Discover Central Mass for Adventures, Dining, and Culture
As we come together again, Central Massachusetts is calling. Home to an extensive outside dining scene, Shakespeare in the Park, and a sparkling new baseball stadium for the Worcester Red Sox, there is plenty to do in this diverse region. The area’s museums and restaurants have also opened for indoor activities, giving you an opportunity to make the year’s first pilgrimage to the Worcester Art Museum or brand new gems like Chashu Ramen & Izakaya in Downtown Worcester. Whether you want to reach the sky via the Wachusett Mountain SkyRide or take your date to the drive-in theater, you have somewhere great to go in Central Massachusetts.
There is no better place to put the past year behind us and make new memories than Polar Park, home of Boston’s AAA affiliate, the Worcester Red Sox. The new facility has already invigorated the Canal District with fans flocking from across the region, so you can imagine the festive atmosphere when all 9,805 seats are sold for games. Designed to fit seamlessly into the historic district, every seat will provide an excellent vantage point from which to watch future major league stars represent Worcester and all of Central Massachusetts on the diamond.
Shakespeare in the Park adds another jewel to Worcester’s sparkling crown, a brand new attraction on the Worcester Common this summer thanks to The Hanover Theatre Repertory, in partnership with the City of Worcester, supported by the Worcester Downtown Business Improvement District and generous sponsors. Free performances of Julius Caesar will provide a gift for the entire community. Sitting under the stars on a warm August evening watching a play is the perfect way to celebrate the arts this summer.
Of course, there are dozens of other events planned for the summer of ’21. Many of us have discovered our inner gardener over the past year and Tower Hill Botanic Garden provides the perfect inspiration to continue our journey. The staff is hosting seasonal pruning workshops through November. Events such as the Thursday evening beer garden and Music in Bloom bring extra harmony to the gardens, and there are also outdoor playscapes that invite interaction and inspire the imagination. Whether you’re a seasoned green thumb, new to the planting obsession, or an admirer of all flora great and small, lunch at the Farmer and the Fork Café will make your weekend visit an event worth savoring.
Central Massachusetts is home to countless opportunities to introduce children to nature or take a peaceful stroll among the trees and birdsong. Broad Meadow Brook, Worcester’s “Sanctuary in the City,” unfurls natural habitats over 400 acres. Keep your cameras and smartphones at the ready as Mass Audubon’s “Picture This: Your Great Outdoors Photo Contest” begins in early summer. Broad Meadow Brook features five miles of trails through an impressive array of habitats, including woods, streambeds, fields, and marshlands. As is often the case with an urban green oasis, birdwatchers are rewarded by species drawn to the urban greenways.
Nature also thrives at the EcoTarium, outdoor interactive exhibits are now open for visitors and July brings two new indoor exhibits. In addition to live animal habitats, nature trails, and the seasonal train ride, take part in daily Science Discovery programming throughout the upcoming seasons. The Southwick Zoo invites wildlife lovers to take a walk on the wild side, inviting up close and personal interactions in the Deer Forest, Aviary and more. You can combine observing animals on foot with a Sky Ride, or with a train, zipline, pony, or camel ride.
Central Massachusetts is also renowned for human-powered adventures, like exploring Berlin’s Boundless Adventure Zipline and Aerial Park. Perfect for families, groups, and special occasions, visitors have access to over 90 rope bridges, 16 ziplines, and three “leap of faith” experiences. The courses are divided into skill levels ranging from beginner to expert, much like runs on a ski hill. Speaking of the alpine, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area operates a summer SkyRide Monday to Friday, a lovely way to ride up, check out the view, and then hike on one of the Wachusett Mountain Reservation trails.
Traditional golf is not the only fairway sport that is currently booming across America. Disc golf appears to be here to stay, an ideal pastime for friends set in some of the most sublime environments around. Home to the Vibram Open, Leicester’s Maple Hill Disc Golf Course is rated among the “Top 10 Courses in the World” by DG.coursereview.com. Maple Hill represents the future of this growing sport by offering four configurations suitable for beginners, intermediate and expert players. There are even water holes that require a carry to succeed. Make sure to save time for the Maple Hill Sap House, arguably the premier disc golf clubhouse in the USA.
Whether you bring your disc or not, you don’t have to look far for a great walk in Central Mass. You’ll find trails that take you over trestles and covered bridges, through granite notches, and to Lookout Rock, a short multigenerational hike that provides sublime vistas of the everchanging New England landscape. The Cascades is filled with wildflowers spread across 156 acres, the Park at River Bend Farm leads through a historic farm complex and over river trails, and the Grand Trunk Trail follows an old trolley railroad and will eventually stretch over 60 miles. For those headed to Old Sturbridge Village, walking a loop at Leadmine Trails is a conveniently located nearby attraction
Save While You Explore
The brand new Smile City Culture Passport offers you discounts at attractions, hotels, bakeries and more in Worcester and across Central MA. Sign up for free and when new deals are announced they’ll automatically show up on your mobile passport. Get discounts and start planning your new trip at VisitSmileCity.com today.