March in New England: Weather, Events, and the Best Things to Do

Smith College Bulb Show - March Event in New England

Wouter van Erve/Flickr

March is the longest month of the year in New England, a generally dreary 31-day slog toward spring. Even though clocks move forward early in March (second Sunday of the month at 2 a.m.), Daylight Saving Time can't fool Mother Nature into waking up tulips and gracing New England with radiant warmth... yet!

In March, a prolonged case of cabin fever can make you feel almost as miserable as the flu. But there are antidotes aplenty in New England. It’s the best month of the year for breakfast lovers, as sap flows in maple trees and the year’s new crop of maple syrup is produced. Maple events in New England celebrate the harvest and offer visitors an up-close look at the maple sugaring process. In Northampton, Massachusetts, tulips and daffodils defy the elements and provide a welcome breath of spring during the two-week Smith College Bulb Show each March. And St. Patrick's Day turns many New England cities and towns green long before the snow melts.

It’s last call for winter sports in New England and prime time for eagle watch cruises on the Connecticut River. And for those who have simply had enough of shoveling and roof raking, there are heated outdoor pools to swim in even in March and many other ways to forget it’s winter in New England.

New England Weather in March

Average March Temperatures

Low (Fahrenheit) High (Fahrenheit) Low (Celsius) High (Celsius)
Hartford, CT 29º 48º -2º
Providence, RI 30º 48º -1º
Boston, MA 31º 45º -1º
Hyannis, MA 30º 45º -1º
Burlington, VT 22º 40º -6º
Manchester, NH 24º 45º -4º
Portland, ME 25º 42º -4º

With any luck, March in New England goes "out like a lamb," as the old saying suggests. But this unpredictable month can deliver a wild spectrum of weather... everything from blizzards and biting cold temperatures to summer-like 80-degree days.

What to Pack

March's unpredictable weather makes this the month to overpack. The farther north you travel, the more likely you are to need full-on winterwear... even at the end of the month. It's going to be cold at night, even when daytime temperatures warm, so you won't regret those extra socks and sweatshirts. Keep in mind that "mud season" often begins by the late part of March, so you'll want to pack clothes and boots with sloppy terrain in mind if you'll be spending time outdoors.

Top 10 March 2020 Events in New England

March events tempt New Englanders and visitors to come out of hibernation.

March 1-12: Maine Restaurant Week statewide

March 7: Hooked on Fishing Kid's Ice Fishing Derby in Poland, Maine​

March 7-22: Smith College Spring Bulb Show in Northampton, Massachusetts

March 1-6 and 8-13: Dine Out Boston in Greater Boston, Massachusetts

March 15: St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston, Massachusetts

March 11-15: Boston Flower & Garden Show in Boston, Massachusetts

March 14: 64th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Newport, Rhode Island

March 20-22: Paradise City Arts Festival in Marlborough, Massachusetts

March 21-22: New Hampshire Maple Weekend statewide

March 28: Magic Hat Mardi Gras in Burlington, Vermont

March Holidays in New England

There are no legal holidays in New England in March, but there are some less "official" holidays worth celebrating. On March 2, celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday by visiting the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden and Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts: birthplace of the beloved author.

Boston is America’s most Irish city and the best place in New England to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on (and around) March 17. The St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston attracts as many as a million spectators, but it’s far from your only option. In Connecticut, big St. Patrick’s Day Parades are held in New Haven, Mystic, and Hartford. Manchester, New Hampshire, and Newport, Rhode Island, also go green with parades and lively festivities.

Best Destinations for March in New England

Ready to embrace the unpredictability of March in New England? Here are a few of your best bets for a March getaway.

  • For the best late-season skiing, head north to resorts like Maine’s Sunday River or Sugarloaf or Stowe in Vermont.
  • If you already splurged on Valentine’s Day and are counting your pennies with Tax Day looming, whisk your sweetheart away for an affordable overnight at one of these New England Bed & Breakfast Inns with Rooms Under $100.
  • Make New England your March Madness destination. If the NCAA basketball tournaments always capture your attention, this is the perfect month to plan a visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
  • The Maine Science Festival will be held March 18-22, 2020 in Bangor, Maine. Featuring talks, workshops, and activities for all ages at several city venues, the festival aims to make science fascinating and relevant to the general population and to showcase Maine ingenuity. There is even a Thursday night Science on Tap event exclusively for ages 21 and up. The entire festival is free with the exception of Saturday night's headline.

March in New England Travel Advice

  • March is a notorious month for sloppy weather. Whatever you do... don’t pack your best pair of shoes.
  • If you’re a New England college student who can’t afford to escape to a warm-weather destination during your March Spring Break, make the most of your week off by hitting the ski slopes on the cheap.
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