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).
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.
20 Reasons Kids Will Love ECHO Leahy Center in Burlington, Vermont
The ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, a 34,000 square foot science and nature museum located right on the waterfront of Lake Champlain, has over 100 interactive exhibits, experiments and activities and is home to over 70 species of fish, turtles, frogs, and snakes. There are tons of hands-on activities for all ages, a special toddler space, a weather forecast television studio, a resource library room, rotating exhibits and tons of aquarium tanks. On a recent trip to Burlington, Vermont we enjoyed exploring ECHO think it is a must visit spot in Burlington.
City Guide: 25 Places in Manhattan Kids Will Love
We are fortunate to live an hour outside of New York City and we take advantage of our close proximity as much as possible. There are so many family friendly places in the 22 square miles of New York City that our list could potentially go into the hundreds! For this week, however, we’ll stick with 25 places we have explored over the past decade, including a few spots that spill over into the Bronx. We’ll acknowledge some gaps in this list- the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Museum of Natural History are missing from this list- but we have not been to some very popular spots in over a decade (all the more reason to rerun ASAP!) For organizational purposes, we’ve listed sites by location, starting with the Financial District and working on our way up island through the Upper East and West Sides all the way to the Bronx (we had to include a couple of our favorite spots, which happen to in the Bronx- see #23-25)
10 Ways to Explore the Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach, Florida
This past summer, we visited family who live in Delray Beach, Florida and finally got the chance to visit one of their favorite spots: the Palm Beach Zoo. The 23 acre zoo and conservation society, located in West Palm Beach, is one of the most popular attractions in the area and one spot the whole family will enjoy!
City Guide: St Augustine, Florida
Located in the northern part of Florida, St Augustine has the distinction of being known as the oldest continually occupied European settlement in North America. It was founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez and his soldier and colonists, fifty years after Ponce de Leon claimed the area now known as Florida for Spain in the early 1500s. St. Augustine was under Spanish rule until 1763 when Britain took over for 20 years, followed again by Spain until the United States took over in 1821. Florida later became a state in 1845. The St. Augustine area became popular with tourists in the 1820s as a spot to escape cold northern winters, and the popularity grew when Standard Oil co-founder Henry Flagler founded the Florida East Coast Railway and began building hotels, churches, and a hospital throughout the area. Today, St. Augustine is a popular spot to be immersed in rich history and culture and the city offers plenty of family friendly adventures.