Worcester, Massachusetts is a charming city steeped in history and culture, offering visitors an array of interesting and entertaining activities. From exploring the beautiful outdoors to immersing yourself in the rich history of the city, Worcester has something for everyone. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, you’ll be sure to find something exciting to do in this city.
In this article, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best things to do in Worcester, MA, including visiting museums, parks, and cultural attractions, as well as enjoying delicious food and drinks, shopping, and participating in outdoor activities.
So get ready to plan your next trip to Worcester and have an unforgettable time in this incredible city.
1. Hanover Theatre
The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts is a beautifully restored 1930s movie palace located in the heart of Worcester, Massachusetts. This historic venue offers a unique and intimate setting for live performances, concerts, and events. With its ornate architecture, spacious lobby, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound system, the Hanover Theatre provides a truly special experience for guests.
Whether you’re catching a Broadway show, enjoying a live performance from one of your favorite musicians, or attending a corporate event, you’re sure to be impressed by this stunning venue. With seating for over 2,300 guests, the Hanover Theatre is one of the largest venues in Worcester, making it the perfect place for large-scale events and gatherings.
And with a team of experienced event planners and staff members, you can be confident that your event will be a success. So why not come and experience the magic of the Hanover Theatre for yourself?
2. American Antiquarian Society
The American Antiquarian Society is an important historical institution in Worcester, Massachusetts. Established in 1812, it is one of the oldest historical societies in the United States and is dedicated to preserving the nation’s cultural heritage.
The society’s collections include books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other materials that document American history from the colonial period to the mid-twentieth century. The American Antiquarian Society’s research library is open to scholars and researchers from around the world, and the organization offers a range of educational programs, including lectures, workshops, and exhibitions, to engage the public with its collections.
The society’s headquarters, located in Worcester, is a beautiful historic building that was designed in the Greek Revival style and features a stunning rotunda and stunningly decorated reading room. The American Antiquarian Society is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in American history, and its collections provide a rich and diverse window into the nation’s past.
Whether you are a historian, a researcher, or simply a curious individual, the American Antiquarian Society is a must-visit destination in Worcester, Massachusetts.
3. Worcester Historical Museum
The Worcester Historical Museum, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich history of Worcester and the surrounding area. Established in 1875, the museum has a vast collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs that tell the story of the city from its early days to the present day.
Visitors can explore the exhibits to learn about Worcester’s industrial and cultural heritage, as well as its contributions to the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the country’s industrial revolution. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs, including guided tours, workshops, and special events, designed to engage and educate visitors of all ages.
Whether you’re a resident of Worcester or simply visiting, the Worcester Historical Museum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in learning about the history of this vibrant and dynamic city.
4. Bancroft Tower
Bancroft Tower is a historic tower located in Worcester, Massachusetts that was built in 1900. The tower was erected in honor of George Bancroft, a Worcester resident, and historian who was also a former U.S. Secretary of the Navy. The tower is made of granite and stands at a height of 56 feet, making it one of the tallest towers in the city.
Bancroft Tower offers stunning views of the surrounding area and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The tower is located in a beautiful park and is surrounded by a lush green forest that provides a peaceful and serene setting for visitors. The tower has been well-maintained over the years and is considered one of the most beautiful landmarks in Worcester.
The park surrounding Bancroft Tower is perfect for picnics, walks, and hikes, and it is a great place for families to spend an afternoon. Visitors are also welcome to climb the tower to get a panoramic view of the city, but the climb can be quite strenuous. Overall, Bancroft Tower is a great place to visit if you want to experience the beauty of Worcester and appreciate the history of the city.
5. Mechanics Hall
Mechanics Hall is a historic concert hall located in Worcester, Massachusetts, which was built in 1857. This magnificent building was designed in the Victorian Gothic style, and it is considered one of the finest examples of this type of architecture in New England.
Mechanics Hall is known for its stunning acoustics and has been a popular venue for classical music concerts, lectures, and other cultural events. With its ornate interior, including hand-painted murals, ornate plasterwork, and intricate woodcarvings, Mechanics Hall provides a truly unique and unforgettable experience. It has hosted famous musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald, and is now home to the Worcester Chamber Music Society.
Mechanics Hall is also available for weddings, private parties, and business events, making it a versatile and sought-after venue in Worcester. The hall is also on the National Register of Historic Places and has been restored to its former grandeur, making it a true gem of the city and a must-visit for anyone interested in history, architecture, or the arts.
6. Elm Park
Elm Park is a beautiful public park located in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. With its rolling hills, picturesque pond, and lush vegetation, it is a favorite destination for both locals and visitors. The park covers an area of around 60 acres, and it was originally designed in the late 19th century by Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect who also designed Central Park in New York City.
Elm Park has a rich history, and it has been a staple of the Worcester community for over a century. It features a variety of amenities, including walking paths, picnic areas, a playground, a gazebo, and a beautiful pergola that provides stunning views of the park and the surrounding city. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including geese, ducks, and a large population of chipmunks.
In the summer months, visitors can enjoy concerts and festivals, while in the winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with ice skating, sledding, and cross-country skiing. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life or an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family, Elm Park is the perfect place to be.
7. Green Hill Park
Green Hill Park is a breathtaking oasis located in the heart of the city. With its lush green landscape, serene lake, and stunning floral displays, it is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The park is a true gem, offering a wide range of recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages.
For those who love nature, there are several hiking trails that wind through the park, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Children will love the playground and picnic areas, while older visitors can take advantage of the golf course, tennis courts, and fishing pond.
The park is also a popular destination for bird-watching enthusiasts, as the lake attracts a variety of waterfowl and other species. At night, the park transforms into a wonderland, with its beautiful light displays, making it a must-visit location for families and couples alike.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax or an action-packed day out, Green Hill Park is the perfect destination for anyone seeking a taste of the great outdoors.
8. Worcester Art Museum
Worcester Art Museum, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is one of the premier art museums in the United States. With a collection of over 38,000 works of art spanning over 50 centuries of human creativity, the museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
From ancient Greek and Roman sculptures to medieval and Renaissance masterpieces, to contemporary American and European art, the Worcester Art Museum has something for everyone. The museum’s permanent collection is housed in a magnificent Gothic Revival building that was originally built in 1898 and expanded in the 1990s. The museum’s unique architecture, combined with its world-class collections, creates a truly exceptional museum experience.
Visitors can stroll through the galleries, taking in works by some of the most famous artists in history, such as Rembrandt, Botticelli, and Degas. In addition to its impressive permanent collection, the museum also features rotating exhibitions, educational programs, and workshops for all ages, making it a great place to visit for families and school groups. With its rich history and stunning collections, the Worcester Art Museum is a must-visit for anyone who loves art and culture.
EcoTarium is a unique and innovative interactive science center that is dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and sustainability. It provides a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages, making it the perfect destination for families, schools, and community groups.
The center features a wide range of exhibits, activities, and interactive displays that showcase the latest advances in environmental technology and sustainability practices. Visitors can explore the world of renewable energy, learn about sustainable agriculture, and discover the importance of reducing waste and conserving resources.
EcoTarium also offers a variety of hands-on workshops and programs that teach practical skills and knowledge related to sustainable living. In addition, the center has a green roof, rain gardens, and a solar-powered building that serve as a model for sustainable design and construction. Whether you’re looking to learn about environmental issues or simply enjoy a fun day out, EcoTarium is the perfect place to start.
10. Union Station
Union Station in Worcester, Massachusetts is a historic transportation hub that serves as a gateway to the city. The station was built in 1911, and its design is a blend of Georgian Revival and Classical Revival styles, featuring a grand concourse, a domed roof, and towering columns.
The station was once the busiest transportation hub in Worcester, serving as a hub for local and regional trains, streetcars, and intercity buses. Over the years, Union Station has undergone several renovations, with the most recent renovation taking place in 2000.
Today, Union Station is a beautifully restored and vibrant transportation hub that serves as a cornerstone of the city. The station is served by the MBTA commuter rail, and it is also a hub for local bus and taxi services. The station offers several convenient amenities for travelers, including a ticket office, waiting rooms, restrooms, and a café.
The station also hosts several events and cultural activities throughout the year, including concerts, exhibitions, and community festivals. Union Station is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Worcester, providing a glimpse into the city’s rich history and offering a convenient and comfortable transportation hub for travelers.
11. Korean War Memorial
The Korean War Memorial in Worcester, MA is a stunning tribute to the brave soldiers who fought in the Korean War. Located in the heart of the city, the memorial is a symbol of patriotism and a reminder of the sacrifices made by American soldiers. The memorial is made of a beautiful bronze statue of a soldier standing guard over a small flag, symbolizing the unwavering determination and bravery of the American troops.
The statue is surrounded by a series of flags representing the different branches of the military, as well as a series of plaques that commemorate the soldiers who lost their lives during the war. The memorial is a peaceful and serene spot, surrounded by lush greenery, where visitors can take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by these brave men and women.
It is a testament to the strength and courage of the American military and a reminder of the sacrifices made by soldiers in defense of our country and its ideals. The Korean War Memorial is an important part of the history of Worcester, MA, and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
12. Southwest Asia War Memorial
The Southwest Asia War Memorial located in Worcester, MA is a tribute to the brave men and women who served in the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. This memorial serves as a testament to the sacrifices made by these service members, who fought for their country and for the freedoms we all enjoy.
The memorial is made up of a series of bronze plaques that are arranged in a circular pattern, with the central plaque serving as a centerpiece. Each plaque is engraved with the names of the fallen soldiers, as well as a brief description of their service and accomplishments.
The Southwest Asia War Memorial is a solemn and moving tribute to the sacrifices made by these brave men and women. It serves as a reminder of their courage and sacrifice and serves as a symbol of hope and remembrance for all who visit.
A memorial is a quiet place for reflection, where visitors can pay their respects to the fallen and honor the sacrifice of these brave soldiers. It is a place where future generations can come and learn about the sacrifices made by their ancestors and appreciate the true cost of freedom.
13. DCU Center
DCU Center, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a multi-purpose arena that serves as a hub for a variety of events in the area. The facility has a seating capacity of over 12,000 and is a popular venue for concerts, sporting events, and trade shows.
The arena is also home to the Worcester Railers HC, a minor league ice hockey team. DCU Center has undergone several renovations over the years to keep up with the changing needs of the community. The latest renovation project, completed in 2013, included updates to the concourse, food, and beverage options, and additional seating. The arena also has state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, making it a popular choice for events of all sizes.
The DCU Center is located in the heart of Worcester and is easily accessible by car or public transportation. With its prime location, modern amenities, and commitment to providing a memorable experience for its guests, the DCU Center is a top destination in the Worcester area.
14. Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery in Worcester, MA is a world-renowned art museum and research center dedicated to the study of European art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The gallery features over 100 works of art from world-famous artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet, and Degas, among others. The works are displayed in a spacious and elegantly designed gallery space, providing visitors with a comfortable and intimate viewing experience.
In addition to its impressive collection, the museum also offers a variety of educational programs and exhibitions to visitors of all ages. These programs range from lectures and tours to hands-on workshops and classes that offer visitors a deeper understanding and appreciation of the art on display.
The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery is truly a treasure trove of art, culture, and history, making it a must-visit destination for art lovers and cultural enthusiasts in Worcester and beyond.
In conclusion, Worcester, Massachusetts is a city that offers a variety of activities for all ages and interests. Whether you’re interested in history, arts, culture, or outdoor activities, Worcester has something for everyone.
From visiting the Worcester Art Museum and exploring the Worcester Historical Museum to taking a stroll through Elm Park and touring the American Antiquarian Society, there is no shortage of things to do in Worcester. Additionally, the city offers a diverse selection of food and drink options, from classic American cuisine to authentic ethnic eateries, as well as a lively nightlife scene.
Overall, Worcester is a vibrant city with a rich history and a bright future. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to see why Worcester is one of the best cities in Massachusetts to visit. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s always something new to discover and experience in Worcester. So why not plan a trip to Worcester today and see for yourself what makes this city so special?