Hartford has amazing theater – whether you spell it theater or theatre, Hartford has it! And you can choose from: Theaterworks, Hartford Stage and The Bushnell or all three! Tidbit: Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts was constructed in the 1930’s by the same architects who designed New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, with a large hand-painted mural suspended from the ceiling that is the largest of its kind in the United States.
Hartford is home to the nation’s oldest public art museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum. Now free for Hartford residents, and for non-residents but for Bank of American cardholder get in free the first full weekend of every month for Bank of America Cardholders but many libraries also have a museum pass that patrons can take full advantage of.
Hartford is also home to the oldest publicly funded park, Bushnell Park, this park consists of rolling lawn, sculpture, fountains, and a historic carousel. It is the first park in the country purchased by a municipality for public use, and it was designed by Jacob Weidenmann.
As if No. 3 wasn’t awesome enough, The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch, a Civil War Memorial, frames the northern entrance to the park, is the first triumphal arch in the United States.
Hartford is home to the oldest continuously published newspaper, The Hartford Courant. I think it’s time they did a story on us? Don’t you agree?
And also home to the Mark Twain House, where the author wrote his most famous works and raised his family. The home was built by Samuel Clemens and his wife in 1874. They lived here 17 years, raising three daughters. The house is open year-round for tours, events, and author programs. And by the way, National Geographic named it one of the ten best historic homes in the world.
Hartford is the former home of Harriet Beecher Stowe, located in the Asylum Hill neighborhood on Farmington Avenue, which has also become a museum – neighbors to the Mark Twain House.
Elizabeth Park & Rose Garden straddles the Hartford/West Hartford border, both sections of the park administered by the City of Hartford. It covers 102 acres and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The rose garden is a beautiful place to visit, pack a lunch and seasonally guests can enjoy a series of outdoor concerts.
The Connecticut Science Center is a 154,000 square foot, nine-story building and a $165 million museum. Designed by César Pelli, it opened on June 12, 2009. Home to a 3D movie theater, offers a quarterly MAD (Museum at Dark) program for adults, which is called Liquid Lounge, and offers a quarterly sleepover programs for families.