Worcester is the second largest city in Massachusetts, located about 40 miles west of Boston. The Worcester Art Museum is a popular tourist destination in Worcester. It houses more than 35,000 works of art taken from different periods of time, representing cultures from all over the world. Opened in 1898, the Worcester Art Museum is the second largest art museum in New England. The building is built in the Renaissance Revival style and features a two story central court with a series of galleries around it. The highlight of the collections include art pieces in the form of images, prints, paintings and other drawings where the influence of the European and North American styles are present. It also has art pieces that display Asian art and other sculptures made by the Romans and the Greeks. The Museum has a dedicated gallery for exhibition of contemporary art and modern collection. It offers various educational programs for both children and adults throughout the year. The museum also has a café, a gift shop and a library. Another popular museum frequently visited by the tourists is Higgins Armory Museum. Housed in a steel Art Deco Building, it has the most extensive arms and armor collection in the Western Hemisphere. It was contracted in 1930 by John Woodman Higgins to stock his huge and diverse collections of arms and armor. The museum features numerous pieces of arms and armor from the ancient military traditions including over 80 suits of armor from the Medieval to early modern period.
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For the travel enthusiast, there are plenty of other places to visit in Worcester. EcoTarium, a science and nature museum draws thousands of visitors each year to the city. It was previously known as the New England Science Center. The EcoTarium was originally founded in 1825 as the Worcester Lyceum of Natural History. Today, the museum is three story building featuring several permanent and traveling exhibits, the Alden Planetarium, a narrow-gauge train with a 1860s steam engine, a tree canopy walkway and a variety of wildlife. One of the most popular exhibits was a polar bear named Kenda before it died in June of 2011. There is also a playground and a picnic area by the museum building. If you like walking, then you can walk around the trail while enjoying the view. It is a great place to visit with the whole family. If you enjoy spending time in the parks and other recreational facilities then you can go to Elm Park located at the center of Park Avenue, Highland, Russell and Elm Streets. This is a historic park was established in 1854. It is one of the first purchases of land to be set aside for park recreation in the United States. Originally, The Park consisted of about 28 acres. In 1888, Newton Hill was purchased by the city bringing the total park area to 60 acres. The park features walking trails, ponds, basketball and tennis courts and a playground. In summer, there are free movies shown outdoors that anyone can go watch, just be sure to bring a blanket to sit on. In winter, the ponds attract skaters of all ages. It is a great place to go for a stroll and is beautiful no matter what the season.