Situated as we are here at the Goodwin right in downtown Hartford, we’re lucky to offer our guests a really world-class spectrum of family-friendly destinations within our greater neighborhood.
Here’s a look at some of the standouts!
The Connecticut Science Center
There’s no mistaking the snazzy silhouette of the Connecticut Science Center along Hartford’s riverfront. This nine-story facility encompasses more than 165 interactive exhibits that introduce visitors to the marvels and magic of the physical universe: from plants and animals to the nuts-and-bolts of mechanical engineering, space travel, and the human body.
Among the highlights is the Butterfly Encounter inside the Science Center’s luxuriant tropical greenhouse—aflutter with some 50 different species of lavishly colored butterflies from South Asia and the Neotropics—and the big-screen 3D spectacles of the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation Science Theater.
You’ll probably have to drag younger kids away from the hands-on fun of Hartford’s Children’s Museum, one of the oldest of its kind in the country. Learning is as far from a chore as you can imagine here, whether it’s playing out in the Thinker Linker Studio (a building workshop that emphasizes creativity and teamwork), the dazzling Travelers Science Dome at the Gengras Planetarium, or the Wildlife Sanctuary, which gives visitors an up-close look at some remarkable critters while serving the equally important purpose of giving shelter to abandoned pets or other creatures in need.
And no visit to the Children’s Museum would be complete without a little one-on-one time with Conny, the iconic 60-foot-long sperm-whale model in front of the facility.
Another first-rate children’s museum, Kid City in Middletown provides three jampacked floors of interactive and imaginative fun for one- to seven-year-olds. Among the excellent and artfully done exhibits are the Toddler Sea Caves, the medieval hamlet of Middleshire, the Fishery, and Space Age Roadtrip.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Families with older children should definitely consider swinging by the venerable Wadsworth Atheneum, an art museum that got its start way back in 1842. You’ll find more than 50,000 pieces here that cover a remarkable spread of geography, time periods, styles, and media. First-time visitors can get a great overview of the museum’s offerings by joining on of the daily drop-in guided tours, free with your admission.
Here at the Goodwin Hotel, we love welcoming families to downtown Hartford. With these outstanding institutions within easy reach, you’ll have no shortage of engaging, educational, and outright fun daytrips at your disposal!