• View of Springfield Armory overlooking the city of Springfield, 1855

    Springfield Armory

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

Activities Abound for Youths and Families during February School Vacation

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Date: January 6, 2012
Contact: Shera Cohen, (413) 271-3982

SPRINGFIELD, MA - School vacation weeks are opportune times to visit local museums. From February 18 - 25, 2012, activities will particularly focus on youth at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Numerous indoor and outdoor programs for individuals and small groups are scheduled each day. All activities are free, and each participant will receive a gift.

This year, young people can self-select from ten brand new activities which include a firearms scavenger hunt through the indoor exhibits.Outdoor tours will challenge the adventurer to uncover hidden meanings behind markings and design features of the Armory buildings. By completing a series of educational and fun steps, children can earn badges as Junior Rangers. Civil War and Park Ranger costumes may be worn to put youth "in character" as actual soldiers and rangers. Children particularly enjoy posing as Park Rangers. Photographs are then taken for the child to keep.

February vacation week falls during the observance of George Washington's birthday on February 22nd. According to Joanne Gangi-Wellman, Visitor Services Supervisory Park Ranger, "It is a nice coincidence that the Springfield Armory's founder was George Washington. In 1794, he selected this beautiful and large site on the hill as the first military arsenal in the United States."

Families can also choose from activities offered year round - an orientation film, an outdoor walking tour of the buildings and grounds, and an afternoon museum tour.

The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is the location of the nation's first armory (1794 - 1968) and was established by George Washington. The site includes historic grounds, buildings, and the world's largest historic American military firearms collection. The park is open daily from 9am - 5pm. There is ample parking and the building is wheelchair accessible. For further information and weather cancelation call 413-734-8551 or check the website at www.nps.gov/spar.

- NPS -

Did You Know?

Main Arsenal at Springfield Armory NHS. Photo (c) James Langone

Springfield Arsenal, a military supply depot, was sited by General Henry Knox, and approved by General George Washington in 1777. The arsenal became known as Springfield Armory in 1794 when on-site small arms manufacturing was approved by President Washington. More...