Vacation is not always synonymous with “beach bum.” Sometimes taking a vacation means hitting pause on your daily tasks and giving yourself time to expand your mind and your skillset. Pick up a new hobby, learn a new craft or try your hand at that something you have always wanted to do, but have never found the time. Massachusetts provides experiences for the DIY traveler, the knowledge-hungry type, who uses their break as a time to experience the new, whether that is learning to paint like Norman Rockwell at the Norman Rockwell Museum, spending a day in the life of a farmer at The Farm School or catching the big one while deep sea fishing. After your visit to Massachusetts, not only will you feel relaxed and restored, but improved, challenged and without a doubt, more experienced.

Greater Boston Area

Formaggio Kitchen ~ Cambridge

Formaggio Kitchen is one of Boston’s premier cheese shops offering a varied selection from around the globe. In Cheese 101, students will receive an introduction to the world of cheese, covering the basics: milk types, major styles, regional variations and more. To see how cheese is aged firsthand, go spelunking with a cheesemonger in the store’s cheese caves to explore the science and secrets of aging cheese.

Diablo Glass School ~ Boston

Dig into the ancient art of glassblowing by working with melted glass and making your own souvenir. The curriculum includes learning to gather glass from the furnace, controlling and shaping it. Experienced instructors will help students create a colorful paperweight to exhibit as a trophy.

Salsa Matei ~ Boston

Grab a partner and stop in for a single-session salsa or bachata dance class at Salsa Matei. Classes will teach you to hear the music, isolate your body and learn the footwork. After your class, show off your skills at Club Latinos Salsa and Bachata Fridays at Fire + Ice in Boston with your class card.

North of Boston:

Wicked Art Bar ~ Beverly

Wicked Art Bar is the North Shore’s dedicated “paint and sip” art studio located inside the Porter Mill building in downtown Beverly. Wicked Art Bar offers guided paint and sip classes taught by local artists in an industrial-style studio space complete with a wine and beer bar.

Skydive Pepperell ~ Pepperell

Take your first plunge on a tandem skydive to experience the thrill of a free-fall and the serenity of a parachute canopy ride. Experience a heart-stopping moment as you stand at the edge of the aircraft door 10,500 feet above the ground before freefalling for 45 seconds. Before your skydive, learn all aspects of the jump and about the state of the art equipment you will use for the great jump.

South of Boston:

Captain John Deep Sea Fishing ~ Plymouth

Fish the waters of the Atlantic with the experts that have been fishing for over 60 years. Captain John knows the species of fish and where to find them on your journey. They will impart their fishing techniques and knowledge of the waters as you seek out cod, haddock, mackerel, pollack and flounder in Stellwagen Bank or Cape Cod Bay.

Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures ~ Westport

Grab a kayak or stand up paddleboard and hit the waters for a voyage along the Westport River. Take in the picturesque rural landscape and paddle along past New England’s largest concentration of breeding ospreys, salt marshes, protected bays and harbors.

Central Massachusetts:

Saltbox Farm ~ Concord

Study under the professionally-trained chef turned farmer, Ben Elliott. Saltbox Farm is a catering business, cooking school and a resource for locally grown food and culinary education for home cooks and enthusiasts. Expand your repertoire of go-to recipes in one-on-one or group classes. Sample classes include pasta-making, gluten-free cooking, canning 101 and home brewing.

Central Rock Gym ~ Worcester

Overcome your fear of heights or test your strength through a challenging rock climbing session. Learn to belay (holding the rope for, and catching a fellow climber) and how to tie basic knots. For a more advanced climbing course, lead-climbing will teach you to clip your rope into gear on the wall.

The Farm School ~ Athol

Walk a mile in a farmer’s shoes by working on the farm. For a three-day stay, you will settle into bunkrooms before heading out to garden, forest, and barn to perform your daily chores. Working and caring for the farm are the mainstays of the program. The farm is made up of young orchards, a maple sugaring operation, a dairy with up to 6 cows milking, pigs, beef cows, goats, chickens, oxen and a woodlot that produces firewood and lumber.

Worcester Art ~ Worcester

Let the art created by the great masters of the past inspire and influence your own artistic development. Classes offered by Worcester Art Museum include at least one gallery visit to view part of the permanent collection or special exhibitions. Single session courses include creating digital images, paste paper workshop, tonal printmaking and more.

Western Massachusetts and The Berkshires:

Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program ~ Williamsburg

Explore your crafty side with The New England Craft Program, which offers a variety of multi-day craft workshops taught by master craftspeople. Housing is available with each program, as well as meals from Snow Farm’s famed natural kitchen. Workshops include, but are not limited to, glassblowing, ceramics and metalsmithing.

Hungry Ghost Bread ~ Northampton

Tie on your apron and apprentice at one of Northampton’s favorite bakeries. Hungry Ghost Bread offers an opportunity to bakers of all skill levels to shadow its production routine for a day. One-day apprenticeships are limited to one participant at a time to provide full individual attention.

Norman Rockwell Museum ~ Stockbridge

Create your own masterpiece amongst the works of one of the most iconic American illustrators, Norman Rockwell. Experimental Painting: Inspirational Approaches for Mixed Media Art allows students to explore mixed media art during this two-day workshop. Other courses and workshops at the museum include the Art Lab, a week-long experience that moves beyond traditional approaches to developing ideas for future artworks by igniting creative thinking.

Beehive Sewing Studio and Workspace ~ Northampton

This pay-as-you-go sewing studio hosts regular workshops that span multiple skill levels. Stop in to use their dedicated sewing and craft room, stocked with tools, equipment and workspace. Workshops feature demonstrations, hands-on instruction and time to practice technique.

Cape Cod and the Islands:

Farm. Field. Sea. ~ Martha’s Vineyard

Take an island culinary adventure by gathering and cooking your own food as close to the source as possible. Learn about Martha’s Vineyard food producers, catch a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how to farm the perfect oyster, grow an ideal crop of carrots or produce succulent grass for pasture-raised animals. Cook what you have sourced with a local chef and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Native Earth Teaching Farm ~ Martha’s Vineyard

Learn to spin wool using a simple and portable hand spindle at Native Earth Teaching Farm. A variation of this method has been used from prehistoric times on every continent except Antarctica. Native Earth also offers natural dye workshops to learn about dyeing wool and silk, as well as modern ancient dye methods.

Funseekers Kiteboarding ~ Wellfleet

Kiteboarding is one of the youngest sports combining wind and water. Cape Cod’s consistent winds and long coastline are perfect for developing kite-handling skills. The kiteboard looks similar to a wakeboard, complete with footstraps and bindings. The kiteboarder controls the kite with a harness and the rider is quickly pulled by the kite over open water.

About MOTT:

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. An integral part of the state’s economy, tourism generates close to $1 billion in state and local taxes and $16.9 billion in travel related expenditures, supporting 124,700 in-state jobs.


For more information, contact:

Annie Moloney, Director of Communications

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

617 – 973-8531

[email protected]


Molly Kravitz, Public Relations Manager

Connelly Partners

Mobile # 317-919-5252 ~ Office # 617-521-5431

[email protected]