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Enjoy a Summer Full of Learning Fun!

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Summer has arrived! School is out, and families can enjoy many summertime activities in Worcester. Summer offers new opportunities for parents and children to have fun and learn together. It also allows parents to support the growth and development of their children.

5 Family-Friendly Summer Activities in Worcester

This summer, Worcester is home to many activities that both parents and children can enjoy, including:

1. Out to Lunch Festival and Farmers' Market

Now in its 14th year, the Out to Lunch Festival and Farmers' Market is a Worcester summertime staple. The free festival and farmers' market takes place every Thursday from July 11 to August 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Worcester Common Oval.

Father and daughter at farmers market

Enjoy live performances, an artisans and crafts market, local food trucks, and more during the event. Also, stop by the nonprofit area to learn about local community organizations and how you can support them.

2. Polar Park Family Fest

The WooSox will host their Second Annual Polar Park Family Fest on June 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. From a Touch-a-Truck on Summit Street to a petting zoo featuring baby goats, chickens, and other animals, there's plenty to enjoy at the festival. Along with these attractions, parents and children can play corn hole, giant Jenga, and other yard games. There's even a meet-and-greet with WooSox mascots Smiley Ball, Woofster the WonderDog, and Roberto the Rocket, Red Sox mascots Wally and Tessie, and many other local celebrities.

Advanced tickets for the festival are now available, with prices of $10 for children and $12 for adults.

3. Free Events on the Plaza

The Francis R. Carroll Plaza outside The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts is a hot spot for summer fun. Beginning July 10, the Plaza will host a Lunchtime Concert Series at the Bank of America outdoor stage every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Here, guests can enjoy live music performances and food trucks. The series runs through August 28.

On July 25, the 3rd Annual Christmas in July Extravaganza will take place both inside the Hanover and at the Plaza. This indoor-outdoor Christmas celebration kicks off at 5 p.m. During the event, guests can get into the Christmas spirit by doing things like dressing up in their favorite holiday attire, viewing ice sculptures (even in summer), scoring holiday deals, and posing for photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

4. Spray Parks

Worcester features two spray parks where children can splash, play, and beat the summertime heat. Greenwood Park offers a splash park on Forsberg Street in the Quinsigamond Village neighborhood, and Cristoforo Colombo/East Spray Park provides a splash park on Shrewsbury Street. Both public spray parks are open daily in summer from noon to 7 p.m.

Kids playing at splash park

5. Green Hill Park

Play handball, baseball, softball, soccer, and football on the public multipurpose field at Green Hill Park. There's also a skate park, gazebo, an arboretum, two ponds, and playgrounds to enjoy. Additionally, see alpacas, llamas, and other farm animals for free at Green Hill Park Farm.

Mother and son kicking a ball

Tackle Summer Reading Challenges Together

The Worcester Public Library (WPL) is offering a "Dog Days of Summer" reading program for adults and children. By joining the program, participants can earn prizes as they complete various reading challenges over the summer.

WPL will begin its summer reading program with a kick-off party at each of its branches. The Main Branch's party takes place June 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Frances Perkins Branch's party takes place June 24 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Attend either of these parties to sign up for WPL's summer reading program. Or, sign up online today.

EcoTarium Promotes Science-Based Learning, Creativity, and Exploration

The EcoTarium offers a "Ready, Set, STEAM!" early learning program designed to "foster a love and appreciation for science and nature in children through age 5." The program promotes guided play that allows children to engage with and enjoy the natural world around them. This helps build a foundation of science that may stay with children for the rest of their lives.

As part of "Ready, Set, STEAM!," the EcoTarium provides a Tots' Exploration Station, which features hands-on science activities and games for young children. This station is available every Wednesday from October to June from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is included with the price of admission, which is free for infants under 2, $14 for children 2 and up, $19 for adults, and $15 for seniors.

Worcester Offers Fun Family Events and Programs Throughout the Year

In addition to these Worcester summer activities, there are many local events and programs for families to enjoy during the year, including:

  • Day of Play Family Festival: Encourages children to enjoy finger-painting, building block towers, and other outdoor activities that can help them develop skills in architecture, engineering, math, and science. This year's festival takes place September 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Elm Park.
  • Worcester Art Museum: Provides art carts featuring hands-on activities, scavenger hunts, and touch stations for children. The museum also offers free admission to guests 17 and under.
  • Worcester Family Partnership: Runs playgroups, story time hours, family literacy nights, and much more. Connect with the Worcester Family Partnership on Facebook for updates about its activities this summer and throughout the year.
  • Worcester Public Library: Hosts Crafternoons, Whimsical Workshops, and other free children's programs. If you have a library card, you'll be able to access free and reduced-price museum passes.

Stay Up to Date on Family Activities, Events, and Programs in Worcester

For Central Mass families, there's a lot to enjoy in Worcester this summer and beyond.

Check out the AllEvents and Discover Central Massachusetts calendars for updates about the Kid's Cultural Festival and other upcoming cultural events and festivals in the Worcester area.

Follow Edward Street on Facebook and LinkedIn for updates about activities, events, and programs for families in Worcester and its surrounding communities.

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