Northampton


Labor Day Weekend Events In Massachusetts

parade

We’re all sad to see summer coming to an end, but there’s still Labor Day weekend to look forward to!  We have one last hurrah to relax and celebrate with family and friends before the summer closes out.  Don’t have plans yet? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered because there are plenty of fun events going on all across the state!

Gloucester Schooner Festival – Head to beautiful Gloucester Harbor this weekend for their 29th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival!  Beginning Friday, August 30th and going until Sunday, September 2nd, this event is perfect for the whole family, no matter what age they are!  This festival honors the history of the schooner, and the important role it played in the development of the town, and the entire eastern seaboard.  There will be a wide variety of both old and new schooners on display, and the highlight of the weekend will be the Parade of Sail, where participating schooners make their way out of the harbor and into open water towards the Mayor’s Race starting area off Eastern Point.  There will also be walking tours, exhibits, fireworks, and even the First Annual Public Lobster bake for only $12 per person!  Don’t miss out on this fun celebration, you can find a full schedule of events here.

3 County Fair – If you’re in Western Massachusetts for Labor Day weekend, don’t miss out on the annual 3 county fair in Northampton!  This family friendly event is something you don’t want to miss, there will be tons of food and fun activities for everyone to enjoy.  Entertainment includes; demolition derby, monster trucks, pig races, renaissance jousting, rides, magic shows, blues singers, a zoo, and much more!  The fair kicks off on Friday, August 30th and ends on Monday, September 2nd.  The gates open at 11 AM every day and tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for veterans and seniors, and children ages 11 and under are free.

Boston Arts Festival – The Boston Art’s Festival is celebrating their 10th year and this year’s festival will be from Saturday, August 31st – Sunday, September 1st.  Held in Christopher Columbus Park on Boston’s Waterfront, the event is a major attraction to both tourists and locals alike and admission is FREE!  This festival launches Boston’s arts season, and features the work of over 40 artists who are exhibiting and selling their one-of a -kind paintings, sculptures, jewelry, ceramics, pottery, woodwork, photography, and much more.  There will also be live and interactive performances by local groups.  Past performers have included the Boston Ballet, Blue Man Group, and the Boston Lyric Opera, just to name a few.  The festival is from 12 noon until 6 PM both days but be sure to stick around for the fireworks over Boston Harbor at 9 PM on Saturday!

Marlborough Labor Day Parade – Marlborough is proud to host the largest and most prestigious Labor Day Parade in New England, and they definitely want to hold on to that title so you can be sure the parade gets bigger and better every year!  There will be hundreds of floats and other entertaining acts walking the streets, not to mention giving out candy and other treats for children. It begins on Monday, September 2nd at noon and the route is 1.8 miles long, there will be thousands of spectators, so try and get there early if you want a good seat!  The parade begins at the corner of Pleasant Street and Lincoln Street, and you can view a map of the full parade route here.

If you didn’t have plans before, you have plenty of options to choose from now!  Are there any other fun events going on that we missed?  Be sure to let us know!

Photo By: Bernard Pollack

Bay State Bike Paths!

bike path

Summer is the perfect time of year for a nice leisurely bike ride in the Bay State.  You get some exercise, you can take in some beautiful views, and get to experience the great outdoors!  There are a lot of bike paths here in Massachusetts, but we’ve done the research for you and listed some of the best ones across the state!

Charles River Bike Path – This 14 mile loop also know as the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path, begins at the Museum of Science in Boston and runs along to Watertown Square in Watertown.  The course follows the banks of the Charles River and you will definitely take in some beautiful views of the Boston skyline.  There are many different entry points for this path so if you don’t have the time or energy to do the full loop, you can jump in anywhere that’s convenient for you.  The path is maintained by the Urban Parks Division of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and certain parts of the path are for both bikers and pedestrians.  The path is pretty wide although there are some spots that could be considered a tight squeeze where it would be a little difficult for two bikes to pass each other.  Overall it is a fun way to see the city and get a good workout in all at the same time!

Assabet River Rail Trail – This trail runs through Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard, and Acton.  Completion of the entire trail is still in the works, but right now there are miles of paved road open to the public whether it be to skateboard, bike, walk, or run.  The trial follows an abandoned MBTA rail bed and offers visitors a relaxing environment where they can safely take in the outdoors.  There are multiple street crossings, flashing lights to alert drivers that bikers are coming, and good visibility in most areas.  You may even spot some wildlife so be sure to bring some binoculars!  Parking is available at the trail head in Marlborough, and there are additional parking lots along the trail as well as street parking available.

Wompatuck State Park – This park is perfect whether you want to go for a relaxing ride or if you want to do some mountain biking.  Located in Hingham, there are paved and unpaved trails throughout the park which was previously used as an ammunition depot in World War II.  History buffs will definitely enjoy looking at the old equipment that is still on the grounds, and another great perk is having Mount Blue Spring on site which offers free, purified water from an underground stream to all visitors.  There are multiple paths so there are plenty of reasons to come back again and again to explore the entire park if you don’t finish it in a day!

Norwottuck Rail Trail – This 9 mile bike path connects Amherst to Northampton through Hadley.  There is also a connection to the UMass Amherst campus that students can take full advantage of.  Locals love this trail because it actually surpasses MA Rt. 9 which tends to be pretty busy.  The path rarely intersects roads traveled by cars and it takes you along a scenic route where you can take in views of farmland, and if you go far enough down the trail you can even ride over the Connecticut River!

What trails do you plan on biking this summer?  For a full list of trails in the Bay State visit MassBike.org.

Photo By: Peter Krefting

 

Massachusetts Events This May

zipline

It’s finally starting to feel like spring outside, and to celebrate we’ve found some of the best events and festivals going on across the state this month!  After a chilly start to spring, the air is warming up and it’s the perfect time to head outside with a group of friends and family.  These outdoor events will have you coming down with a serious case of spring fever while you soak up the sun, so spread the word, sit back, and enjoy!

Treetop Xtreme Adventure – Become one with nature at this event, hosted by the Worcester Ecotarium!  Guests will get a combo ticket for the Tree Canopy Walkway and a Tree Climbing Expedition, where they will venture out 40 feet above the ground on rope and plank bridges while you move through tree platforms, and then zipline down to the forest floor!  Guests will then get to climb on of Worcester’s old-growth trees with harnesses and ropes, this expeditions will be led by trained tree climbers and participants are required to be at least 7 years of age.  This event is for one day only, and there would be four sessions that are one hour long, each session is limited to 8 participants.  Tickets are $30 per person, get them while they last!

Paradise City Arts Festival – Take a ride out west to Northampton for this spring arts festival!  This event has something for every member of the family including live entertainment, flowering sculpture garden, special exhibits, demonstrations, activities, delicious food, and exhibits from artists from 30 states selling their work.  This Festival takes place on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27 , the hours are from 10 AM-6PM Saturday and Sunday, and from 10 AM-4 PM on Monday.  Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students, and free for children 12 and under!  Stroll under the sun, take in some culture, and enjoy all that this artsy city has to offer!

Chesterwood Vintage Motorcar Festival –  The guys in your life will love this event, filled will dozens of collector vehicles, live entertainment, kid-friendly activities, and of course plenty of food from local restaurants, what’s not to like?  If antique cars aren’t your thing there are plenty of gardens and woodland walks on the property to explore!  The event will be held at historic Chesterwood in Stockbridge on May 26th from 10 AM – 4 PM, rain or shine.  Tickets are $15 for adults and children under 18 are free and can be bought in advance of the day of the event.  This is an extremely popular event and is often considered the kick-off to summer, don’t miss out!

Food Truck Festival – Known for their unique creations and low prices, food trucks are the latest craze when it comes to fast food, and now’s your chance to sample a wide variety of options!  The Food Truck Festival will be in Lexington, MA on Friday, May 31st from 5 PM-9 PM and will feature many different dinner options from food trucks and local restaurants.  Entry is free but you do have to pay for food of course.  There will be live entertainment from local band, the Arl-Lex Five & Dime, who will be performing folk, country, gospel, and some early rock & roll.  Now everyone in the family can eat exactly what they want for dinner, and you won’t have to be the one doing the cooking!

Which one of these events will you be attending to enjoy the warm weather?  All of these events are family friendly and are being held outdoors, so get out and about this month and enjoy the sunshine!

Photo By: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

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