One of the largest cities in Massachusetts, Springfield has a lot to draw visitors in. From the historical to the fresh and current, Springfield is an excellent vacation destination for anyone looking to explore and enjoy this interesting urban hub of the Pioneer Valley.
Buckle up, because it’s time to check out the best things to do in Springfield, Massachusetts!
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Named after James Naismith, the inventor of the sport, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a must-visit spot for anyone even remotely interested in the game! You’ll find over 40,000 sq feet of basketball history and memorials for the greatest stars the game has seen so far.
There are even interactive exhibits and the chance to test your skills on the “Court of Dreams.” If you’re going to visit the “city where basketball was born,” you should probably visit the place that can tell you all about it!
Regionally renowned for its stunning natural acoustics, Symphony Hall is a gorgeous historic theatre and event hall that continues to draw in big crowds for major shows and events and is the performance home of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Check in to see the upcoming performances scheduled so you can experience the phenomenal acoustics and visual aesthetics for yourself!
The Springfield Museums
The Springfield Museums block offers access to several of Springfield’s most popular museums at a central downtown location, with the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, Springfield Science Museum, Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, and The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. A day spent museum-hopping cannot possibly be more convenient than this!
After exploring the museums, stop by one of the best Springfield restaurants afterward.
The Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center
Home to 200+ native and non-native species, The Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center specializes in wildlife education, conservation, and rehabilitation efforts. There is even a petting zoo exhibit for those that like a closer, hands-on interaction. The animals at The Zoo in Forest Park are waiting for you to stop by and say hello!
Six Flags New England
Technically located in Agawam, a suburb of Springfield, Six Flags New England is one of the best things to do in the greater Springfield area for those in need of a day at play! There’s something for everyone, with thrill rides, water rides, family rides, and kid rides, and live shows, games, attractions, shopping, and dining options. Sometimes the only way to decompress from your day to day grind is to spend a fun and thrilling day at the amusement park!
Springfield Armory is a national historic site and the first armory in the United States of America. A veritable treasure trove of American military history, specifically military arms production, the armory houses the largest US military small arms collection, including exhibits and artifacts that tell about the role of the Springfield Armory in pivotal moments of US military history. Even non-military buffs will find a visit to the armory an interesting one!
Yes, there are plenty of options for where to stay in Springfield, but a stay at MGM Springfield is an all-in-one entertainment destination! Stay in a room or a suite, either way, you have access to the onsite amenities like the full-service spa, salon, fitness center, pool, arcade, bowling alley, movie theater, shopping, restaurants, and of course, options for play at the tables or the slots. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop destination, MGM Springfield might be the perfect spot for you!
The MassMutual Center is a huge downtown event space with an 8,000-seat arena where you can see a wide variety of entertainment and sporting events, competitions, and speakers. The Springfield Thunderbirds, Springfield’s own professional ice hockey team, also call the MassMutual Center home and are a regular feature on the calendar. Follow the events calendar to see what’s coming up next!
The Eastern States Exposition
Known locally as The Big E, this annual autumn event is held just across the river in West Springfield and is sometimes referred to as “New England’s Great State Fair.” In addition to the big entertainment and agricultural events that define The Big E, it is also the home of Storrowton Village Museum, open year-round providing a glimpse into 18th and 19th century living with a recreated village green that features a blacksmith shop, a meeting house, a school, a tavern, and more.
In addition to the main event of The Big E, you’ll find events happening year-round out at the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition!
One of Springfield’s most gorgeous green spaces, Forest Park is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. With ponds, a lake, an amphitheater, picnic areas, gardens, and walking trails, there is ample space to stretch your legs and soak in some of the peaceful surroundings at this gorgeous park.
Events like Concerts in the Park happen year-round, but a visit during the winter holidays will show you Bright Nights, the holiday attraction that lights up the park with festive holiday lights. Bright Nights or no, there’s plenty to enjoy at Forest Park throughout the year.
Springfield is also less than a half hour’s drive from Northampton, the home of Smith College, where you can find all kinds of cool college town things to do, including sampling the goods at the local coffee shops. Massachusetts has plenty of great places to visit, be sure Springfield is on that list!
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Amy is the founder of New England with love. A proud Vermonter, she hopes to share her love of New England and help you find the best adventures in the region. Amy is also blogger/founder at Two Drifters, where she writes alongside her husband about romantic and couples travel, relationships, honeymoons, and more. When not working on websites, Amy is probably reading, cuddling with her husband, son, and cats, & drinking a maple latte.