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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Springfield Museums, Exhibits

September 7 - September 12

LAST WEEK!! Constructing Poetry: Sculptural Work by Don Gummer, May 1 –September 12. Wild Kratts: Creature Power, May 29 – September 12. 

Constructing Poetry: Sculptural Work by Don Gummer

May 1, 2021–September 12, 2021

Simultaneously formal and lyrical, constructed and poetic, Don Gummer’s three-dimensional works explore ideas about balance, stability, energy, and space. Best known for abstract, large-scale sculptures that seem to reach, swirl, or expand upward, Gummer has long been invested in creating pieces with presence. Influenced by the structured beauty of floorplans, the artist began a series of large, wooden wall reliefs in the early 1970s. This early project has become a lifelong pursuit, and his ongoing series of reliefs often reimagine architectural plans by placing the schematics of one building on top of another. In the 1980s and 1990s, Gummer’s work expanded in scale and material as he began to design free-standing sculptures that incorporated various metals and stained glass. Today, Gummer’s works can be found in numerous public collections and have been displayed in locations from Massachusetts to Japan.

Two sculptures by Don Gummer

This exhibition will feature large-scale sculpture as well as wall reliefs and maquettes from four decades of the artist’s career. Visitors to the Starr and Alpert Galleries are invited to explore Gummer’s interest in the act of construction and spatial relationships by viewing wooden wall reliefs created between 1977 and 2021. The exhibition will premiere the artist’s newest work, titled Colosseum, along with a preparatory drawing that provides insight into Gummer’s artistic process. Outside, on the Museums’ grounds, large sculptural works will enliven the green space and engage in a dialogue with each other, the landscape, and the surrounding architecture.

Colosseum, 2021, oil on wood by Don Gummer

About Don Gummer

When Gummer arrived at Yale University in 1971, he was exploring a new way of making art, one that sourced inspiration and materials from the land. Made popular by innovators of the 1960s and ‘70s such as Robert Smithson (1938-1973) and Richard Long (born 1945), Land Artworks, sometimes called Earthworks, sought to expand the boundaries of art-making by moving beyond museum or gallery spaces and into the environment. Participating in this movement, Gummer designed sculptures that that combined steel with stones, earth, air, and water. Planned in 1969, Gummer’s Primary Separation was realized and installed at Mass MoCA in 2006. More recent works such as Equator (2011), which is now installed at the Seven Bridges Foundation in Connecticut, continue to find balance between environmental and industrial materials by suspending massive boulders from large cables in order to visualize gravity, space, and form.

Although Gummer is still interested in finding balance with natural materials and spaces, his artistic repertoire has expanded enormously. Drawing from the long history of sculpture, Gummer cites a wide range of artistic role models. Fascinated by the relief sculptures of the 15th century master Donatello (1386-1466), Gummer also enjoys the cubist work of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), and contemplates the notion of specific objects conceived by minimalist artist Donald Judd (1928-1994) in 1965.

In addition to pulling from the art historical canon, Gummer is excited by natural and built environments, maps and blueprints. His early forays into art were even inspired by cartoons. Each of his works is also informed by a great respect for process. “You have to start from zero and begin, just start by starting,” the artist explains. Therefore, Don Gummer’s works are often the final result of sketches, scale models, and much experimentation.

Inspired by the structured beauty of floorplans, the artist began a series of large, wooden wall reliefs in the early 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, Gummer’s work expanded in scale and material as he began to design free-standing sculptures that incorporated various metals and stained glass. Today, Gummer’s works can be found in numerous public collections and have been displayed in locations from Massachusetts to Japan.

Don Gummer, together with his wife Meryl Streep, is an arts/social justice philanthropist. Their Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts, based in Morristown, NJ, has given millions to arts, education, health care, and human services causes.

In the Artist’s Words

Don Gummer on wall relief works:

“I was interested in the abstract nature of the floor plans during a time when the floor plan of the building was considered its heart and soul, both magical and practical.”

“All of my wall pieces are also paintings. They are carefully painted to express a moving, active and fluid surface.”

Don Gummer on his large-scale sculpture and the process of creating sculpture:

“I’ll start something, and then as I’m building it, I do something to shift the flow, or the composition or the balance. I have to redirect to correct it. Something happened, then something was recovered. A sculpture is part of a series of corrections that I put in, something that would cause imbalance, then I get it back to balance, and the world’s right again.”

“A lot of my work has some complexity at the bottom, and strives to get more simple as a result. It’s sort of like a building. There is a lot of stuff underneath, a lot of foundation work. But the penthouse is wear you’re headed and you want that to be clear, open space.”

“Sometimes [the pieces] are more like nouns, sometimes their more like verbs… more action. Sometimes they’re just a statement… and right now I’m doing a series of haiku sculptures, they’re five-seven-five, they’re like numbers, there are three levels, visually It’s like the lines”

Wild Kratts: Creature Power

Wild Kratts: Creature Power

May 29, 2021–September 12, 2021

Get ready for an Extraordinary Adventure!

Step into the world of Wild Kratts® to explore the secret lives of amazing creatures in this special exhibit. Immerse yourself in animal habitats from around the globe, discover incredible creature powers and go on a mission to foil the villains’ nefarious plans.

Explore Four Habitats

  • Tropical Rainforest
  • The Antarctic
  • Australian Outback Desert
  • Your Neighborhood

Activate Creature Powers

  • Sneak through the forest using the stealth of a jaguar
  • Swing through the trees like a spider monkey
  • Test your hops against a kangaroo
  • Hunt for lunch like a platypus

Ai Weiwei: Tradition and Dissent

July 17, 2021–January 2, 2022 D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts

Ai Weiwei: Tradition and Dissent features selections from three decades of work created by internationally renowned artist and social activist Ai Weiwei (Chinese, born 1957). One of today’s most versatile creative minds and a vocal critic of the Chinese government, Ai creates work that addresses social justice while fostering a dialogue between traditional Chinese art praxis and modern modes of expression. Known for redefining objects and materials—by applying auto paint to Han Dynasty vessels, for example—the artist uses radical techniques that urge the viewer to grapple with the tension between construction and destruction as well as the past and present.

This exhibition will focus on artwork which speaks specifically to Ai’s engagement with Chinese materials, methods, motifs, and artifacts. By exploring tradition in nontraditional ways, Ai Weiwei makes the old new again, creating a thoughtful link between cultural heritage and his creative endeavors. Many of Ai Weiwei’s recent works simultaneously revive and remake craftsmanship practices of the past including those of wood joinery, porcelain painting, and marble sculpting. Other works, such as the artist’s Zodiac (2018) made from LEGO bricks, use contemporary materials to reimagine culturally significant symbols.

Curated specifically for display at the Springfield Museums, this exhibition presents a rare opportunity to explore well-known Ai Weiwei works such as Sunflower SeedsHan Dynasty Urn with Coca-Cola Logo, and Double Stools. Fascinating in their own right, the works also offer a new lens through which to view the historic collections of Chinese decorative arts on view at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum.

Ai Weiwei, Han Dynasty Urn with Coca Cola Logo (Silver), 2007Ai Weiwei, Double Stools, 2004

Capturing Our Worlds: Works by the Springfield Photographic Society

June 26, 2021–June 26, 2022
Featuring over thirty works by members of the Springfield Photographic Society, an organization of local photographers, this exhibition highlights diverse approaches to capturing the world in which we live. From landscapes that depict locales from Western Massachusetts to Vietnam, to botanical photographs and scenes of people living their lives, the works on view explore nature, humanity, beauty, and form.  While each image is shaped by the photographer’s unique vision, the grouping emphasizes photography’s power to transcend borders and languages, and to highlight our universal commonality.Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Springfield Photographic Society is an organization comprised of photographers working at all experience levels. Through exhibitions, field trips, and educational experiences, members hone their craft in the company of fellow enthusiasts

Horn Man: The Life and Musical Legacy of Charles Neville

June 19, 2021–November 28, 2021

Known onstage as “Charlie the horn man,” R&B and jazz musician Charles Neville was born in 1938 in New Orleans. Immersed in New Orleans’s musical influences early on, Charles and his siblings formed the Neville Brothers, later best-known for songs which combined social consciousness with an upbeat spirit. Rhythm and blues, gospel, doo-wop, soul, rock, jazz, funk, and Mardi Gras rhythms were all genres embraced by—and sometimes co-mingled in—the Nevilles’ creative work. “Healing Chant” from their best-selling album Yellow Moon, earned The Neville Brothers a Grammy in 1989 for best top instrumental performance.

Cut ‘N’ Rough Collection

Through June 2022

Cut ‘N’ Rough, a collection of cut stone displayed side-by-side with the same stone in its original rough state, ready for all to see in Earth Hall, on the second floor of the Springfield Science Museum. The Cut ‘N’ Rough exhibit is on loan from Fred Wilda and Helen Rodak of Hadley, MA.

Information about the state gem rhodonite comes from the handbook that accompanies Significant Rocks and Minerals from Massachusetts: “Named after the Greek word for rose (rhodon), Rhodonite is a silicate mineral that is formed in metamorphic rocks.” There is only one known location in Massachusetts where you can find this gemstone: but if you want an easy look at a beautiful specimen, visit the Springfield Museums!

Rhodochrosite mineral

Explore the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum Archives

Constructed in 1895 to house the extraordinary art collections of Springfield residents George Walter Vincent Smith and Belle Townsely Smith, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is a late 19th-century Gilded Age treasure with a rich history. In addition to housing art collections, the museum stewards hundreds of photographs and documents that tell the story of Springfield’s first art museum and offer insights into the lives of its benefactors. Digitization of these Archives began in late 2020 and we invite you explore selections from the holdings.

Explore Now

Group of children in Blake Court

PODs: Programming on Demand

PODs are field trips for families, friends, and small groups. Customize a visit to the Museums for your group of five to 30 people. Children and adults will participate in up to three of our hour-long curriculum-based school programs. Mix and match science, art, history and Seuss!

Learn More

Private Tours

Reserve an entire museum for your party of up to 10 people for two hours. Enjoy time to explore on your own plus private, discounted shopping at the Museum Store. Curated and custom experiences available!

Learn More

BELOW, PLEASE FIND A LIST OF THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS NEW PROTOCOLS

  • Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask on Museums grounds.
  • Masks will be required for visitors age 5 and up in the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, the Seymour Planetarium, the Wild Kratts special exhibit, and all facilitated spaces, including Spark!Lab, Art Discovery Center, Science Workshop, and Science Discovery Lab.
  • Students enrolled in youth classes at the Museum School are also required to wear a mask.
  • Advance tickets are strongly encouraged. Please visit the Tickets page.

Springfield Residents & Walkups

A limited number of walk up tickets (including Springfield Access) are available on a first-come, first-served basis each day at the Welcome Center.

Springfield Museum ComboTicket Page 2

Combined ticket for The Springfield Museums and the Basketball Hall of Fame

This discounted ticket is a slam dunk! You can visit the museum that celebrates the history of Springfield’s most popular game—the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame—plus five museums showcasing art, history, science and Seuss—the Springfield Museums, home of  the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss all with one discounted ticket. Added bonus! You have a full year to visit each museum.

Combined tickets are available for purchase at the admissions desk at the Museums and the Hall of Fame or right here.

Details

Start:
September 7
End:
September 12

Venue

Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103
+ Google Map
Phone:
(413) 263-6800
View Venue Website