Things to Do in Amherst, MA

February 28, 2023

things to do in amherst ma

The classic college town of Amherst, MA is home to a world-class institution. It also offers a variety of things to do to keep you entertained.

If you’re looking for some fun in the sun, head to Amherst’s largest open body of water, Puffer’s Pond. You can swim, kayak, fish, and picnic on the pond’s banks.

1. Visit the Emily Dickinson Museum

The Emily Dickinson Museum is comprised of two historic houses in Amherst that were home to the 19th-century poet. The first is the Homestead, where Dickinson grew up and lived for her entire life; the second is the Evergreens, her brother Austin’s home next door.

In 2003, the two houses were merged into one museum, under the ownership and 501(c)(3) status of Amherst College. The Museum offers a variety of educational programs and events, as well as tours for groups.

The homestead has been given a makeover to enliven the space and bring it more into line with how Dickinson actually used it. The team worked to restore and recreate many aspects of the homestead, including the wallpaper she used, as well as a replica of her white dress.

2. Visit Puffer’s Pond

If you’re a fan of outdoor activities, then Puffer’s Pond is the place for you. Located in North Amherst, this 11-acre pond is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, nature walks and canoeing.

It’s also home to a variety of animals, including great blue herons, mallard ducks and turtles. If you’re lucky, you may even see an otter in the water.

This pond is the largest open water body in Amherst, and it’s a prominent recreation area for fishing, birding, nature walking, canoeing, picnicking and swimming. Located approximately 3 miles north of the town center, this is a must-visit destination.

3. Go to a Farmers’ Market

Visiting a farmers’ market is a great way to get kids excited about food and to learn about where their food comes from. Often, children are able to meet the actual farmer who grows the products they buy.

A trip to a farmers’ market is also a great place for kids to try new foods and explore a variety of food textures. Download these printable activities from the Farmers’ Market Create-and-Play Activity Book to help young children make their shopping experience a fun and educational one!

Whether you are looking for farm-to-table vegetables or handmade crafts, there is a market for you in Amherst. Many markets feature live music, cooking seminars, and other community offerings.

4. See a Movie at Amherst Cinema

If you love seeing movies, you’ll love visiting Amherst Cinema. It offers a variety of films, including independent and classic ones. It also hosts musical and dance performances.

The Amherst Cinema also hosts an arts and education program called See*Hear*Feel*Film. This program is designed to teach children about the importance of storytelling through different media.

During two visits to the cinema, students watch and discuss various films, then break into small groups led by volunteers. The groups then create their own story using film.

Box office and concession stand employees at the theater voted to unionize in April 2022 and were later recognized by the Amherst Cinema Board of Trustees. Workers gained an across-the-board wage increase of 6% in their first year. They also gained leave policies, a joint labor-management committee to address health and safety issues, and other benefits.

5. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Floating in a hot air balloon is a great way to see the world from a new perspective. This activity is ideal for anyone looking to check something off of their bucket list or simply get away from it all for a few hours.

When you take a Hot Air Balloon Ride, you’ll get to see the world from a whole new perspective and gain a different appreciation for your favorite places. Whether it’s checking Mount Rushmore off your list or floating over a quaint medieval village in France, you won’t be disappointed.

Your flight will last approximately an hour, and the pilot will land you safely on a designated landing site. Upon arrival, you’ll often be treated to champagne, mimosas, and a light snack. You’ll also receive a flight certificate that can be framed to remember your experience.

Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator

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