By Sandi Barrett, Contributing Writer
REGION – It is time to shake off your heavy coat and the overwhelming feeling of cabin fever for warm sunshine and local festive events. Across Massachusetts we are fortunate to have a variety of celebrations to welcome the glorious spring season. Here are five fun festivals to bring joy to your April and May stepping-outside adventures.
Bridge of Flowers, April 1 – October 31
Experience a wild riot of colorful plants at the Bridge of Flowers in Shelbourne Falls; open 24 hours a day from April 1 to October 31, weather permitting. Bright April blooms can include crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, early tulips, and azaleas. As the warmth of May settles in, the gardens explode with bleeding hearts, trout lilies, hellebores, iris, foam flowers, dogwoods, flowering cherries, and more.
There is no entrance fee for the Bridge of Flowers; however, they welcome monetary donations. Dogs are not allowed with the exception of service dogs.
Daffodil Days, April 16
Fields of cheery flowers blanket gardens at Boylston’s Tower Hill Botanic Garden and the Daffodil Day event. The child-centric celebration takes place Saturday, April 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Stroll with your favorite youngster through the blooming spring daffodils and tulips while learning about the lifecycle of spring bulbs. Enjoy a daffodil-focused craft and an afternoon amongst the flowers.
Advanced registration is required and includes admission to the garden. This event is for children accompanied by an adult: $9 member youth, $6 member adult; $16 youth, $24 adult.
Sheep Shearing Festival, April 23
The annual Sheep Shearing Festival will take place at Gore Place in Waltham on Saturday, April 23. This high-energy festival is a fun take for the entire family. The festival is a great way to enjoy dog-herding demonstrations, traditional sheep shearing techniques, local artisan booths, music, and food vendors.
Historic Gore Place is the 50-acre, 1806 country estate of Christopher and Rebecca Gore. The estate includes a Federal-style mansion, an authentic 1793 Carriage House, a working farm, and expansive grounds. Parking is free. Adult admission is $20 and children 12 and under are free. Pets are not allowed.
Lilac Sunday, May 8
Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston is set for Sunday, May 8. The Arboretum is celebrating 150 years and 112 Lilac Sundays.
The collection of the 408 lilacs can be explored in a variety of ways. Visitors can use a printed self-guided tour. Guests who download the Expeditions: Arnold Arboretum App, which includes the lilac tour and describes other plants and areas across the grounds, can enjoy an educational experience while exploring the great outdoors. Admission is free and the Arboretum is open from sunrise to sunset. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash at all times.
Patriots’ Day Festival, April 16, 17, and 18
The Colonial Patriots Day Festival takes place across Massachusetts Patriots’ Day weekend, but is laser focused in the towns of Lexington, Concord, and Arlington. Events over the entire weekend – and leading up to the weekend schedule – portray costumed actors bringing American history to life through reenactments and representing everyday life.
For a true immersion into the spirit of the day, begin Patriot’s Day (April 18) at 4:30 a.m. with the march from Concord to Stow where the colonial militia wakes the town, warning them of the impending battle. The Battle on Lexington Green begins at 5:30 a.m., if you want to sleep in a little longer.
Not to worry, there are plenty of other events – at 9 a.m the Patriots’ Day Parade begins in Concord Center and Lexington’s Patriots’ Day Parade begins at 2 p.m.
Check the https://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/patriots-day-schedule.html for the up-to-the-minute activities across the entire weekend.
Get out and enjoy the beautiful April-in-Massachusetts weather and explore a little history in the process. Many of the events are free, some tours require a nominal fee.
The cause for celebration is clear. Chilly days warmed by glorious sunshine bring the colorful blossoms of early season plants that beckon us to outside to breathe the fresh air perfumed with the heady aroma of early blooms.