Charles O’Donnell

As the warmth of summer gradually gives way to the crisp embrace of autumn, the picturesque landscapes of Worcester County, Massachusetts, undergo a remarkable transformation. The start of the fall foliage has almost arrived which makes it the perfect time to savor the last days of summer before the rainbows of autumn take center stage. Before saying goodbye to summer, consider indulging in a range of activities that capture the essence of this season’s end and the promise of fall’s arrival. There’s no shortage of options to embrace the changing season and create lasting memories. 

1. Hiking and Park Walks: Lace up your hiking boots or slip on your comfiest sneakers and explore the countless trails and parks that Worcester County boasts. From Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, to Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, and Bancroft Tower right in Worcester you can find trails and picturesque landscapes to encounter. The trails offer a chance to immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility and witness the gradual transition of the foliage.

2. Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries: Take a leisurely drive through the countryside, reveling in the vivid landscapes. Making sure to enjoy pit stops at some of our many local breweries, wineries and distilleries such as Broken Creek Winery in Shrewsbury, Spicy Water Distillery in Millbury, and Craftroots Brewing Co. in Milford. Don’t forget to also make a stop into some of our Worcester, MA classics: Wormtown Brewery, Redemption Rock Brewing Co., and Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co.

3. Art Galleries and Cultural Excursions: Worcester’s thriving arts scene beckons with its myriad of galleries and cultural attractions. Spend a day perusing local art or visiting museums that showcase the region’s history and creative spirit. After a stroll through the Worcester Art Museum to see the vast collection of art, artifacts, and history, enjoy a cocktail at the White Room Arts, Events, and Gathering Hall for a view of their ever changing collections and queer friendly events. 

4. Book Clubs and Trivia Nights: Engage your mind and connect with others through book clubs or trivia nights at our local queer owned and operated Femme Bar and MB Lounge in the heart of Worcester. These cozy gatherings provide an opportunity to unwind and share thoughts on your favorite reads or compete in friendly battles of wits.

5. Sports and Social Events: Gather a group of friends and join Worcester’s own WooPride Kickball League for fun filled outdoor team building and competition. Embrace the pleasant weather and seize every opportunity to soak in the final rays of summer sun playing volleyball with The Volleyball Village People. This is queer pickup game volleyball league on Wednesday evenings through September in Oxford. If sports aren’t for you, enjoy networking, community engagement, and friendship at a Gay Professional Networking event on the second Wednesday of every month.  

6. Ecotarium Adventures: The Ecotarium, an indoor-outdoor science and nature museum, is a must-visit for families and curious minds. Engage in hands-on exhibits and outdoor exploration, providing an exciting and educational way to spend a day. Keep a look-out for their adult nights with cocktails, science, and more fun! 

The ending of summer in Worcester County is a time of reflection, transition, and celebration. The kickoff to Worcester’s Pride Month has arrived and will be filled with vibrant and diverse queer community engagement to celebrate love, acceptance, and equality. Enjoy lively entertainment such as Worcester’s Drag Gauntlet, QueerAF: Art & Fashion – “I Am Galaxy”, the Pride Festival, and many more events. As you savor the last days of summer and eagerly anticipate the fall ahead, remember that the beauty of Worcester County lies not only in its picturesque landscapes but also in the unity and spirit of its people. Let the transition from summer to fall be a reminder that life’s greatest treasures are often found in the shared moments and connections we forge. Embark on hikes, enjoy art, and explore the wonders of nature, all-while enjoying the queer entertainment that Worcester County has to offer.

Author Bio:

Charles O’Donnell, RDH, MSDH (He/Him) is a Dental Hygienist, proud member of the Worcester queer community, board member of Love Your Labels, co-chair of QueerAF: Art & Fashion, LGBTQIA+ advocate.


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