Springfield, Massachusetts, is a veritable mecca for those interested in history, but it offers much more than exhibits on human and animal antiquity.
The city is the seat of Hampden County, on the Connecticut River's eastern bank.
Founded in 1636, Springfield is the first among the 40 Springfield-named locations in the US.
It's home to many firsts, including the first American dictionary and the first gas-powered car in America.
The city also goes by the nicknames "The City of Homes" because of its Victorian-era architecture and "Hoop City" because Canadian James Naismith invented basketball there in 1891.
Springfield also has something that no other city does: Dr. Seuss!
To learn more, check out this list of the best things to do in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Explore the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden
One of the best things to do in Springfield, Massachusetts, is to check out the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.
Many people don't realize that Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, was a native of the city, born in 1904.
Because his father oversaw the Forest Park Zoo, Dr. Seuss spent much of his childhood in the area.
Stunning sculptures of Horton, Sally, Sam-i-am, and Thidwick, the Moose, stand in this area.
You may see familiar faces across the city, not just at the memorial garden.
For example, you may find the Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss near the Springfield Library.
The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden stands out among the many things to do in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Visit the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Legend says that Canadian-American doctor James Naismith invented basketball at the YMCA gym in Springfield near the end of the 19th century.
The site where people first played this game deserves special recognition.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame debuted in 1959 on the Springfield College campus.
In 2002 it relocated to its current state-of-the-art exhibition facility, shaped like a basketball.
Every basketball fan must visit this site.
The museum, which is 40,000 square feet, celebrates the lives of more than 400 legendary athletes and coaches who have made significant contributions to the sport.
If you want your kids to cooperate when it's time to leave, let them run about on the regulation-size basketball court of The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Bring Your Kids to Springfield Science Museum
The Springfield Science Museum dates back to 1859, making it one of the city's longest-running attractions.
There are both art deco and contemporary additions to this massive neoclassical structure.
As the oldest star projector in the United States, the Korkosz Star ball at the Seymour Planetarium is one of the attraction's unique selling points.
The young visitors may wonder at the life-size models in the Dinosaur Hall.
At the same time, adults can see the live animal center that recreates endangered ecosystems, including mangroves, rainforests, and coral reefs.
The Telegraphone Recorder, dating back to the 1910s and recorded sound onto wire spools, is a fascinating item in the Springfield Science Museum.
Admire Local Art at George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum
Construction on the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum began in 1895 and was first opened to the public the following year.
The fine art and decorative art gathered by George Smith and his wife is the primary emphasis of this museum.
Mr. Smith possessed an extensive 19th-century American painting collection.
Many paintings in his collection were landscapes by painters from the Hudson River School.
He also owned works from China, Japan, and the Middle East.
Pieces from Japan, China, and the Middle East comprise the bulk of this gallery's Asian art section.
In addition, a sizable art collection from the United States dates back to the 19th century.
George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is home to the fantastic Hasbro Games Art Exploration Center, an interactive creative space for children.
Learn Transportation History at Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History
Do you want to learn more about the city's past?
Schedule some time to visit the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.
Lincoln, the Underground Railroad, and John Brown are just a few historical figures with whom Springfield has connections.
Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History features a wealth of data about Springfield's economic growth and transportation history.
You'll learn about the many firsts that originated in Springfield, such as the many novel inventions developed here besides basketball.
See a Record-Breaking Gun Collection at Springfield Armory National Historic Site
The mission of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site is to preserve and interpret the history of Springfield, including its colorful and turbulent past.
Springfield Armory once produced high-quality weapons for the United States military.
The museum occupies the armory's original structure and has various engaging displays, free community events, educational programs, essential artifacts, and digital resources.
The founding of this armory dates back to the time of George Washington and the Revolutionary War.
The Springfield Armory was one of the earliest American gun makers and the first government armory in the country.
In 1794, the Springfield Armory began making muskets and reopened to the public as a National Historic Site after 184 years.
This museum is famous for housing the world's largest collection of historic firearms from the United States.
You can choose between a ranger-led tour or exploring the park solo.
Appreciate Diversity at Pan African Historical Museum
Exhibits at the Pan African History Museum bring the history and culture of African Americans and the United States to life.
The Pan African History Museum houses a comprehensive modern and historical art and artifacts collection.
You will find its well-curated museum spaces in Springfield's Tower Square.
The museum's permanent collections and exhibitions include the Golden Period of the Mighty Empires: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay.
You can also join the African American Heritage Trail Tour.
They are among the best resources for visitors interested in learning about Africa and the African diaspora.
Pan African Historical Museum also features an Underground Railroad walking tour.
Wander Springfield College
The campus of Springfield College is one of the most exciting places to see in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is a must-see on every tourist's itinerary.
In addition to its academic offerings, the college is home to the Springfield College Museum, which features artifacts from its history and other exhibitions.
One of the most enjoyable things to do in Springfield is to check out this college and museum's historical exhibits.
Another old landmark in town, this college has been running for almost 130 years.
It is widely recognized as the "Birthplace of Basketball" due to being the school of the game's inventor, James Naismith.
Applicants may view James Naismith's original handwritten application to Springfield College, a prestigious private university that awards bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees, at the Springfield Museum.
Try Your Luck at MGM Springfield
MGM Springfield, a hotel and casino facility in the heart of Springfield's Metro Center, makes for a thrilling weekend vacation.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the historic Union Railroad Station are just a short walk from this luxurious hotel and casino.
The rooms at the MGM Springfield are ultra-luxurious, featuring amenities like rain showers, flat-screen TVs, free-standing tubs, and more.
At MGM, you'll find some excellent slot machines, table games, and plenty of chances to walk away with money in your pocket.
While there are many dining options in the area, MGM Springfield has its high-end steakhouse, stunning Italian restaurant, and casual food court.
Catch a Performance at Symphony Hall Springfield
Located on Court Street, the Symphony Hall Springfield was formerly called "The Auditorium."
The Greek revival-style Symphony Hall opened around 1911 and was later renamed in the 1940s.
Famous for its excellent acoustics, the 2,611-seat Symphony Hall Springfield is a favorite venue for Musical performances.
The Springfield Symphony Orchestra also performs here.
Lectures, Children's Shows, and Broadway-like theater performances are just a few of the events held in Symphony Hall.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony also occurs here annually.
Catch a Concert at MassMutual Center
In the heart of downtown Springfield, the MassMutual Center serves as a conference center and venue for various events.
Since its 1972 debut, the arena has hosted various of Springfield's most notable events, including Harlem Globetrotters tour appearances, AIC Hockey Games, and more.
The MassMutual Center is the home of the Springfield Thunderbirds and a multi-purpose event and exhibition space.
The MassMutual Center is a landmark in Springfield, Massachusetts, with 100,000 square feet of conference space and an 8,000-seat arena.
It is easily accessible from the city's other great attractions.
Groove to the Music at Theodore's Blues, Booze, and BBQ
Live music and delicious cuisine are a winning combo.
Theodore's Blues, Booze, and BBQ is the best place in Springfield to enjoy this winning combination.
For almost 30 years, locals and tourists have enjoyed the delectable food and lively atmosphere at Theodores' Blues, Booze, and BBQ.
The blues, a favorite musical style at Theodore's, is a perfect soundtrack for savoring their barbecue.
Besides the promised BBQ, the menu includes some pleasantly surprising Cajun and Spicy Cajun dishes.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Relive History at the Titanic Museum
The Titanic sank on April 14, 1912.
Many people have a passing familiarity with the accident because of a particular blockbuster film from the 1990s.
However, they may not know that the regulations that help keep people safe on the ocean today were implemented after the ship sank.
The Titanic Museum is under the care of the Titanic Historical Society, a non-profit organization committed to preserving the history of the RMS Titanic.
It is one of the museum's most extensive collections of items associated with survivors.
Learn about the many acts of bravery, comedy, and generosity from the events that led to the sinking.
You may find Titanic Museum in a renovated jewelry store in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, about 15 minutes outside Springfield.
Despite lacking some of the more flashy features of other Titanic attractions, it more than makes up for it with the high quality and extensive collection of its artifacts.
Explore the City's Past at Storrowton Village Museum
There is also the Storrowtown Village Museum, which focuses on the history of New England and its people.
You may expect to get a warm welcome at this well-known destination.
Exciting activities and a tour of the museum's replica town highlight the museum's living history exhibits.
Friendly and knowledgeable staff members often guide town tours.
Visitors may tour rebuilt homes and stores while learning about the area's history and residents.
Seeing how people lived in this town in the 19th century is a fascinating experience, and the trip is usually popular with history buffs.
Stop by Storrowton Village Museum in West Springfield, Massachusetts, six minutes from Springfield.
Join the Festivities at the Big E
The Big E ranks as the sixth-largest fair in the United States and the most significant agricultural festival on the East Coast.
Some people call this event "New England's Big State Fair."
It typically attracts the most crowds between the middle of September and the beginning of October.
During The Big E, you may see cattle events and equestrian exhibitions and browse massive displays of vegetables.
The Big E also displays six life-size replicas of state capitol buildings yearly.
It is in West Springfield, Massachusetts, five minutes from Springfield.
Springfield is a fantastic destination for anyone searching for a more low-key, authentic slice of the United States.
Yet, there are other reasons to visit this ancient town on the Connecticut River's coast.
Reward yourself with history, culture, food, and a warm welcome by trying this list of the best things to do in Springfield, Massachusetts.