Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Worcester, MA

  • Published 2023/04/19

Also famous as the “Heart of the Commonwealth,” Worcester is the second-largest city in Massachusetts after Boston.

It is one of the state’s busiest yet most welcoming cities.

Worcester is one of the most culturally rich and dynamic cities in Massachusetts, as people from different places live here because of its affordability and good environment.

This beautiful and energetic city offers a great vibe to all visitors.

Being home to a large number of cultural places like museums, theaters, and art galleries, Worcester is a fun city that offers a lot for every visitor to explore.

It is a perfect destination for all those who are passionate about art, history, culture, and adventure.

These are the best things to do in Worcester, Massachusetts:

See the Famous Silver Collection at the Worcester Art Museum

Exterior of the Worcester Art Museum

Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Worcester Art Museum has an extensive collection of artworks from various artists from across the globe.

It houses more than 35,000 artworks collected throughout various periods.

The museum also organizes different types of exhibitions that glorify cultures from all over the world.

Signage of Worcester Art Museum

Wangkun Jia /

Paul Revere’s valuable silver collection is one of the museum’s most famous displays.

There’s also a stunning armor gallery that captures a lot of tourists’ attention.

The museum has an on-site gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs, along with a cafe that serves refreshing beverages.

Aerial view of Worcester Art Museum

Wangkun Jia /

Check Out the Fascinating Exhibitions at the EcoTarium

Interior of EcoTarium

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The EcoTarium is a museum that was established based on the idea of introducing people to science and nature together.

It is a great place to visit for educational and enlightening purposes and spend some time learning about the earth, its environment, and the natural world.

The museum is designed in such a manner that the visitors will automatically develop an interest in science and nature.

City Science display in EcoTarium

EcoTarium, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It has three levels of exhibitions that are designed to encourage tourists to explore the natural world.

The museum also plans a number of events and activities throughout the year, which are great for getting some insight into ecology.

It also organizes summer camps and festivals, including the annual Great Pumpkin Fest.

Watch a Show at the Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts

Exterior of the Hanover Theater

Jay Yuan /

Originally built in the year 1904, the Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts was formerly known as the Franklin Square Theatre.

The theater’s ownership was changed in 1912, which resulted in remodeling and several alterations in infrastructure.

A two-story lobby was added to the original theater, along with some vintage decorative items like mirrors and chandeliers.

Entrance doors of Hanover Theatre

Jay Yuan /

The theater looks lavish and beautiful due to its decoration.

It has a seating capacity of up to 2,300 people.

The theater organizes a lot of shows, many of which are perfect for enjoying with family and groups of friends.

Snap Photos of the Gorgeous Mechanics Hall

Exterior of Mechanics Hall

Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mechanics Hall is a special kind of attraction that you won’t be able to find anywhere else but in Worcester.

The hall was built in the year 1857 with the objective of helping mechanics develop their manufacturing skills.

However, in 1977, the hall was changed and converted into a famous venue for concerts and art performances.

Wedding reception in Mechanics Hall

Sugan Rajalingam /

Mechanics Hall is also a source of great pride to the city as it is ranked one of the four top concert halls in America.

This hall has an elegant building that is perfectly suitable for events like weddings, concerts, as well as galas.

The building also houses some great pieces of art.

Mechanics Hall is very aesthetically pleasing and definitely deserves a spot on your Worcester itinerary.

Side view of Mechanics Hall's exterior

Wangkun Jia /

Geek Out at the American Antiquarian Society

Exterior of American Antiquarian Society

Harold Stiver /

The American Antiquarian Society is one of the city’s most fascinating attractions,, especially for history buffs.

The place has a great range of material on the history of America before 1876, including more than three million books and a gigantic collection of other print media such as manuscripts, newspapers, graphic cards, periodicals, and more.

This library also showcases the first book that was printed in America, the Bay Psalm Book.

Those who prefer electronic reading options will be pleased to find that the library offers digital collections as well.

The American Antiquarian Society is home to a lot of information that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, along with beautiful views and a gorgeous building.

Shop for Crafts by Local Artisans at Crompton Collective

For engaging shoppers and collectors, the city has its own beautiful boutique market right in the heart of the city.

Crompton Collective is a market where local artisans and small business owners sell their products.

The place has almost everything to offer, from craft items to clothes.

You can pick up some eatables or antique collections for decorating your homes.

The market also has a bread company nearby where you can stop and pick up some refreshments.

All this is housed within one building that is absolutely worth a visit.

Remember Fallen Heroes at the Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The grounds of Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial

og-emmet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built in the year 2002 in order to honor the residents of Massachusetts who gave up their lives in Vietnam.

Along with that, this memorial also acts as an honor for all those who worked for the nation from 1955 to 1975.

This memorial is quite different from others as it is built around lush green trees and flowers.

Fountain at Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial

andysartworks /

It is surrounded by a lake and has a number of benches for visitors to sit on while looking at these beautiful pieces.

While you enter the memorial, you’ll see 13 letters written on the granite.

Meanwhile, at the exit, the names of the martyrs are written in alphabetical order.

There is also another memorial that honors more than 4,000 dogs and their services during the Vietnam War.

Map sign of Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial

andysartworks /

Step Back in Time at Worcester Historical Museum

Exterior of Worcester Historical Museum

John Phelan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Worcester Historical Museum was established in the year 1875 and has a variety of items dedicated to describing the city’s history.

The museum is owned and managed by a local who is solely responsible for taking care of all the documents and descriptions present in the museum.

It is the only place that is entirely dedicated to the history of locals, showcasing their artifacts and detailing important moments of their lives.

The museum also has a uniquely designed bookstore and a great gift shop selling affordable items, in case you are planning to buy some gifts or books about the local history of this place.

Enjoy Beer and Live Music at Wormtown Brewery

Opened in the month of March 2010, Wormtown Brewery originally started as an ice cream shop and was later converted into a famous and well-managed brewery.

The brewery offers some of the best beers and has received a special medal and a few awards.

Wormtown Brewery serves tasty food and holds live music performances.

It’s a great place to consider in case you happen to be on the lookout for a laid-back place to hang out in Worcester.

Try Indoor Rock Climbing at Central Rock Gym

The vibrant and cultural city of Worcester also offers a fun and adventurous time for the entire family at Central Rock Gym.

This rock climbing center was opened in the year 2009 and provides various kinds of indoor activities to visitors.

The place has the best machines and equipment, and the art and decoration here is incredible.

There is also a gym inside, which is a great attraction for all the fitness buffs.

Central Rock Gym offers climbing and other community activities, along with yoga classes and other fitness activities.

If you are someone who is not very familiar with the gym and climbing techniques, the staff will always be there to help and make you feel as comfortable as possible.

Relax with the Family at Elm Park

Daytime view of Elm Park

Jay Yuan /

One of the first public parks in the entire country, Elm Park was designed in the year 1854.

As its condition worsened throughout the years, the park underwent a renovation project worth $4 million, which restored it to its former glory.

Wooden footbridge over the waters of Elm Park

NayaDadara /

Since its renovation, the park has boasted beautiful and well-managed walkways, swings for kids, slides, as well as other attractions.

The bridge in the park is handicap-friendly and was designed by the new architect and college students.

Elm Park is the perfect destination for a family outing if you have kids.

Fall foliage on Elm Park grounds

Jay Yuan /

Meet the Animals at the Green Hill Park Farm

The Green Hill Park Farm is a zoo situated on the property of Green Hill Park.

This is a perfect place to visit for kids and children who enjoy watching animals in their natural habitat.

The zoo has animals like chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, and a few other species.

Those responsible for managing the zoo are very efficient in their jobs and take good care of all the animals housed on the farm.

The pathways are accessible to disabled visitors and are well-managed and groomed with the help of colorful and beautiful flowers around the borders.

Admire Views of the City from the Top of Bancroft Tower

Daytime view of Bancroft Tower

Jay Yuan /

Bancroft Tower was planned and erected by philanthropist Stephen Salisbury in the sweet memory of his friend, George Bancroft.

The tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the year 1980.

Standing high at 56 feet, this building is more like a dream.

The top of Bancroft Tower

FreakPhotography /

The tower was built using natural stone, which gives it a castle-like vibe.

You can also climb the Bancroft tower to enjoy the beautiful views around the place as it is located in a less populated area of the city.

This place is a perfect fit if you are looking for some personal time and enjoy clean air and lush green ecology.

Aerial view of Bancroft Tower

GoliathUAS /

Catch a Glimpse of the Olden Times at Salisbury Mansion

Exterior of Salisbury Mansion

John Phelan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The only historic house museum in Worcester, Salisbury Mansion was built in the year 1772.

In the beginning, it was constructed with the purpose of being used as a house and a store.

However, the idea was changed, and the entire building was converted into a living space in 1820.

The property has seen a lot of changes in the past few decades but was significantly restored by Elizabeth Tuckerman Salisbury.

Since it was restored, the property has been considered to be one of the wealthiest properties in terms of historical documents and data.

This New England attraction is considered to be one of the best places for people to visit, especially for those who are interested in taking informative tours of historic buildings.

One can learn a great deal about the past of New England and Massachusetts from this museum.

Pay a Visit to the Iconic Tuckerman Hall

Exterior of Tuckerman Hall

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tuckerman Hall in Massachusetts is famous for being one of the buildings that were entirely constructed by the first female architect in America.

The structure was brought to reality in the year 1902 using the neoclassical style of architecture.

After its renovation in 1999, the place became the perfect venue for events such as weddings, corporate dinners, festivals, concerts, as well as a large number of other gatherings.

The place has a capacity of holding 521 guests and has a beautiful infrastructure along with an intimate and eye-catching setting.

Tuckerman Hall earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in the year 1980.

A visit to this stunning Worcester attraction is absolutely worth your time.

Order Fresh Seafood at The Sole Proprietor

Since 1979, The Sole Proprietor has consistently been voted Worcester’s top seafood restaurant by locals.

It was chosen as one of the best seafood restaurants after competing against hundreds of eateries around the US.

There is more to The Sole Proprietor than just excellent cuisine; the food is always fresh and delicious.

With an attractive yet cozy dining space, you will feel welcomed as soon as you enter their establishment.

You’ll get excellent service in addition to the finest seafood served in a number of mouth-watering ways.

The Sole Proprietor is a fantastic option for a cozy family evening or a romantic supper.

Discover History at Worcester Historical Museum

Worcester Historical Museum is one of several institutions focused on regional history.

It has a research library with more than 7,000 books, an archive with thousands of papers, and a number of artifacts—all essential resources for understanding Worcester’s origins.

Records from the Blackstone Canal Company, letters, and diaries from the Civil War, weapons from the Colonial era to World War II, items such as early woodenware and pottery, pieces of art, and a sizeable clothing and fabric collection are just a few examples of the museum’s holdings.

A program of exhibitions, excursions, educational events, and publications interprets the history of Worcester.

Learn about history by visiting Worcester Historical Museum.

Bond with Friends and Family at Clayground Paint Your Own Pottery Studio

A Worcester institution, Clayground Paint Your Own Pottery Studio has been a family favorite for decades.

Since 1996, they have welcomed families, students, locals, and tourists to paint with them.

A large selection of ceramic items, including figures, cups, and plates, as well as more than 70 paint colors, make it fun to express your creativity.

Furthermore, you can host occasions like birthday parties, girls’ nights, and family gatherings at the studio.

Clayground Paint Your Own Pottery Studio is a fantastic choice if you want to spend some creative time with friends and family.

Visit the Korean War Memorial

The Korean War Memorial found on Worcester Center Boulevard is a must-visit in the city.

In November 2003, the Central Massachusetts Korean War Memorial was officially opened in memory of the 191 young men and women who gave their lives during the Korean War.

The polished black granite wall of the memorial, which is engraved with the names of the troops who participated in the Korean War, along with the 191 young boys from Worcester County who had given their lives there, is among the first things you will see as you enter.

In addition to commemorating the Korean orphans, the placement of sculptures of an American soldier from the Korean War and a Korean child serve as a symbol of hope and optimistic futures for Korea.

Drop by the Korean War Memorial on your trip to Worcester.

Enjoy a Steak at 111 Chop House

Worcester’s media has consistently chosen 111 Chop House as the city’s greatest steakhouse and fine dining establishment.

They are not merely Worcester’s top steakhouse in terms of quality, presentation, and flavor.

The restaurant is also well-loved for its elegant and beautiful wood paneling, antique art posters, and knowledgeable waitstaff.

You’ll also discover an open kitchen, a buzzing bar scene, and delectable cuisine that goes beyond the ordinary.

Enjoy the bar area, where exceptional draft beers, cocktails, and a great bar menu are always a hit.

Enjoy Nature Tripping at Broad Meadow Brook

Bring the family and get to explore the magnificent wonders of nature at Broad Meadow Brook.

This urban wildlife sanctuary is the largest in New England and spans more than 400 acres of fields, woods, marshes, and streams.

It’s also owned and managed by the Mass Audubon and you can visit the sanctuary from Tuesday to Saturday.

Hike along five miles of 15 various trails which include the Sensory Trail, Holdredge Trail, and Frog Pond Trail to name a few.

Trails are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk with interpretative signs for hikers provided along these well-marked trails.

There’s plenty of flora and wildlife to greet you on your visit and a variety of birds you can spot around the nature preserve as well.

You can also catch exciting events like the yearly Butterfly Festival and programs like Friday Morning Bird Walks hosted by the reserve.

Visit Broad Meadow Brook on Massasoit Road.

Catch Exciting Ball Games at Fitton Field

Get ready for some thrilling ball game action at Fitton Field!

Right on College Street, this iconic baseball field has been around for over a hundred years.

It was named after Father Fitton, who acquired the land where a school was founded and deeded it in 1843 to Bishop Fenwick.

Constructed in 1905 and later renovated in 2005, this 3,000-seating facility is popular for its remarkable sightlines and momentous baseball matches.

It’s also home to the Holy Cross Crusaders of which 70 major league players emerged.

Today, you can enjoy watching the Worcester Bravehearts and other teams vie for the home run, along with Saturday Night Live summer concerts during the season for entertainment.

Fitton Field also offers packages for Group and Picnic Outings and birthday parties you can celebrate during a Worcester Bravehearts game.

Join the Butterfly Festival Attractions

Your family is sure to have lots of fun educational experiences at the Barbara J. Walker Butterfly Festival.

Celebrated for more than 15 years in Broad Meadow Brook, it gives visitors a chance to learn and admire different butterfly species at the sanctuary.

This August event welcomes more than 400 members and guests each year for a whole day of family-friendly activities.

For a small admission fee, your family can enjoy nature walks and workshops, get up close with live caterpillars and tour the butterfly garden.

Come in a costume and who knows you might win a prize; likewise, children also have fun activities to enjoy.

You can also view some lovely butterfly art and buy pollinator-friendly native plants for sale.

On the day of the Butterfly Festival, you can also join Mass Audubon for half the price.

Admire the Creative Exhibits at the Worcester Center for Crafts

Spend a day for art appreciation and visit the Worcester Center for Crafts on Sagamore Road.

Originally established as the Worcester Employment Society in 1856, the center now features the Krikorian Gallery, a 1,000-square feet space named after George and Anna Krikorian who were generous sponsors of the institution.

The art venue also partnered with Worcester State University in 2009 in its 153rd year.

Browse through the changing exhibits and catch several art events like the annual Artist in Residence exhibit, Holiday Festival of Crafts, and the Pottery Invitational to name a few.

You can also visit the Handcrafted Shop and find an array of ceramics, home goods, jewelry, and decorative items you can purchase.

Interested in art classes? You can sign up for a broad range of professional art classes including ceramics, glass, metals, and enamel with entry-level to advanced levels available.

Worcester Center for Crafts also offers other art for programs for youth and teens, private lessons, and group experiences.

Tour Around the Timothy Paine House Museum

Exterior of the Timothy Paine House Museum

Pvmoutside, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a history buff, a tour of the Timothy Paine House on Lincoln Street is a worthwhile experience.

Also known as “The Oaks”, the 1700s Georgian-style residence is among the oldest surviving homes in Worcester featuring local history, art, and culture.

The Paine residence and property were frequent venues for various social and political activities in the early 1700s.

Eventually, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and remains to be one of the city’s significant landmarks.

Step back in time and browse through objects owned by Paine like the Greek Revival-style furniture pieces.

Take a peek at the parlor and library with an array of book collections and old-fashioned porcelain ware.

You’ll also find other vintage and antiquities in the kitchen area and other features like the fireplace and sidebar.

Timothy Paine House Museum currently houses the Timothy Bigelow Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Admire Contemporary Art Pieces at ArtsWorcester

You’ll be sure to find captivating contemporary art showcased at ArtsWorcester.

This art venue located on Portland Street is open from Thursdays through Sundays from noon to late afternoon.

Explore the exhibits and see inspiring works from its members alongside 300 emerging and established artists.

They also offer contemporary art education to the public and youth, as well as workshops and consultations.

Check out the current and upcoming exhibit schedules and events on their website.

ArtsWorcester also holds free major art events like the ArtsWorcester Biennial, a display of the best visual arts in the region.

Final Thoughts

You will undoubtedly be surprised by Worcester, a city in central Massachusetts, with all of its museums, farms, restaurants, historical sites, and tourist attractions.

The city’s major attractions connect people to its history and offer both visitors and residents leisure time and pleasure.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to explore Worcester, Massachusetts, and create priceless memories!

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