All in a Day’s Work…

Someone asked us the other day, did we imagine what our life would be like as Innkeepers of Mad River Barn? And we can honestly say…we had no idea! We’re thrilled the Mad River Valley community has embraced our family, and that our guests feel we’ve honored the long-standing iconic Mad River Barn through thoughtful renovations.  Did we imagine becoming such a popular spot? Not at all…but we are  working hard to make sure your experience at our inn and restaurant is one you will remember fondly. So, with our amazing staff, we run around all day making sure we’re ready for your visit!  All in a day’s work is not very glamorous…but it’s our happy life :)

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How does that fire stay so cozy and warm?


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With Andy stacking wood, that’s how!  What is the saying about using firewood– you get warm three times… by cutting it, by stacking it, and by using it. Thankfully, we only have to stack and enjoy!  Oh and bring up the back stairs… Well, if Andy gest thirsty, he knows where to go!

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I work an outside job during the day (unrelated to the Inn/Restaurant), so most of my help is after business hours and on weekends… including lots of folding! I’m telling you… if you have to fold laundry, let it be towels!


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Keeping the walkway free and clear, as much as you can in the winters in Vermont.

working in the office

Don’t look at the messy desk, Andy just came in from working outside…He is checking reservations, phone messages and emails…and then probably a soccer game score.


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Let’s talk about some fringe benefits here. Besides making our own schedule (mostly),  setting our meeting locations is key.  Meetings in the Pub are very serious business indeed!

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Please, please, put a star on our report card… oh, never mind, we already got one! It is in the backyard :) (Kindly donated by the Haughton family–thanks guys!)



Our Best, Heather and Andrew

P.S. If we’re not hard at work, look for us on the trails in the backyard, having lunch in town, on the slopes or in the pub having dinner with friends :)



Outside Magazine and Vermont Life…

Oh my goodness… you guys are making us blush! We can’t believe both these amazing magazines, Outside Magazine and Vermont Life have done SHOUT OUTS about the Mad River Barn (red cheeks burning). We love it!

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Outside Magazine, the leading global active lifestyle brand magazine, is talking about Mad River in their latest issue, mentioning you could “bunk” up at our refurbished Mad River Barn. Well…you sure can! Big thank you to Outside Magazine, what an honor!

Bunk Rooms at Mad River Barn

If you haven’t check out our “BUNK” rooms, please do.  We have two rooms with six single beds in each, that are perfect for groups of friends traveling together or if you are traveling alone and don’t mind sharing a room.  We are one of the few places in Vermont to still have a hostel style place where you rent by the “bed”. Breakfast is included.

Vermont Life Magazine’s  winter issue (great cover by the way) mentions the Mad River Barn as a great Après-Ski location to eat, drink and be merry! Again, pinch us…Okay…that’s enough.

cover of winter issue of Vermont Life Magazine

Vermont Life Magazine an incredible quarterly publication, that has been covering amazing stories about Vermont’s people, place and culture since 1946, is considered one of America’s premier regional magazines. If you’ve read their stories, you’ll agree!  BIG Vermont thank them for the recognition.

Steak Dinner at Mad River Barn

Not only do with love the Apres-ski crowd but we serve some might fine dinners that can be eaten in the pub, game room or dining room. Here is an iphone picture a guest sent us from their meal sitting at the bar. They said it was one of the best steak’s they have ever had! We are so happy to hear that. We highly recommend a reservation for dinner…there are nights we get so busy…we would hate you to miss out…especially if you want to eat in the dining room.

We’ve  had great press — thanks and we heard there was another cool article along the way– we can’t wait to share that with you as well.  We so appreciate the kind words and making us blush!

Our Best, Heather and Andrew


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Making the Most of Your Special Event

Though we have only been open a year since our major renovation, Mad River Barn has become a destination spot for special events, including weddings, rehearsal dinners and birthday parties. We are honored.  We put together an EVENTS PAGE on our website to give you more details about what we offer. We also wanted to give you our thoughts on a few things you must remember when planning a special event. Hope they help.

The tent on the lawn at Mad River Barn Wedding Reception Site

1. What kind of event do you want to have? Will it be casual, rustic, formal, country, sit down meals, buffet…? The answers to these questions will help you decide on the best place for you. For example, The Mad River Barn can do sit down meals for around 70 people inside (perfect for a birthday party or rehearsal dinner) but for a larger group of people, you’ll want to have a tented affair on our expansive backyard.  If you are looking for a formal event, the best venues will be hotels and resorts that have banquet rooms, especially built for those types of events. So…once you decide on the type of event, you can narrow down the location.

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Appetizers? Sit Down Meal? Buffett? Understanding your budget will help you with this decisions.

2. What’s your budget. There are a lot of little details that can add up. Are you picking up people from the airport, are you giving gifts to all out of town visitors, are you having an open bar…get some estimates on costs of locations, catering, services, cars and more.

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Give a friend the task of making sure the cake is set up just the way you want it.

3. Give everyone some jobs. To try and manage an event by yourself is tough. Delegate if you can.

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Hanging flowers, vintage pictures, Celtic dancing… What are your family traditions?

4. Are there some family traditions you’d like to add? Grandma might really like to have a tradition brought into play. Or maybe it is a slideshow of family pictures on a big screen…it is things like this that make the event truly special.

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A DIY table setting by Joanne Palmisano, our designer, for DIY NETWORK

5. Don’t get overwhelmed or stressed, take one piece at a time, keep it fun and it will go smoothly. Remember, your special event is about being together and memories, so that should always be at the top of your checklist.

Rehearsal Dinner Details

Special details like this can be added to your checklist.

6. Put together a detailed checklist. This way, you won’t forget anything.  The location, the cake, the music, the rooms, the food…everything. Make sure you have all the contact information, and confirm everything a day or two before the event. Don’t just assume it, better to be sure, than have someone forget.  That way, event day will be more relaxing and flow more smoothly.


This room at Mad River Barn is perfect for a family. What kind of lodging do your guests need?

7. Give your guests a list of accommodations, car rental information and things to do in the area and then let them take it from there. If you have blocked out some rooms, they can call with your name and get themselves on the list.

David and Eileens Wedding at Mad River Barn Vermont

Your special event is really about people and being together.

8. Have fun…remember, you are planning an event in Vermont, because you love the beautiful, atmosphere and relaxed setting a country inn can give you.  Go with the flow and you will have amazing memories of your special event.

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We wish you the best in planning your special event.

Don’t forget to check out what some folks have said about having an event at Mad River Barn.

Have fun planning! Heather and Andrew


What Else is There to Do Besides Skiing?

We know we all love to ski in the winter and what better place than in the Mad River Valley and Sugarbush area where we have three mountains to choose from, plus all the backcountry and cross country trails. But sometimes, we like to try something different, or just need a down day to recover from an invigorating day on the slopes.  So what are our other options? Well…here are a few to choose from!


Go Ride a Horse…That’s right we have the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm right here in Waitsfield, Vermont.  They are open year-round (whether permitting and trail condition permitting). Great for beginners and experienced riders alike. Give them a call and go for a ride.


Take a Sleigh Ride…While we are still on the topic of horses, you can also enjoy a sleigh ride.  There are at least 3 locations within 20 minutes of us that have great sleigh rides.


Go Ice Skating…Right in the center of town is an outdoor skating rink. Strap on your skates (or rent them there) and bring out your inner ice dancer…or hockey pro (they have a side for each).

Sledding…What is a trip to Vermont without a little sliding (yes, we say sliding, not sledding). There are some local hills that you can gather up some speed on, including in our very own backyard.  We have a couple of sleds you can borrow, if you don’t have your own.


Snowshoeing…Not only is there snowshoeing, there is also full-moon snowshoeing. You can once again, head out back of the Mad River Barn, and head out into the woods. Or you can do guided or self-guided at Sugarbush within their trail system. You can check out snow shoe dinners at the Round Barn Farm… or you can see what over cool snowshoe events (and more) are happening on the Mad River Ski Area Events Calendar.

Swimming…Sometimes in Vermont, we just need to feel a little bit of warm water around us, so we like to hit the pool. You can do that at the Sugarbush Health & Racquet Club (at day guest rate) or even at The Bridges Resort where you can be a Guest for a Day, where you can use the gym and the pools. They even have a frequent fan membership which is a 10-punch pass.

Rock Climb, Yoga or Workout… Sugarbush Health and Racquet Club has more than a pool, they have Yoga, a Rock Climbing Wall and other fitness class. The Bridges Resort also has yoga and work out class as well. Look into these fun activities as well!


Knitting…All this talk about swimming, rock climbing and skating, has got us thinking about sitting down and relaxing.  Have a knitting project you want to work on or you want to take a lesson to learn how, look no further than Shades of Winter Yarn Shop in the Village Square Shopping Center in Waitsfield.  They have a table and comfy chairs for you to hang out in and work on your knitting. Learn to knit lessons are upon request, so give them a call.


Cooking…The Kitchen at the Store offers a variety of opportunities to learn. From basic knife skills to classes on cake, soup, everyday cooking to global cuisine. You can take one of the classes they offer or create your own private or small group class on a topic you would like. Whether you’re a beginner or a great cook, they will show you a great time and how to make great food.


Hang out in a Coffee Shop…We have The Three Mountain Café, The Sweet Spot, and then just down the road in Warren, is the Warren Store (a fun place to check out). Bring a book from our bookshelf in our lobby, or grab one on the way at the Tempest Book Shop in town.

Shopping… From Warren to Waterbury, we have some of the best boutique shopping around. Clothes, accessories, foods, furniture, custom made Vermont products, antiques, second-hand shops and much more… Start in Waterbury and work you’re way back to Warren and you can spend a full day (or two) checking it all out!

Tired from all this fun stuff to do? We think a massage would help. There are many locations to get one, including Mad River Massage. Then just come hang out in our game room and pub and watch a game on television or play a game of scrabble with a friend. :)

Here’s to doing nothing but relaxing!

Our Best, Heather and Andrew