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Built in the style of an Italian villa in 1895, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum houses an eclectic collection of artifacts from Ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt and China, plus artworks, Chinese ceramics, Japanese armor and plaster casts of major European sculptures. This art museum is a must-see for art enthusiasts of all ages who are visiting the Springfield Museums, especially with the Hasbro Games Art Discovery Center that encourages children to learn about art and history through interactive displays and activities.
One of the most unique public spaces in the country, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden has five different statues and sculptures of some of Dr Seuss' most beloved characters. A ten-foot tall Horton, plus the Lorax, Yertle the Turtle and the Cat in the Hat are some of the cartoon creatures that come to life in this playful garden. The largest sculpture is an enormous replica of Oh, the Places You'll Go!, and there is also a statue of Dr. Seuss sitting at his writing desk. Free and open daily, the garden is a great stop for anyone and everyone who loves Dr. Seuss.
Old Sturbridge Village has been a staple for schoolchildren and families in New England since 1946. This 200-acre (81-hectare) living history museum features beautiful grounds with buildings transported to Sturbridge, Massachusetts from all around the Northeast. Your tour of the property begins at the Visitor Center where you can see special exhibits and videos about life in early 19th-century New England. Step inside any of the buildings and you will find historians dressed in period costumes explaining the origins of the structures and their role in the community. There are over 40 buildings on the property, including a schoolhouse, gristmill, smithery, bake shop, law office, printers and typical 1830s-style homes. There is an on-site restaurant, the Oliver Wight Tavern, where you can enjoy lunch or brunch on the weekends. In springtime, children will love to see the newborn lambs and cows!
Storrowton Village is a living history museum located on the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds. The antique buildings around the mini-town within the fairgrounds recreate a New England town during the 19th Century. The Village is primarily open during the summer months and gets the most visitors of the year during The Big E fair. Take a tour, and have a costumed volunteer docent answer your questions about Storrowton Village, or enjoy a meal at the Storrowton Tavern.
Frank Newhall Look Memorial Park, often simply called Look Park, is a beautiful large park that's perfect for the whole family. This park has a wide range of activities. For a small fee, hop on the Steamer Train for a one-mile ride around the park and scoop out all the fun things to do. During the summer you can go on Bumper Boats, take a ride on a paddle boat, or cool off at the Water Spray Park. Visit the free Christenson Zoo where you can see Fallow Deer, Red-Tailed Hawks, peacocks, and more. There is also a miniature golf course, multiple playgrounds, seasonal tennis courts, and a scenic walking path. Whether you want to relax or play, this park is for you!
Forest Park is 785 acres of pure outdoor fun. With all kinds of entertainment, including a zoo, paddleboats, tennis courts, bocce ball, playgrounds and hiking trails, Forest Park has something for everyone. In the winter, the park is a great location for sledding and snowshoeing. Whether its summer, spring, winter or fall, Forest Park has got it all.
The Springfield Science Museum and Seymour Planetarium is dedicated to the natural sciences and artifacts found throughout New England. Children can explore and learn about the habitats of the Amazon rainforest, African savanna, a coral reef or the New England coastal areas. If a trip through time is more their thing, the Dinosaur Hall has replicas of Tyrannosaurus Rex as well as some dinosaurs native to the Connecticut River Valley. Tickets to the Seymour Planetarium (the nation's oldest) can be purchased separately, so sit back and check out over 7000 stars from our solar system.
One of the region's great authors of children's books is Eric Carle, author and artist of the beloved classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art consists of three galleries dedicated to picture book art and children's books. The museum also has a reading room, art center, and cafe. The Eric Carle Museum is a great place to introduce children to art via their favorite pictures and story books.
The Zoo in Forest Park is home to 200 animals from all over the world. From camels to lemurs and leopards, the Zoo in Forest Park is a great place to spend a fun day out with the family. In addition to all the fun animals, the zoo has a propane driven train so guests can enjoy a fun ride around the zoo when their feet get tired. One of the most interesting things about the Zoo in Forest Park is their Adopt an Animal program, where you can sponsor an animal and receive information about your animal, free zoo passes, and your name on a plaque commemorating your support of the animal. Open hours vary depending on the time of year and weather.
Stop by McCray's Farm for a fun daytime outing with your kids. This farm features great outdoor family-friendly entertainment, including a petting zoo and miniature golf. Make sure to visit McCray's Farm near Halloween when there are hayrides and you can pick your own pumpkin. You might even want to leave the little ones at home and visit after dark in October when the farm hosts the spooky Monster Mash Scream Park.
Let your kid's imagination soar at the Amelia Park Children's Museum. This friendly museum is perfect for young children since they'll love all the interactive exhibits. Your kid can pretend to be an astronaut in the space exploration exhibit or act like a teller at the bank exhibit. There are also daily activates and special events, like craft hour and science demonstrations. This museum makes learning fun!
Exciting activities await you at the Three County Fairgrounds. Formed with the intention of promoting agriculture, agricultural education and agricultural science in the Commonwealth, the Three County Fairgrounds have something to offer adults, children and even the aged. For starters, you can have some fun with live "thoroughbred racing." There is also an annual fair where you can enjoy the merry-go-rounds. Have some of your favorite food here and mingle with the crowd. You never know, you might just meet some interesting people who can make your day a memorable one!