Mark your calendars!
On June 13th (my birthday– woot!) there will be free and discounted admissions to a number of fun, historical, and educational places in Connecticut. The full list can be found here, but I’ve compiled a list of places that I’d personally like to visit:
Hartford Belle Cruises
Charter Oak Landing
Purchase one sightseeing cruise ticket (either 60 minute or 90 minute cruise) at the regular fare and get a second ticket of equal or lesser value for $1. Boat capacity is limited and this will be offered on a first come first serve basis. No reservations will be accepted.
Details are important to me as a writer. I like to look at a subject from as many perspectives as possible.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Hartford
on foot, dodging cars that disobey pedestrian walk signals, dodging
gratuitously strewn chunks of glass and the occasional dimebag.
on bicycle, dodging trash left in bike lanes, dodging cars driven by people who don’t think of bikes as real forms of transportation, dodging basically everything.
on bus, or on foot chasing down the bus that rolled by the marked stop
zooming through via interstate, painting the barriers along the curves that should not see 75m.p.h. traffic, bumper-to-bumper
in a small airplane, traffic helicopter, Lifestar or on the top floor of a taller building.
by riverboat, very Twainesque, leisurely rolling up the Connecticut River, watching people fishing and playing along the Riverfront.
on horseback, littering the streets with manure, as the Hartford Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit do
canoeing the buried river in search of secrets, artifacts, and abandoned cars
on a pocketbike (under the wheels of the car that didn’t see you)
by skateboard at Heaven
on train, cutting through industrial areas.
rollerskating over broken sidewalk or along the Riverfront– one pleasant, one a surefire way to skin the knees
in a car with the license plate in the back window, making a left hand turn from the far right lane when the light is red.
Connecticut Historical Society
One Elizabeth St.
Free admission from 12 noon to 5 p.m. with free children’s programs including a scavenger hunt and receive a prize to those who completed it and explore the Museum’s Colonial toys.
There is currently a Women’s Basketball in Connecticut exhibit, which I’m actually amazed has not garnered more attention since we might be living in the only state where women’s basketball gets the respect it deserves. There’s also a G.Fox display, along with the ongoing Amistad exhibit.
990 Prospect St.
Free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Come see where M. Jodi Rell doesn’t live.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
77 Forest St.
Free admission from 12 noon to 4 p.m. “Harriet’s Garden Party,” honoring the 198th birthday of Harriet Beecher Stowe. On hand for conversation, croquet and other lawn games will be costumed historic interpreters portraying Stowe, her daughters and special guest Abraham Lincoln. Tour the first floor and gardens of the Victorian Gothic home, learn and play croquet, paint “en plein air” in the gardens, enjoy birthday cake and more. Free shuttle between Harriet Beecher Stowe House and the Wadsworth Atheneum.
Croquet brings together fans of both Harriet Beecher Stowe and Heathers.
Old State House
800 Main St.
Free admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with family-friendly activities, outdoor games, tours and the opportunity to experience history.
While there are other reasons to go beyond the fact that they have a two-headed cow, I don’t know that I need to name them.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
600 Main St.
Free admission all day and visitors can experience the Amistad Center’s Juneteenth celebration.
After being on the outs with her for a few months, I’m back to swooning over the Wadsworth Atheneum.
Mark Twain House & Museum
351 Farmington Ave.
Free admission to Hartford residents with an ID for the house tours and reduced admission to others: adults and seniors $10, children $5. Free admission all day to the Museum Center.
I’ll be honest. The free admission to Hartford residents provided me with the motivation to finally update the driver’s license with the correct, legit address. I hate the DMV and anything that involves paperwork, so I procrastinated on this for, um, all but the two months when the address on my license was actually correct. Thanks, Mark Twain. Thanks for making me an honest person again.
30 Arbor St.
Artist studio and print shop offer lessons, classes, workshops in art printmaking and other activities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free demonstrations and hands-on experience for all ages and skills. Complimentary refreshments and literature handouts.
Learning how to make stuff and do things is awesome, and free is even awesomer.
Arbor Street Artists
30 & 56 Arbor St.
Variety of artists’ studios will be open to public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. including painters, photographers, sculptors, pottery, glass, jewelry, printmakers, clothing and more. Complimentary refreshments and literature handouts.
Outside of Hartford
New England Alpacas
14 Bethke Rd.
Free admission from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with light refreshments and demonstrations on fiber processing.
Alpacas are officially ranked in the top five for cutest animals on the planet.
Bhakti Healing Center & Yoga Retreat
155 Squash Hollow Rd.
New Milford,, CT
Visitors welcome to stroll through this 50 acre healing center. A place to harmonize your mind, body and spirit. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. relax and enjoy hiking, numerous gardens, sit in a teepee, complimentary refreshments.
Willow Tree Pottery
24 Bebbington Rd.
Each visitor will receive a handmade amulet, view the pottery and kiln, wander the gardens, special guest Barbara Katz.
An amulet? Really and truly? And in Ashford, one of my favorite places ever? Rural Eastern Connecticut is one of my favorite places.
Lamothe’s Sugar House
89 Stone Rd.
Watch how maple syrup is made and enjoy complimentary coffee, hot cider and samples of their maple products, free lollipops for the children and visitors will receive a free package of maple fudge with a $25 purchase.
Much has been made of how detached we have become from our food sources. I am a strong believer in things like sugaring demonstrations and farm tours. Seeing how much effort is required to produce even a small jug of syrup is kind of mind-blowing.