Short Stops

  • Visit North Central

Of course you love exploring the Great Outdoors… and when you’ve had enough fresh air, or the weather isn’t right for a foray into the forest, there are still lots of great things to enjoy in North Central Massachusetts! Here are a few spots, both indoors and out, to explore — and you can find even more places to visit in the “Members” section at the back of this Guide!

Got Wheels?

Antique or vintage sedans, hot rods or farm trucks, in parking lots and grassy fields … Car shows and cruise nights abound here.

One of the biggest regular vehicle gatherings is at Kimball Farms dairy bar in Lancaster, where you may see hundreds of cars on any Friday night. The free weekly Cruise Night starts at 5 pm on Fridays throughout the summer.

Starting on May 10, the North Quabbin Cruisers will gather for weekly cruise nights at the Hannaford supermarket parking lot, 150 New Athol Rd. in Athol. Keep up to date with their plans on facebook.

From May through September, the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC) on Route 2A in Gardner is a Friday night hot spot for car lovers. Live music (and adult beverages in the club) add to the fun.


Take It Inside!

letz-rage-in-fitchburg-maYou’ve trekked the trails, paddled the ponds, and enjoyed outdoor concerts to your heart’s delight. But sometimes, you’re just in the mood for some indoor entertainment.

Fear not! We’ve got you covered! Whether you want to exercise your mind, sharpen your skills, or blow off some steam, businesses throughout the area have just what you need.

Escape from reality — and put your puzzle-solving skills to the test — at Curious Escape Rooms in Fitchburg, or The Gate Escape in Leominster.

Love arcades? Step into lively fun at Funstuf Party Place or Game On Sports Performance Center, both in Fitchburg. Funstuf will keep the kids happily occupied, and grownups can get in on skillful action — including axe throwing! — at Game On Sports!

Everyone loves Great Wolf Lodge, home to year-round weatherproof fun including its wet and wild waterpark, MagiQuest, ropes course and much more for families to enjoy.

And for a really different approach to indoor activity, head over to the area’s newest fun spot, Letz Rage in Fitchburg, where you can whack a barrel or a flat screen TV, or even toss paint at the walls (or your best buddy).

Meet Me at the Fair!

sterling-fairIt’s always “fair” weather here — for country church festivals, carnivals and good old agricultural fairs!

Love carnivals? Welcome spring with the St. Bernard’s Elementary School Spring Carnival, from April 13 to 23 on Summer Street in Fitchburg. Exciting rides, carnival games, food and more await your visit!

Since this is Johnny Appleseed Country, you just have to visit the orchard for the Apple Blossom Festival at Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant St., Leominster. Music, handcrafts, entertainment, a butterfly release — and, if Mother Nature cooperates on Saturday, May 20, a fabulous show of pink and white apple blossoms!

Johnny-Appleseed-Craft-Beer-Festival-in-LeominsterGet your taste buds ready, too, for the Johnny Appleseed Craft Beer Festival on Main Street, Leominster on Aug 12. Sample beer, hard cider and hard seltzer from dozens of brewers.

And the grand-daddy of local agricultural events is the Bolton Fair — now in its 140th year! — at The Fairgrounds at Lancaster, Rt. 117 on August 11-13. It’s got everything, from animal shows and contests to a demo derby and a thrill-packed carnival midway. Visit for a complete schedule of events.

Be sure to return for the Sterling Fair, complete with tractor pulls, farm machinery and entertainment on September 8-10 at Sterling Airport!