Tag Archives: Bushnell Park

Is It The Weekend Yet? YES!

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Can you believe it? July is almost  gone and August is soon to arrive.calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]

As we head into the best part of summer, make some time to savor every moment, especially on the weekends.

And this one includes  ice cream, carousel rides, and sweet music and theater under the stars.

marktwainOn Thursday, July 24, it’s free ice cream and more at one of Hartford’s most famous landmarks, the Mark Twain House & Museum. Its 6th annual Ice Cream Social  will be held at the patio with Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum doing the scooping at this free event.

Performing will be Horizon Blue, an acoustic Americana musical group.

Also featured is Jessica Lawson, the author of the new young adult book “The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher.”

There will also be a Becky Thatcher-themed scavenger hunt, lawn games, and discounted tours of the first floor of the Mark Twain House ($5 for adults, seniors, and children; under age 6 free).

icream7Following the social, which will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Mark Twain House & Museum will host its “Get A Clue” tour. Play its live-action version of the classic game CLUE in the Mark Twain House. Was it Becky Thatcher with the revolver in the Conservatory? The Prince (or was it the Pauper?) with the knife in the library? This hour long tour features SEA TEA IMPROV .

And if that ‘s not enough, head back on Friday and Saturday evenings for the popular “Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours” for some summer fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel’s My Ghost Story.

For more information on all the weekend events go here.

On Friday, July 25, pack a picnic, grab the lawn chairs and head over to Simsbury Meadowshso-logo1[1]  where the Talcott Mountain Music Festival will pay tribute to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Singer Marva Hicks and  trumpeter Byron Stripling will featured with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information go here.



Celebrate another landmark in Hartford Saturday, July 26,  when Bushnell Park’s Carousel kicks off its 100th birthday celebration . The party includes free rides face paining, balloon twisting, cake and mini-train rides around the park.

The party goes from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information go here.


Treat yourself and take advantage of the summer version of the “Taste of Hartford” that continues salute next week.

Dozens of Hartford restaurants are offering specially priced lunch and dinner fixed-price menus, giving diners the perfect opportunity to try a new restaurant or visit a favorite one “just because.”

For more information go here.

Speaking of food, don’t forget the Connecticut Wine Festival at The Goshen Fairgrounds  on July 26 and 27. Wine tastings, food, crafts, wine seminars, live music and entertainment will be featured.

Tickets are $30, which includes wine and specialty food samplings, a souvenir wine glass and tote bag. A ticket for designated drivers is $10.

For more information go here.



Capital Classics Theatre Company enters its 24th anniversary season this weekend  with the staging of “All’s Well That Ends Well.”

This is central Connecticut’s longest-running Shakespeare festival, running for  three weekends: July 24 through August 10, 2014. Held at University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford. The festival will also feature pre-show entertainment on Thursday , ice cream on Friday, and lectures by local professors on Sunday.

Performances are held on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5:30 p.m. For more information go here.

And finally, get a dose of good Irish music, food and fun at the 31st Greater Hartford Irish Music Festival  June 25, 26 and 27.  the festival is held at the Irish American Home Society , 132 Commerce St., Glastonbury. For more information go here.



Hoist One At Bushnell WinterFest

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beerAlong with hot chocolate and a bigger skating rink for more family fun, something else is being added to Hartford’s downtown “WinterFest” at Bushnell Park.


Billed as “The only thing better than happy hour is happy hour with ice-skating,” the park’s Pond House, located near the rink on the east end of the park, is being turned into a temporary beer garden as part of the seasonal festival.

Bloomfield Thomas Hooker beers will be sold at the beer garden on Friday, Dec. 13, Dec. 27, Jan .10 and Jan. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. weather permitting. Only those 21 and older will be served.

“There is a great, young, corporate audience that wants to hang out,” said Kristin Newman-Scott, who oversees marketing, cultural affairs and special events for the city. “This will be a managed space that will be well monitored,” she said about the beer garden. “We don’t expect anyone to drink profusely or become belligerent.”

A portion of the sales will be donated to the festival and on one evening, proceeds will be donatedwinterfest to the Bushnell Park Foundation.

Newman-Scott said it is not the first time a beer garden has been part of a city-sponsored event. She said beer gardens were also part of summer’s “Envisionfest” and “Movies in the Park.”

“It’s another opportunity to being new people downtown the other parts of the park,” she said.

The festival offers free skating and free skate rentals from 11 a.m. 8 p.m. seven days a week. There are also carousel rides Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $1. There will be free photos with Santa on Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 22.

WinterFest continues through Feb. 1.

Hot Enough For You Hartford? Time For Some Summer Fun

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]Yes, it’s hot but remember those snowstorms and the cherished thoughts of summer and weekend fun?

It’s time.

Fun this week begins Thursday at 5:30 p.m. when Community Connections hosts its annual “Summer Social-Party in the Park” at Bushnell Park. The evening party includes tours of the park arch, carousel rides, music, food and drinks. Information: leadershipgh.org

Then head over to Real Art Ways for the “Bottoms Up” cocktail event featuring author Tim Federle.

TTEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD coverhe event, sponsored by RAW and The Mark Twain House & Museum, features the fun guy whose new book “Tequila Mockingbird, Cocktails With A Literary Twist,” celebrates literary classics and classic cocktails. The evening includes a showing of the documentary “Hey Bartender” followed by some of the book’s best cocktails and a book signing with Federle.

Tickets are $15 for RAW and MTH&M members, and $20 for the general public.

On Thursday, you can also head over to the Aqua Turf in Plantsville for the Calvanese Foundation’s Fifth Annual “Beer & Wine Tasting Festival” from 5:30 to 9;30

More than 60 vendors of beer and wine will be featured at the event which benefits foundation charities. Tickets are $30 at the door.

On Friday, treat yourself and go over to Simsbury’s Talcott Mountain for “Sinatra Under the sin2 (2)Stars,” a tribute to the greatest hits of Frank Sinatra, featuring the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and vocalist/trumpeter Rob Zappulla and his Big Band beginning at 7:30 p.m. The show is part of the HSO summer music festival series. Pack a picnic, grab a couple of chairs and a blanket and feel free to make a night of it. The gate opens at 6 p.m. The HSO Education Tent there, open from 6 to 7:15 p.m. offers family friendly activities such as music-themed games and crafts, the “Instrument Zoo,” and youth performances. In the case of severe weather, this concert will be performed on Saturday, July 13 at the same time. Single tickets range in price from $20-$45; and lawn tickets for kids 12 and under are $5. Information: 860-244-2999 or www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Whferriswheel[1]o doesn’t like a carnival and fireworks and a parade in the middle of summer? Tunxis Hose Co. #1 in the Unionville section of Farmington will deliver all three this weekend. The carnival opens Thursday and continues through Saturday, with fireworks planned for Friday night and the parade on Saturday. For more information go to tunxishose.com

On Sunday, the annual GE 5K Road Race, benefiting the Petit Family petiotrace2Foundation will be held in Plainville. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with adult races and walks beginning at 9 a.m. There are also kid walks, activities and a formal program. Information: petitroadrace.com




Hartford Welcomes Summer At Bushnell Park

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bushs2Okay, so maybe summer doesn’t really start until June 21 but Hartford is always ahead of the wave when it comes to significant celebrations.

And that was the case Wednesday when the Bushnell Park Foundation held its annual summer solstice party, this year at the park’s pump house.

“There is a renewed passion in our residents for our parks,” said Mayor Pedro Segarra who was one of the early arrivals at the party that included tours of the park, food form several local restaurants and live music. “Here at Bushnell, Elizabeth Park, Keeney Park, the community is taking ownership.”

While it was a party for adults, the table décor was tapping the inner child in most, Mason jars full of crayons and paper tablecloths invited guests to doodle a bit.

“I don’t even know why I am finding this so entertaining,” said Sue Morris, who works in bushs1Hartford and came with friends, as she drew a summer scene on her tablecloth. “I used to love to color when I was a kid,” she said. “Maybe it has to do with remembering how I looked forward to summer because all I had to do was play.”

Also among the guests was New England Carousel executive director Louise DeMars, who is looking forward to 2014 for a special reason.

“The carousel here in Bushnell Park will be 100 years old and we are planning to celebrate,” said DeMars, who had just finished the distribution of 21,178 tickets for a free carousel ride to each and every public school child in Hartford.  

DeMars said a committee has been organized for the 100th celebration and includes both the mayor and well-known businessman/entrepreneur/philanthropist Arnold Chase.

Also indulging in the mid-week party and a perfect “almost” summer night was Hartford State Rep. Edwin Vargas. “It’s a wonderful way to welcome summer,” he said. And as far as his summer plans now that work at the Capitol is done?

“I’m going to Orlando to see my parents,” he said.


Here Comes Father’s Day and Summer!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]Lots to celebrate this weekend including dads and the last weekend of spring. Summer arrives next week!

So Hartford, want to get out and enjoy? Here are some possibilities!

Our Piece of the Pie will hold its annual “Sip ‘n’ Sail 2013″ June 14 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The fundraiser, held on The Lady Katharine’s “The Mystique”  includes a dock reception until 7 p.m. when the boat sails from Charter Oak Landing and down the  Connecticut River. Cost is $85 a person with proceeds benefiting the non-profit agency that provides youth development. Information: opp.org.

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center will host its 5th Annual Mildred and Richard Loving Civil Rights Award Dinner on  June 13 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bond Hotel in Hartford. Being honored are Sara K. Pratt, HUD Office for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity assistant secretary and Civil Rights Documentation and Fair Housing Advocate Bernard Kleina.

Onll Friday head over to the Connecticut Science Center for the 4th anniversary celebration of its “Liquid Lounge.”

The pumped up Birthday Bonanza Happy
Hour goes from 7 to 11 p.m. Guests must be 21. There will be special drinks, a dj and live music. Information: ctsciencecenter.org

Also on Friday, Bushnell Park launches its summertime movie“Free Movies In The Dark” series. Grab a blanket and relax on the park lawn where the opening night feature, “Back to the Future” begins at 7 p.m.

Over in West Hartford, the West Hartford Art League will hold its “Up On The Roof” gala at the gallery at 37 Buena Vista Road. The evening includes cocktails, music, dining and auctions, with proceeds supporting art education programs and scholarships. Cost is $85 a person. Go to westhartfordart.org for information.

Saturday includes a 100th anniversary celebration of the East Haddam Swing Bridge. The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat will offer a free ride to residents who live along the Valley Railroad in Old Saybrook, Essex, Deep River, Chester and Haddam. The train departs at 7 :45 a.m. followed by the riverboat cruise and a  vintage automobile procession. Reservations are necessary. Information: essexsteamtrain.com 

At the Klingberg Family Centers at 370 Linwood St., New Britain, you can also get a good look at some great old vehicles  at its annual “Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival ” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wayne Carini of “Chasing Classic Cars” will be a special guest. Information:  klingbergautoshow.org

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture will celebrate  Juneteenth at its “Jubilation!” gala at theamis7 Wadsworth Atheneum June 15 beginning at 7 p.m. the evening marks the anniversary of freedom for slaves in 1865. The gala features music, food, dancing and entertainment by special guest Jolie Rocke Brown and the Bated Breath Theatre Company. Tickets start at $70 a person.

Information: 860-838-4133


dadSunday is Father’s Day, a day to give that guy an extra hug, help with some chores, play a little golf, have a picnic or say a prayer in his memory and remember the best things about him.

And if you want to do something extra, there are lots of restaurant specials at eateries all around the state for  that guy who does so much. Celebrate him! 





Time For Heat Hartford! It’s The Weekend!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]So it’s the first heat wave of the season but that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying the weekend, a weekend full of choices.

On Thursday, head over to Trinity College for Camp Courant’s “Cartoons For Camp,” a fundraising evening with Courant editorial cartoonist Bob Englehart from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Center for Urban & Global Studies.

Englehart will tell stories and show previously unseen cartoons. This exhibit of original cartoon art is for one night only. Tickets are $75. Information: campcourant.org

alecxanderAlso on Thursday, civil rights lawyer, advocate and author Michelle Alexander will be awarded the 2013 Stowe Prize at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford. The evening includes a reception and dinner, book signing and dessert under a tent on the grounds. Information: harriestbeecherstowecenter.org

On Friday East Hartford’s Goodwin College will holds its “Magical Night Under the Big Top” gala to benefit its student scholarships. Honorary chairs are Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his wife, Cathy Malloy. The evening includes a cocktail hour, dinner and performers. Information: goodwin.edu.

komenSaturday, get your sneakers on and run or walk in Hartford’s 20th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. There are 5K races, walks, a kid’s race and more at Bushnell Park. You can register for the race Friday at the park, or on Saturday beginning at 7 a.m. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:15 followed by races and walks. The survivor’s breakfast is at 8 a.m. Information:komenct.org

Also on Saturday and Sunday, St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Hartford holds its Greek Festival 2013. The festival, held at the cathedral at 433 Fairfield Ave. includes Greek food, pastries, imports, music and dancing. The festival is open Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

parade (2)Sunday is Parade Day. The Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival del Coqui will be held at the Bushnell Pavilion in Hartford. The parade starts at noon and the festival, from 2 to 6 p.m. There will be food and live performances . Information: hartfordprparade.com.

Also on Sunday, head over to Plainville’s Robertson Airport from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for its annual “Wings and Wheels” fundraiser benfitting The Petit Foundation and the Plainville Community Pantry. Classic cars, airplanes, ride, food and entertainment will be featured. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children from five to 11.

Let The Snow Building Begin Hartford!

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snowgusyBushnell Park, 2 p.m. Saturday!


Snow Person and Snow Angel Building Contest, just for fun.

Or you can win a prize..any carrots and coal that are leftover from the build, according to a Facebook post that also notes: “Winners will be decided by no specific criteria and for arbitrary reasons.”