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“Cultural Center of the Pioneer Valley”

Springfield Museums
Ranked #2 of 44 things to do in Springfield
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Springfield Museums, located in the heart of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, is comprised of four world-class museums covering art, history, and science, plus the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Stairs / elevator, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed November 5, 2011

The Quadrangle is the nickname of an great cultural campus in the heart of Springfield, which features five museums, and several well-known outdoor sculptures (including St. Gaudens's masterpiece, "The Puritan.") One ticket gains a person access to all of the museums (!!)

The Quadrangle's museums include art; curiosities; science; history (which was closed when I went;) and a fascinating new museum about the City of Springfield's history. (For example, did you know that Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber in Springfield? Or that John Brown started his first radical abolitionist group there? Or that Timothy Leary's first "experiment" was in Springfield, his hometown..?) The city has fascinating connections!

The Museum of Springfield History is, itself, located on the site of the famous American painter James McNeill Whistler's childhood home (famous for "Whistler's Mother," and "Nocturnes," among other paintings -- and for being witty with Oscar Wilde.) Again, connections!

Outside of the five museums are the Dr. Seuss memorial sculptures, which honor another one of Springfield's favorite sons (and, in particular, his book's characters--like the Lorax and the Cat in the Hat;) and Augustus Saint Gaudens' world famous statue, "The Puritan." The former is whimsical and fun; the latter is serious, and arguably the great artist's masterpiece. (I heard people speaking in German taking photos of it.)

The Science Museum features the first planetarium ever built in the U.S. -- it's not old and decrepit; in fact, it's really cool-looking and historical at the same time. Springfield Science also has an extensive dinosaur exhibit! Lots of reptiles too. It's a bit light on geology, in my opinion, but I believe that both parents and kids will be entertained at informed at once.

There are two other museums that I believe both parents and kids will like: the first is the Springfield History Museum, because it features multiple cars, planes, and a life-sized firetruck -- and also, the G V.W. Smith Museum of Art, which is a collection of weird artifacts from around the world (like Asian suits of armor,) collected by an eccentric man.

The Springfield Museum of Art was my personal favorite, (aside from seeing the real-life "Puritan," which I studied in art history,) although I think that it might be a kid's least favorite. Personally, I was amazed the breadth and depth of Springfield's European collection -- French Impressionist/Post-Impressionist, Dutch and Flemish -- all the masters... Plus, it has an equally compelling American galley. (Famed portrait painter Chester Harding was a Springfielder.) This art museum would be popular in a megalopolis; however, in a city that's only 32 sq miles and has only 155,000 people, it's a treasure.

The history museum was undergoing renovations while I was there so I cannot comment on it... The rest, however, I give an A+ -- not just because medium-sized cities almost never have collections like this, (even in Europe,) but because the collections themselves were compelling and well-presented.

Outside you've got Dr. Seuss and Augustus Saint Gaudens's "The Puritan" within yards of each other -- can you get any better than that?! :)

3  Thank JuJu1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"science museum"
in 84 reviews
"seuss sculpture garden"
in 26 reviews
"special exhibits"
in 17 reviews
"something for everyone"
in 20 reviews
"rolls royce"
in 8 reviews
"antique cars"
in 8 reviews
"fine art"
in 9 reviews
"dr seuss"
in 23 reviews
"american art"
in 5 reviews
"blake house"
in 5 reviews
"great museums"
in 5 reviews
"natural history"
in 6 reviews
"small city"
in 7 reviews
"all ages"
in 20 reviews
"day trip"
in 12 reviews
"free admission"
in 5 reviews
"nice display"
in 4 reviews

371 - 375 of 383 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2011

The Springfield Science Museum covers all of the basic topics in science - from geology to physics -- and covers several of them in depth. Luckily for families, the topics that the Springfield Science Museum covers in depth include space, reptiles, and dinosaurs -- so, in other words, this museum will probably appeal to your children just as much as you, but maybe for different reasons.

One remarkable fact about this museum is that it features the first planetarium ever built in the United States. (If one goes to The Museum of Springfield History, which one might not expect it to be so fascinating -- so many things were invented in Springfield! -- and the American planetarium is yet another thing invented in Springfield, MA.)

The Springfield Science Museum's planetarium is the only planetarium in the U.S. built before World War II that was not designed by the famous Zeiss Brothers. In other words, the planetarium is worth a look -- not only because it's cool-looking on the inside and occasionally hosts special exhibits, but because it is a piece of American history.

2  Thank JuJu1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2011

We have been here several times. Admission also includes 2 art museums and history museum. The history museum has Indian motorcycles, antique cars, etc. My kids favorite part is the science museum especially the real animals (mostly reptiles & amphibians). We've enjoyed some of the special exhibits that visit.

2  Thank BoysMom3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

For one low price you get a science, fine art, art collection, and Springfield history museums. The also have a Dr. Seuss sculpture garden. It all started when a man gave his art collection to the town of Springfield. They had added more museums from there. The science museum covers everything from natural history to the space age. They have a lot of interactive activities for the kids. The museum of Springfield history had a lot of information on companies that started in Springfield and historical events. Both art museums are filled with paintings and sculptures from different times in history. It was a wonderful afternoon.

2  Thank kateerin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 12, 2011

I always forget about the museum downtown, so whenever I do visit it (once every few years) it's a treat. I love their exhibits on early Asia.

Thank pacispuella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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