12 events to visit in Massachusetts this April


If you find yourself in the state of Massachusetts this April and would like to find some fun events to attend during your stay, there are plenty worth considering.

(Photo: Massachusetts Horticultural Society via Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

While much of the state’s cultural and entertainment revolves around its famous capital of Boston, you don’t need to venture far outside the city to discover that there’s a whole lot more to Massachusetts to discover. If you want to know what’s going on across the state this coming April, then we’ve delved deep and come up with 12 diverse events and exhibitions you may want to consider adding to your travel itinerary.

Tulip Mania

This April, the picturesque Garden at Elm Bank in the town of Wellesley, will be transformed into a vibrant scene of spring with 50,000 blooming tulips at Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s first-ever Tulip Mania. The garden area, centred around the Hartley Victorian Greenhouse, is home to yearly tests of new and unreleased varieties, with April seeing early spring colours blossom into life, to the delight of all who witness them. As well as the kaleidoscopic tulips on display, there are also lectures and other events to enjoy.

The Garden at Elm Bank, Wellesley / Through April 2023

Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America

The Wampanoag people have lived in northeastern America for over 12,000 years. Their nation extended beyond Boston, into central Massachusetts, and south to Rhode Island. This exhibition focuses on cultural preservation, uniting contemporary indigenous artists and educators in retelling history from the indigenous perspective and through a powerful piece of traditional art. At the heart of this artistic culture are Wampum belts, each telling a story through its unique design, and the centrepiece attraction of the exhibition is a one-thousand bead wampum belt made in the style and traditions of the Wampanoag people, embodying their connection to the sea and to life itself.

Cahoon Museum of Modern Art, Barnstable / 15 March – 16 April 2023

Re/Framing the View: Nineteenth-Century American Landscapes

Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826-1900), New England Lake, c. 1854. Oil on canvas, 30 x 42 in. (76.2 x 106.7 cm). Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Collection. (Image courtesy of Christie’s)

This exhibition showcases a collection of 19th-century American landscape paintings, with the purpose of sparking fresh conversations about them. In particular, the exhibition’s curators took careful consideration of the roles women have played in picturing nature, and the way in which environmental degradation, federal Native American removal policies, and racialization were either pictured or erased in the artworks’ scenes. In doing so, they sought to answer the question of what we see versus what we know was happening, in order to re-frame the view about historical and contemporary issues and events.

New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford / Through 14 May 2023

Bach Festival & Symposium

Launched in 2015 in celebration of one of the most seminal figures in Western music – Johann Sebastian Bach – this biennial event attracts dozens of musicians and scholars of international stature to the University of Massachusetts Amherst for an event of artistic and academic excellence. Participating musicians perform selections of Bach’s work, as well as symposiums led by visiting and UMass music scholars that examine the ways the Baroque composer’s music continues to resonate today.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst / Through 21-23 April 2023

Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail

(Photo: Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail)

Taking in a total of eight pottery studios with over twenty nationally-recognised potters, this annual event celebrates the rich agricultural history and cultural vitality of the Asparagus Valley, the name given to the area around the upper Connecticut River valley of western Massachusetts., as well as the longstanding connection between pottery and food. Easily reached from Boston, Hartford, and the Albany area, the free, self-guided tours lead you along winding, beautiful back roads and scenic historic towns.

Florence / 29-30 April 2023

Salem Ancestry Days

Whether it’s the Salem Witch Trials, one of the many families that left their mark on Salem’s maritime heritage, or any number of other seminal moments in the city’s long history, there are remarkable connections to be made to the people who created the Salem story. Held over a full weekend, residents and visitors are invited to celebrate this ancestral and immigrant history at this annual event through a diverse programme of lectures, tours, research opportunities, and more.

Salem / 21-24 April 2023

George Winston 

George Winston has inspired fans and musicians alike with his singular solo acoustic piano songs for more than 40 years while selling 15 million albums. Winston’s music is evocative, offering a chance to take a step back from our busy lives and let our minds adventurously wander. Taking place at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod’s acoustically stellar Constantinidis Great Hall complete with Steinway piano, this show will see the musician perform his latest album, “NIGHT,” along with much-loved songs from his extensive back-catalogue.

The Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South Yarmouth / 17 April 2023

Nora Krug: Belonging

Edwin’s letters to his wife, 2018 Story illustration for Belonging, by Nora Krug, 2018
(Photo: Nora Krug / Courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum)

Award-winning artist Nora Krug’s powerful graphic memoir, Belonging: A German Reckons With History and Home is the focus of this exhibition, which traces the artist’s investigations into the hidden truths of her family’s wartime history in Nazi Germany. Taking inspiration from her personal experiences as well as the events of history through engagement with deep topical research, museum artefacts and flea market finds, vintage photography, oral histories, and personal conversations, it aims to help us better understand, reckon with, and depict the past in order to take something revelatory and useful away from it.

Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge / Through 18 June 2023

Climate Change

(Photo: Harvard Museum of Natural History)

Drawing on the latest science about our warming climate, the global and local consequences, and what we can do to prepare for its effects, this multimedia exhibition includes engaging video and storm simulations, an interactive station, and a dramatic inside look at a high-tech Argo float from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – one of 4,000 deployed worldwide to monitor global oceans and climate. Developed in collaboration with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the exhibition offers visitors the hard facts about one of the world’s greatest challenges.

Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge / Through 31 December 2024

An Intimate Evening of Stories & Songs with Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she sang what has been called contemporary folk or neo-folk songs of her own creation. Since the release of her self-titled, critically acclaimed 1985 debut album, she has given sold-out concerts in many of the world’s best-known venues.  Bearing the stamp of a masterful storyteller, Vega’s songs have tended to focus on city life, ordinary people and real-world subjects. This event will see Vega take to the stage to revisit some of the most iconic songs in her repertoire, backed by her long-time guitarist, Gerry Leonard.

The JPT Film & Event Center, Newport, Rhode Island / 16-17 April 2023

By Paul Joseph