Springfield is known as the “city of firsts.” It is the birthplace of basketball, where Dr. Seuss was born, and where the first commercial radio station started. It is where Indian Motorcycles were invented and the first dictionary was published. The list goes on and on. Everyone should visit a city that is so important to the history of our country. Here is a list of the best things to do with kids in the city of Springfield.
1. Awaken your imagination at The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum & Sculpture Gardens
The three story Dr. Seuss Museum will spark your child’s imagination. One floor is dedicated to interactive displays that kids can play with while another allows them to put their ideas on paper. The third floor exhibits the personal belongings of Theodor Geisel. Get a taste of his life and how he drew inspiration from his birth city of Springfield. See the red chair and easel where his ideas came to life. Don’t miss the sculpture Garden outside that honors all of his beloved characters.
2. Endlessly explore the Springfield Museums
The Springfield Museums is a complex of five different Museums. Your admission fee includes all of them, so you can wander and enjoy as many as you want. While we went with the purpose of visiting the Dr. Seuss Museum, we really enjoyed the Springfield Science Museum as well. Andrew loved the Dinosaur Hall… especially the small room you can go in and see what it would feel and sound like to be alive during the Jurassic Period. The ground shakes as a T-Rex approaches which reminded us of that scene in Jurassic Park when the glass of water shakes.
Don’t miss the Planetarium which has the oldest American built planetarium projector in the world. Over 7,000 holes will project the entire solar system above your head. Our favorite part though was spending time with Jack who came to the museum as a 6 year old and fell in love with stars. His passion for space was contagious. He spent time with my son and told him about how he visited a giant meteor crater which has now inspired us to want to visit it as well.
3. Shoot hoops at the Basketball Hall of Fame
In 1891, James Naismith was trying to come up with a game to entertain young men during a harsh New England winter. In that YMCA, the sport of basketball was born. The Basketball Hall of Fame is a great place to visit if you are a fan of the sport or not. It is inspiring how a sport brought together people of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds. Don’t miss the 15 minute film that gives the history of the sport and how it changed a culture.
4. Stuff yourself at the Red Rose Pizzaria
For an authentic Italian experience, visit the Red Rose Pizzaria where you can watch the fresh dough being thrown. We ordered a small pizza and could only finish half because it was so big. It was thick and delicious. Even the Phamtom Gourmet gave it his stamp of approval.
5. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Kringle Emporium
Kringle Candles was opened by the son of the man who started Yankee Candles. Set in what was such a beautiful old church, they spent five days moving the building from it’s former location. They don’t just have beautiful smelling candles, but they also have a coffee bar and homemade chocolates. My favorite scents are Macintosh Apples and Home for Christmas. I actually prefer their candles because they are more natural and less “perfumey.”
6. Get lost at Randall’s Farm in Ludlow
Just 20 minutes from Springfield is Randall’s Farm. It is a perfect place to spend a fall day with the family. They have loads of activities and games to enjoy with kids. We made a life-size scarecrow, took a tractor ride, got lost in a corn maze, and ate some amazing ice cream (try the maple walnut!).
7. Get your adrenaline pumping at Six Flags New England
Thrill seekers will enjoy the largest amusement park in New England. Try the SkyScreamer, one of the tallest rides of its kind in the world. There are 100 rides, attractions and experiences at the park. Kids 13 and older can scare themselves silly at Fright Nights in October. Or get into the holiday spirit at Holiday in the Park which runs from November through December. Sip hot cocoa while you stroll through dazzling light displays and listen to festive holiday entertainment.
8. Roll the dice at the MGM Springfield
Ok, so nobody under the age of 21 can enter the casino, but the MGM has so much more to offer than gambling. Not only is the hotel itself totally amazing, but kids will enjoy bowling at TAP Sports Bar, swimming in the pool or catching a flick at Regal Cinemas. To read all about our stay at the MGM Springfield, click here.
Springfield has so many family friendly places of historical significance making it a great place to visit with kids.