As the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the Rock Cats clubhouse is baseball's equivalent of an arboretum, blossoming in the summer with big-league-ready talent while nurturing future pros, a laundry list of baseball all-stars that has previously included Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, David Ortiz, and Torii Hunter. Following the frenetic lead of Rocky, a full roster of mascots entices eyes with various forms of family-friendly entertainment throughout each game. An extra dose of off-the-field entertainment can also be savored inside the ballpark's Fun Zone, where fans test their skills by smacking baseballs in a homerun derby, throwing fastballs with speed pitch, or swinging an oversize hot dog to prepare for the day when professional baseball decides all bats must be meat-based.
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.
At City Steam Brewery Cafe, the owners concoct some of the area’s finest beers, scoring “best of” awards from Hartford magazine and Connecticut Magazine. They also brew potent batches of laughter inside their 200-seat comedy show-room theater. Ensconced in the historic Brown Thomson and Co. building, which was the state’s largest department store in 1877, Brew Ha Ha once was known as the Last Laugh Comedy Club, where fledgling unknowns such as Ray Romano and Kevin James vied for laughs in the smoky rathskeller of a restaurant.
Reborn in 1997 under a new moniker, the standup speakeasy keeps its calendar packed with nationally touring comics and local joke slingers. During shows, guests can toast with mugs of handcrafted beer and make edible sculptures of their favorite comedian using menu’s custom burgers, pizzas, and omelets.
Inflated structures, slides, and games fill the climate-controlled environs of the numerous BounceU locations that speckle the nation. At each site, staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses or pull on oversized inflatable boxing gloves. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne.
In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for Pre-K and Play Classes, where instructors lead games and activities. Special events include Create and Bounce, which lets kids bounce and paint the day away so their parents can do grownup things, such as eat marshmallows with a knife and fork.
At each bowling center, balls hurtle down smooth, polished lanes as LCD screens keep track of scores and shimmering party lights illuminate the faces of determined bowlers. After lacing up some slide-enabling shoes and clearing the gutters of deciduous pins, bowlers set their sights on toppling 10-pin clusters. Carpets bedecked with psychedelic swirls lead to shelves stocked with neon-colored balls, which proffer their pin-busting talents to bowlers of various sizes. Fingers can warm up by mashing buttons in an arcade full of entrancing video games or bench-pressing french fries at the onsite grill and pub.
Jenks Productions has been handling the nuts and bolts of consumer trade shows for 33 years. Partnering with local and national businesses, Jenks specializes in home, bridal, and pet shows, which fill sprawling spaces with vendors eager to share their wares and visitors looking for inspiration. The services that Jenks Productions provides are extensive, as the team can do everything from onsite event management and budget planning to marketing efforts such as developing newsletters, logos, and jingles that rhyme the words “impending nuptials.”