The four-story Higgins Armory Museum details the long history of weapons and warfare across the world, delighting imaginations with thousands of historical swords, armor, and early firearms. The Gothic-inspired Great Hall features ancient arms and armor, tools of war from around the world, and an entire section devoted to medieval tournaments, including both jousting and fantasy jousting. Blending the mythology of several world cultures with sci-fi art, Beyond Belief follows the curious journal of Professor Rufus Excalibur Bell, a scientist exploring the weird aspects of time and space with fun, fictional exhibits such as gargoyle skeletons and the Miniscule Winged Specimen Influxator, a vacuum designed for trapping fairies.
Situated on 24 acres of woods and meadows in central Massachusetts, Cornerstone Ranch allows riders to savor New England's breathtaking foliage year-round with lessons, camps, and rides through scenic terrain. Owner Sue Connell and her family prep their fleet of horses with exhaustive training and pesticide-free fly-control practices, making the steeds even safer to ride than Smokey the Bear. Sue steers horse-drawn sleighs during winter months and gangs astride steeds during warmer weather, leading fellow riders through a labyrinth of woodsy trails. She and an equally experienced instructor helm riding lessons for all levels year-round and fold the same principles into weeklong summer camps. The camps cater to beginner and advanced equestrians alike, teaching kids how to catch, lead, tie up, groom, and outfit horses with bridles and saddles before mounting and riding them into kid-sized sunsets. Daily schedules consist of two rides, including group excursions and trail jaunts. At week's end, equestrians flaunt their new skills at a horse show for friends and parents.
Alongside its carefully curated 35,000-piece collection spanning more than 5,000 years, the Worcester Art Museum leads frequent tours and hosts live jazz performances, exhibit openings, and other events. Friends of the museum flex color-sensing muscles with unlimited free admission (up to a $14 value per visit), free gallery and audio tours, and two transferable one-year guest passes, good for bringing along friends and idle house painters. In addition to rotating special exhibits, the museum boasts an array of European works, such as the colorful canvases of Gauguin and Cézanne, as well as paintings by Whistler, Sargent, and Cassatt and pieces by other renowned American artists.
Founded in 1875, the Worcester Historical Museum collects, displays, and preserves the triumphs and tribulations of the heart of the commonwealth, from its earliest beginnings as an agricultural center to its role as an industrial bigwig. Past exhibits have focused on Worcester as the birthplace of barbed wire, the monkey wrench, and the space suit, as well as the smiley face, first drawn by a local freelance artist in 1963. A permanent installation, In Their Shirtsleeves, tells the tales of Worcester's industrial heritage, including the account of a resident who became the first to mass produce shredded wheat. A general-admission ticket also grants history hounds access to the Salisbury Mansion, a house museum built in 1772 that was inhabited by three generations of juicy salisbury steaks, as well as the museum library, a conglomeration of genealogies, local histories, and records of Massachusetts soldiers from the earliest American wars. Visitors must make an appointment to view archival materials.
EcoTarium’s three floors of exhibits creatively use wildlife, scientific concepts, and the museum’s natural history collection to help children discover the natural world. "Cyberchase—The Chase Is On!", a new interactive exhibit based on the PBS KIDS GO! math mystery cartoon and running for a limited time, allows visitors to protect the virtual universe by cunningly solving puzzles and math problems. "Bubbles," a seasonal exhibit, lets children discover different bubble shapes and stand inside a humungous bubble. Many animals such as a polar bear, bald eagles, and otters frolic peaceably within the museum grounds, which also features 55 acres of nature trails. Regular museum events, a digital planetarium, and free parking are also available.
Boasting a giant, new insulated indoor riding arena, two outdoor rings, and 20 pastures, Maplewood Farm has plenty to offer horses and humans alike. The farm offers customized training programs and riding lessons for students of all ages, with a focus on both fun and safety.
Founded in 1924 as a vaudeville palace and movie house, The Strand Theatre harks back to the cinematic havens of yore with its homey auditorium space and vintage marquee. Groups enjoy recent releases and classic films while seated at tables, which grant unimpeded legroom and preclude fistfights over whose cup holder is whose. The tables are placed in a staggered and tiered arrangement that ensures every audience member has a clear sightline. The in-house restaurant shares a full-service menu of appetizers and entrees from the grill, as well as craft beer and wine, all of which can be enjoyed inside the theater.