Saturday, May 18, is Art Museum Day. The event, organized by the Association of Art Museum Directors, features free, discounted or pay-what-you-want admissions and special activities at more than 100 art institutions across the country, including the Wadsworth Atheneum, Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Information: www.aamd.org.
Early birds get morning coffee on the house. Starting a 8 a.m., the first 500 customers in line Friday at the new Panera Bread, 10 State House Square, in Hartford, get a free Panera travel mug and free coffee refills for 30 days. (Offer available at the Hartford location only.) Information: www.panerabread.com.
If you shop wherever and whenever you roam, you won’t want to miss my new column, “Shopping Around,” appearing each Sunday in the Courant’s Travel section. I’ll be writing about travel, shopping, retail and consumer issues, and – as always – deals.
Here’s my first column, World’s Markets, Malls Make A Great Shopping Bucket List.
If you’ve had adventures shopping around, I’d love to hear them. Post your stories here or send them to me at email@example.com.
Hitting the road this summer? AAA is offeringfree vehicle maintenance inspections from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the Department of Transportation commuter lot near Buckland St. and Pleasant Valley Rd. in Manchester. (You don’t have to be a AAA member.) Roadside Rescue Team staff will check batteries, tires, wiper blades, fluid levels and lights and hand out free guides to traffic laws in popular drive destinations.
Planning to purchase a new smartphone? Get one free at CVS.com/smartphone instead. To promote its new app, the company is giving away a million Android phones, including Samsung Galaxy, HTC EVO and LG Viper. Offer available to Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile consumers eligible to upgrade their phones or who sign up for a new, two-year contract.
Brimfield’s legendary outdoor antiques and collectibles fair begins at dawn Tuesday, May 14, in fields along Route 20 in Massachusetts. The event features thousands of dealers and even more attendees. Some fields charge $5 admission and parking is about $10. Show ends Sunday, May 19. Information: www.brimfield.com.
Looking for Mother’s Day activities? Take mom to a spring sale, market or fair.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 41 Park St., Manchester holds a May fair on Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event includes a huge white elephant tag sale. (Admission is free, but a non-perishable food item donation is appreciated.) Information: 860-649-4583.
Country Curtains fans: It’s time for a road trip. The chain opens its annual clearance sale in a skating rink on Route 20 in Lee, Mass., (about an hour’s drive from Hartford) on Thursday, May 16. Merchandise includes window treatments and hardware, accent furniture, home decor accessories and more at 50 percent off. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Join tree experts for a free tree tour in Elizabeth Park on Saturday at 10 a.m. Meet in the greenhouse parking lot. Information: www.elizabethpark.org or 860-231-9443
The Avery Heights Auxiliary, 705 New Britain Ave., Hartford, holds a tag and treasure sale on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 9, 10 and 11. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. On Saturday, remaining merchandise is sold for $5 a bag.
Time for the annual spring tag sale at Williams Shoes, 132 Park Road, on Saturday, May 11, in West Hartford. Women’s shoes are on sale for $10, $20 or $25 a pair. Brands include Naturalizer, Easy Spirit, Clarks and Merrell and sizes range from 4 to 11 in narrow, medium and wide. Not all styles are available in all sizes. All sales are final; payment by cash or check only. Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: 860-233-1663.
Vernon Garden Club holds its annual plant sale on Saturday from 8:30 to10:30 a.m., at Sacred Heart Church parking lot, Route 30 in Vernon. Information: http://fgccvernonct.tripod.com.
The Women of St. James’s Episcopal Church, 1018 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, holds a rummage sale Friday, May 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (admission is $5) and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, when admission is free.
Villager Shop at Avery Heights holds a special Mother’s Day manufacturers’ sample sale. The event features deeply discounted tops, pants and accessories. Villager Shop is at 550 Avery Heights in Hartford. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Information: 860-953-1201.
Hopewell Baptist Church, 280 Windsor Avenue, in Windsor, holds a tag sale on Saturday, May 11, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Artist Karen Rossi, known for metal work, holds an open house Saturday, May 11, at her studio, 60 Estey Road in Norfolk, with specials on a range of merchandise. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Information: www.karenrossi.com or 860-292-8142.
The Portland Historical Society’s town-wide tag sale takes place Saturday, May 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Along with more than 100 individual sales, the Society holds its own tag sale at the Museum, 492 Main St. Additional sales are at the Hemlock Grange, 17 Sage Hollow Road. Free maps showing tag sale locations can be picked up at the Museum and are also online at www.portlandhistsoc.org. Most sales are held rain or shine. Information: 860-342-3636.
Stock up on sweets for mom at Jeannine Fundraisers’ spring warehouse sale, taking place at 8 Wickett St. (off Route 44) in New Hartford. The company, which provides merchandise for school fundraising, has deals on gifts and frozen desserts. Most items priced from $1 to $5. Sale dates are Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Payment is by cash only.
Patricia Spratt for the Home, 60 Lyme St., in Old Lyme, holds a Fifty Shades of Blue for Mom sale on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 9, 10 and 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Merchandise includes placemats, napkins, tablecloths, table runners and home accessories. Information: 860-434-9291
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