Going downtown is always an exciting event. Whether it’s a quaint downtown surrounded by a picturesque village or a teeming metropolis that promises the world, you can always count on having a good time. Sometimes it’s the little things that make adventures memorable. That’s the case when it comes to the unique and one-of-a-kind downtown districts scattered throughout Western Mass.
Holyoke was one of our country’s first planned industrial communities. The Heritage State Park still holds court in the center of town. At the Visitor’s Center, you’ll see exhibits detailing how industry grew up in Holyoke and how the Connecticut River became a river with the help of a dam. The power generated by the propelled water drove the paper production industry in scores of local mills lining the man-made canals.
The enchanting Children’s Museum is next door. Kids and adults are invited to participate in the lost art of creative play. An Imagination Playground, the Curvy Climber and the Lite Brite Wall will stimulate inquisitive minds of all ages. A short stroll away, you’ll find the Volleyball Hall of Fame, a shrine to the other internationally-played ball game that was invented here in Western Mass. And there’s more; just steps away is the gorgeously restored antique Holyoke Merry-Go-Round that brings out the kid in everyone.
Visitors to Westfield will delight in the Amelia Park Children’s Museum. This charming cultural attraction offers engaging exhibits and activities designed to stimulate new imaginings. There’s a toddler zone for the little ones. Meanwhile, older children will love exploring the lifelike construction zone, model doctor’s office, pretend cafe and miniature supermarket. After everyone is all played out, a community of small but friendly wild animals will be waiting in an adjoining area to deliver a cuteness overload and help everyone wind down.
Next, mosey on over to 11-acre Chauncey Allen Park. Wander in Grandmother’s Garden, a half-acre of precision floral displays and botanical gardens originally created in 1933 by gardening volunteers. Every year, the formal gardens overflow with an explosion of blooms that offer visitors a true feast for the senses.
Picnic season in downtown Westfield is in full swing during spring and summer. Charcoal and propane grills of all kinds appear at the park. These portable stoves produce culinary delights seasoned with the flavor of the great outdoors.
Downtown Chicopee has a long and rich industrial heritage. One of the cool attractions in Chicopee is a full-size bowling alley stocked with bowling shoes and balls. The alley boasts 40 lanes, a lounge area, sports television and a classic, old-school arcade.
- West Springfield
Visitors to West Springfield include those attending functions at the Eastern States Exposition Center. Holding numerous trade and consumer shows at the expo every year. But they are best-known for The Big E, New England’s great state fair, held each September.
Springfield offers a unique brand of fun-filled adventure. The downtown district is known for fabulous food, amazing drinks and a pulsing nightlife. In Stearn’s Square and the surrounding area, you’ll find 10 blocks of Springfield’s finest eateries, pubs and nightclubs. Indulge your senses in delectable dining, signature cocktails and rousing musical performances that will make you want to rock the night away. If you crave an adventurous and fun night out, head straight for downtown Springfield.
When it comes to options, Western Mass downtown districts offer enough entertainment to keep you excited and enough relaxation to keep you refreshed. Whether you want to see it all or just visit a few choice attractions, Western Mass has plenty of fun on tap that’s ready and waiting for you.