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Mar 18

7 Towns in Western Massachusetts to Visit This Spring

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Posted by the Mass Office of Travel and Tourism

From March to Memorial Day, the iconic towns, villages and cities in Western Massachusetts are brimming with vivid scenery, entertaining festivals, and culinary delights.

Although it might seem far away today, it won’t be too long before the weather warms up and the signs of spring reappear. As a quick guide to springtime in Western MA, here’s a closer look at 7 welcoming destinations and what they’ll be offering in the coming months.

1. Pittsfield

Ever witnessed a baby chick hatching? Videos never quite do it justice, so head to Pittsfield this spring to see the real thing! From April 12 to May 4, Hancock Shaker Village invites you to welcome a new batch of baby chicks, lambs and piglets at their annual Baby Animals On the Farm. RSVP here. You can explore more fun spring options in Pittsfield here.

Baby lambs

Photo: Last year’s baby lambs at Hancock Shaker Village via Facebook

2. Springfield

Every year on May 14, dedicated breakfast lovers flock to Springfield for The World’s Largest Pancake Festival, where they clamber into seats at the famous 2,500-foot-long table and celebrate the city’s founding in 1636. Past festivals have featured live entertainment, horse and carriage rides, and even appearances from celebrities Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. To take a peek at what goes on in Springfield when flapjacks don’t own the day, click here.

3. Great Barrington

If you’re a fan of film, Great Barrington will make for a top-notch destination as May turns into June. From May 29 to June 1, the Berkshires International Film Festival will roll into town, bringing along some of the silver screen’s best offerings. The 2014 lineup won’t be announced until April, but if previous years are any indication, there will be lots to enjoy. You can find information on festival passes here and a preview of the events here, as well as little bit more about the town itself here.

4. Shelburne Falls

Mosaic

Photo: American Indian Mohawk Trail Mosaic via MOTT

Shelburne Falls is famous for its Bridge of Flowers and the 10k Classic that takes place there, but did you know about the Shelburne Falls Cultural District Art Walk on May 4? Stop by for a village-wide celebration of art, music and creativity among the talented craftspeople that make this district such a special place. Contact the event staff for more information on the Art Walk and to learn more about what’s going on in Shelburne Falls during the spring, click here.

5. Lenox

If you and yours count writing as a passion, make for The Mount, the magnificent home of literary icon Edith Wharton. Starting on April 5, with What’s Your Story? Steps to Self-Publication for Young Authors, writers will learn key skills to self-publishing, including editing, copywriting and cover art design. Click here or get in touch with The Mount to learn more. You can also take a look at what else will be happening in Lenox during the spring here.

The Mount

Photo: The Mount during spring via Facebook

6. Greenfield

What better way to celebrate spring’s arrival than with an uplifting Gospel performance at the welcoming Greenfield Second Church? On March 30, the Second Congregational Church is hosting Expect a Miracle, a spring Gospel concert featuring renowned vocalist Moonlight Davis and R&B saxophonist Charles Neville. In addition to Gospel, audiences can also expect an impressive assortment of jazz, R&B and Jewish soul to ring in the warm weather. To lengthen your stay, here’s a list of available accommodations in Greenfield.

7. Amherst

Here’s a thinker: what would spring look like in pre-historic Australia? Join fellow dinosaur enthusiasts and find out firsthand at Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live on April 13 in Amherst! This performance of paleontological puppetry will take you on a guided tour through the ancient Australian landscape, with plenty of appearances from lifelike dinosaur reproductions. It’s bound to be a good time for those who are young and young at heart, as well as anyone with affection for productions. To stay the night in Amherst, here’s a list of comfy inns and B&Bs close to the exhibit.

Dinosaur Petting Zoo, ERTH, Carriageworks

Photo: Past Dinosaur Zoo show via MOTT

To see what else is happening around the Berkshires during the spring, click here. For a peek at what the Pioneer Valley will offer, click here.

What’s one Massachusetts event you look forward to each spring? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Williams2004

    For the record Hancock Shaker Village is really in HANCOCK (at least the good parts) but Pittsfield usurps it and tries to claim it as their tourist destination.

  • Jerry Harvey

    not on the list is Northampton, easily the best Western Mass city. It’s beautiful, no slums, great restaurants, good shopping and lots of young and old people. Home to Smith College, it has one of the most gorgeous facilities in the East. Springfield and Greenfield is ass.

  • MHRinNJ

    I think that it is such an unfortunate omission to have not included at least a line or two mentioning the Tanglewood Music Center which hosts amazing music in a relaxed summer atmosphere every summer in Lenox, MA. It is a wonderful and magical reason to visit!
    http://www.bso.org/micro-sites/tanglewood-music-center/home.aspx

    • supermom23

      Everyone knows about Tanglewood; it’s written about constantly in the summer. They were trying to highlight some lesser-known places.

      • MassVacation

        Tanglewood is a great event, MHRinNJ! We’ll probably cover that in an upcoming post. For this one, we did try to highlight a few more under-the-radar spots and events, as supermom23 suggested.

  • Brutus

    Springfield? Springfield, you have got to be kidding. Pack your ammo. I went to a nice hotel last year and when I started to walk out of it at 10 p.m. the hotel staff cautioned me to call a taxi and not to walk around. Just look around for the diversity crowd and you will know what I mean.

    • jonz

      It is such a shame that people tend to judge a “good” or “bad” location by the number of minorities there are.Having moved here from another part of the country one quickly learns what is meant by good or bad places. Equallly as disturbing is the idea people have no adversion to piblically stating such obviously racist tendencies.

      • Brutus

        It is such a shame that people tend to judge a “good” or “bad” location by the facts. Having studied crime statistics for years, one quickly learns what is meant by good or bad places. Equally as disturbing are people that are so ignorant of reality that they can’t confront the truth. They are so absorbed in their dumb philosophical theories that they can’t see the difference between black and white.

        • MassVacation

          Brutus, while we understand where you are coming from on this, we think there are great aspects to the city, including the Basketball Hall of Fame and Springfield Museums. Our intent for this piece was to highlight one of the fun events going on that folks could enjoy, along with several events in other towns. With respect to the discussion about crime causality, we have to say, we think that’s a pretty complex issue, and one for another time.

      • Brutus

        From Cityrating.com: Springfield city rating in 2010 was higher than the national city violent crime rate average by 235%. Higher by 235% than average and people are that ignorant of the world today. Sometimes you wonder what is in their minds. They absolutely hate facts. Probably due to their lack of education. Or probably laziness to find out the truth. They just want to stay ignorant for the rest of their lives.

      • big black dog

        You wanna be shot bro?

  • http://www.thedistractedwanderer.com Linda Orlomoski

    Like any city, Springfield has its good parts and its bad parts but it would certainly be hard to argue that the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden (http://www.catinthehat.org/memorial.htm) at the Springfield Museums is not one of the coolest spots in the city! Also at the Springfield Museums (http://www.springfieldmuseums.org/), starting May 20th through January 4th, 2015, if you can’t make it out to Stockbridge to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum (which is a terrific place), you can see a new exhibit on Norman Rockwell’s World at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History after checking out the sculptures in the Suess Memorial Garden. Whimsical along with great American traditions all in Springfield – how can you beat that??

    • Brutus

      Crime is not centralized in good and bad parts of a city. It is throughout the city, more concentrated in some areas, no doubt. It would be nice to go to a city and see the sites without worrying about getting robbed or knifed. You can make the same arguments about the wonderful sites in Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, Indianapolis, New Haven, Bridgeport, etc. I would not take an all expense paid vacation to any of these cities. You know why, you can’t admit it, I can, that is the difference. You live in your fantasy world of diversity walking around with your blinders on, open your eyes, it is for your own benefit. I am going to Berlin Germany for three months this summer. In no way, do I think of worrying about crime like I do Springfield. Check the crime statistics in Berlin, 3.5 million people, 265 square miles. It is much safer that Springfield. You need to confront the truth head on and correct it and then Springfield would be nicer to visit. Good luck.

      • http://www.thedistractedwanderer.com Linda Orlomoski

        Really Brutus, this is totally NOT the forum for crime statistics but for your information I have spent several very nice weekends in Baltimore and was not affected by the “high crime rates” at all. You can’t judge an entire city by those statistics but neither can you blissfully walk around ANYWHERE totally unaware of your surroundings. As a 911 dispatcher I am very aware of the possibility of crime happening anywhere but last I checked, no one was getting knifed while visiting the Dr. Seuss Memorial Garden or any of the museums that Springfield has. I don’t wear blinders – thank you very much – but I also don’t shy away from places because “something” might happen. Heck, “something” could happen in any small town anywhere in the world as much as it could in any big city so please stop preaching about how bad Springfield is and try visiting the nicer areas that DO exist. Oh, and do enjoy your summer in Berlin not worrying about crime because I’m sure no random muggings or stabbings have ever happened over there. Sheesh.

  • Jamie Kingsbery

    If you replaced Amherst with Williamstown, this would be a pretty good list!

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