The New Children's Museum is the fifth oldest children's museum in the country and was established in 1927. It provides interesting technology exhibits as well as natural ones like a wildlife sanctuary, butterfly house (seasonal) and a visit inside "Conny the Whale." The planetarium is another highlight and the programs include field trips, birthday parties, facility rentals and other outreach events with the community.
This home on Farmington Avenue is where Mark Twain lived from 1874 until he moved to Europe (due to bankruptcy) in 1891. It is also the place where Twain wrote some of his most famous works, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The estate is in constant renovation and the curating team is always looking to restore it as it was when Twain lived here. Nonetheless, the adjacent Museum offers an exclusive documentary about the writer by director Ken Burns and the home was one of the first 100 architectural sites to be registered as a National Historic Landmark in the United States.
One of the best museums in the entire country, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art houses some of the finest collections of European art. The museum walls are lined with Renaissance and Modern art, including work by Caravaggio, Lorrain, Picasso, Degas, Cézanne, van Dyck, Monet, Van Gogh, and more. One of the most outstanding collections at the museum is that of the Hudson River School and late 19th Century oil and watercolors from local artists. Open since 1842, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the oldest public art museum in the United States.
The Connecticut Science Center is where everyone can immerse themselves in forensics, physics, astronomy and geology all while having fun at the same time. The stunning 3D theater, educational laboratories and over 150 interactive exhibits are sure to keep the kids as well as the adults amused. Parts of the venue can be hired for children's birthday parties, seminars and luncheons where catering is provided and the center also allows for overnight educational visits too.
Hartford Stage is one of the leading resident theaters, known internationally for entertaining and enlightening audiences with a wide range of the best world drama, from classics to provocative new plays, musicals and neglected works from the past. The theater has earned many distinguished awards and it maintains a strong commitment to private/public partnerships, educational programs and humanities initiatives within the the community.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is dedicated to the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin and it offers a profound insight into the life and times of this suffragette. This is the home in which Stowe lived from 1873 until her death in 1893. The house includes authentic, restored furniture pieces as well as souvenirs from her journeys around the world. A library, located on the grounds of the nearby Day House contains books, manuscripts, images and more. Visitors can also view eight Victorian gardens on the grounds of the estate as well as several special events held throughout the year.
William H. Mortensen Hall is one of the main venues of The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. Equipped with world-class equipment, the venue boasts of an elegant lighting and seating arrangement. It is available for performing arts, concerts and private events like weddings and parties. The venue is a popular destination for touring concert and art groups and can accommodate up to 2799 guests for a single event.
TheaterWorks engages the best talent from the community to put on plays and performance pieces at its downtown theater. The historic building built circa 1927 is where you'll find the theater and the structure is a highlight unto itself. The theater presents hundreds of independent, original performances throughout the year and it attracts a very diverse audience, from children to adults.
The XL Center, formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center, is a sports and convention complex. It was opened in 1975 and has been renovated several times over the past four decades. It houses an exhibition hall which is used for trade shows, conventions, banquets, craft shows, meetings and other events. It has held many notable well-known artists like Van Halen, U2, Luciano Pavarotti, Madonna, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson and more. The XL Center also hosts some UConn men's and women's basketball games, and is also home to the Connecticut Whale professional women's hockey team.