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

May 1 - June 6

Cut ‘N’ Rough Collection, through June 2022. Wild Kratts: Creature Power, May 29 – September 12. Constructing Poetry: Sculptural Work by Don Gummer, May 1 –September 12. 

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

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

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!

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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

REQUIRED

  • FACE MASKS MUST BE WORN by all visitors older than 2, and by all staff members.
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING IS REQUIRED and will be enforced; parties of ten or less may remain together; children must stay with adults at all times.
  • Guests showing signs of illness at any time during their visit will be asked to return at a later date.
  • Because of limited capacities in each building, visitors might be required to wait outside in socially distanced lines.

RECOMMENDED

  • Advance, online, timed-entry tickets are strongly encouraged. Please visit our Tickets
  • Visitor numbers are reduced and controlled at all locations. Visitors might have to either wait or come back to some exhibits and/or galleries over the course of their visit.
  • Credit or debit cards are encouraged. If you pay in cash, please consider donating any change owed to the Museums.

NEW NORMS

  • The Museums are featuring a new mobile website with interactive scavenger hunts and tours, maps, and the Blake House Café menu.
  • All interactives include sanitizing stations so visitors can clean their hands before and after using the interactives.
  • Senior Monday, 10 am to noon, is reserved for visitors 60 years and older at a reduced rate of $10 per ticket.
  • All facilitated spaces (The Cat’s Corner, Spark!Lab, and The Art Discovery Center) feature individualized kits and social-distanced activities. All materials will be sanitized between uses. All surfaces will be cleaned between uses.
  • All museums are set up for one-way traffic. Please abide by the guidance in each museum.
  • Social-distancing markers are placed throughout the museums and on the grounds to help remind all to keep safe.
  • Only one person or related people on elevators at a time.
  • Enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces will happen throughout the day; an exhibit might be closed for a short time for deep cleaning.
  • Hand-sanitizer stations are placed throughout the buildings; please use them to help protect yourself and others.
  • Drinking fountains are not available.
  • If you bring a picnic lunch, you can eat at social distance on the Quadrangle Green or, in rainy weather, in Tolman Auditorium. Eating is not permitted in the Welcome Center.
  • The Museum Store will allow 8 visitors at a time. Visitors can also reserve time to shop. Please call ahead for reservations 1-413-263-6800, ext 362.
  • The Blake House Café will have outside service only, with separate order and pick up windows. Open Mondays-Saturdays 9 am-4 pm, Sundays 11 am-4 pm.

One admission gains access to all five museums: Members free, Nonmembers: $25, adults; $16.50, seniors & college students; $13, children 3–17; under 3 free. Springfield Residents: FREE with Springfield Access Card and proof of address.

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.

Details

Start:
May 1
End:
June 6

Venue

Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103
+ Google Map
Phone:
(413) 263-6800
Website:
www.springfieldmuseums.org