine, naturally).
When temperatures fall, spirits rise here in the Litchfield Hills — as do a mountain’s worth of Connecticut winter activities. Whether you’re embracing our scenic slopes and trails by way of sledding, trekking, and tubing, or keeping the family fun indoors at the theater or skating rink, use our winter activities guide to slide into a frosty fun-filled getaway in Connecticut.
Ways To Embrace Winter Wonders In The Litchfield Hills
Sledding / Snow Tubing
Rolling hills, a fresh blanket of snow… need we say more? A winter family getaway in the Connecticut countryside simply isn’t complete without taking a trip or twelve down a snow-covered hill. You don’t need to travel far to get your fill of downhill delights — head for the giant hill outside our Sunnyhouse House for a few post-snow day sled runs (and maybe a little snowman building while you’re at it!).
Skiing / Snowboarding
For many of us, it takes just one big drop in temperature before the skis make a triumphant return from the basement. Whether your comfort zone is on the bunny slopes or you have what it takes to tackle more advanced trails, the ski areas near Lakeville offer plenty of terrain to tempt all skill levels.
Snowshoeing / XC Skiing
Breathtaking countryside views abound in the Litchfield Hills draw in folks from far and wide for scenic snowshoeing. Embark on a winter hike or cross-country ski run along the Harlem Valley Rail Trail just next door in Millerton, or revel in wintry sights along over 35 miles of winding trails at White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield. If you don’t own your own pair of snowshoes, snag some rentals at Sportmen’s of Litchfield.
Ways To Keep Warm (And Entertained) In The Great Indoors
Catch A Show
When the frigid winter chill kicks up, why not kick back and enjoy a performance at a Lakeville area venue? Pick a flick at The Moviehouse in Millerton, which screens everything from feature films to independent projects (with an art gallery and café to boot). If you prefer music to movies, stop by Infinity Music Hall for a performances by nationally-renowned artists or an open mic night.
Indoor Ice Skating
We’re sorry for those who don’t like their neighbors, because we love ours — especially on public ice skating days! The Hotchkiss School runs indoor ice skating on most Saturdays in December, January, and February. If you need ice skate rentals, Backcountry Outfitters in Kent is your spot to grab them.
Spend A Day On Resort Grounds
Sometimes, extra-frosty winter weather simply calls for a stay-in day, and an all-Interlaken indoor itinerary is at the ready when that feeling strikes. Start by sinking your fork into a hearty New England breakfast at Morgan’s Restaurant, awaken your senses during the day at Ellora Spa & Sanctuary, and enjoy a family fun night in our downstairs game room — complete with board games, a pool table, and a wide-screen TV by the fireplace.
It doesn’t matter if you plan to embrace that invigorating winter breeze or if you’re more inclined to bundle up with a mug of hot chocolate — a stay at Interlaken Inn keeps you close to the best winter activities in Connecticut. (Keep an eye out for a winter package that fits your vision of a perfect countryside escape!)
If you’ve just begun brainstorming wedding theme ideas, don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a delightful dilemma of too many good choices. Don’t let the smorgasbord of selections stress you out. Take a deep breath and pry your eyes away from wedding photo galleries and you’ll see that the most suitable themes come from what makes your day truly unique — the two of you. Use our questionnaire to ignite some inspiration for your wedding theme (or narrow down your sure-to-be sizable “shortlist”).
1. Where Was Your First Meeting Or Date?
Think back to when you first met or spent a night out together. What was the scenery like? If any details from those surroundings stick out in your memory, consider ways to incorporate them into your decor or wedding favors. You can also consider the place of your proposal — go with whichever memories have made the most meaningful mark.
Taking a stroll down memory lane is also an excellent starting point for selecting a season for your wedding. We’ve seen winter weddings that take the festive form of Christmas and autumn weddings full of colorful fixtures resembling familiar sights of fall foliage.
2. What Are Your Fashion Senses Like?
Take a peek at the contents of your closets. This will help you realize your true stylistic preferences and point you in the direction of either a modern, casual, or sophisticated wedding theme. You’re also sure to notice a pattern in your most coveted colors — consider what you wear the most and start the mix-and-match process to see what catches your eye. From there, our wedding team can you help you pick a color palette that works well with our lake wedding venue and the season you have in mind for your big day.
3. Are There Any Cities Or Countries You’d Love to Visit (Or Already Have)?
If you’ve caught the couples’ strand of the travel bug, you may elect to journey down the road toward a travel-themed wedding. Center your menu and arrangements around a single country or bring a mixed bag, providing your guests with map-like stationary and “around-the-world” seating charts.
Here at Interlaken, we’ve seen many couples set up signposts pointing to their most desired destinations, each marked with the distance from our doors. We pride ourselves in our proximity to noteworthy cities and honeymoon spots — but even we have to admit, Antigua is a bit of an ambitious haul.
4. What Do You Have In Common?
It could be a love of art, a passion for horseback riding, or perhaps you both work in the same field. Many soon-to-be newlyweds put too much attention on aesthetics to realize that many creative visions come from the personal details. Draw a venn diagram if you have to — write down everything you have in common and see if any of your unique similarities can inspire some fresh wedding theme ideas. Here at Interlaken, we’ve seen everything from a succulent-spin on tabletop decor to a nerd-tastic wedding with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who sights in abundance (including a light-saber arch!).
If you still find yourself stuck on wedding theme ideas after putting yourself in the hotseat, try perusing our photo galleries or wedding packages. After all, when you’re trying to pick the perfect wedding theme, finding inspiration can be as simple as seeing the setup of a like-minded couple before you.
Skiers, we get it. When it comes to hitting the slopes, our northern New England neighbors tend to steal the show. Still, that’s no reason to consider Connecticut a drive-through state — we have our own superb selection of slopes. Pack up your ski poles and gear up for an outstanding family trip to one or more of these ski areas in the Litchfield Hills (and a few of our favorites just across state lines).
For Newbies: Mohawk Mountain (Cornwall, CT)
At about 20 minutes away, Mohawk Mountain is the closest Connecticut ski area to our front doors here at Interlaken. Don’t think the merits of this mountain end with proximity, however. For first-time riders, Mohawk Learning Center is just the ticket to get you started on the slopes — from the Snowhawks group instruction for kids to highly-acclaimed private lessons. They even offer a “parent-tot” program that gives moms and dads the tools to coach their little ones for a truly memorable family experience, proving that Mohawk has the perfect program to help anyone find their ski legs.
For A Variety Of Terrain: Catamount Ski Area (Hillsdale, NY)
If your crew is coming in as a mixed bag of experience levels, splitting off is the best way for each rider to enjoy an alpine adventure at their own pace. Catamount Ski Area has the widest variety of terrain — its 36 trails offer an even spread of difficulty levels, with 12 novice-level slopes, 13 intermediate, and 9 advanced. There are also two expert-level courses, one of which is the Catapult, the steepest run in the Berkshires. Having opened in 1939, Catamount Ski Area is also one of the oldest ski areas near Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills and is one of a few remaining family-owned ski areas near New England.
For Serious Riders: Butternut Basin Ski Area (Great Barrington, MA)
With 22 trails, two terrain parks, and a tubing area, Butternut Basin Ski Area is a fan favorite in the Berkshires. Over 80% of Butternut’s ski terrain is recommended for intermediate or expert-level riders, so if you’re no stranger to the slopes, put it on the top of your list for your Litchfield Hills area ski trip. In addition to top-notch trails, Butternut gives self-proclaimed ski bums a number of slope-centric groups and multi-week programs to partake in, such as Women’s Wednesdays, All-Mountain Explorers (for skiers learning to freeride), and an Advanced Freestyle Skiing program.
For Night Skiing: Ski Sundown (New Hartford, CT)
It’s a bit further afield, but to see your ski experience come full circle, take to Ski Sundown for some night skiing. If you’ve never been skiing under the stars, consider it a fresh feat from what you’re used to — the moonlit mountain, the snow sparkling under the lights, and the quiet evening air carries the sound of your edges. Out of Ski Sundown’s 16 trails, 15 light up after dusk until around 10 p.m., offering a more sizable selection for night skiing than Mohawk Mountain.
Whether you’re a pro in the snow or you’ve yet to pick up a pole, the ski areas in Connecticut and the surrounding slopes are fit for a fantastic ski vacation. If you’re looking to lodge in the Litchfield Hills, knock out two birds with one stone (or two slopes with one board?) using our ski and stay package to ride on one or more Connecticut ski areas.
If you’re daydreaming about saying “I do,” there may be visions of flower fields and sundresses dancing in your head — but don’t be too quick to dismiss the notion of a winter wedding. From postcard-worthy wintry backdrops to the plethora of countryside pastimes for your guests to enjoy, let these five offseason arguments warm you up to the idea of winter weddings in Connecticut.
1. They’re Really, Really Romantic
First thing’s first: it doesn’t get much more romantic than tying the knot surrounded by a sparkling winter wonderland. Take the stark beauty of a wintry lakefront and add some freshly-fallen snow, and you have yourself some very dramatic and breathtaking photo ops. Cross your fingers (and your toes) for some gentle snowfall in time for the big day!
2. A Winter Wedding + A Countryside Inn = A Perfect Match
The Litchfield Hills always look like they were pulled straight out of a storybook, but there’s something especially magical about them in the wintertime. When a blanket of snow rests atop those rustic cottages and townhouses, more hearts will be set aflutter than just the bride and groom’s. From gazing at the scenes outside to bundling up by a crackling fireplace indoors, it doesn’t take much to fall in love with the wintry Connecticut countryside.
3. There’s Plenty For Your Guests To Do (Perhaps Too Much)
Outside of being a superb spot for a winter wedding venue, there’s a lot to love about Lakeville activities in the winter. Save some room in your winter wedding itinerary for a group ski outing at Mohawk Mountain (just 20 minutes from our doors), or stay on solid footing with some snowshoeing on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. In the evening, keep cozy by seeing a show at one of three intimate cinemas within The Movie House or by stopping by Infinity Music Hall for a live performance.
4. Less Expensive, More Available
We all like to save a dime here and there, so it merits mention: winter weddings are notably less expensive than their peak season counterparts, and there’s far less competition for finding a fitting day. With that extra wiggle room in your wallet, you’ll be able to invest more in other areas, like overnight accommodations and a professional photographer — contact our wedding team for our top recommendations (which are twice as likely to have availability in the winter).
When the crisp autumn air starts to blow, we bust out more than just the cozy sweaters in the Litchfield Hills. A talented team of chefs, led by Executive Chef John Welch, modify the menu at our Morgan’s Restaurant to feature the fresh flavors of fall. From earthy root vegetables to tangy sauces, it’s easy to see why fall makes a foodie’s heart throb. Here are some of the autumn tastes you can savor with a visit to our restaurant in Connecticut.
1. New England Clam Chowder
Just because we’re not situated by the sea doesn’t mean we can’t pull off an authentic clam chowder. Chef Welch is a native Mainer himself, and no stranger to the New England staple. The fall-winter menu at Morgan’s features a chowder with a northwestern Connecticut twist, incorporating Applewood bacon, new potatoes, and fresh thyme from our backyard garden — it’s just the right way to kick-off off a dinner full of farm-to-table fare.
2. Marinated Grilled Vegetables
When in Rome, you do as the Romans do; when at a farm-to-table restaurant in Connecticut, you dig into delectable fall veggies. Our selection of off-the-grill ingredients includes local squash, carrots, onions, and earthy potatoes, all of which are sourced from our list of nearly two dozen local farm partners.
3. Stir Fry
A newer dish at Morgan’s (but an instant classic), our stir fry is comprised of sesame, soy, coconut rice, and of course, an eclectic mix of vegetables fresh off the farm. You can even cast your own star of the plate — protein it up with skirt steak or turf chicken from our neighbors at Q Farms over in Sharon, satisfy your seafood cravings with Pearl Island shrimp or diver sea scallops, or just keep it green with an all-veggie entree.
4. House Mash
What’s an autumn farm-to-table dinner without sinking your fork into some spuds? Along with the rest of our ingredients, we source our potatoes from farm partners throughout the Litchfield Hills, fitting for our homestyle house seasoning with fresh garden herbs. You won’t go wrong electing to order our house mash as a side to any main course, but popular pairings include Q Farms cut of the day and diver sea scallops.
If you’re like us, it only takes a two-second drive past a cornfield and those childhood memories come flooding back. Racing through a rustling corn maze is a favorite fall activity in New England, and whether your family is seasoned in conquering corny corridors or you’re scouting for your first one, let loose at one of these corn mazes in northwestern Connecticut (or a close neighbor).
1. Ellsworth Hill Orchard & Berry Farm (Sharon, CT)
Located right next door in Sharon, the corn maze at Ellsworth Hill Orchard & Berry Farm is the closest to us here at Interlaken. Keep your eyes on the prize — you’ll still catch glimpses of those legendary Litchfield Hills at some angles while you’re searching for the right turn. After you’ve mastered the maze, keep the family fun chuggin’ along on a hayride tour of the enormous pick-your-own apple orchard and berry farm, and head back to the farmhouse for a celebratory snack of cider donuts and fresh-pressed cider from the mill.
2. Bunnell Farm (Litchfield, CT)
Bunnell Farm over in Litchfield touts a tricky, custom-made corn maze fit for all ages. Each October, Bunnell embraces the spooky spirit by inviting you to stop by after sundown and find your way out of a flashlight maze. You won’t see anything seriously scary beyond the dark of the night, so it’s suitable for even the youngest maze-solvers. Head to the farm on the weekend and you’ll also get to hop on a free hayride to a pick-your-own pumpkin patch.
3. Kesicke Farm (Rhinebeck, NY)
Alright, so we’re bending the rules a bit... but Kesicke Farm, just across the New York border in Rhinebeck, deserves a spot right next to our favorite Connecticut corn mazes. If you’re thinking of taking any tots to the Litchfield Hills, Kesicke is for you. Kids who aren’t quite big enough to meet the challenge of a corn maze can take a wagon ride through the passageways. It’s also the only farm around to feature a barn full of lively farm animals, so it’s well worth a trip across the New York/Connecticut border to add some goat-feeding and pig-petting to your itinerary.
4. Hayes Corn Maze (North Granby, CT)
It’s a little further afield, but Hayes Corn Maze over in North Granby is well worth the detour if you’re on the hunt for a larger labyrinth. Tackle the maze in one of two ways: a standard puzzle of running from point A to point B, or by taking on the “Maze Master” Challenge, where teams seek out six stations hidden within the maze, each with its own puzzle to solve. Don’t expect a cookie-cutter maze, either — each year, the maze-makers push the creative bar higher by carving a distinct design into their fields. In 2017, their maze resembled a slice of Domino’s Pizza.
Racing through corn-husk havens is a sure-fire way to get your fix of family fun, but there are far more fall attractions waiting in the Litchfield Hills. Solve all of these northwestern Connecticut corn mazes and dive into more countryside attractions during a stay here at Interlaken Inn — we’re easier to find than the other end of a corn maze, promise.