Worcester is New England’s most populous metropolitan and biggest art hub after the much larger Boston. As a result, the city is home to a large number of first-rate museums and performance spaces, with the 1857 Mechanics Hall and Worcester Art Museum topping the list.
Due to its center location in Massachusetts, the city is regarded as the “Heart of the Commonwealth” and is almost equal distance from both Boston and Springfield.
Its other moniker is “City of the Seven Hills” because its undulating valleys include twelve colleges and numerous lovely parks. Continue reading to find out the fascinating things to do in Worcester MA.
Visitors visiting Worcester, a historic city in Massachusetts, will find a wide range of attractions there. Explore the Worcester Art Museum, the Worcester Historical Museum, stroll through the lovely Green Hill Park, and the EcoTarium for interactive exhibits.
Enjoy a show at Mechanics Hall or the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts to round off your day. The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester is home to the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery.
1. Things to Do in Worcester MA
Worcester is a delightful city with a lot to offer any tourist to explore because it is home to many cultural establishments like museums, theaters, and art galleries. Due to its accessibility and desirable surroundings, Worcester has one of the most diverse and vibrant cultures of any city in Massachusetts.
The Woo, a frequently neglected jewel with a lot to offer in terms of history, art, and outdoor activities, offers the ideal blend of all three. There are constantly fresh activities to discover in Worcester thanks to the frequent performances, plays, and art exhibits.
It is the ideal location for everyone passionate about art, history, culture, or adventure. All tourists will experience a positive feeling in this attractive and vibrant city.
Following are the best things to do in Worcester MA.
1.1. Worcester, Massachusetts: Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum has a top-notch collection of paintings, photographs, and sculptures, making it unquestionably the most notable sight in the city. It was established in 1898 and is currently housed in a massive structure just north of the city center.
After Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Worcester Art Museum is the second-largest art museum in New England. Over its four floors, it exhibits around 40,000 objects and works of art, ranging in age from antiquity to the present.
Many works by artists like Gauguin, Monet, and Goya, there are also stunning Japanese prints and ancient weapons and armor from the Americas on display.
Its vast Renaissance court, which is adorned with intricate Antioch mosaics, and the Chapter House from the 12th century, which was imported from France and meticulously put back together in the museum, are particularly impressive.
Along with all of its amazing artifacts, the significant cultural institution hosts a large number of presentations, lectures, and workshops throughout the year.
1.2. Worcester, Massachusetts: Green Hill Park
The serene and beautiful Green Hill Park is located northeast of downtown and spans a sizable area. Its abundance of picturesque trails and immaculate playing fields make it by far the largest green area in the city and provide a variety of fun outdoor activities.
The enormous parcel of land, formerly the green family’s private estate, was given to Worcester in 1905 so that all of its residents could enjoy it. Green Hill Park is spread across the top of one of its seven hills and has an arboretum, ponds, lawns, a petting zoo, and a golf course scattered throughout the surrounding vegetation.
The attractive historic shelter that was finished in 1910 and the poignant Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial are two of the park’s most notable features.
1.3. Worcester, Massachusetts: Green Hill Park Farm
This charming tiny zoo is a free public attraction and is situated within Green Hill Park. Being that the farm is home to pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, peacocks, chickens, ducks, and even peacocks, it is the ideal outing for the younger members of the family who are interested in animals.
The animals are kept in excellent condition and given housing arrangements that allow them to choose whether or not to engage. Additionally, the pathways are disability accessible, and the walks are bordered with lovely flowers.
1.4. Worcester, Massachusetts: EcoTarium
The amazing EcoTarium, New England’s top science and nature museum, is located only a little bit further east of the brewery. Its expansive campus, which is packed with enjoyable hands-on activities, inspires people of all ages to engage with the natural world around them.
Although it has origins that go back to 1825, it outgrew all of its prior locations and moved to its current position in the 1970s. The magnificent scientific center, which is always evolving, now has three levels of interactive displays to explore outside of which are roomy enclosures housing otters and mountain lions.
Additionally, guests can stroll the property’s trails or enjoy a leisurely train trip through the grounds. The museum’s fossil collection is usually a big draw, but its planetarium will transport you to the galaxy’s far reaches.
1.5. Worcester, Massachusetts: Elm Park
In Worcester, between Park Avenue, Highland, Russell, and Elm Streets, there is a historic park called Elm Park. One of the first purchases of land in the United States to be utilized as a public park was this one, which was made in 1854.
The 60-acre park, which was formerly pastureland, was rebuilt and landscaped. Newton Hill is now a part of the park, which also has tennis courts, a playground, picnic spots, a pond with two footbridges, and other amenities. Elm Park is popular for weddings during the warmer months, and people enjoy ice skating there in the winter.
1.6. Worcester, Massachusetts: Worcester Historical Museum
The Worcester Historical Museum (WHM) is devoted to showcasing Worcester’s regional history. A variety of historical artifacts, items, and papers related to the town’s history are on display at the Worcester Historical Museum.
In educational exhibitions, remnants of Worcester’s industrial past are on display. These artifacts include early pottery and woodwork, colonial-era weapons, a sizable costume, and textile collection, and early ceramics.
The Salisbury Mansion historic house museum, which was erected in 1772 and later exquisitely renovated as an example of a classic New England mansion, is another facility owned and run by the museum.
1.7. Worcester, Massachusetts: Mechanics Hall
Mechanics Hall is a well-liked event space and concert hall in Central Massachusetts and is renowned for its architectural beauty, gorgeous décor, and exceptional acoustics.
The Hall is included on the National Register of Historic Places because of its cultural significance and superb design, making it one of the best pre-Civil War performance halls in all of America.
The Hall, which is in the center of New England, offers a top-notch event space by fusing contemporary comforts with creative 19th-century elegance and an air of the red carpet. For performances, recording sessions, and special occasions like galas and weddings, Mechanics Hall can be booked.
1.8. Worcester, Massachusetts: American Antiquarian Society
The American Antiquarian Society (AAS), established in 1812 by Revolutionary War hero Isaiah Thomas, consists of a significant independent research library and scholarly organization.
A sizable collection of secondary literature, manuscripts, and digital materials about all facets of American history and culture before the 20th century is also kept by the American Antiquarian Society.
The American Antiquarian Society offers free Wednesday afternoon public tours as well as several other activities throughout the year, such as musical and theatrical performances, lectures, seminars, and speeches.
1.9. Worcester, Massachusetts: Salisbury Mansion
The Salisbury Mansion is a historic home museum in Worcester and is situated on Highland Street. The mansion, which Stephen Salisbury constructed in 1772, at first housed a shop that offered foreign products until it was closed in 1820 to make additional space for the Salisbury family.
The house was used as a girls’ school, a tenant house, and a social club until being presented to the American Antiquarian Society in 1929. It is now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
1.10. Worcester, Massachusetts: The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts
Originally known as the Franklin Square Theatre, the opulent Hanover Theatre opened its doors in 1904 and presented everything from burlesque performances to headlining acts to Broadway touring productions to silent movies.
The theater was purchased by vaudeville tycoon Sylvester Poli in 1912, who also renovated it and added a stunning two-story lobby with marbleized columns, mirrored walls, a glittering chandelier, and an opulent grand staircase in 1926.
After a couple more ownership changes, the venue is now known as the Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts and has a capacity of 2300 spectators. The theater’s great acoustics and comfy seating make it possible for the whole family to enjoy a variety of performances.
1.11. Worcester, Massachusetts: Tuckerman Hall
The Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra is housed in Tuckerman Hall, a music venue on Tuckerman Street. The hall was created by Josephine Wright Chapman, one of the country’s first female architects, and was constructed in the neoclassical style in 1902 before being rebuilt in 1999.
The hall, which is renowned for its superior acoustics, can accommodate 521 people for concerts and 200–270 people for weddings and business banquets. The Tuckerman Hall is a well-liked venue for lectures, meetings, parties, and other events.
In addition to the facility’s stunning main auditorium with its 40-foot-high ceiling, other attractions include a kitchen and a projection booth.
1.12. Worcester, Massachusetts: Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field
On College Street in Worcester, there is a sports arena called the Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. The Futures Collegiate Baseball League Worcester Bravehearts and the Can-Am League Worcester Tornadoes call the stadium home. The College of the Holy Cross also hosts sporting events there.
The stadium was named after Reverend James Fitton, who donated property to the College of the Holy Cross and was constructed in 1905 and restored in 2005.
The 3,000-seat stadium has played host to several well-known athletes and events, including Lou Gehrig while he was a college student and Babe Ruth and Ted Williams when they participated in exhibition games there.
1.13. Worcester, Massachusetts: Wormtown Brewery
This well-known brewery began as an ice cream parlor before becoming its own business and being well-known among the locals for its well-known beer labels, including Seven Hills Session Pale Ale, Be Hoppy, Worcester’s Bravest Wit, and Turtle Boy Blue, to name a few.
The brewery, officially inaugurated on March 17, 2010, has since received numerous awards and is a popular destination for residents and tourists looking to spend some time in a lively and welcoming setting while sipping delectable beer and listening to enjoyable background music.
Why not treat the adults to a delightful afternoon or evening? The bar staff is renowned for their kindness and efficiency.
1.14. Worcester, Massachusetts: Fitton Field
This baseball stadium, which is primarily used for College of the Holy Cross athletic events, has hosted minor league baseball and football games in addition to serving as the current home of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League Worcester Bravehearts and the Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am League.
The three-sided horseshoe-shaped, atypically formed grounds, which were opened in 1924 and are dedicated in honor of Reverend James Fitton, have hosted many memorable sporting and community events. Bring your family along for an enjoyable free outing.
1.15. Worcester, Massachusetts: The Korean War Memorial
The Korean War Memorial honors the 191 Worcester County troops who died in the Korean War and is a serene and serene location for thought and peace.
One of the memorial’s most prominent elements is a huge black granite wall that has the names of all 191 servicemen engraved on it. The memorial landscape is filled with military statues alongside the majestic pearly white edifice.
Visit the Korean War Memorial if you are interested in history or want to show respect for the military personnel who lost their lives during the Korean War.
The polished black granite wall bearing the names of the troops who participated in the Korean War is one of the first things you will see when you enter the Memorial.
1.16. Worcester, Massachusetts: Union Station
The New York Central Railroad built Union Station in 1911 to serve the Providence and Worcester Railroad, the Boston and Albany Railroad Main Line, as well as numerous other nearby destinations.
However, after passenger service was discontinued in 1974, Union Station regrettably fell into a condition of despair.
Visit the spectacular renovations, where you can take in the “Grand Hall’s” original elliptical stained-glass ceilings, mahogany wood trim, and exquisite marble columns. The 1920s-themed Luciano’s Cotton Club and a fast-food cafe are two other dining options.
1.17. Worcester, Massachusetts: Center for Crafts
The Worcester Center, established by the Worcester Employment Society in 1856 and still operates today as a non-profit, independent community-based arts organization, was initially created to give women the skills they needed to produce and market handicrafts.
If you and your family are in town for Thanksgiving, you’re in for a treat because the Center hosts a fair every year where you can purchase wonderful items for both adults and children, including handmade toys, lovely jewelry, and pottery, wooden, and glass items that have been turned and carved by hand. Not to be overlooked!
A trip to the center will be enjoyable if you like pottery and glass products.
1.18. Worcester, Massachusetts: The Sprinkler Factory
The Sprinkler Factory is full of fascinating displays and is ideal for families who enjoy learning about the modern marvels we all take for granted.
The Factory, a roughly 3000 square foot exhibition space, houses artist workshops for printmaking, glass, ceramics, jewelry making, demonstrations, and monthly shows in addition to sculptures, wall art, installations, and installations.
If you’re curious about the name, Howard G. Freeman created the water fog and hose nozzles while working at Rockwood Sprinkler Factory. These inventions are still in use today for base crash rescue missions and other uses. The Factory offers free entry.
1.19. Worcester, Massachusetts: Play Disc Golf
What precisely is disc golf, then? The rules of this relatively new sport are similar to those of golf (putting something into a hole while moving around a course!).
Instead of clubs or balls, there is simply a Frisbee, and these caged baskets are used in place of the traditional holes.
You can play this sport right here in Worcester, and it is incredibly accessible to people of all ages. Despite being somewhat steep, the Newton Hill disc golf course is manageable for players of all fitness levels. If you’ve never played disc golf before, it’s a fantastic pastime to try with friends or family.
1.20. Worcester, Massachusetts: Crompton Collective
The Crompton Collective is a shop and antique market that offers a diverse selection of goods, including art, fresh produce, and delectable homemade sauces.
It was founded to highlight regional suppliers and support those independent small enterprises. The Canal District Farmers Market, a Crompton Collective member, is another place where you can chow down on a variety of regional foods and handcrafted beverages.
Find the Birch Tree Bread Company and purchase a delicious loaf of crusty bread.
1.21. Worcester, Massachusetts: Bancroft Tower
In honor of his friend George Bancroft, who founded the Annapolis Naval Academy and served as secretary of the navy, philanthropist Stephen Salisbury built the Bancroft Tower, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
This 56-foot-tall, all-natural stone neo-medieval fantasy structure has a great aspect and resembles a tiny feudal castle in every way. The Tower has a serene atmosphere and is located in a quiet area.
1.22. Worcester, Massachusetts: Blackstone River Greenway
Walking, running, jogging, or cycling along the Blackstone River Greenway is a wonderful way to take in even more of the city and its beautiful environs.
It brings you past many pristine natural areas and lovely parks in Worcester and links several communities and tourism destinations. The fifty-mile track will connect Providence in Rhode Island with Worcester’s city center when finished. The multipurpose trail currently only extends until Millbury, which is around 2.5 miles away.
The lovely greenway, which largely runs beside the Blackstone River and its neighboring canal, is still well worth exploring. The Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center offers excellent views of the canals and the surrounding landscape and information about the region’s history.
1.23. Worcester, Massachusetts: Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors those who lost their lives while serving in the Vietnam War and is situated on Skyline Drive in Green Hill Park in Worcester.
The commemoration is broken down into four sections: the Place of Flags, the Place of Names, the Place of Words, and the War Dogs Monument.
It also contains walking paths, a fountain, and a pond. Schools can take field trips to the memorial where kids can interact with and ask questions of combat veterans.
1.24. Worcester, Massachusetts: Central Rock-Climbing Center
Visit the Central Rock-Climbing Centre for a day of rock-climbing excitement for the whole family if you’re looking for a healthy, enjoyable activity!
The Gym, established in 2009, offers everyone access to world-class indoor climbing, community, and exercise possibilities through its cutting-edge workout equipment.
Yoga sessions and a variety of other gym tools are available if climbing isn’t precisely your thing. Most significantly, both the regular and new customers are treated with great patience by the employees.
1.25. Worcester, Massachusetts: Worcester Common
The stunning green Worcester Common, the center of town activity, is located a short distance from the theater and in the exact middle of the city.
Along with being bordered by numerous grand structures and busy enterprises, its verdant lawns are also dotted with significant monuments and memorials.
The common, which was first built in 1669, has slowly shrunk in size as the city has expanded around it. The magnificent Worcester City Hall and its tall tower, which were inspired in part by Italian Renaissance palazzos, loom above the oval end of the park.
There are striking memorials honoring the Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War scattered within its picturesque boundaries.
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2. Wrapping Up
It is not difficult to understand why the state of Massachusetts has so much history to offer visitors given that it was one of the original 13 colonies.
The state has seen significant conflicts and political gatherings throughout its history, and national historic parks and monuments still bear witness to these events.
The state’s diverse terrain, including its beaches, farms, and forests, is another reason to visit. Any wanderlust will want to stay in Worcester due to the incredible sights to view and the fascinating activities to do there!
There are several places to eat and drink, interesting parks and monuments to discover, and both indoor and outdoor activities that will help you appreciate the wonderful history and culture of the city.
Worcester, Massachusetts is a fantastic location for a permanent vacation because of the city’s distinctive blend of rural settings and modern amenities!
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