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Fun Things To Do In Hartford Ct

Connecticuts Beardsley Zoo: 100 Years Of Creatures Great And Small

Best Things to Do in Hartford, CT

One day in 1878, a farmer who had made a small fortune was watching children play outdoors, and decided their happiness was worth everything he had to give. James Walker Beardsley, Monroe native and Bridgeport resident, donated 100 acres of riverside property to be kept forever as a public park. Beardsley Park, designed by legendary Hartford architect Frederick Law Olmstead quickly became a beautiful escape for city residents of all ages, as well as pasture for its first exotic visitors: camels, elephants and llamas from the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Beardsley would exhaust his entire fortune for the people and city he loved.

In 1922, 100 years ago this month, the Beardsley Zoo opened its gates to the public. Originally caring for retired circus animals, the nonprofit zoo now hosts and rehabilitates a menagerie of species in a variety of environments. The span of the zoos diversity ranges from pygmy goats in the farmland exhibit to hawks, alligators and foxes, to South American poison dart frogs and the golden lion tamarin in their rain forest environs.

In a world of ever-present screens, coming face to face with nature stirs something in each of us.

The zoo hosts open-air concerts in their Sunday Serenade series, animal-photography clinics , educational programs for children and adults, and will welcome Andean spectacled bears to their new habitat this year.

James Gribbon

Boat Cruises: Tour Islands Spy Seals And Snap A Pic Of A Lighthouse

When the weather warms, its time to head out onto the water. But if you dont have your own boat or want to sit back and let someone else take you for a ride check out these cruises, excursions and ferry rides for a new nautical adventure.

Rocky Hill/Glastonbury Ferry: The longest continuously operating ferry service in the country, the ferry crosses the Connecticut River to bring vehicles and passengers from Rocky Hill to Glastonbury and back. The Rocky Hill port is in a small park. You can leave your car to enter the adjacent farmland of the Meadows along the river that stretches to Wethersfield or take the car ferry to Glastonbury, which brings you to strawberry picking at Rose Orchards and other farms. Ferry Lane, 860-594-2850

Cross Sound Lighthouse Cruises: Departing out of New London and Orient Point, N.Y., these cruises give guests tours of local lighthouses and architectural sites along the Sound. The classic cruise features views of eight lighthouses and two Revolutionary-era forts, including Fort Trumbull. The Lights and Sights cruise focuses on architectural sites like the New London waterfront, which includes mansions and waterfront properties, along with nine lighthouses. Cruises have on-board snacks and alcohol selections including beer, wine and cocktails. 2 Ferry St., 860-443-5281

Sarajane Sullivan and Michelle Bodak Acri

Music Mountain: String Quartets And Jazz At A Hidden Gem

Music Mountain celebrates its 93rd season of presenting the finest string quartets in the world this summer, with weekend concerts from June 5 through Sept. 18.

To honor the 250th anniversary of Haydns pioneering Sun quartets, this summers theme at Music Mountain is Here Comes The Sun! The six Sun quartets will be performed in conjunction with pre-concert talks and workshops. Composer Alexandra du Bois also will present her new string quartet in response to Haydns Opus 20 quartets.

West Cornwall artist Duncan Hannah has created two collage prints to celebrate the theme, which will be on sale to raise money for Music Mountain, tucked away on 90-plus acres in the hills of Falls Village.

Other highlights of the season, under the direction of Oskar Espina-Ruiz, include the Rolston String Quartet playing Haydn and Brahms the Balourdet Quartet performing works by Haydn, Wolf and Dvorak Cuarteto Latinoamericano playing Mozart, Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos and more the Arianna String Quartet performing Haydn and Brahms the Ulysses Quartet playing Haydn and Elgar the Harlem Quartet performing Beethoven and Brahms the Ariel Quartet playing Mozart and Schumann the Daedalus Quartet performing Haydn and Dohnanyi and the Jupiter String Quartet playing Haydn and Tchaikovsky, among other performers and composers works. In each case, quartets are joined by special guest artists.

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Ancient Burying Ground & Butler

Susan / Hartfords Ancient Burying Ground

Those who are interested in history will enjoy visiting two nearby sights on Main Street.

The only historical site from the 1600s to still exist is Hartfords Ancient Burying Ground.

Since it served as Hartfords sole cemetery until the early 1800s, the oldest headstone dates from 1648, and there are around 6,000 burials there.

Only three blocks south on Main Street, at the Butler-McCook House & Garden, you may find out more about early Hartford.

Butler-McCook Homestead, the oldest residence in Hartford and where generations of a family resided from the Revolution until the heart of the 20th century, was built in 1782.

With the help of their comments and experiences, Witnesses on Main Street depicts how Main Street has evolved from wooden dwellings and tiny businesses into a contemporary metropolis made of steel, brick, and stone.

The home is not depicted at a particular point in its lengthy history by the art, antiques, and other domestic items on display, but rather by the changes that have taken place through time.

Women, art, and the Cook familys global travels are just a few of the subjects covered by special interest excursions.

Jacob Weidenmann was responsible for creating the Victorian garden.

Visiting and touring these homes can be a good way to spend time in the city.

Address: 60 Gold Street, Hartford, Connecticut, United States.

Visit The Ancient Burying Ground

8 fun and interesting things to do in hartford connecticut 2021 guide

The Ancient Burying Ground is on the National Register of Historic Places and features a church and cemetery. The church is also the oldest church congregation in all of Hartford, having been founded in 1636.

When visiting, you can look around the cemetery, go into the church, and find out some facts about the site.

The Connecticut State Library and State Archives is one of the educational places to visit in Hartford. Located across the street from the State Capitol building, the library preserves artifacts and teaches visitors and locals about the history of Connecticut.

This attraction allows you to discover something new about the state via fascinating exhibits.

Established in 1825, the Connecticut History Society aims to teach locals and visitors the history of Connecticut. At the museum and library, youll learn about Connecticut’s past, with periods covered dating back to the 1500s. You also get the chance to see numerous artifacts and pieces of memorabilia.

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Weir Farm National Historical Park

Nancy Kennedy / Shutterstock

Situated in historic Wilton, Connecticut, this historic site is one of many beautiful places to go in the Constitution State.

Weir Farm National Historical Park combines the beauty of the natural world with the art of the human world.

Once home to impressionist artist Julian Alden Weir, Weir Farm National Historical Park is the history-rich site of the artists home, studios, and body of work.

Pristinely preserved and open to the public to tour, the farm also boasts over 100 acres of intertwined hiking trails.

While visiting Weir Farm you may take self-guided or guided tours of the property, explore the gardens and grounds, draw inspiration from the landscape to create your art, talk with rangers, visit museum exhibits, and children can even become a junior park ranger.

Of all the beautiful places to go, Weir Farm National Historical Park should be at the top of your list.

Address: 735 Nod Hill Rd, Wilton, CT 06897, United States

Museum Of Connecticut History

The Museum of Connecticut History is located in the meticulously restored and historic 1910 building that houses the State Library and Supreme Court. Its focus is on the states governmental, industrial, and military history, which it showcases through a range of permanent and temporary exhibits. The exhibits follow the States growth and development and the part it played in the development of the United States.

The visit to the museum starts at Memorial Hall with a display of the portraits of former Connecticut Governors. The Hall also contains display boxes with important historical documents such as the State’s original Royal Charter from 1662. Other important collections are the Connecticut Collection, which contains flags, portraits, weapons, uniforms, and many other historic objects, The Colt Firearms Collection, Mitchelson Coin Collection, and many others. Admission is free.

231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut, 860-757-6535

“Best Things to Do in Hartford, Connecticut for Locals & Tourists – Restaurants, Hotels” Back to Top or Beautiful places near me, what to do, restaurants for breakfast, travel guide, nearest beach

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The North At Goodwin Golf Course

North at Goodwin Golf Course/ Wikimedia

Hartford isnt the subject of love ballads or blockbuster movies, but this Insurance City is a bit of a golf underdog.

Nearly 80 golf courses can be found in the surrounding area, along with many superb private clubs and other public-access facilities.

Thanks to two significant municipal golf developments, Greater Hartford has advanced significantly in the previous 20 years.

Now, it is a wonderful municipal golf course in America, accessible to non-residents for less than $50.

On the boundary of Hartford and Wethersfield sits the 27-hole Goodwin Park Golf Course.

This Championship course has a par of 70 and is a little over 6000 yards from the back tees.

Since 1906, golf has been played in its vast and amiable golf environs.

The 2500-yard North course, which has a par of 35, is ideal for novices and those seeking a speedy nine.

Excellent greens, spectacular views of Hartfords cityscape, and a tranquil environment near the city are all features of this course.

With 18 Greens Fees ranging from $17 to $35, golf at Goodwin Park Golf Course is quite reasonably priced.

Visitors can enjoy a game of golf confidently within its course while making friends.

Additionally, this course houses the Greater Hartford Amateur Championship and the Greater Hartford Junior Amateur Championship.

So, even if you dont want to play golf, you could hang around to watch a game or two.

Address: 1130 Maple Ave, Hartford, CT 06114, United States

Best Things To Do In Hartford Ct

Things to Know About Living in Hartford, CT

Despite its relatively small size, Connecticuts cosmopolitan capital Hartford is packed with fun and interesting attractions. One of the oldest cities in the country, it has countless important historic sights and impressive museums to check out while its position at the center of the Knowledge Corridor lends it a lively, youthful feel.

While atmospheric old buildings, churches and monuments can be found here and there, Hartford is also known as the Insurance Capital of the World due to all the headquarters of massive companies that dot its downtown. Thanks in part to these bustling businesses, it has lots of sublime restaurants, food trucks and farmers markets for you to try out and a thriving cultural scene to delve into.

Besides a couple of brilliant theaters, the city hosts plenty of concerts, cultural events and festivals over the course of the year. While all these things to do in Hartford, will keep you busy for a while, its gorgeous green spaces and well-tended parks are never far away for you to enjoy and relax in.

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Fun Things To Do In Hartford Ct You Cant Miss

Founded in 1635, Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, is one of the oldest cities in the country. Known for its history, art, and entertainment, the city is home to plenty of oldest and firsts. For example, Hartford is home to the oldest public art museum in the U.S., the oldest continuously published newspaper, the oldest publicly funded park, and its the site of the first witch hunt in America.

For all of its history, the city is pretty progressive and is a huge supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, and supported the nations first legally married gay mayor.

Hartford is a global city and is nicknamed the Insurance Capital of the World because of all the insurance companies that have their headquarters located there. Companies include United Healthcare, Lincoln National Insurance, The Hartford, Travelers Insurance, and Aetna.

Hartford is a fun city with a lot of history. If youre a history buff, an avid reader, or have an interest in the history of wars, Hartford, Connecticut is an excellent place to visit. However, there are plenty of other options for activities and things to do.

Ready to learn more? Here are 18 things to do in Hartford CT that you dont want to miss!

Fly Fishing Is An Easygoing Experience Anyone Can Tackle

If youve driven along the Farmington River in any season, and especially summer, its hard to miss the allure of fly-fishing. Inside your car, you curse the clock and crank the AC. Outside, anglers are immersed in some of New Englands most pristine waters, casting graceful loops like extras in the film A River Runs Through It.

So why not join in?

Fly-fishing is something that everybody can do, at any age or ability, says Ken Ludwig, president of Northwestern Connecticut Trout Unlimited . Ignore the myths that its expensive or hard to learn. Like any pastime, Ludwig says, its only as complicated and expensive as you make it.

And you dont need to be a master to fall in love with it. It doesnt require some special gift of athleticism, says Peter Naples, educational director of the Connecticut Fly Fishermans Association . Youre outdoors. Youre enjoying wildlife. Youll lose yourself in it.

You wont have to go far, either. Connecticut offers an incredible variety of fly-fishing, from rivers like the Farmington , Naugatuck and Housatonic to smaller tributaries and lakes throughout the state. Theres even world-class saltwater fly-fishing in Long Island Sound. You can wade in, cast from shore, or take a boat. Thanks to well-stocked waterways and excellent environmental practices, you can catch everything from wild trout to Atlantic salmon to a trophy bass.

Its cheaper than therapy and it tastes just as good as alcohol, he adds, so you might as well try it.

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Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds

Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock

Sculpture Grounds is home to a vibrant landscape of art and artists whose work comes alive with the backdrop of natures beauty.

The displayed sculptures are the work of dedicated house artists who fabricate their pieces from Studio 80.

With over 100 sculptures displayed in gardens and courtyards, a tour of the grounds is site seeing at its best.

The sculptures encompass nearly 5 acres of land that are beautifully landscaped and tended to, making the juxtaposition of sculpted art against natural elements a sight to behold.

Tours of the grounds are self-guided, however, the park provides guiding maps in boxes scattered throughout the property.

The property is open daily year-round and best of all, a visit here is one of a few free things to do in Connecticut.

The property has a picnic area and cafe, so you can plan to make a day of your visit to Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds.

A visit here is a site seeing experience you wont want to miss.

Address: 80 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371, United States

Shore Line Trolley Museum

8 fun and interesting things to do in hartford connecticut 2021 guide

Shore Line Trolley Museum

This unique museum offers a fun perspective on Connecticut history.

Home to a diverse collection of nearly 100 trolley cars and related equipment, Shore Line Trolley Museum is a great place to visit for the automotive lovers in your group.

Beyond the trolleys, gear, and equipment the museum also exhibits photographs, historical documents, tokens, badges, ticket punches, and other archival artifacts related to the historic Connecticut trolley system.

Best of all, the tour of the trolley museum begins with a ride aboard a restored trolley upon which youll learn the history of trolleys and witness a real trolley route and related equipment.

The museum recommends packing a picnic lunch because during your ride the trolley will deliver you to the museums beautiful picnic cove for a break.

Itll be a fun way to travel to other area attractions near Connecticuts Shore Line Trolley Museum.

Address: 17 River St, East Haven, CT 06512, United States

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Swing By A Local Brewery Or Winery

Connecticut has no shortage of wineries and breweries to choose from. Not sure where to start looking? Check out Connecticut Brewers Guilds Beer Trail and the CT Wine Trail see whats near you.

Weve also got a weekly showcase of stellar brews called Tapped In CT. Heres this weeks highlights if youre feeling thirsty.

Best Things To Do In West Hartford

Often praised as one of the best small towns in America, West Hartford has a downtown to make most other towns green with envy.

The Center and its recent extension, Blue Back Square, are made for walking and brim with one-off shops and hip international restaurants.

West Hartford is joined to its larger neighbour to the east, putting must-sees like the Mark Twain House only minutes away.

The town also benefits from abundant green space, at the genteel Elizabeth Park, the wild West Hartford Reservoir and Westmoor Park where children can meet farmyard animals.

The lexicographer Noah Webster, of Websters Dictionary, was born in West Hartford, and his 18th-century childhood home is a worthwhile museum.

Lets explore the best things to do in West Hartford:

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Rides Concessions A Petting Zoo And More At Haddam Neck Fair

Cant get enough fairs? Swing by Haddam this weekend for their annual Haddam Neck Fair and make sure to bring the whole family.

Youll have plenty to choose from between rides, contests, concessions, shows, a petting zoo, and delicious fair food. You can check out their full schedule of events, which includes a working cattle show, corn hole tournament, cross cycle event, and more.

Admission is $10, with a weekend pass for $25 and kids under 12 free.

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