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
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.
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.
Springfield Museums, Exhibits
September 13 - October 1
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 Seeds, Han 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.
Capturing Our Worlds: Works by the Springfield Photographic Society
Horn Man: The Life and Musical Legacy of Charles Neville
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!
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.
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!
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!
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, special exhibits, 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.
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.