10 Family Friendly Attractions in Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield, the third most populated city in Massachusetts, may be most well known as the “Birthplace of Basketball” but is also home to many historical sites and family friendly attractions. The greater Springfield area is located in Western Massachusetts, about 90 miles west of both Boston and Providence, Rhode Island and 30 miles north of Hartford, Connecticut. The attractions in this post are spread throughout towns in Hampden and Hampshire Counties. Hampden County includes the city of Springfield and almost two dozen towns from Brimfield in the east and Tolland in the west, and includes Holyoke and Ludlow. Directly north of the Hampden County is Hampshire County, which includes towns another 20 towns, a couple of which are home to the Five College Consortium: Amherst College (in Amherst), Hampshire College (in Amherst) , UMASS Amherst (in Amherst), Smith College (in Northampton), Mount Holyoke College (in South Hadley).
15 Ways to Explore the Crane Estate on Castle Hill in Ipswich, Massachusetts
On a recent visit to the North Shore of Massachusetts, we explored one of the most beautiful Gilded Age estates, the Crane Estate, set high on a hill above one of the most beautiful beaches, Crane Beach, in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The estate has been carefully restored and preserved by the Trustees, who oversee more than 100 properties throughout Massachusetts. The Crane Company, founded by Richard Teller Crane, in 1855 was well known for their brass fixtures and bells, most famously used to help build the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Later, his son, Mr. Richard T. Crane, who focused the company on manufacturing various bathroom fixtures, purchased Castle Hill and began renovating and expanding the property. The Cranes, who were based in Chicago, had summer homes in London, England and Jekyll Island, Georgia. The first home on the Ipswich property was built in 1912 but later torn down as it was properly outfitted to withstand the elements of the nearby ocean. The current estate, with 59 rooms, was built in a timeless English style similar to the Cranes’ London estate and finished in 1929. Over the years, the Cranes restored over 3,500 acres in Essex Bay, Choate Island, and Ipswich. The estate also includes the 700 acre Crane Wildlife Refuge, made up of Castle Neck (which borders Crane Beach), five islands, and salt marshes.
Eight Ways to Have Fun at the Lupa Zoo in Springfield, MA
The 20 acre Lupa Zoo in Ludlow, Massachusetts (just 15 minutes from downtown Springfield, Massachusetts) is home to over 500 animals, including everything from bobcats, zebras, bears, and donkeys to camels, antelope, goats, ostriches and emus. Polish immigrants Henry and Joan Lupa owned a landscaping and construction business in the 1960s and 1970s and later grew such a large collection of farm animals that locals began visiting. The Lupas decided to open a zoo to the general public in 1996. Today, there are additions that include ponds with several species of birds, a critter garden, and an indoor habitat for sloths, lizards, snakes, and more! Kids of all ages will enjoy learning about, and seeing up close, over 100 species of animals.
25 Ways to Love the Springfield Museums in Springfield, Massachusetts
One of the most popular attractions in the Western part of Massachusetts, the Springfield Museums are a collection of five museums that showcase over 130,000 artifacts related to the areas of science, history, art, and culture. Located in downtown Springfield, the third largest city in Massachusetts, 90 minutes west of Boston and 30 minutes north of Hartford, Connecticut, the Springfield Museum welcome close to 400,000 visitors each year and offer dozens of exhibits that will engage families of all ages.
Six Ways to Explore the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts
Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts honors and showcases the life and work of Eric Carle and other picture book artists and publications. The Carle Museum is the first American museum devoted to picture book art. The museum is located on the edge of the Hampshire College and offers beautiful grounds for walking, picnicking, and gathering. Eric Carle illustrated and published more than 70 books; A copy of his most famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is sold every 30 seconds. The museum is home to a massive collective of books, as well as a large art collection (the majority of which was donated by individuals and families) which is on rotating display in three exhibition galleries, and tons of daily and weekly programs and events for the whole family.
10 Ways to Explore the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum on Cape Cod
Built from 1907-1910 to commemorate the first landing of the pilgrims on board the Mayflower on November 21, 1620, the 252 foot Pilgrim Monument is the tallest all granite structure in the United States. Visitors can climb all 170 steps and 60 ramps to the top and be rewarded with views as far away as Boston (42 miles north). Today, the monument and adjacent museum are open to the public from early April through early November.