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Cheap Summertime Thrills

Kerri Provost

May 24, 2010

June 8th is the last day of school, so it’s not too early to be thinking of activities for the kids to be involved in. Here are some ideas for free, cheap, or cheaper than usual things to do:

On June 12th admission is half price to the CT Science Center to celebrate its first anniversary. June 12th is also Tom Sawyer Day, which means there are tons of free activities at the Mark Twain House, including performances/appearances by “HartBeat Ensemble, Hartford Opera Theater, Hartford City Ballet, Hartford Children’s Theater, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and many more musicians, magicians, and buccaneers.” The less than virtuous among us may be interested in participating in the lying contest. Not sure if there is a prize. Next door will be Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Garden Party, also free. Among other things, there will be croquet and horse-drawn carriage rides. Also on this date, the Amistad Center at the Wadsworth Atheneum is hosting a free Juneteenth Family Day. If that was not enough to decide on for the day, June 12th and 13th is when the Annual Bird Count is happening. To find out the location, call the Hartford Audubon Society at 860-282-BIRD or email them at hartfordaudubon AT yahoo.com.

The last Saturday of every month, from 10-1, is free admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum. If you don’t feel like being in the museum when it’s swarming with people, you can pick up free passes at the Hartford Public Library. These can be used on most days. The library also has passes for CT State Parks & Forests and Mystic Aquarium.

The Museum of Connecticut History Exhibits in the Connecticut State Library is always free. You can walk across the street to explore the Connecticut State Capitol (also free). From here, you can go gallivanting through Bushnell Park (stopping at the carousel for a $1 ride or for a free tour of the arch, or just wait to watch the trains go by), maybe stopping at the Old State House (children are either free or $3, depending on age), and then heading to the Riverfront. Several parks have pools and/or sprinklers, along with all of the other amenities one expects parks to have. You can watch Vintage Base Ball games at Colt Park on Saturdays during the summer.

The Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library on Elizabeth Street is inexpensive; the Pictures for Victorian America exhibit runs through July 17th. To see other old stuff, you can go to the Ancient Burying Ground or Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Travelers has a few webcams and a pretty cool site set up about the Peregrine Falcon that lives on the tower. You can also take a free trip up to the Travelers Tour observation deck. Another opportunity to get outside is at the Summer Music Series at Trinity College. It is free and picnicking is encouraged. This runs every Wednesday from June 23rd through August 18th starting at 6pm in the chapel and then by the carillon at 7pm. Monday Night Jazz in Bushnell Park (also starting at 6pm) is scheduled to begin July 5th and run through August 2nd.

What else is going on?

Reprinted with permission of Kerri Provost, author of the blog RealHartford. To view other stories on this topic, search RealHartford at http://www.realhartford.org/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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