15 Best Things to Do in Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA
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The Town of Franklin is not a town but a lively city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts.

It gets its name from the nation’s most recognizable founding father, Benjamin Franklin.

It is also one of the 13 municipalities in the state that have either applied or received the right to retain the term “town” in their name.

Founded in 1660, Franklin’s first white settlers were Puritans who fled from Englandhadescape religious persecution.

However, Native Americans have already lived near Lake Pearl for centuries, before the Europeans arrived.

Incorporated in 1778, the town almost got the name “Exeter,” but its residents ultimately named it “Franklin” in honor of the prolific statesman.

Consequently, it is also the first municipality in the United States named after him.

Today, Franklin is a thriving city bustling with activities and attractions.

Here are the best things to do in Franklin, Massachusetts:

Appreciate Local Art at Franklin Sculpture Park

Rainbow archway at Franklin Sculpture Park
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One of the city’s hidden gems, Franklin Sculpture Park, is in the heart of the city along Panther Way.

The park features 13 unique sculptures from local artists, mainly from Franklin Art Center.

The park’s other notable feature is the beautiful pond thriving with life and vegetation.

A sculpture at Franklin Sculpture Park
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Starting as an old town pool, the city breathed new life into the area by transforming it into a pond.

Thanks to these efforts, many small animals and birds have come to live in the park and its surrounding property.

Bridge designed with wooden fish at Franklin Sculpture Park
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The park also features picnic tables which provide scenic views of the artworks and the pond.

Moreover, you can visit the park anytime, since it is open daily.

Interesting artworks nestled inside a great environment right within the city make Franklin Sculpture Park a perfect place for a quick, relaxing getaway.

Sculpture on the grounds of Franklin Sculpture Park
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Tour the Franklin Historical Museum

Located right at the city’s heart, the Franklin Historical Museum is inside an old town hall constructed in 1842.

As a time capsule of Franklin’s past, the museum contains various memorabilia from its residents covering different periods.

It also holds photo collections spanning more than 100 years.

Moreover, it has a library containing archives and records dating back to the mid-1800s.

The museum also has an exhibit honoring one of Franklin’s most famous sons, no less than the father of American education himself, Horace Mann.

The handicapped-accessible museum also welcomes everyone.

Likewise, you can buy souvenirs at the gift shop inside.

Franklin Historical Museum provides an immersive experience by offering a glimpse of the historic city’s past.

Explore Franklin State Forest

Spanning 843 acres, Franklin State Forest is a sprawling patch of green space near the city center.

It contains a network of trails that run several miles into the woodlands.

This feature makes the spot great for hiking and nature walks.

Likewise, the trails suit mountain biking and horseback riding.

For those looking for an extra thrill, the state forest also features an eight-mile off-road loop track designed especially for motorbike enthusiasts.

During winter, it also becomes a popular spot for cross-country skiing.

Franklin State Forest may contain only minimal development, but this natural wonder provides an unhampered outdoor experience to everyone for every season.

Play Games at King Street Memorial Park

One of the several recreation areas in Franklin is the King Street Memorial Park.

Located in the southern half of the city, it spans about 25 acres.

You can play on the park’s basketball and pickleball courts and the baseball and soccer fields.

There’s also a designated playground with fun features.

The park’s well-maintained environment also makes it an ideal place for picnicking.

Moreover, the Franklin Community Garden is inside the park.

The garden features flowers and vegetables grown by the locals.

Whether you want to burn some calories or spend a relaxing time alone or with the family, King Street Memorial Park offers enough amenities to suit your needs.

Go Fishing and Canoeing at DelCarte Conservation Area

Formerly called Franklin Reservoir, DelCarte Conservation Area is a predominantly marshy area in the city’s eastern part.

Former tackle shop owner Ernest DelCarte deeded this 136-acre parcel of land to the city after passing in 2000.

Locals remember him fondly for his passion for caring for the area.

Today, DelCarte Conservation features accessible trails that are perfect for nature walks.

It contains several shallow artificial ponds that are great not only for fishing but also for sightseeing.

Canoeing is another popular activity in the area, with a boat launch established in one of the ponds.

Also nestled within the park are a well-maintained playground and picnic tables.

Its beautiful environment and valuable amenities make DelCarte Conservation Area the perfect place for a family outing.

Play with Friends at Dacey Fields Disc Golf

Located along Lincoln St., Dacey Fields Disc Golf prides itself as the region’s first 18-hole disc golf course.

Unlike most disc golf courses, it integrates perfectly with the 100-acre-plus woodlands.

Find holes dotted across its diverse landscapes, including lush forests, abandoned farm roads, orchards, and low-sloping hills.

Several streams also snake through the area.

Thanks to these natural features, the course provides plenty of challenges even to experienced players.

The disc golf course is also open every day.

Dacey Fields Disc Golf allows you to enjoy the game, and its cool and refreshing environment makes the entire experience immersive.

Experience Virtual Putting at GolfX

GolfX is the perfect way to play golf without worrying about the weather or expensive country club membership.

It features nearly 100 top golf courses worldwide, from California to Australia.

This state-of-the-art golf simulator gathers data with each swing, allowing you to adjust and improve your game each time.

For added realism, it has 140 square foot raised putting greens.

Their private suite is perfect for groups; it can comfortably accommodate 12 people.

They also provide club fitting services and golf lessons to improve your putting skills.

Whether a beginner or a pro, playing at GolfX is an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Visit the Franklin Public Library

Exterior of Franklin Public Library
Swampyank, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1790, the Franklin Public Library is the first public lending library in the United States.

Housed inside a well-preserved 18th-century building, the library’s formation ties deeply with the city’s founding.

When the residents chose to name the town after Benjamin Franklin, they also requested the statesman to donate a church bell.

Instead, Franklin offered to donate books to the town, which he deemed more important than the bell.

During a town meeting, the residents voted to allow everyone to borrow the books for free.

Facade of Franklin Public Library
Swampyank, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hence, the public library began lending books to residents.

The library currently displays the donated books, which still survive.

On top of its collection of traditional books, the library has also adapted to modern technology with computers and readers in CD and DVD formats.

Moreover, they also hold fun special events and activities.

Visiting the Franklin Public Library is a must-experience for everyone.

Have Fun at Altitude Trampoline Park

Altitude Trampoline Park is Franklin’s all-in-one place for family fun and entertainment.

The center features more than just your regular trampolines.

The center features creative trampoline variations like Flip N Run, Trampoline Basketball, Cardio wall, and Extreme dodgeball.

It also has Tumble Track, where you can practice your tumbling and perform trampoline maneuvers, allowing you to jump up to seven feet.

Other cool features include the challenging Wipeout and the interactive video game Valo Jump.

Moreover, you can also jump into their foam cube pit and huge stunt bags similar to the ones used in the movies.

Likewise, there’s a Little Jumpers Kids Court section where they can safely jump and play.

You can also play in the arcade with over 20 games.

With all these features and more, Altitude Trampoline Park offers hours of fun for family and friends.

Try Delicious Goodies at Birchwood Bakery & Kitchen

One of Franklin’s newer cafés, Birchwood Bakery & Kitchen, has begun growing in popularity thanks to its delicious pastries and friendly ambiance.

This café and pastry shop offers an assortment of baked goodies like muffins, croissants, cookies, biscuits, and custom cakes for any occasion.

They also serve toast and fresh salads.

You can also try their hot sandwiches, quiches, and frittata.

Pair them with either coffee or tea, which you can get hot or cold.

With a neatly minimalist dining area, Birchwood Bakery & Kitchen provides a relaxing experience as you enjoy your coffee and cookies.

Enjoy Craft Beer at 67 Degrees Brewing

The 67 Degrees Brewing is a family-owned brewery and bar along Grove Street.

This brewery crafts the best draft beer in the region and offers a vast selection of flavorful beer, including seasonal and limited edition offerings.

The brewery’s bar, known as “Taproom,” is a popular hangout in the city.

Enjoy their delicious beers while a live band plays in the background.

On top of the bar’s cozy and laidback atmosphere, they also encourage their patrons to bring their dogs.

With their delicious beer and lovely, friendly vibe, check out 67 Degrees Brewing in Franklin.

Stroll around Franklin Town Common

When viewed from above, Franklin Town Common forms a nearly triangular parcel of green space in the city center.

One of the landmarks in the area is the Veterans Memorial, dedicated to the men and women who served in various wars throughout history.

Another similar landmark within the town is the Civil War Soldier’s Monument.

The town common playground has also become a favorite recreation and picnicking spot in the city.

Great for short walks and strolling around, it also features a lovely gazebo and concrete walkways shaded with trees dotting the area.

Moreover, the public space also hosts many special events such as the Fourth of July celebration, Memorial Day, summer concerts, and farmer’s markets.

The Franklin Town Common is a solemn place with a relaxing atmosphere and occasional fun activities, offering a pleasant experience to everyone.

Buy Fresh Farm Products at Fairmount Fruit Farm

Located along Lincoln Street, Fairmount Fruit Farm has supplied the city with fresh produce for over 100 years.

The farm stand sells fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, and eggs, among other products.

You can also find homemade pickled vegetables, honey, a few varieties of cheese, and other locally-made products there.

They also have meat and poultry, which are perfect for a barbecue.

One of the most sought-after events on the farm is its U-Pick Apple Season, which begins after Labor day and lasts until mid-October.

Grab fresh produce and other farm products at the Fairmount Fruit Farm.

Go Berry-Picking at Gianetti’s U-Pick Blueberries

Gianetti’s U-Pick Blueberries is a family-owned farm located along Union Street.

It is also considered one of Franklin’s hidden gems.

The farm allows its guests to pick blueberries to their heart’s content.

You can either bring your container or use the farm’s buckets.

The farm features five varieties of high-bush blueberries, all of which are easy to pick.

Gianetti’s U-Pick Blueberries offers a simple yet enjoyable bonding activity for your family and friends.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Southwick’s Zoo

Chimpanzee at Southwick’s Zoo
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One of Massachusetts’s most popular attractions is Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts, 24 minutes from Franklin.

Spreading more than 200 acres, it is the largest zoo in New England.

The zoo houses over 850 species of animals, ranging from mighty lions, tigers, and towering giraffes to vibrant flamingoes and colorful peacocks.

It also features a 35-acre forest where dozens of deer and other small animals roam freely.

Ostrich at Southwick’s Zoo
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Other fun attractions in the zoo include the Skyfari Sky Ride, Woodland Express Train, and Soaring Eagle Zip Line.

Moreover, the zoo features a walk-through aviary and educational presentations where you can learn more about the environment.

You can also find Galliford’s Restaurant & Tavern, a full-service eatery, within the zoo’s premises.

Impressive animals, great learning amenities, and family-friendly features make Southwick’s Zoo a standout attraction that everyone must visit.

Macaw at Southwick’s Zoo
Eric Savage, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

As a profoundly historic and culturally-rich city, Franklin also features numerous attractions that offer fun and exciting experience for everyone

This city has everything you need and more, guaranteeing fun and memorable experience.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Franklin, Massachusetts!