History, culture, sports, and recreation all come together at Holyoke Heritage State Park. There, under the theme, “Lark in the Park,” enjoyable experiences abound for the whole family in buildings bordering a beautiful two block state park in the heart of downtown. Between City Hall and the third-level canal, visitors can experience one of the top museums in the country, take a ride on an antique merry-go-round, view exhibits in the Volleyball Hall of Fame, and learn about Holyoke’s beginnings in the industrial revolution at the Heritage State Park Visitor’s Center.

Another sample of the city’s heritage can be found at the Wistariahurst Museum. Home of the Skinner Silk Mill family, the 1874 structure is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Mount Tom State Reservation, an 1800-acre state park, has 30 miles of scenic trails for hiking and picnicking.

And then there’s the Dinosaur Footprints; The Connecticut River Valley has long been recognized for its wealth of prehistoric footprints. The first dinosaur prints to be scientifically described are still here to be seen. A short trail parallels Route 5 northward from the entrance to the location of the dinosaur footprints. Take a walk.

Enjoy shopping at the Holyoke mall, one of New England’s largest shopping centers. It features nearly 200 stores, a large food court, and several restaurants.

Every March, Holyoke plays host to more than 400,000 people who line the streets to see the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the nation. A whole month of special activities makes for a festival that is more than a half-century old.

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Last Updated on September 26, 2012 by