Things To Do / Tourist Attractions
There are tons of great things to do in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. These top attractions are perennial favorites among all ages!
Yankee Candle Company
Routes 5 & 10, South Deerfield, MA
(413) 665-2929 / (877) 636-7707
More than 2 million people visit Yankee Candle Company's flagship store in South Deerfield each year. The Scenter of New England will delight candle lovers everywhere with more than 160 scents to choose from in their Sampler Emporium. New additions include Wax Works, an interactive feature where guests can make their own jar candles, wax hand sculptures and more, the Perscentality board, which allows visitors to see which scents are bound to appeal to them, based on their personality traits, and the Fragrance Mixology section, where shoppers learn how to create their own custom wax blend.
The whole family will also enjoy the magic of the Bavarian Christmas Village, which includes the Black Forest, the Village Square with its quaint shops, the Nutcracker Castle and Santa's Toy Factory. Other delights include Kringle Market, the animatronic Candle Mountain Boys at the Candle Mountain Lodge and the Candlemaking Museum. Fine dining is just steps away at Chandler's Restaurant, "New England's Most Fulfilling Dining Experience" (New York Post), for award-winning cuisine and unequaled New England hospitality.
Six Flags New England
1623 Main Street, Agawam, MA
(877) 4-SIX FLAGS
Six Flags New England has over 100 rides, shows, attractions and New England’s largest water park, Hurricane Harbor. New in 2015, is the intense Wicked Cyclone hybrid coaster! This innovative attraction will be the 11th coaster to join the Coaster Capital of New England with the classic thrills of a wooden coaster and the speed of steel track. Don’t miss the New England SkyScreamer - the tallest of its kind in the world, lifting you 400 feet in the air, swinging you around at 35 miles per hour and providing stomach-churning spins along with breathtaking views.
With something for everyone, children can play in one of the four kids’ areas. These rides spin, fly and take kids on journeys that are perfect for their age. Experience New England’s largest Halloween attraction Fright Fest, as the property provides Thrills by Day and Fright by Night weekends in the fall. Visit sixflags.com/newengland for more information.
The Big E / Eastern States Exposition
1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA
The Big E, New England's largest Fair, takes place every autumn on the grounds of West Springfield's Eastern States Exposition. For 17 days, attendees stroll the 175-acre grounds and enjoy world-class performers, agricultural exhibitions and competitions, horse shows, an authentic Mardi Gras parade, a big-top circus, a wide array of foods and shopping options, and so much more. When the Fair leaves town, the grounds host more than 100 annual shows including craft, collectibles, horse, dog, hobby, home, sporting, and trade, drawing more than 800,000 people. Storrowton Village Museum is open for public tours from June through August and offers, tours and programs for school groups.
The Springfield Museums
220 State Street, Springfield, MA
Set around a tree-lined quadrangle, the five world-class museums that comprise the Springfield Museums provide visitors with a wealth of exciting imagery and inspirational artwork. The Museum of Fine Arts, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum and the Museum of Springfield History. The quadrangle is also home to the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden, a series of full-scale bronze sculptures of Dr. Seuss's whimsical creations, honoring the birthplace of Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. For one admission price, visitors can enjoy all five Springfield Museums and the Dr. Seuss Park.
Bright Nights at Forest Park
Sumner Avenue, Route 83, Springfield, MA
Named one of America's Top Attractions by the American Bus Association, Bright Nights in Forest Park is a 2.5 mile-long holiday light extravaganza that attracts visitors from all corners of the globe. More than 500,000 twinkling lights are part of this unique attraction, which takes place from the Friday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after New Year's Day. Highlights include Toy Land, North Pole Village, Seuss Land and dozens of other holiday scenes.
CityStage / Symphony Hall
One Columbus Center / Court Street, Springfield, MA
Business Office: (413) 788-7646 / Box Office: (413) 788-7033
Pioneer Valley residents can enjoy Broadway-style theater, top concerts and performances and internationally-recognized speakers at CityStage and Symphony Hall. Together, both venues make Springfield shine as a destination for live theater. The 2,611-seat Symphony Hall was built in the early 1900s and recently underwent an extensive renovation. CityStage, Springfield's professional, not-for-profit theater, presents off-Broadway comedies, dramas and musicals from October through April in the intimate, 487-seat Blake Theatre; while the 70-seat Winifred Arms Theatre is host to numerous community events, performances and meetings.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
1000 West Columbus Avenue, Springfield, MA
One of the world's most beloved sports is lovingly enshrined at the 80,000 sq. ft. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Fans of the sport can see its history come alive with a series of interactive exhibits and rare artifacts. Springfield native Dr. James Naismith's first concept of the sport involved a peach basket, and its subsequent evolution is detailed, step-by-step. Guests can shoot baskets, play virtual reality and video games, try their hand at being a sportscaster, test their trivia knowledge and so much more.
Brimfield Outdoor Antique Shows
Route 20, Brimfield, MA
For info, contact the Quaboag Valley Chamber of Commerce at (413) 283-2418 or the Brimfield Show Promoters' Association at (413-283-6149)
Every May, July and September, antique lovers from around the globe converge on the small town of Brimfield to participate in the Brimfield Outdoor Antique Shows, the world's largest outdoor antique exhibit. Items of every size, shape and value are bought and sold at this sprawling event, which takes place along a significant stretch of Route 20.
The Zoo at Forest Park
Sumner Avenue, Route 83, Springfield, MA
More than 200 domestic and exotic animals can be found at the Zoo at Forest Park. Visitors can talk to a variety of animals, including monkeys, bears, llamas, goats, kangaroos, emus, cougars, wolves, lemurs and a playful leopard. The attraction also offers Zoo on the Go, private birthday parties and a variety of educational programs that reinforce its mission of promoting public awareness and appreciation for indigenous and exotic animals.