Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Springfield, MA

  • Published 2023/03/14

There’s no better place to go on a vacation than the birthplace of basketball: Springfield, Massachusetts!

It’s an idyllic destination that exudes joy and will make your holiday memorable.

This charming city in Hampden County has something for everyone, from historical sights to outdoor adventures with spending so much.

Here are the free things to do in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Visit the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden

Horton sculpture at Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden

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The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield is a must-see for fans of the late children’s author.

The garden features several larger-than-life sculptures based on characters from Seuss’s beloved books, including the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and the Grinch.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy taking selfies with these characters and exploring the surrounding gardens.

Cat in the hat sculpture at Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden

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The sculpture garden is also great for learning more about Seuss’s life and work.

Several informational plaques are scattered throughout the area.

The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden is the perfect place for children and adults who appreciate the works of this prolific writer.

The storyteller sculpture at Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden

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Enter a Wonderland at Forest Park

The waters of Forest Park

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You will feel transported to a magical land when you enter Forest Park.

The towering trees and abundance of greenery create a sense of awe, and the peaceful silence is broken only by birds chirping.

Whether taking a leisurely walk in the park or jogging, it’s inevitable to experience an exquisite sense of awe.

With 735 acres of land to explore, the park is home to various plant and animal life, and the trails wind through forests, meadows, and wetlands.

A swan at Forest Park

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You can also stroll the Rose Garden, which gets lovelier when the buds bloom.

Each park area has a unique charm, from the picturesque Rose Garden to the serene pond.

You’re sure to fall in love with Forest Park.

Paved trail at Forest Park

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Take a Romantic Stroll with Your Partner at North Riverfront Park

The North Riverfront Park is the perfect place to take a lovely walk with your loved one.

The park offers stunning views of the river, the cityscape and plenty of places to sit and relax.

The park also has various flower beds, trees, and bushes, providing a colorful and fragrant backdrop for a romantic walk.

You can also watch the sunset while having a picnic on the green grass of this park.

North Riverfront Park is an excellent choice if you and your partner plan a romantic outing.

Enjoy Your ‘Main Character’ Moment at Springfield Union Station

Exterior of Springfield Union Station

Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a palpable sense of anticipation as people hurry to meet loved ones or head off to their next adventure.

You will feel the same thing at Springfield Union Station.

As you step into the Springfield Union Station, you can’t help but notice the beautiful architecture and classic design.

The station has been a transportation hub since 1839, and it’s easy to see why it’s been so popular.

The floors are polished to a shine, the rows of benches are neatly arranged, and the clock above the entrance keeps perfect time.

The architectural designs, interiors, and ambiance will make you feel like you are filming a movie scene in the well-preserved Springfield Union Station.

Visit the station and take a video or a picture of yourself as you go inside.

Take a Photo with the President McKinley Memorial Statue

Daytime view of President McKinley Memorial Statue

Doris Dittmer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The President McKinley Memorial Statue is one of the most exciting attractions in Springfield.

The memorial’s design, created in 1908, was said to be “chaste and noble.”

The statue is a tall granite column with a bust of assassinated President William McKinley on top.

A bronze statue of a young woman in drapery is frozen before it, trying to reach the head with a palm frond.

Close view of President McKinley Memorial Statue

Doris Dittmer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors to the memorial can have their picture taken with the statue, making it a great souvenir or memento.

If you want to see the President McKinley Memorial Statue, the ideal time for a visit is during the week when foot traffic is at its lowest.

Located behind the Court House, this remarkable monument awaits you!

Roam the Connecticut River Walk & Bikeway

The Connecticut River Walk & Bikeway is a great place to be alone with your thoughts and clear your mind.

Enjoy the calm and beautiful scenery of the Connecticut River.

The current length of the canal is 5.2 miles, and it runs through Springfield and Agawam.

There are also many benches to sit on and look at the view along the path.

The path is also great for walking or biking because it has a flat surface.

Many different flowers and trees are also planted along the path, making it even more beautiful.

Walking and riding a bike along the picturesque Connecticut River Walk & Bikeway in Springfield is a great way to pause, reflect, and take in the scenery.

Admire the Springfield United States Federal Court House Building

Exterior of the Springfield United States Federal Court House Building

Farragutful, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are into architectural design, the spectacular Springfield United States Federal Court House enthralls locals and visitors with its outside and inside design and layout.

The materials chosen for this project – precast concrete and glass – were meant to create a calm link between the city and its district.

The building’s curved columns and slender proportions highlight the openness of American civilization.

The curving columns provide light and openness while still enclosing the historic trees on the property.

If you tour the courthouse, you will see how the courtrooms look.

You will also see painted parallel wavy lines of black and white.

The Springfield United States Federal Court House is an excellent example of how great architecture aligns with the court’s objective.

Behold the Puritan Statue

Daytime view of the Puritan Statue

Smallbones, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Puritan Statue in Springfield is one of the most iconic pieces of American history.

The statue depicts a stern-looking man with a long beard and a quill in his hand.

It was created by sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens in 1885 and stood on the Christ Church of Springfield site.

Close view of the Puritan Statue

Augustus Saint-Gaudens (sculpture) Daderot (image), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The figure, not meant to be a portrait, represents the Puritan ideology that shaped Springfield for centuries.

He strides across New England’s wilderness, indicated by a few scattering twigs at the base, eyes fixed downward.

Today, the Puritan Statue remains an essential part of Springfield’s history and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.

Catch Fish at Five Mile Pond Park

If you’re looking for a great place to fish in Springfield, you’ll want to check out Five Mile Pond Park.

The pond has various fish, so you’ll have a good time no matter what you’re fishing for.

You can also ride your small boat to the middle of the lake to wait for the fish to bite.

And the park has plenty of picnic tables if you want to enjoy a meal after you’ve caught your limit.

You can also try feeding the ducks swimming in the lake, too!

Five Mile Pond Park is a great place to enjoy a day of fishing, so come out and enjoy yourself there!

Exercise with Your Family at Van Horn Park

Nature trail at Van Horn Park

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

Most people think of going to the gym when they think of exercising, but there are plenty of other ways to get active.

One excellent option is to head to Van Horn Park in Springfield with your family.

It has playgrounds, baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, exercise areas, and hiking trails.

This park is also perfect if you want to de-stress from everyday life as you bond with your family while working out.

Try this park the next time you’re looking for a fun and healthy activity with your family.

Check Out the Firearms Collection at Springfield Armory National Historic Site

Exterior of Springfield Armory National Historic Site

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

The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is home to America’s biggest collection of historic firearms.

The collection spans over two centuries of American history and includes some of the most iconic weapons ever produced.

From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, from World War I to World War II, the Springfield Armory played a pivotal role in the development of the American military.

Today, visitors can see this fantastic collection for themselves.

The exhibits showcase various firearms, from early muskets and pistols to modern assault rifles.

Visitors can also learn about the history of the Springfield Armory and its importance to the American defense industry.

Other Things to Do Nearby

There are also some places nearby Springfield that is worth visiting.

Stop by and enjoy your time!

Play Frisbee at Fountain Park

Fountain Park in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, is the perfect place to spend a day playing frisbee with your family.

It is 19 minutes from Springfield.

Spanning 144 acres, the park lets you enjoy throwing a frisbee with your kids here.

The wide open spaces are perfect for getting in a good game for tag, hide and seek, and ball games, while having scenic views is a bonus.

There are also plenty of picnic tables and benches if you need a break.

You can also let your kids enjoy the playground to burn off some energy.

The next time you’re looking for a fun activity with your family, head to Fountain Park and enjoy a game of frisbee.

Unwind at the Relaxing Heritage Park

After a long week of work, it’s essential to take some time to relax and rejuvenate.

Heritage Park in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, 15 minutes away from Springfield, is the perfect place for that.

The park offers a variety of amenities to help you unwind, including a playground, picnic areas, walking trails, and a pond.

You can also feed ducks here, so bring some seeds and enjoy seeing them eat.

In the colder months, you can enjoy ice skating on the lake once it got frozen during the cold weather.

The next time you feel tense and need peace, remember that Heritage Park is the perfect place to unwind.

Its stunning natural scenery makes it the ideal spot to take a break from your busy life and recharge.

See the Military Tanks at Szot Park

If you’re looking for a fun adventure with your kids this weekend, go to Szot Park in Chicopee, Massachusetts, just 11 minutes away from Springfield.

This remarkable park boasts two fascinating military tanks on display, an ideal attraction for anyone passionate about history and engineering.

These tanks’ imposing size will inspire both adults and children alike.

Not only that, but Szot Park also provides trails and paths to explore, playgrounds to enjoy, and large open fields to play games or toss around a frisbee.

It also has plenty of shaded picnic tables perfect for relaxing lunches or afternoon snacks!

Check out Szot Park with your little ones; you won’t regret it!

Embrace Nature at the Bear Hole Reservoir Trail

Take a refreshing journey through nature at the Bear Hole Reservoir Trail in West Springfield, Massachusetts, 12 minutes from Springfield.

Explore lush vegetation and observe various species native to the area.

As you wander around the reservoir, remember to pause and take in peaceful views of waterfalls after it rains, a truly therapeutic experience.

When you venture into the nearby woods, you’ll see an unexpected sight like a centuries-old stone fireplace.

Bear Hole was once home to a bustling resort in the 1800s.

No matter the season, the Bear Hole Reservoir Trail offers breathtaking views and will make for an unforgettable experience.

Enjoy a peaceful journey through nature while capturing moments to cherish forever.

Final Thoughts

Springfield is an excellent destination for those looking to experience the best urban and rural life.

From its museums and parks to marveling at the stunning exteriors of many buildings here, you should have plenty of activities to keep you busy.

Enjoy your most anticipated break from your busy schedule here!

Try the free things to do in Springfield, Massachusetts!

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