Upcoming Events In Western Mass

We strive to post the most current and accurate event information but changes and cancellations do occur so please check the official event website to confirm all details.

When you think back to some of your favorite childhood moments, very few of them probably happened when you were sitting at home watching TV. Instead, your most poignant memories probably revolve around that time you ended up with the home run ball at a baseball game, and the crowd cheered and you felt like a rock star, or at least like Babe Ruth.

Or maybe it was that time your family attended The Big E together and your dad bought you cotton candy and let you get all sticky-faced, and you watched your mom beat the midway games, and you felt like your heart was going to overflow with contentment and happiness.

In Western Massachusetts, events bring us together to celebrate our successes and recollect on our heritage. We’ve put together a list of some of the top yearly events in Massachusetts, things we and our local friends love doing to feel connected to our area and our community.

Top Yearly Western Massachusetts Events

Because of the beautiful area where we live, there are distinct Western Massachusetts-specific events that take place in each and every season. From leaf peeping in the fall to river rafting in the spring to skiing in the winter, you can find a wide range of things to do throughout the year, and some of our local events reflect the joyous beauty of our seasons.

Top Western Massachusetts Events for Spring

Springfield Annual Pancake Breakfast

Does anything scream “neighborly get-together more than a pancake breakfast? If your mouth is already watering over the thought of fluffy, buttery, syrupy goodness, you’re not going to want to miss the Springfield Annual Pancake Breakfast, typically hosted in May in downtown Springfield.

Bring your appetite, because it’s billed as the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, and be ready to feast on both good food and friendly conversation.

Paradise City Arts Festival (Northampton)

This Paradise City Arts Festival is ranked among the best in the country, and includes exhibits from more than 250 artists in all mediums. Artists flock to Western Massachusetts from around the country to be part of this visually dazzling display.

Come out to enjoy the weather that’s not quite summer, not quite spring, and stay to buy way too much from the vast selection of contemporary art pieces on display.

Brimfield Outdoor Antique Show

With spring in the air, you’ll want to get out and enjoy the largest outdoor antique and collectible show in the country. The Brimfield Outdoor Antique Show features over 5000 dealers throughout the quaint country town of Brimfield. And once is never enough – they do this in July and September, too!

Top Western Massachusetts Events for Summer

Baseball Season Opening Night

Baseball is the quintessential American pastime, and there’s really nothing that can top the nostalgia of being present on opening night.

The Westfield Starfires and Valley Blue Sox will kick off their seasons right at the start of the summer, and both promise to bring plenty of excitement to the community. Be sure you arrive ahead of gametime to root, root, root for the home team.

Yankee Candle Christmas in July

We love the unforgettable scents of the holiday season. Fir and balsam, spicy gingerbread, warm apple cider – the list could go on and on.

So naturally, Christmas in July is a must. At the flagship Yankee Candle Village, you can enjoy the holiday season, snap selfies with Santa (who might have traded in his traditional red velvet for a more relaxed Hawaiian shirt vibe) and enjoy crafting with Mrs. Claus.

It’s just what you need to get a little dose of holiday spirit and deal with the fact that you probably won’t be decorating your tree for at least a couple more months.

Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement

Meet Basketball’s best in the birthplace of the sport! Each summer, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrines the best in the sport in Springfield. Rub elbows with the greatest to play the game and save time for a tour of the Hoop Hall.

Top Western Massachusetts Events for Fall

The Big E

Would this even be a reliable listing of Western Massachusetts events if The Big E weren’t included? The community gathering, more formally known as the Eastern States Exposition, is the biggest and best county fair you could imagine.

Every fall, The Big E brings together amazing food, parades, musical entertainment, agricultural exhibitions, car shows and more. There’s so much to see, do and taste – you’ll need more than one day to fully enjoy all The Big E has to offer.

Six Flags New England’s Fright Fest

Each autumn, Six Flags New England transforms into a fright-filled funzone for teens and adults. You’ll find scary shows, walk-through attractions and thrill rides that make the most of the season.

Top Western Massachusetts Events for Winter

Springfield Thunderbirds

The Springfield Thunderbirds are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League affiliated with the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues. Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Thunderbirds play their home games at the MassMutual Center.

springfieldthunderbirds.com

Springfield, Parade of the Big Balloons

Can’t quite make it to New York City for the Thanksgiving parade? We’ve got you covered, with the Parade of the Big Balloons in downtown Springfield.

Enjoy bands, community gatherings and balloons that represent the best Western Mass has to offer – our favorite is definitely the 75-foot Cat in the Hat balloon.

Bright Nights at Forest Park

Holiday memories are made at Bright Nights at Forest Park. It’s just not the holiday season until you’ve driven through this holiday lighting extravaganza! Look for Santa’s Magical Forest, Dinosaur World and Seuss Land – it’ll become an annual tradition after the first mile.

Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Run, walk or float over to the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This celebration of Irish heritage brings more than 400,000 guests to the community for a parade, music, food and fun.

It also includes traditional performances by the Holyoke Caledonian Pipe Band and the Road Race, Western New England’s largest race (featuring a 10k, a 2 mile walk and a Kids Fun Run).

Community events help us to celebrate what we have in common – a love of the arts, of sport, of nature. The human connection these events create is so important to both mental and physical well-being.

If you’d like to learn more about these community events and dozens of others coming up in Western Mass, or about the top yearly events in Massachusetts, check out our Events listings and customize a schedule just for you. Or, contact us, and let our team of knowledgeable locals help you prepare for a fun and unforgettable Western Mass adventure.

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Northfield Mountain, Fall Hike

November 6 - November 17

National Hiking Day is November 17. Also known as “Take A Hike Day,” it may be one of the most important holidays out there. Why? For starters, there’s more than 60,000 miles of trails across the nation. Not to mention, hiking is great exercise allowing you to burn over 550 calories per hour. Plus, being in the outdoors allows you to get away from your phone and appreciate nature’s beauty and wonder. 

November’s hike of the month climbs steadily uphill to the summit of Hill 1050 with views of our Upper Reservoir and beyond. Wide forested trails and a pedestrian friendly paved road allow hikers to keep their heartbeat up while easily social distancing. Highlights along the way include a porcupine den amongst tumbled rocks where Sugarbush and Hemlock Hill intersect and abandoned stone quarries tucked along-side Hemlock Hill below Rock Oak Ramble. Keep an eye out for parallel finger-size grooves drilled into the rock centuries ago.

Before heading out for this 4 mile round trip adventure be sure to click here to download a trail map or take a photo of the map posted on the Visitor Center doors. From the pond behind the Center follow blue diamonds marking the Hidden Quarry Trail. At the opening under the power lines continue up Hemlock Hill to Reservoir Road. Follow the paved route to the summit. Just after the road bends sharply to the right is a grassy knoll on your left providing a spot to rest and enjoy the view at 1050 feet above sea level. Retrace your steps back to the Center or add an extra 1/2 mile and follow the paved road down to the intersection with Tooleybush in Fullers Pasture. Brisk temperatures and sunlit scarlet and russet oak leaves make late fall a great time to walk in the woods.

temp northfield hike

The late autumn shades of oak leaves provide welcome color to a changing landscape.  Long after maple trees are bare, oaks still celebrate the glory of fall. More subdued than the fiery blaze of October’s foliage, oak leaves come in a range of colors.  From deep red to purple, from gold to brown, these warm earth tones contrast with the green pines, stone walls and gray boulders dotting the landscape.  As an added bonus, beeches and oaks often keep their leaves during the cold months, offering our winter landscape a touch of bronze and brown.

Click here to download our latest scavenger hunt. Search for clues about what is happening in the natural world in late autumn as animals prepare for winter. Will you find signs that animals have dined on pine cones and acorns? A leaf that an insect has nibbled? A place for an animal to hide? Enjoy a family walk on our trails or in your neighborhood as you hone your nature detective skills. Download and go and most importantly, have fun being outside together!

HISTORY OF NATIONAL HIKING DAY

Hiking wasn’t always the fashionable pastime it is today. Before the Subarus and the Jeeps and the Patagonias built an industry around the activity, walking – of any kind – was considered an activity for the impoverished or the vagrant. Until the Romantic era of the Victorian years inspired the likes of Walden and Thoreau to reconnect with nature and that, in turn, inspired the landscape architects to design parks with excellent walking trails (looking at you Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park fame). Walking then became something of the educated, the unhurried, the luxurious. 
Until John Muir came along and walked his way through the Sierra Nevadas in California and demanded that not only hiking, walking, meandering, sojourning, whatever you want to call it be accessible to every American citizen, but that the country should actively preserve natural areas of pristine ecology and beauty. So in 1890 he petitioned for the creation of the National Park System and we were endowed with “America’s best idea” – Yosemite and Sequoia National Park. 
But even before Muir, on the east coast a small group of people had banded together in 1876 to form the Appalachian Mountain Club, which had a goal to protect and preserve all hiking trails along the historic mountain range, as well as develop new ones. 
So whether you prefer to hit the jogging trails in Central Park or are prepping to backpack the entire Pacific Crest Trail, every step on a trail is with a long line of explorers, trailblazers, and activists from before. 

Details

Start:
November 6
End:
November 17
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/northfieldmountain/

Venue

Northfield Mountain Recreation & Environmental Center
99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63
Northfield, MA 01360
+ Google Map
Phone:
(800) 859-2960
Website:
https://www.firstlightpower.com/recreation/