Riverside Park is one of Hartford's oldest public parks and its location on the waterfront invites all for a relaxing stroll or bike ride next to the water. The series of four, 148-acre parks on both sides of the River are popular picnicking and excursion spots for Hartford's residents and the many people who work Downtown during the week. Visitors can use the boathouse for rowing along the Connecticut River, get permits to go fishing or during the summer months, and even attend one of the numerous events at the riverfront venue, Mortensen Riverfront Plaza.
The University of Connecticut was founded in 1881, originally as an agricultural college. Today, its location about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Hartford and the school prides itself in its their high academic standards as well as its basketball teams.. The university's architecture is reminiscent of early 20th Century colleges, with gorgeous Gothic buildings alongside the modern facilities. UConn is one of New England's top-ranked public universities and is worth the trip to the serene countryside for a basketball game, to see a show at the Jorgensen Center, or some sightseeing in fall when the leaves change.
The Springfield Science Museum and Seymour Planetarium is dedicated to the natural sciences and artifacts found throughout New England. Children can explore and learn about the habitats of the Amazon rainforest, African savanna, a coral reef or the New England coastal areas. If a trip through time is more their thing, the Dinosaur Hall has replicas of Tyrannosaurus Rex as well as some dinosaurs native to the Connecticut River Valley. Tickets to the Seymour Planetarium (the nation's oldest) can be purchased separately, so sit back and check out over 7000 stars from our solar system.
Sitting beside the Supreme Court Building, the Connecticut State Library is a repository for many historical materials that pertain to the state. It not only provides historical archives and documents, but it functions as a modern library that allows residents to access material and facilities. Also on-site is the Museum of Connecticut History, the institution that officially oversees the historical archives of the Constitution State.
Located on Ratlum Road, Ski Sundown is a family friendly ski area in Hartford. Spread over 70 acres (approximately 28.3 hectares), this place offers numerous trails with varying levels of difficulty. During in-season, Ski Sundown opens its popular trails to the public and offers group packages and lesson programs for all ages. Pick up your passes from their on-site Welcome Center and enjoy the various facilities available at the base including a lodge, sports shop, and rental shop. Relax and dine in any of their three food and lounge areas, and meet new friends. With a full fledged snowsports school, banquet center, scenic views, and nighttime skiing, Ski Sundown is the ideal location for a fun winter holiday.
Built in 1876 by William Goodspeed, the Goodspeed Opera House is a gem of American musical theater. Overlooking the Connecticut River, this majestic building is now owned by Goodspeed Musicals and is home to award-winning shows and performances. It is the cradle of world famous musicals like Man of La Mancha and Annie. After its founder's death it became decrepit and was almost at the brink of destruction, thankfully, Goodspeed Musicals was formed to save this historic structure in 1959. It has since been restored to its former glory and opened after four years of intensive restoration in 1963.
What began as a modest art school in 1877, has blossomed into a full-fledged university that is spread across 350 acres (141.6 hectares) in Connecticut. And it's not just the size that makes it a renowned university worldwide. The degree programs conducted by the university in Engineering and Technology, Business Administration and for other Higher Education program, hold the top most accreditation in the country. With more than 7000 students enrolled in various courses conducted by the colleges, the campus is abuzz with various activities. The university has several spaces like The Village Lawn, Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center and University Commons, where events like concerts and cultural activities take place regularly.
Westmoor Park is located on Flogg Road in West Hartford, and is managed by the Leisure Services Department. The park is spread over an area of 62 acres (25 hectares), and includes a variety of natural habitats for visitors to explore. Open from dawn to dusk, the park is dedicated to promoting environmental education and awareness. There is a large garden that is dedicated to flowering plants, herbs and vegetables. The park is also home to a number of barnyard animals like horses, donkeys, sheep’s, goats, ducks etc. It is a perfect place for kids to see and observe farm animals and explore nature. The park also has an education center, a nature discovery room and meeting rooms that are available for classes and community use. There are special summer programs for kids and educational courses conducted all round the year.