Road Trip Idea #18: Giving Thanks

At its core, Thanksgiving is really about gratitude.  With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the tourism industry, what better time than now to express how thankful we are for the Western Mass hospitality industry?  Here are just some of the things we’re thankful for:

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MGM Springfield

They could’ve chosen anywhere for this resort casino, yet they chose Springfield and Western Mass as the location for this $1 billion investment.  With an impressive gaming floor, world-class dining and a host of wonderful entertainment amenities during ‘normal’ times, MGM Springfield is well–positioned to help grow tourism in this region.  But don’t wait to visit.  There’s plenty of winning to do right now at MGM Springfield.

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The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss

Honoring Springfield’s own Theodor “Seuss” Geisel, this whimsical museum is perfect for children of any age.  Adults will get that nostalgic feel from the colorful characters they remember as children, but they’ll also see how the artist/illustrator’s mind worked by viewing Ted’s personal artifacts and sketches.  Sitting on the Quadrangle at the Springfield Museums alongside, art, science and history museums, it truly takes a day to see all this attraction has to offer.

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Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

The only attraction of its kind in the world, paying tribute to Springfield’s own inventor of basketball – Dr. James Naismith and the sport he created.  The region has a lot of be thankful for with this attraction.  Not only do hundreds of thousands of hoop fans descend on this attraction every year, but they’ve just completed a $30 million renovation, adding modern technology and even more memorabilia that you just can’t get anywhere else!

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Yankee Candle Village

When founder Michael Kittredge made that first candle for his mom in the basement of their Holyoke home, who could have predicted the empire that would follow?  Fast forward to modern days and this 90,000 square foot village store is one of the most visited attractions in Massachusetts with over 400,000 candles and 200 scents.  Adults and children alike marvel at the year-round Bavarian Christmas Village and interactive Wax Works area.  So much more than a store, Yankee Candle Village is truly an attraction.

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Six Flags New England

This is the attraction that just keeps on giving.  Every year, Six Flags adds more excitement to the park in the form of thrill rides so there’s always reinvestment and a new reason to keep coming back.  In the summer, there’s Hurricane Harbor; fall brings Fright Fest and their newest attraction for winter is Holiday in the Park.

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Bright Nights at Forest Park

No ordinary holiday lighting display, Bright Nights at Forest Park is on every national list of Best in the US!  Over 3.5 miles of lights – many with ties to the region like Seuss Land or the MGM lion.  This event is at the core of many a family holiday tradition and for good reason!

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The Big E

New England’s Great State Fair takes any single state fair to the next level!  Each New England state has its own building showcasing the architecture of its state capital and filled with products they are known for.  Add to that, miles of shopping, agriculture, unique foods, a midway full of rides for adults and children along with entertainment throughout the 17 day fair and you’ve got an event like no other.

There’s a lot more to be grateful for in Western Mass.  Farm-to-table dining, craft breweries, outdoor adventure, a state-of-the-art MassMutual Convention Center, accommodations for every budget and most importantly right now, an industry that has implemented safety measures and protocols that go above and beyond what’s required to keep visitors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Happy Thanksgiving from #WesternMass!

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