Each of the five participating Connecticut Landmarks offers a glimpse inside the domestic lifestyles of the state's early settlers, patriots, and prominent citizens. Grab a three-cornered hat and a nerf musket before storming the grounds of any one of the landmarks with a compatriot, or choose the individual membership for admittance to each house as many times as desired throughout the year. Members also receive a free subscription to the Landmark News newsletter, invitations to special events, a 10% discount on all museum shops, and a discount subscription to Connecticut Explored, a magazine that chronicles Connecticut's history.
Celebrating all things matronly, mom's the word! offers a pre-Mother's Day showcase populated by numerous exhibitors, product demonstrations, and other activities. Strike Mother's Day gold with a cornucopia of exhibitors such as Jafra, Creative Memories, Thirty One, Silpada, and Massage Envy. With a VIP ticket, matriarch meeting-goers will be automatically entered into more than 50 giveaway drawings. A panel of veteran mothers will be speaking, sharing reflections on their own motherly journeys and 54 different ways to re-phrase "because I said so."
Founded in 1975, Real Art Ways is one of the United States' leading innovative contemporary-arts organizations. The cinema at Real Art Ways screens first-run and classic independent films seven nights a week for the viewing pleasure of card-carrying art haus-ers and visually starved celluloid fanatics alike ($9 for non-members, $5 for members). Leave the distracting 4G smart-toaster at home to put all the focus on Life 2.0, a thought-provoking film about human interaction in the digital age. Vintage hits like the horrifying Japanese 1977 flick House and the slightly less-horrifying 1955 Guys and Dolls share silver-screen space with surprising ease. Visit the calendar for a full list of show times.
The storied performers of Journey delight fans with powerful guitar, catchy hooks, and virtuosic singing. Lead singer Arnel Pineda's octave-smashing range combines with guitarist Neal Schon's monumental chords and the musical teamwork of Ross Valory's bass, Jonathan Cain's keyboard, and Deen Castronovo's drums, creating tuneful tapestries that inspire ears like a stirring soliloquy from a bald eagle. Touring in support of its new album, Eclipse, the band is able to draw upon an aural arsenal that includes hits such as "Don’t Stop Believin'," "Any Way You Want It," and "Faithfully." The power balladeers of Foreigner and Night Ranger supplement the sonic revelry with their own swelling melodies and heart-inflating emotion. The concert takes place at the open-air Comcast Theatre, with Groupon holders welcome to sit, stand, or mime anywhere on the expansive lawn. Chair and blanket policies vary from concert to concert, so guests should call ahead to determine what items can be toted along.
Recognized as best pizza place in town by the Hartford Advocate in 2009, Lena's Pizzaria knows how to toss the dough and sprinkle the shredded melty stuff across a variety of freshly-prepared pies. Your Groupon covers one 18-inch Large with a single, non-premium topping such as pepperoni, meatballs, roasted peppers, or other delicious enhancements (the full list of choices is presented under "items #1" ). The pizza can be upgraded with additional toppings ($1.99 to $2.99 each) or Sicilian style crust ($2.50). Likewise, the pitcher of Bud Light can be enhanced through smooth dance moves inspired by the beats and riffs pumping from Sully's stage. Almost every night, diners can enjoy a variety of featured music acts, open mic nights, poetry slams and other feats of entertainment.
A member of the World Affairs Council of America, the World Affairs Council of Connecticut (WACCT) was founded in 1924 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that educates the public on global affairs and provides open dialogue on contemporary issues. With an individual membership, ponderers can be challenged with important questions surrounding the direction of the world, from how to solve the impending water crisis to what television channel to project onto the moon. Each member gains instant access to the WACCT's excellent lineup of programs, including the Executive Forum series, the Global Women's Issues Forum, and a lecture series. Such internationally renowned past keynotes have included former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, NBC news anchor Ann Curry, and former secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger.
Reviewed positively by the New York Times and hailed as "outstandingly well-performed" by the Wall Street Journal during its 13-year run, the Hartford Stage's production of A Christmas Carol packs strong acting, period costumes, and spooky special effects to the Dickens holiday tale. Watch chain-rattling ghosts and a winsome little boy try to melt the icy heart of Ebenezer Scrooge during this classic Hartford Stage production, which has been seen by more than a quarter million people since 1998.
Holiday revelers can buy tickets for up to three friends over the age of 5 for a pre-New Year's Eve night out, or bring the whole family as a post-Christmas gift that should atone for keeping eight disoriented reindeer in the RV.
Entering their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the Globetrotters will add a new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet further than the official three-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian. See the arch-nemesis Generals try to keep up as the Harlem hardwood sorcerers evade gravity’s oppressive clutches and court clairvoyants distribute unassailable alley-oops. Youngsters can learn about the benefits of teamwork while laughing along with the jovial jocks as they perform classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti.
Samuel Clemens lived a life so full that it encompassed two names. He was a riverboat pilot, a silver prospector, and a newspaperman—and it was in this last trade that he first used the name under which he would author some of America's greatest fiction: Mark Twain. In works such as Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Twain cast a wry spotlight on the political and industrial changes of the 19th century, from westward expansion to the end of slavery to the birth of ground-breaking technology such as the mustache comb. In much the same way, the very space where Twain wrote—the Hartford home where his family lived from 1874 to 1891—illuminates the times as well as the personal life of the man behind the letters.
These days, that home is a National Historic Landmark that serves as half of The Mark Twain House and Museum. Comprised of 25 rooms, including a glass conservatory and grand library, it has been open to the public since its 100th anniversary in 1974. Inside, visitors explore not only the billiard room where Twain penned novels such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but also nearly 16,000 Twain-related artifacts, such as his last pair of spectacles and photos of his daughters putting on plays. Even more objects and information fill the nearby LEED-certified museum, where rotating exhibits focus on subjects such as the Twain family's servants.
"Her words changed the world," reads the website for the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. "What will you do?" As the author of the 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Stowe's moving prose helped expose the brutal reality of slavery in the United States. Today, her family home still stands in honor of her memory, welcoming guests as a museum and historic site.
Visitors step into the past via the front door, stopping by the front parlor to see where the Stowes gathered to take tea, play games, and debate the pressing issues of the day. The ground floor also houses some of the Stowes' original furnishings, including a dining room table and Harriet's own oil and watercolor paintings. The second floor offers a more personal look at the author's day-to-day life through touches such as her hand-painted furniture, as well as a terrarium that reflected her love of nature. Guided tours can provide further insight into the life of a woman who, in a time period marked by prejudice and turmoil, nevertheless spoke in favor of equality and change.
Retired NFL cornerback Ty Law has exchanged the gridiron for a far more forgiving, far more buoyant playing field. At his vast Launch Trampoline Park, visitors of all ages bounce, flip, and twirl as they burn calories and defy gravity on six jumping courts—including one designed especially for kids and two for playing dodge ball—comprised of adjoining floor trampolines and angled wall trampolines. There’s also a mammoth foam pit so that you can be assured a soft landing should you attempt any feats of aerial wonder. Launch even encourages kids to bounce off the walls if they'd like, and it's one of the largest trampoline parks in Hartford.
As fitness remains one of Law’s top priorities, he offers fitness classes that provide low-impact workouts while incinerating up to 1,000 calories each bouncy hour. For those seeking a break from bouncing, the park has a redemption arcade and a full service café. Parents can keep an eye on their children from the second-floor observation deck.
Spotlight Theaters’ screens enrapture audiences with first-run movies. In each movie house, digital sounds and visual projections of fresh Hollywood films alight inner emotions of audiences resting in plush, high-backed seats—each outfitted with a coin-operated mustache comb—or thrown directly into the action through 3-D technology. As eyes and ears relish motion-picture pursuits, soda, candy, and bounties of salty, crunchy popcorn emerge from the concession stand to occupy chatty mouths or catapult towards the screen to feed the hungry actors. Front Street’s brand new Spotlight Theater also houses a full-service restaurant and will soon feature themed movie-and-food pairings, such as French cuisine with French films.
A Hartford community staple since it was sculpted around the 1930s, Goodwin Park Golf Course peppers the countryside with 27 holes of various challenges. The main 18-hole, 6,015 yard course weaves among trees and gentle hills, offering three sets of tees for different handicaps, while a shorter 9-hole executive layout lets golfers squeeze in a round before their magic driver turns back into a useless tent pole.
Course at a Glance:
At Keney Golf Course, players follow an emerald track chiseled into the heavily wooded terrain of the 694-acre Keney Park. Devereaux Emmet and Alfred M. Tull unveiled their course design in 1927, inviting golfers to challenge their skills on the 18-hole, 6,014-yard layout. Along the way, golfers encounter an intersecting stream, dense forest groves, and a cemetery that borders several holes, but none of the quicksand bunkers incorporated by the original architects.
Course at a Glance
Founded by an entrepreneur who had grown tired of tedious business trips, Fly GForce jets travelers across the East Coast—or teaches aspiring pilots how to do it themselves. Training programs at the facility are led by chief flight instructor and 35-year aviation veteran Anthony Cresswell, captaining a staff of Gold Seal-certified mentors who help students of all ages earn their wings flying Piper Warriors. If clients would rather have someone else do the flying, Fly GForce also provides personal air travel to East Coast destinations, from Portland, Maine down to Washington, DC.