Looking to Get Away? Day Trips and Massachusetts Museums To Try

TD Gardens

With the “winter” season quickly coming to a close, there couldn’t be a better time to plan some day trips and educational excursions for the upcoming weeks. As residents of Massachusetts we are lucky enough to live in a state that not only has scenic destinations, but also historically significant locations all across the region. Take the beautiful weather we have been having lately and use it as an opportunity to get out, see somewhere different and learn about all of the history, nature, and excitement Massachusetts has to offer.

For those of you that are interested in a broad range of Massachusetts history, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts has displays on everything ranging from Native Americans to Louisa May Alcott, to 19th century landscape paintings. The focus of the farm was to live off of the “fruits of the land” and and provide fruits, vegetables, and grains to community members which is what attracted such a diverse range of inhabitants. This destination offers something for everyone and features multiple museums, hiking trails, a restaurant, and educational workshops for both adults and children.

There is no doubt that Salem is one of the most historic towns in Massachusetts. With its oceanfront location and historical significance it is a popular spot to visit for both tourists and locals alike. Famous for the witch trials that took place in 1692 which unjustly convicted and hanged innocent civilians, Salem has capitalized on their history by operating multiple museums including the House of the Seven Gables and Salem Witch Village. Guests also have the option of taking in a harbor cruise or checking out the Salem Willows Amusement park. Certain attractions are seasonal but visitors are guaranteed to find something that will keep them entertained.

If you’re looking for something to do with your little ones, The Butterfly Place in Westford, MA is a great option. They have an indoor garden with butterfly species from all over the world where families are welcome to walk down a winding path that will also bring you by a koi fish pond and many exhibits that educate children on the life cycle of butterflies. Butterflies in this garden fly free and visitors are welcome to carefully interact with the butterflies as they tour the facility.

For all of the Boston sports buffs, there’s no better stop than the New England Sports Museum located inside Boston’s TD Garden. The many exhibits take a look back on some of Boston’s most memorable sports figures and their accomplishments. Sights to see include Larry Bird’s locker, the original Boston Bruin, and displays featuring Nancy Kerrigan, Ted Williams, the Beanpot hockey tournament, and Adam Vinatieri. Boston has one of the best reputations in the country when it comes to our sports teams and this museum gives visitors an inside look at some of the greatest athletes in sports history.

Massachusetts has many National Parks and historical sights throughout the region but one of the most famous is Walden Pond. It was the home of Henry David Thoreau and influenced his book “Walden” which is credited with inspiring awareness for our environment. What better place to take in some nature? There are multiple trails that lead hikers around the pond and during the summer it is open for swimming. This is a great location for bird watching and nature watching in general as there is a wide range of different wildlife that can be found at the pond. There is also a museum on site and authentic replica of Thoreau’s cabin. Great for children and adults, Walden Pond is educational as well as a fun destination for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Cape Cod has always been one of the most popular destinations in Massachusetts but before beach season you may not think there is much to do. However the Cape Cod Scenic Railroad is a great attraction on the Cape that takes visitors on a 2 hour railroad road through Cranberry Bogs, woodland, and more as you travel from Hyannis to the Cape Cod Canal. Advanced reservations are suggested for this attraction.

Massachusetts is one of the oldest states in the country and definitely offers a wide range of activities and museums that cater to a variety of interests. Next time you are looking for something to do on the weekend check out one of these great Massachusetts day trips or museums that are both exciting and educational!

Fight Off a Case of the Winter Blues With These Events in February!

As we have seen in the past few months, this winter has been anything but typical.  The warm temperatures and lack of snow have made it difficult to enjoy a traditional New England winter by venturing out into the snow for entertainment.  However, there are plenty of events taking place across Massachusetts this month that will keep you entertained and help you fight off a case of the winter blues!
  • Are you a fan of Mexican food? The Rattlesnake Bar and Grill in Boston is holding their second annual Burrito Bowl in honor of the Super Bowl.  This event will bring together some of the top chefs in Boston and have them compete to create the best Burrito.  Each chef will create a burrito named after the city of their favorite NFL team. Attendees and special guest “referee” judges will determine the winner.  The event costs about $17 per person and begins this Saturday, February 4th from 1:00-4:00 PM.
  • Even though the Olympic Winter Games do not take place this year you can still get your sports fix by attending the 2012 Bay State Winter Games from February 10-12th in the Northern Berkshire region of Massachusetts.  Sporting events include alpine skiing, figure skating, and masters ice hockey competitions.
  • Looking for an event that will get the whole family up and out this winter? Check out the Winter Family Fun Safari taking place Saturday February 11th at 1:00 PM in Milton, MA.  It is a free event and families can meet up at Houghton Pond before exploring the woods and going on a hike to Rutherford explore what happens throughout nature during the winter.  This is a great family friendly event that is educational and a great source of exercise!
  • Salem, MA is celebrating the season of love this year by hosting the 10th annual “Salem’s So Sweet” chocolate and ice sculpture festival.  Admire the beautiful ice sculptures lining the streets of downtown Salem before stopping in a local establishment for some chocolate and wine tasting!
  • Want to really surprise that special someone this Valentine’s day? The Top of the Hub is offering a four-course prix-fix menu on Tuesday, February 14th from 4:00-10:00 PM. The event costs $125 per person (which does not include drinks, tax, or gratuity) and although it is a bit pricey the view from the top of the Prudential Building and romance factor can’t be beat.
  • Nick’s Comedy Stop, located within the Theater District of Boston, is hosting an Open Mic Night Thursday, February 16th featuring some of the most entertaining up and coming comedy acts in Boston.  Stop by for a few drinks and laughs to get your evening started on the right note.  Tickets are $12 per person and the event begins at 8:00 PM.
  • You may have thought pageant season was over after the Miss USA pageant last month, however luckily you would be mistaken.  The Miss Boston 2012 pageant takes place Sunday, February 19th at 5:00 PM at the Omni Parker House in Boston.  Contestants will compete for the chance to move on to the Miss Massachusetts pageant in June and will compete in interview, talent, swim suit, and evening wear categories.
  • Explore the nautical side of New England this winter in Provincetown and meet Delilah!  Delilah is an inflatable, life sized North Atlantic Right Whale that guests can tour while learning about these rare and beautiful animals.  There are only 475 of these whales left in the world and over 300 of those whales visited Cape Cod Bay in 2011.  This is a free event taking place on February 24th from 11:00 AM-12:15 PM.
  • Before the start of baseball season and after the Super Bowl mania has come to an end, all of you sports fans can still get a taste of the excitement at the Golden Gloves Boxing tournament in Lowell, MA.  The event is held annually and takes place on five different nights throughout the month of February as contestants try to move their way up through the competition.  This event has launched the careers of boxing legends such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Micky Ward, and Rocky Marciano.  For ticket information visit
Make sure that you enjoy the rest of this winter by getting up and out! Whatever your interests are, there is an event for everyone taking place this February across Massachusetts!
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