As visitors step into the balmy gardens of The Butterfly Place, they may feel as though they are “walking into a floating garden . . . as if they are being carried as well.” That was the experience of a Wicked Local writer who visited the seasonal indoor sanctuary, which houses both local butterflies and tropical species culled from around the world. As the butterflies freely wing about the sanctuary, koi fish swim through serene ponds along the winding pathway, and quail waddle and moonwalk through myriad species of colorful flora. Those who find that watching the butterflies sip nectar incites their own hunger can take a break at the outdoor picnic area and nibble on any snacks they may have brought along.
The crackle of a grill and the gentle purr of beer spilling into a pint are very soothing sounds. That gleeful noise serves as a constant backdrop at The Peddler’s Daughter, punctuated occasionally by live rock or Irish music and pub trivia. The menu is varied, but everything orbits around the dishes you might find in the Irish countryside. Beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips nestle alongside shepherd’s pies filled with beef and veggies like the briefcase of someone who is only pretending to be an accountant. Burgers—topped with Guinness blue cheese påte, aged cheddar, or housemade hot sauce—vie for attention against the likes of bangers and mash. On the bar, light cuts through glasses of ruddy Newcastle, Old Speckled Hen, and Guinness.
One Stop Fun grants children and parents alike a lighthearted escape from the rigors of daily tasks and chores with a multicolored jungle gym, kid-sized climbing wall, and entertaining pool area. A three-story indoor playground's plastic tubes fill with toddlers and oversized bank transfers traveling between a collection of ball pits and bouncy bridges. Inside another room, primary-colored handholds protrude from a graphite-hued climbing wall that lets children safely explore its 40-foot surface with a maximum height of 8 feet. The fun center also lends out its facilities for birthday parties and other gatherings. For more organized activity, USAG-certified gymnastics instructors teach tumbling as part of a programs portfolio that also instills coordination and discipline with karate and dance classes. As children play and learn, adult chaperones can lunch at the snack bar or take advantage of conveniences such as complimentary WiFi for staying in touch and a changing area for concealing the secret identities of super children.
A Neapolitan blend of country, classical, and contemporary, The Texas Tenors made a name for themselves in 2009 as top contenders on America's Got Talent, earning their position as the competition’s top finishing vocal group. Turning ear-stalks with their genre-spanning renditions of My Way, Danny Boy, and Unchained Melody, the three offer operatic ear candy, runway-worthy eye candy, and mesquite-flavored nose candy. John Hagen brings the operatic noise, drawing on his tanker-like lungs and national experience to craft a classical sound which gets along with modern lil' doggies. JC Fisher, the romance-tending tenor, belts tunes from twangy country and gospel to show tunes and arias, and seasoned singer/actor Marcus Collins' silky vocal acrobatics add a contemporary edge. With an ongoing world tour, The Texas Tenors are a unique phenom in the making.
Seasoned boat captains and crustacean prospectors Sig Hansen, Johnathan Hillstrand, and Andy Hillstrand gather to share with audience members their tales of struggle and survival during crab season on the high seas, as partly documented by the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Fishing the Bering Sea in the middle of winter demands strong wills—which can come together in times of treacherous weather and 100-foot waves or come to blows about who performs better in the three-legged crabwalk race. Selected audience members will also have the chance to don the survival suits from the Time Bandit. Following the story-swapping and previously unreleased video footage, greenhorns and avid fans will have the opportunity to launch questions at the captains, wave giant foam claws, and learn how to communicate in claw-snap Morse code.
The Webster opened as an art-deco movie house more than 70 years ago, and in 1992, the theater and its employees’ slang were both restored to their original condition. Today, the stage monopolizes a major portion of the big-name acts passing through Hartford, with previous headliners including Whitesnake, Henry Rollins, and Cake. A wide-open orchestra invites dancing, and a more-relaxed loge area lets guests coolly survey the action onstage and in the audience.