Founded in 1903, New Britain Museum of American Art was designated the first museum in the country to be dedicated exclusively to American artwork. Upon its founding, wealthy industrialist John Butler Talcott endowed the museum with a hefty sum of gold bonds and bottled phoenix tears with which to purchase modern oil paintings. The collection blossomed to include other artistic media over time, and it now consists of more than 10,000 works spanning more than three centuries of American creative endeavor. The museum's permanent collections showcase works by noted American artists ranging from Norman Rockwell to John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt to Georgia O'Keeffe. Along with rotating exhibitions and borrowed collections, the museum showcases work by emerging artists.
Newington Arena’s Zamboni smoothes the ice for a range of blade-based activities, from lessons and hockey matches to freestyle open-skate sessions. Experienced coaches teach new and experienced skaters alike to glide, spin, and casually levitate during learn-to-skate programs and figure-skating academies, and amateurs can independently master their triple axels during public-skate times. Hockey and speed-skating programs warm up the ice, and each Friday night, Ice Jam’s strobe lights and music flood the arena as students 11–15 years old weave around the frozen floor. Newington Arena also houses a snack bar and hosts birthday parties, allowing kids to brag that their shindig was, literally, the coolest.
A lifelong small-scale speed-mobile builder and driver, Rapid Raceway co-owner Rick "Rapid" Raducha initiates aspiring 1:24-scale motorists into the ways of the controller with two massive slot-car courses. Racers can challenge the grooves of the 145-foot Grandstand track, where they’ll command their electrified speedsters through its tricky S-curves before flooring it on two 13-foot straightaways. Fast fingers can also test their abilities on The Whip, which features two 34-degree banked turns and more than 88 feet of raceway that'll leave drivers little time to break for necessary pit stops or unnecessary blueberry-scone runs. This Groupon provides a rental car and remote so casual competitors don't have to propel cars with mind control, but slot-car gurus are welcome to bring their own models.
Situated on 30 acres of verdant grassland neighboring the Farmington River, Avon Valley Show Stables saddles eager equestrians with quality courses and expert instruction in the ways of horseback riding. With style specialties in hunter, jumper, and hunt-seat equitation, lessons are offered for all ages (3 and up) and experience levels. Owned by professional show equestrian Emer Coyne , Avon Valley Show Stables features an experienced staff of pony-savvy instructors that will take pony-riding pupils through each step of the horseback process. Cantering cavalry can train on a stable horse or use one of their own, whether it's a majestic mustang named Afterglow or an existentially pondering pony named Aristotle. Lessons can be scheduled throughout the day, seven days a week, by appointment only.
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.
American Clock & Watch Museum’s staff and visitors never have to worry about keeping track of time. Inside a Federal-style home originally built in 1801, curators display more than 1,500 clocks and watches from a collection of more than 5,500, making it one of the largest in the world behind the legion of wristwatches glued together to form Big Ben. Guest curators showcase timepieces from different eras and manufacturers, from antique clocks to art deco accessories made in the Jazz era. Visitors can admire clock maintenance in action on the first and third Friday of each month when the “Ol’ Cranks” wind more than 70 of the museum's historic items. Visitors can also learn more about their own antique treasures by consulting with the museum staff during scheduled evaluation events.