What Is Closed On Columbus Day In Massachusetts

What Is Closed on Columbus Day in Massachusetts? Full List

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

As the leaves transform into vibrant hues and the temperature begins to drop, thoughts of Columbus Day in Massachusetts arise.

Having visited and explored the city, I’ve seen how this holiday brings a mix of happy feelings and a chance to relax. 

It’s a time when streets with some of the old and important places become quieter, which means that the state takes a moment to think about history and enjoy the day.

But what is closed on Columbus Day in Massachusetts? Today, I’ll share what remains closed on Columbus Day in Massachusetts, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the festivities.

What’s Closed In Massachusetts On Columbus Day?

Closed Signage

On Columbus Day in Massachusetts, municipal and state government offices are closed. 

The Registry of Motor Vehicles shuts its doors, along with federal offices, post offices, and banks—though some banks might have limited services. 

“My desire was not to pass any island without taking possession so that, one having been taken, the same may be said of all.” 

Christopher Columbus, Explorer

It’s a day to remember that these places take a break, allowing you to relax and reflect. But what are the five reasons that Columbus Day should not be celebrated?

What’s Open On Columbus Day In Massachusetts?

While many establishments are closed on Columbus Day, several services remain available in Massachusetts. The stock market operates as usual, and state parks welcome visitors. 

Grocery stores and malls are open, though their operating hours can vary. Liquor stores also remain open for business. 

The MBTA maintains its regular schedule with no modifications. Trash pickups may experience a one-day delay in most municipalities. 

But it’s worth noting that heavy traffic is anticipated, so plan to travel with Peter Pan Bus Lines. 

Other transit authorities like PVTA and WRTA follow adjusted schedules, which can be found on their respective websites.

But what’s the best day to go to the Columbus Day flea market?

Are Schools Closed On Columbus Day In Massachusetts?

Yes, public schools and libraries in Massachusetts [1] are closed on Columbus Day. 

It aligns with the widespread observance of the holiday, allowing students and educators a day off from their regular routines. 

And it’s a good opportunity for families to engage in historical reflection, leisure activities, and personal time.

Does Everyone Have The Day Off On Columbus Day?

Statue of Columbus

Whether you get the day off on Columbus Day varies based on location and workplace policies. 

In the United States, the scenario differs: some enjoy a paid day off, others observe a different holiday, while some experience just another regular Monday. 

For instance, non-essential federal government offices close nationwide, and federal employees are paid even if they don’t work. 

So, while Columbus Day might offer respite for some, it’s not a universal break, with factors like employment type and location playing a significant role in determining the day’s significance.

Is It Celebrated As Columbus Day Or Indigenous Peoples Day In Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the official name for the holiday is Columbus Day. But here’s the interesting part: some cities and towns in the state have decided to call it Indigenous Peoples Day instead. 

This change is a way to show respect for the native people who were living in America before Columbus arrived. 

“On Columbus Day, Massachusetts pauses to reflect on history’s journeys, while doors to some institutions remain shut in observance.”

Howkapow Gift Site

As such, in different places in Massachusetts, you might hear both names for the holiday, each with its special meaning.

Also Read: Where In New York City Is The Columbus Day Parade?


What are the indigenous people called in Massachusetts?

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribes [2] and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) are Massachusetts’s two prominent federally recognized indigenous people.

Besides, the Massachusett tribe comprises the descendants of the region’s original inhabitants, encountered by English settlers upon their arrival in what is now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

How many states now celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day?

Currently, at least twelve states, including Alaska and Wisconsin, alongside Washington, DC, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, and Vermont, have chosen to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day.

Find out why should people celebrate Columbus Day here.

How many states have paid holidays on Columbus Day?

Out of all the states, only 23, including American Samoa and Puerto Rico, grant workers a paid holiday on Columbus Day.

How many companies offer Columbus Day as a day off?

Columbus Day is often regarded as a “second-tier holiday,” with only 14 percent of organizations choosing to close their doors.

What holidays are compensated in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, if you’re working in a retail establishment, your employer is required to provide you with pay for work done on certain holidays such as New Year’s Day (or the following day if it’s a Sunday), Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day.

What holidays do liquor stores in Massachusetts close?

Liquor stores in Massachusetts must remain closed on both Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. They are also prohibited from opening before 12:00 noon on Memorial Day. 

But some stores might be open on these holidays if they get a special permit from the local authorities.

On A Final Note

As Columbus Day approaches in Massachusetts, it’s important to remember what will be closed. Government offices, like city and state ones, will be closed. 

The Motor Vehicle Registry, federal, and post offices are also closed. Most banks will be closed, but some might not be, so check first.

But don’t worry, some establishments will be open. The stock market will run, and state parks will be ready for visitors. 

You can also go shopping in malls, and liquor stores will also open. Lastly, the MBTA will be running as usual if you’re traveling.


Kimberlee Johnson
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