Are you looking for things to do in Worcester, MA? Worcester is a historic city filled with interesting sights and fun things to do. Whether you want to spend some time in nature, learn about the history of Worcester, or have some fun playing arcade games, you’re sure to find an activity in Worcester to enjoy. Keep reading for 17 things to do in Worcester on your next visit.
Things to do in Worcester if you like Art and History
1. Worcester Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum has a wide variety of works from ancient to modern art. The museum was founded in 1896. Since then they have collected nearly 40,000 objects from all over the world, dating as far back as 3,000 BC.
In addition to the amazing art exhibits, a wide variety of classes are offered for adults, teens, and kids throughout the year. Children under eighteen are free making this an affordable activity for the entire family.
2. Worcester Historical Museum
Learn about the history of Worcester at the Worcester Historical Museum. The museum is focused on local history and includes artifacts such as civil war era diaries and letters, paintings and other art, weapons from the colonial era through the second world war, and many costumes and textiles.
The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Every fourth Thursday they’re open late, until 8:30 pm. Admission is just $5 for adults and kids are free.
3. Cathedral Church of Saint Paul
If you like historic architecture, add the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul to your list of things to do in Worcester.
Construction of the historic church first began in 1868. The first mass was held in the basement on July 4, 1869 as construction continued, and by 1874 the building was mostly complete, except for the tower. The tower was finally completed in 1889. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
The church is designed in the Victorian Gothic style and has stunning stained glass windows. Visitors are welcome to attend services or view the church from the outside anytime. Parking is limited. Visit the church website for recommendations on where to park.
4. Bancroft Tower
Bancroft Tower is one of the more unique things to do in Worcester. The tower looks like a small castle in the middle of Salisbury park. It was built in 1900 by Stephen Salisbury the third to honor his father’s friend George Bancroft. The castle is open to the public on Sundays in October when you can explore the inside of the tower and take in the view from the top.
If you’re not visiting in October, you can still visit Salisbury park to view the outside of the impressive, fifty-six-foot-tall natural stone tower.
Things to do in Worcester for Kids and Families
5. Worcester Center for Crafts
At the Worcester Center for Crafts, both kids and adults can take a number of different classes to learn a new skill like ceramics, stained glass, or mosaics. Youth classes are offered for kids ages six to seventeen and they even offer family classes you can do together with your kids.
There are special events throughout the year that are often free and open to the public including performances, demos, and art shows.
If you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in Worcester, check out the Ecotarium. Adults and kids can both learn something new at the family-friendly indoor/outdoor science and natural history museum.
Inside, the museum has three floors of interactive exhibits to keep kids busy and engaged. Outside, there are walking trails, ponds, more interactive exhibits, and animals to see like otters, bald eagles, and mountain lions.
The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday and closed on Mondays.
7. Mechanics Hall
Mechanics Hall is a stunning venue for concerts and special events throughout the year.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and a full restoration was completed in 1977. Today the venue hosts many great events for people of all ages including a children’s theater and children’s concerts designed especially for their youngest guests.
Things to do in Worcester for Nature Lovers
8. Elm Park
Elm Park is a historic public park full of both developed and undeveloped areas to enjoy. Play a game at the tennis courts, basketball court, and disc golf course, or spend some time walking the trails in the less developed areas of the park. You’ll be able to see several historic structures and bridges as you walk through the fifty-eight-acre park.
Kids will love playing on the playground and there are several places to enjoy a picnic. If you’re visiting in winter you can ice skate on the ponds on the Eastern side of the park.
9. Green Hill Park
Green Hill Park is a huge park with 500 acres of green space designed for multiple uses. The park is another one of our things to do in Worcester that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The park is full of fun things to do like an eighteen-hole golf course, fishing in the ponds, a skate park, trails, a playground, and sports fields for soccer, football, baseball, and more. There is even a working farm where you can see animals like sheep, pigs, goats, and llamas.
10. Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary
Broad Meadow Brook is an urban wildlife sanctuary with over 400 acres and hundreds of different plant and animal species. There are five miles of trails to explore as you look for animals and unique plants. The trails are well marked and easy to navigate.
The nature center has programs and events throughout the year to help visitors learn more about animals, nature, and conservation. The nature center is open Tuesday-Sunday. Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.
11. The Cascades
Visiting the cascades is one of the best things to do in Worcester if you enjoy nature. The Cascades is a beautiful area to visit any time of year but it’s especially beautiful in the spring when the waterfall is at its fullest.
There are many trails to hike for taking in the beauty of the area and looking for wildflowers and wildlife. There are places to bike as well.
Things to do in Worcester if you like Shopping
12. Sweet Jane’s Designer Consignment
Sweet Jane’s Designer Consignment located on Main Street is a great place to find a deal on gently used designer clothing, jewelry, shoes, and handbags. You can find name brands like Dior, Free People, Ugg, and many more at budget-friendly prices.
The items are carefully selected and very clean. Inventory changes frequently so stop in and see what they have to find yourself a good deal on a gorgeous new outfit or designer handbag.
13. Crompton Collective
Crompton Collective is a boutique marketplace for handcrafted, vintage, and antique items. Vendors rent booths where you can shop for many unique and beautiful items including candles, soap, jewelry, clothing, art, home decor, and gifts.
Upstairs you’ll find visit the Haberdash flagship store. The boutique specializes in affordable and inclusive fashion for women with both regular and plus sizes available.
14. Worcester Public Market
If you like supporting local, small businesses, visiting the Worcester Public Market is definitely one of the best things to do in Worcester. At the market, browse a wide variety of locally made and sourced products from one of Worcester’s own local small businesses. Spend some time shopping then grab lunch or dinner from one of the food vendors.
You can find things like fresh flowers, handmade candles and soaps, leather goods, t-shirts, mugs, art prints, and more. To eat, there are many great options to choose from including burgers, tacos, and pasta, plus tasty desserts.
The market is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. On Friday and Saturday, the food vendors stay open until 9:00 pm.
Things to do in Worcester for Entertainment
15. Free Play Bar Arcade
For a small admission fee ($7 Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, $10 Friday and Saturday) you can play as many games as you want at the Free Play Bar Arcade. Try your hand at arcade favorites like Frogger and Joust, play some pinball, or check out the other games like skee ball and air hockey.
Guests must be twenty-one and up to enter.
16. Hanover Theater for Performing Arts
If you enjoy live theater, why not attend a show at the Hanover Theater for Performing Arts. The theater hosts many performances throughout the year including Broadway shows, concerts, and other events.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the theater with a historic and architectural tour.
17. Escape Games Worcester
Escape Games are tons of fun and they’re something the whole family can enjoy. The games at Escape Games Worcester are recommended for ages nine and up due to the challenging nature of the puzzles, but younger children are welcome to join as well.
Look for clues and solve puzzles as you race the clock to finish the game within the allotted time. The games are fully private, your group will be the only people doing the game.
For even more fun, try the take-home escape chest or a print-at-home escape game.
Wrapping Up Things to Do in Worcester, MA
With so many fun things to do in Worcester, you’re sure to have a great time on your next visit. Which of the things to do in Worcester do you want to try first? For more things to do in Massachusetts check out 21 things to do in Cambridge.