City of Innovation & Vibrancy
Culture & Arts
The Quadrangle, considered the cultural center of Springfield, is a city green ringed by historic buildings, including the Springfield City Library and the five Springfield Museums. The Quadrangle is also home to The Puritan, a bronze statue by artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens, memorializing Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the city’s earliest settlers. Forest Park–one of the largest municipal parks in the country–is another popular city landmark, offering a green oasis for recreation in an urban atmosphere. Regardless of the preferred venue or activity, residents and visitors alike can always find something exciting happening downtown in Springfield.
The Springfield Museums feature five world-class venues for art, science and history: the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum (with the oldest operating planetarium in the U.S.), the Connecticut Valley Historical
Museum and the Museum of Springfield History. The Quadrangle is also home to the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Scuplture Garden in tribute to Springfield’s own Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel, born in the city in 1904. The “Amazing World of Dr. Seuss” is the newest museum in the Quadrangle, opening in June of 2017.
The Springfield Armory National Historic Site offers the story of the country’s first armory and commemorates the critical role it played in the nation’s and the city’s earliest settlers.
Springfield is the birthplace of basketball. For over 50 years, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has celebrated the history and players of this American sport from its invention by Dr. James Naismith in 1891 to today’s modern game. Today, the Basketball Hall of Fame is a state-of-the-art, interactive sports museum with nearly four hundred inductees and more than 40,000 square feet of basketball history. The facility also plays host to several restaurants and a fitness club.
Built in the early 1900s, the 2,611-seat Symphony Hall is home to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and Broadway-style theatre. CityStage features off-Broadway comedies, dramas and musicals in the 487-seat Blake Theatre; plus community events, performances and meetings in the 70-seat Winifred Arms Theatre. The two theatres host 250 events in a season, with a broad variety of shows.
The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is the largest professional orchestra in Massachusetts outside of Boston. The Orchestra has provided nearly 75 years of classical and pops performancesplus education and outreach programs.
The MassMutual Center is most diverse function space in Western Massachusetts, with 100,000 sf of flexible space including a ballroom, five meeting rooms, 40,000 sf of exhibit space, plus a totally renovated 8,000 seat arena. The arena hosts many top-notch performers and entertainers every year and is the proud home of the American Hockey League’s Springfield Thunderbirds.
Springfield City Library is Springfield’s public library system which includes Central Library, located at 220 State Street. Central Library offers programs and resources for preschoolers through Seniors, as well as meeting spaces and valuable on-line options. With a mission of Building Connections, Broadening Horizons and Strengthening Community, it is the community source for literacy, technology and information.
One week, every year in the spring, Downtown Springfield plays host to its very popular Restaurant Week. The mission is to highlight the wide-ranging dining options that Springfield has to offer and bring individuals from not only the downtown area but throughout the suburbs and surrounding communities to the city to walk the streets and enjoy a dinner at a special discounted price.
Since 1998, the Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) aims to be a resource for business owners, both those contemplating opening a business in Downtown and those who currently reside in its amazing urban center. SBID is a supporting member of Springfield’s new Central Cultural District and a partner in the Clean and Safe program which is a vital service that continues to make Downtown attractive to both visitors and residents as well as business owners. The BID is now a key partner in the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) district. Along with the City of Springfield, MassDevelopment, DevelopSpringfield, MassMutual Finance, and others, the TDI is focused on growing innovation in the core of downtown and a hub of creative thinkers and projects have already begun to bring that energy to the district. This includes DevelopSpringfield’s Springfield Innovation Center, Mass-Development’s Make it Springfield, the BID’s roster of special events, and the city’s efforts around park and infrastructure improvements. The city is making an additional effort around food innovation, establishing an innovative loan pool to attract new full-service restaurants to the district.
The American Hockey League is headquartered in Springfield, and the city has a long history supporting AHL franchises. The Springfield Thunderbirds are the newest version, starting play in 2016 thanks to a local business community that cemented Springfield’s hockey future with the new franchise. The Thunderbirds were welcomed with a sold out crowd in their very first game at the MassMutual Center. The team offers ticket and game promotions throughout the year and is an NHL affiliate.
Tower Square is a class A 28-floor office tower in the heart of downtown Springfield’s business district, which also features a Marriott Hotel, UMASS Springfield, a three-level secured parking garage and two levels
of convenient retail. The retail area offers a variety of dining options as well as convenient services, shopping, art galleries, billiards, special events and more.
Eastfield Mall features more than 70 specialty stores including Sears, Old Navy, an international food court plus two full-service restaurants and a 16-screen cinema complex with stadium seating. A vibrant retail community has developed around Eastfield Mall along Boston Road (Route 20), including Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Toys R’ Us, Staples, Marshalls and many others.
Springfield isn’t just a City packed with plenty to do indoors; it is also a place where green spaces are everywhere offering more than 35 different sizes and types of parks, recreational and open spaces, including the vast 735-acre Forest Park. At Forest Park on the banks of the Connecticut River. Visitors can enjoy using the ample tennis courts or opt for a scenic paddle boat ride on the 31- acre Porter Lake. Other activities include bird watching spots, miles of walking trails and one of the finest small zoos in New England.
The Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway includes 3.7 miles along the Springfield riverfront which provides outstanding opportunities to bike, run, walk or rollerblade in view of stunning scenic vistas of the Connecticut River, the Springfield skyline and Memorial Bridge. The path also links to the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club which offers a host of river based sporting activities.
The largest open space in the city’s South End, Emerson Wight Park underwent a recent $1.2M dollar renovation and is also home to a brand new South End Community Center. Both Blunt and Van Horn Parks offer playgrounds, picnic areas, and numerous sports fields.
The City also boasts two municipal golf courses. Franconia Golf Course is located on Dwight Road and was renovated in 2001 with a Van Kleek and Stiles design. (www.franconiagolfcourse.com) Veterans Memorial Golf Course is on South Branch Parkway and was designed by famed architect Jeffrey Cornish.
Bright Nights at Forest Park is a nationally renowned annual holiday light display featuring a 2.6 mile drive through a hightech winter wonderland while you listen to holiday music on your car radio. The display runs from late November to early January. Special activities include Public Safety Night, the Bright Nights 5K Road Race, Supper with Santa and wagon and carriage rides.
New to Forest Park is the $4 million renovation of the Environmental Center of Science (ECOS), offering a state of the art learning facility for children.