It was pitch black outside with only a few lamps lit as we hopped on the wooden carriage and quickly huddled under the blankets. It had to have been about 20 degrees that night but the frigid air didn’t cool down our excitement. The horses were getting antsy — they wanted to be on their way, as they shifted back and forth, causing the bells on their straps to jingle.
With a quick “everyone all set?” and a loud cheer of “yes,” the wooden carriage slid across the snow, past barns full of sheep, and into a small opening in the woods.
Quickly, we were surrounded by sky high trees, as we zoomed on through the forest. Not a sound could be heard, except for the noises from the horses, pulling us deeper into the woods. And as 20 minutes go by, I think that we can’t be much farther. Lo and behold, a small cabin comes in view, with a tiny window dispersing the warm light of the fire.
As we pull up and jump off the sleigh, we run inside for a warm hot chocolate. We had made it on that freezing night, to the cabin in the woods, ready to play a quick game of chess and listen to the sound of the player piano….
Now, 15 years later, I’m back on that sleigh, but not as quiet as before, as my friends and I pull out a bottle of wine and cheers to our good fortune of being together, the beginning of a very fun night.
Where are we, you ask? On Wilmington, Vermont’s 150-year-old own Adams Farm.
Growing up, my family frequently traveled to Wilmington, where we spent our weekends skiing down Mount Snow, just a few miles down the street. Like most children, when you hear there’s a petting farm in town, it soon becomes your favorite place to visit.
When celebrating New Year’s Eve with family and friends one year, a suggestion was made: “How about we round up the kids and go on one of Adams Farms’ nightly sleigh rides?” Little did they know then that it would be one of my favorite childhood memories, as we pulled up to the farm and hopped on the sled.
A decade later, I’m still raving about the ride through the woods, where I learned about how the farm makes maple syrup from the very trees we passed… that a player piano is actually quite difficult to play… that nothing tastes better than hot chocolate on a freezing night… and that sometimes the best memories are made when you put down your phones, your laptops, your e-readers and experience just an hour or two outside with your friends.
To learn more, visit the Adams Farm website: www.adamsfamilyfarm.com
- Sleigh rides last about an hour and a half
- Each sleigh holds about 15 people
- Rides available every day – check website for times
- Adult tickets: $22
- Child tickets: $12