Memorial Day weekend in Massachusetts, often considered to be the unofficial kick off to the summer season, is filled with a number of unique activities — everything from paying respect to fallen heroes to enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family.
So, to help shape, inspire, or even add to your current mix of upcoming weekend plans, here are 10 unique Memorial Day weekend activities across the state:
1) Boston’s Memorial Day 2013 Flag Garden
The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, along with a collection of volunteers, have planted 33,000 flags at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Boston Common (at the corner of Beacon and Charles Street), representing every brave Massachusetts service member who gave his or her life defending our country since the Civil War. The flags will remain on display till May 27th at 6 PM.
2) Visit The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Head over to the MFA’s Free Memorial Day Community Weekend to celebrate “Boston I Love,” where the Museum will open its doors with free admission to visitors from Boston and beyond. Also, all on-site contributions will be donated to The One Fund Boston.
3) Head to the Zoo
Just north of Boston, the Stone Zoo in Stoneham invites you to spend the weekend “Down Under” with their Aussie Adventure, featuring koalas, kookaburra, wallaby, tawny frogmouth, and much more. The interactive adventure exhibit will be open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
4) Newburyport’s Spring Festival
On Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day Weekend, from 10 AM – 5 PM, Newburyport Spring Fest is set to host a seasonal celebration in downtown Newburyport featuring live music, art, fine crafts, and food from the areas notable restaurants, as well as a number of kid activities.
5) New England’s Tallest Climbing Gym
In New Bedford, Carabiner’s Indoor Climbing offers a unique, indoor rock climbing experience that combines fun and fitness within their 65 ft. tall, 10,000 sq. ft. climbing facility. Carabiner’s provides a range of climbs that fit a variety of ages and skill levels. Plan your first-time visit here.
6) Cape Cod’s Figawi Race Weekend
With over 200 boats and a thousand sailors off the coast of Cape Cod and Nantucket Island, Figawi Race Weekend is noted as one of the top internationally known sailing events in the world. More than just a race, Figawi supports a number of charities throughout Cape Cod and Nantucket with a collection of fundraising events and activities. For a complete schedule of events for this year’s Figawi Race Weekend, click here.
7) A Musical Tribute At the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center
On Sunday, May 26th from 4–6 PM at The Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in the Tisbury Marketplace, enjoy a benefit concert featuring original music by local island musicians, Jonathan Auerbach, and Carole Charlin. The event is free, with a suggested donation of $10 (proceeds going to Dukes County Veteran’s Services), and open to all ages. Also, all proceeds from Jonathan Auerbach’s music CD’s sold at the event will go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. For more information on the benefit concert, click here.
8 ) The 45th Memorial Day Weekend POWWOW in Spencer
On the grounds of Camp Marshall in Spencer, embark on an afternoon and evening full of traditional Native American culture, including dances, drumming, and a collection of vendors selling handmade Native American crafts and supplies. Powwow festivities will run 1–10 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. Overnight camping is available, and there will be a small entrance fee for adults and children. For details, click here.
9) Northampton’s Paradise City Arts Festival
An award-winning arts festival, Paradise City Arts Festival takes place on the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton, Saturday and Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM, and Monday 10 AM – 4 PM, boasting a spectacular collection of fine craft, paintings, and sculpture from across the country. You can also enjoy sensational cuisine from some of Northampton’s best chefs, and catch live performances by nationally and regionally acclaimed musicians.
10) 4th Annual Memorial Day Marathon Races in Lenox
Providing a wonderful opportunity to experience the Berkshires, Lenox’s annual Memorial Day Marathon Races start and finish at the iconic Tanglewood Music Center, with a number of races for runners of all levels. For more information, please visit www.memorialdaymarathon.com.
Additionally, check out this blog post from the folks at Mass.gov, featuring “5 Traditional Ways to Pay Respect to Fallen Heroes.” For a complete listing of Memorial Day weekend activities, including local parades, click here.
Have a great weekend!