The premier attraction in Agawam is Six Flags New England, the largest theme park in the region, with rides for all ages and a massive water park.
Also on Agawam’s doorstep are the fairgrounds for the Eastern States Exposition, a multi-state fair attracting almost 1.5 million people every September.
There’s an amazing variety to what you can get up to in Agawam, from hiking along a towering traprock ridge to mountain biking on pro-level trails, teeing off at scenic golf courses and crossing over to Springfield for a dose of history and culture at the Quadrangle.
1. Six Flags New England
Agawam is home to the largest and most-visited theme park in New England, on a riverside plot near the MA-CT boundary. Six Flags New England happens to be the oldest park in the Six Flags chain, born as Gallup’s Grove as long ago as 1870.
The park got its current name in 2000, and has more than 60 individual attractions, including an arsenal of high-thrills roller coasters.
A recent arrival is the spinning roller coaster, The Joker, while a long-term star is the Batman: The Dark Knight, with five inversions.
There are more than a dozen rides just for smaller children, from a miniature train to a ferris wheel, while grownups may get a nostalgic kick out of the restored 1909 Illions Carousel.
The park takes on a spooky dimension during October for Fright Fest, with roaming characters, a slew of shows and five haunted attractions.
2. Hurricane Harbor
Included with admission at Six Flags New England is the largest waterpark in the region. First opened in 1997, Hurricane Harbor has close to 20 attractions, and makes new additions with each season.
The two anchors here are the vast wave pools, Commotion Ocean and Buccaneer Beach, both of which hold half a million gallons.
People in need of some high-speed action will love rides like the Typhoon Water Coaster, Bonzai Pipelines, Shark Attack, Typhoon and Tornado, which has a giant funnel.
For a more relaxed time there’s the 1,000 feet Adventure River, while Splash Island is a self-contained water park for little ones, with its own wave pool and lazy river.
3. Eastern States Exposition (The Big E)
Agawam is the breadth of the Westfield River from what is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard, and the fifth-largest fair in the United States.
Lasting 17 days from the second Friday after Labor Day, the Eastern States Exposition was inaugurated in 1917 and is a dizzying spectacle on an incredible scale.
The Big E attracts 1.5 million people for trade and consumer shows, hundreds of agricultural competitions and demonstrations, a home design show, a boat show, not to mention EASTEC, the largest machine tool show in the Northeast.
To go with all that you’ve got concerts by major music artists, midway rides, tons of classic fair food, and the permanent Avenue of the States, with livesized reproductions of the six original New England statehouses, along with the New England Grangehouse.
Storrowton Village at the fairgrounds is an outdoor museum with nine relocated buildings from the 18th and 19th century, and open all year.
4. Robinson State Park
On Agawam’s northern boundary, Robinson State Park protects a long stretch of the Westfield River, and provides an access point for the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, which we’ll talk about below.
One of the great things about the 1,025-acre park is the long and broad paved road that tracks the river, for a family-friendly walk in nature.
If you’re here on two wheels, Robinson State Park offers the best mountain biking for miles around, with 20 miles of professionally designed and maintained trails.
These tend to climb the Feeding Hills, rising above the river bank, with occasional views of the water as you ride.
5. Metacomet-Monadnock Trail
Running along Agawam’s town lines with Southwick and Westfield is the Metacomet Ridge, a traprock fault formed around 200 million years ago, running close to the Connecticut River for more than 100 miles.
For almost the entire length of this formation the ridge is traced by the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, which continues almost unbroken along Agawam’s western boundary.
The most prominent section of the ridge here is Provin Mountain, where you can ponder a magnificent sweep of the western Massachusetts countryside, but also look across the Connecticut River to downtown Springfield.
6. Agawam Historical Association
The local historical society looks after two interesting old buildings in Agawam. At 251 N West St in the Feeding Hills section stands the Thomas Smith House, one of the oldest houses in the city, built in 1757.
Something remarkable about this gambrel-roofed Georgian building is that it was never truly modernized before the Agawam Historical Association took over in 2002, making it a unique time capsule of 18th-century domestic life.
The society also operates the Fire House Museum, in a building constructed in 1918. Downstairs is a display of vintage fire engines and firefighting equipment, while the second floor is a space for the society’s changing exhibits.
7. Pynchon Point
In the northeast of Agawam you can get down to the water’s edge at the confluence of the Westfield and Connecticut rivers.
Between 1658 and 1879, this was the landing point for the ferry between Agawam and Springfield, with services ending after the construction of the first bridge.
This was replaced in 1954 with the current Julia B. Buxton Bridge. Pynchon Point is a popular local spot for fishing and to launch canoes and kayaks.
You could also just come to appreciate the view, and take a picnic in the grove just behind.
If golf is your game then you’re in luck in Agawam as there are four courses within the town’s boundaries, three of which are open to the public.
Crestview Country Club (281 Shoemaker Ln) is right on the MA-CT line and is blessed with far-reaching vistas over the Pioneer Valley.
This 18-hole championship track is touted as one of the best semi-private courses in the area, hosting PGA Tour qualifiers and LPGA events.
The public Oak Ridge Golf Club (850 S Westfield St) meanwhile is known for its playability, with a good mix of terrain and plenty of water hazards.
You’ve also got the 18-hole Agawam Municipal Golf Course (128 Southwick St), noted for its striking elevation changes, rolling greens and inspiring panoramas.
9. Agawam Axe House
If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at axe-throwing there’s a venue in town for you. Opened in 2018, the Agawam Axe House was one of the first of its kind in New England, and is just the place to introduce yourself to this growing pastime.
After signing a digital waiver, you can book a lane for an hour for 2-6 people. Newcomers will be reassured to know that there’s a lesson at the start, talking you through the dos and don’ts, and there’s a large range of axe varieties to choose from.
If you turn out to be a natural or want to test your skills in a competitive environment there are leagues here, just like with bowling.
10. School Street Park
Next to the Connecticut River, this large park is a complete day out for families on warm summer days.
The main attraction at this time of year is the spray park, which is even an option for a children’s birthday party thanks to the accompanying pavilion.
School Street Park also has extensive sports facilities, including soccer pitches, a baseball field, a basketball court, and a nine-hole disc golf course that weaves through the grounds.
Up to the late 1980s this property was farmland, a remnant of which survives in the form of the School Street Barn, raised in 1880 and officially the last surviving 19th-century barn in Agawam.
11. Agawam Bowl
For anyone unfamiliar with it, candlepin bowling is a regional variation of tenpin bowling that was invented in Worcester, MA around 1880.
This game has ten tall and narrow pins that you have to knock down with a much smaller ball that fits in the palm of your hand. The pins are heavier than the ball, which is another factor that makes candlepin bowling a bit more difficult.
There’s a 22-lane alley just across the Westfield River from the Eastern States Exposition, and this is touted as the southernmost and westernmost candlepin bowling venue. Fourteen of the lanes have bumpers, and there’s a snack bar, arcade games, jukebox and free Wi-Fi.
12. Crowley’s Sales Barn & Trails
Part of the local scenery for decades, this horse sales barn is run by Dennis Crowley, a highly knowledgeable horseman, who has sold hundreds of thousands horses since starting out as a teenager in 1960.
What puts this business on our list is the opportunity to take trail rides on the extensive wooded property in the spring and summer.
These group rides last for one or two hours, and you won’t need any prior horse riding experience. Private rides are also available, while children 7 and under can take pony rides in the yard.
The third-largest city in the state is practically next door to Agawam, putting an abundance of historic sites and important cultural institutions in easy reach.
For museums, look no further than the impressive Quadrangle, where you can indulge your interest in Springfield-native Dr. Seuss, fine art, local history and science.
Springfield has a long-held reputation for technological innovation, and the city is responsible for the first gas-powered automobile (1893) and the first viable motorcycle company (1901).
The assembly line style of mass production was born at the Springfield Armory (1777-1968), preserved as a compelling National Historic Site, while the Canadian James Naismith invented basketball here in 1891.
Fans of the sport should head straight for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, to pay homage to the legendary players, teams, coaches, referees and contributors.
14. Agawam Cinemas
At Southgate Shopping Plaza you’ll find a rare example of a locally-owned movie theater. Agawam Cinemas first opened in the 1960s, and has the same basic layout as that time, with two screens showing first-run movies.
One of the quirks of the screens here is a long counter in front of each row of seats for your snacks and drinks.
While the facilities aren’t quite state-of-the-art, tickets are reasonably priced, at under $10 for adults at the time of writing, and there’s a wide choice of concessions, from popcorn to taquitos.
15. Xtreme Paintball
This 20-acre outdoor facility in Agawam offers paintball, low-impact paintball and airsoft. Xtreme Paintball boasts seven fields, each suited to different games and tactical approaches.
For instance, the main “attack and defend” field is The Village, with its huts dotted around a basin, while Nuketown is inspired by the Call of Duty map, and is littered with vehicles and buildings, requiring teamwork if you want to make an advance.
Friends, parents and family can watch the action safety from a netted area, and there’s a whole calendar of special events for airsoft and paintball, including the massive Attack the Fort at Fort Xtreme in September.