This past weekend we headed up to Springfield, MA for a trip to Six Flags New England and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It was a super action-packed weekend perfect for all 3 boys!
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is located right off I-91 in Springfield, MA, and I would definitely recommend stopping off here if you find yourself traveling in that direction. There are a few restaurants on site, so it’s the perfect place to grab some lunch or ice cream before continuing on your trip!
The Hall of Fame is a 40,000 square foot space dedicated to all things basketball, and it’s named for basketball’s inventor– Dr. Naismith. Located on the Connecticut River, it’s open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $22.00 for adults, $16.00 for youth ages 5-15, and FREE for children 4 and under. There is also a discounted senior price of $17.00 for 65+. Museum admission is FREE for military service members (accompanying spouses are $13.00 and children $8.00). They also offer a AAA discount.
60 Days of Summer at the Basketball Hall of Fame
This summer the Basketball Hall of Fame has been running 60 days of summer, which features programming geared towards children and their families. The 60 days of summer started on June 29 and runs through August 30. Each day features a special event/presentation at 1:00 p.m.
The 60 days of summer programs are FREE to all entrants and include autograph signings, giveaways, visits from mascots, trick dribblers and more.
A Conversation with Tom “Satch” Sanders
We were lucky enough to visit the Basketball Hall of Fame on August 9, when the 60 Days of Summer feature was a discussion with “Satch” Sanders– a familiar name for all of my fellow Boston Celtics fans! Satch won an impressive 8 championships with the Boston Celtics and was the first African-American to serve as head coach for an ivy league team (Harvard).
It was fascinating to hear about his experiences during that historic Celtics’ era, as well as his opinions on the state of the game today and the challenges faced by players in our media-driven society. After his storied career as a player and coach, he has dedicated his efforts to helping new NBA players adjust to life as professional athletes. It was such a treat to hear from one of basketball’s greatest players!
The boys loved the interactive nature of many of the exhibits at the Basketball Hall of Fame. The kids can practice dunking and taking shots on Center Court. I loved sitting off to the side and hearing the sounds of basketballs bouncing on the hardwood while people of all ages practiced their skills!
If you head upstairs, you can try your hand at calling plays as a media announcer, sit behind the desk of a simulated sportscast or compare your wingspan to Kevin Durant’s. The kids can also compare their height to that of famous basketball players or practice “palming” the ball with different size basketballs. The boys got a kick out of checking out all of the HUGE basketball shoes worn by famous players too.
My husband and I really enjoyed seeing all of the rich Celtics basketball history, seeing as we both grew up during the era of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish. We are lucky to have such a storied hometown team, and the Basketball Hall of Fame had many exhibits dedicated to celebrating their historic franchise.
Lodging and Dining
The Hilton Garden Inn is located right next to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, if you are looking to stop over in Springfield for the night during a road trip. There are a number of other hotels located a few minutes away in downtown Springfield (we stayed at the Sheraton).
There are also several restaurants on site at the Basketball Hall of Fame included Plan B Burger (we had a phenomenal lunch there!), Max’s Tavern, Subway, UNO Chicago Grill, Samuel’s, and Coldstone Creamery. I can’t speak to the other restaurants, but our meal at Plan B Burger was excellent.
I had a delicious house-made veggie burger and the kids enjoyed healthy meals with sides like apples and carrot sticks. The menu at Plan B features ground in-house, natural, vegetarian-fed beef burgers– there were so many tasty choices on the menu, it was hard for my husband to pick just one!
30 Something Mother Runner received 4 tickets for general admission to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for the purpose of this review. All opinions and writing are 100% my own.