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While I love to travel, I haven’t yet had the chance to visit Massachusetts. Outside of Boston and the Marathon, I really didn’t know very much about the area or have any big reason to travel there. This week I’ve done some research about Massachusetts and I have learned so much! I had no idea that it was a place where I could go whale watching. This is on my bucket list and it’s a huge dream of mine, so that definitely caught my attention! The beaches, lighthouses, bridges and museums are also appealing to me, but the Green River Festival with the Hot Air Balloons is near the top of the list for my reasons to visit.


Many years ago, when my oldest son was small, I lived in a city that held an annual hot air balloon festival. It was in a busy park and looked like it may be too challenging to attend with an infant or toddler in tow, but when he was two years old I decided we had to visit.

It was breathtaking. Hot Air Balloons of all colours and shapes filled the park. We got to watch them unload the hot air balloons from the truck, lay them out and get them into the air. It was fascinating to see the entire process, and my son was bursting with excitement at the sight of all of the balloons. It was the best day, and I couldn’t wait to go back the next year.

Unfortunately, we never did get back to the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Our busy lives stopped us from getting there over the next couple of years and then I was sad to learn that they were no longer hosting it. I was so disappointed and I’ve never had the chance to attend one again.


This is something I would travel quite a distance for. You get a day with family in the great outdoors, the beauty of the hot air balloons, the adventure of taking off in one if you should choose (another item on my bucket list!) and then there’s the rest of the Green River Festival to enjoy!

This is the premier Franklin County Music event of the year! We take the best national talent, the greatest local food and fine crafts, the most beautiful hot air balloons and put it smack dab on the grounds of Greenfield Community College and VOILA! You are happy!

Three stages of music — the main stage, the dance tent (a fiesta for your feet!) and the River’s Meltdown Kids’ Stage — so there’s something for everyone! Check the schedule page to find out when and where your favorite band is playing.

Begun in 1986 as a balloon festival, it has gained increasing popularity each year as more and more musical entertainment was incorporated. Today it has become THE summer musical event in Western Massachusetts.

In addition to the music and hot air balloons, the Green River Festival offers a variety of activities for children, crafts, dancing and food. It sounds like an amazing way to experience the people and culture of Greenfield Massachusetts, and maybe even cross an item or two off of the bucket list.


In the coming months I will be sharing more fun things to do and see in Massachusetts, and if you have had the chance to visit I would love to hear about your experiences!



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Sheri McDonald is a family lifestyle blogger who has been sharing her parenting and travel adventures online for the past eight years. You can find her discovering the world with her children when she's not at home enjoying a good book.


Lifestyle Blogger. Traveler. Writer. Social Media Marketer. @SunwingVacay #Kidcations Expert Panel. Member of ITWA @PTBAssoc IG: familyenroute
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