Manchester, CT offers a classic, quintessential New England adventure. The town is full of things to do for visitors of all ages. Outdoor recreation abounds in Manchester, with attractions like Case Mountain, the Laurel Marsh Trail, and Wickham Park. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
© Wickham Park
Wickham Park boasts more than 250 acres of themed gardens, ponds, woodlands, open fields, sports facilities,playgrounds, and picnic areas. The park also often hosts gatherings, cross country races, car shows, garden tours, disc golf tournaments, fundraising walks, receptions, and weddings, along with Santa’s Workshop in December. The many wheelchair-accessible gardens include an array of themes, such as the English Garden, the Lotus Garden, the Italian Shrine, the Oriental Garden, the Sensory Garden, the Irish Garden, the Wetlands Garden, the Scottish Garden, and the Cabin Garden with amphitheater. During the weekends, a concession stand provides drinks and snacks.
1329 West Middle Turnpike, Manchester, CT 06040, Phone: 860-528-0856
Case Mountain is a recreational area spanning across more than 600 acres of the southeastern part of the town of Manchester. The area is a combination of watershed and open space land. The land that surrounds the reservoir is available to visitors for recreation. While the hill itself on the grounds is called Case Mountain, the entire forest and trail system is referred to as Case Mountain by local residents. The “mountain” features an extensive mountain biking and hiking trail network, with some terrain being a bit difficult as it is hilly and rocky. There are also great vistas of the surrounding area.
640 Spring St, Manchester, CT 06040, Phone: 860-647-5235
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3.Lutz Children's Museum, Manchester, CT
© Arkady Chubykin/stock.adobe.com
The Lutz Children’s Museum offers special daily programs and frequently changing exhibits designed mostly for kids between the ages of two and ten. The Main Street exhibit puts guests back in time to the year 1943. Children can practice imaginative play in homes, attending the school, and shopping. The Farm exhibit highlights the rich farming history of central Connecticut, letting visitors explore a local farm from the 1800’s. Kids can also have fun with live animals at the Lutz Children’s Museum, including chinchillas and around fifty other animals. These animals receive care from licensed professionals and are released if possible.
247 South Main Sr, Manchester, CT 06040
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4.Cheney Homestead, Manchester, CT
© Cheney Homestead
The Cheney Homestead is a historic home in Manchester, Connecticut that was originally built by Timothy Cheney, one of the famous clock makers of America, around the year 1785. The homestead is owned and managed by the Manchester Historical Society and is open from 1:00pm until 4:00pm on the second Sunday of every month, with the exception of holidays. The Cheney Homestead is also available to visit during special events and by appointment. The living room downstairs, originally a keeping room with pine panels, features a unique built-in wall clock, an example of the work of Timothy Cheney.
106 Hartford Rd, Manchester, CT 06040, Phone: 860-643-5588
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5.The Fire Museum, Manchester, Connecticut
© The Fire Museum
The Fire Museum in Manchester, Connecticut is both a museum and the headquarters of the Connecticut Firemen's Historical Society, housed within a number of renovated red-brick mill buildings, which are part of the town’s Cheney National Historic and Landmark District. The Fire Museum is located inside of a wooden firehouse constructed back in the year 1901. Visitors can view the museum’s collection throughout the three floors of the historic firehouse, including the second floor’s large exhibit gallery. The Fire Museum is open from the middle of April to the middle of November on Fridays and Saturdays, from noon until 4:00pm.
230 Pine St, Manchester, CT 06040, Phone: 860-649-9436
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6.Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall
© Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall
The Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall collaborates, promotes, plans, and engages the local community in order to make Cheney Hall a cultural and arts center for the entire region. Along with the theater’s five main stage productions every year, which provide at least forty-five performances, the Little Theatre of Manchester produces its “Evenings @7” play-reading many times throughout the year. This provides a chance for the theater troupe to hear new works and allows for more playwrights an opportunity to see their work performed on stage. Cheney Hall is also home the Silk Room with its art exhibitions.
177 Hartford Rd, Manchester, CT 06040, Phone: 860-647-9824
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7.HRLPC: Laurel Marsh Trail
The Laurel Marsh Trail near Manchester is a loop trail traversing approximately 3.3 miles and includes a river. This trail is considered to have a moderate difficulty and provides a variety of options for recreational activities. The trailhead and parking lot for the Laurel Marsh Trail are located along Routes 44 and 6, on the south side, across from Cheney Technical High School. There is a sign indicating the entrance to the trail. The first part of the loop is handicapped-accessible, featuring grass or stone dust along about three-fourths of a mile. It then goes off left or right with two gentle slopes.
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8.Aussakita Acres Farm, Manchester, Connecticut
Aussakita Acres Farm is owned and operated by DJ Lupacchino and Tracy Longoria and is a small family farm within the woods of Manchester. The farm offers educational, hands-on farm tours during which families can interact with, pet, and feed several different farm animals and learn more about them. The Baby Farm Animal Socialization Sessions at Aussakita Acres offers visitors a chance to play with and cuddle newborn baby animals. The farm also happens to be one of the premier destinations in the state of Connecticut for Farm Animal Yoga and Goat Yoga. Reservations are required for the Farm Animal Tours.
555 Lydall St, Manchester, CT 06042, Phone: 860-930-0895
9.Bistro on Main, Manchester, Connecticut
© Bistro on Main
Bistro on Main is an upscale restaurant in downtown Manchester, Connecticut, that serves French-inspired dishes in a cozy, pleasant spot. The restaurant is more than just a place that serves great food. It is the social enterprise restaurant connected to Manchester Area Conference of Churches, Inc. (MACC Charities), which provides employment for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, people with criminal records, people with disabilities, or victims of domestic abuse. MACC Charities provide them with a culinary training program, and once students finish the course, they can apply for employment at Bistro on Main. People first come to the Bistro on Main to help the cause, but they return for the genuinely superb, locally sourced food. The menu changes seasonally, but you can find classics like French onion soup, coq au vin, moules frites, cassoulet, and trout meunière most of the time.
867 Main Street, Manchester, CT 06040, Phone: 860-432-5267
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10.Artisanal Burger Company, Manchester, CT
© Artisanal Burger Company
The Artisanal Burger Company serves customers handcrafted, fresh burgers made from some of the best local ingredients available. The ingredients used for the artisanal burgers are sourced locally whenever possible. All dishes are also prepared fresh in-house. Visitors can try a variety of different burgers, such as the Rise and Shine burger with a waffle bun, the Bahn Mi-Chicken Burger, the Dry Aged Burger, or the local grass fed Broad Brook Farms burgers. Other favorites include the Colossal Pretzel, Smoked Chicken Wings, Crispy Cauliflower, and a wide array of milkshakes. There are also plenty of beers, bourbons, and more to choose from.
1436 Pleasant Valley Rd, Manchester, CT 06042, Phone: 860-644-0046
11.Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana
© Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana
Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana was first opened by Frank Pepe back in the year 1925. Frank, the quintessential Italian immigrant, was born in Maiori, a town along Italy’s Amalfi coast just southwest from Naples. After moving to America and opening up his pizzeria, Frank originated the concept of the thin-crust New Haven-style pizza. The White Clam Pizza is the signature pizza of Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana. While many things have changed since Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana opened more than ninety years ago, what hasn’t changed is the commitment of the family behind the pizzeria to community and tradition.
221 Buckland Hills Dr, Manchester, CT 06042, Phone: 860-644-7333
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12.Market Grille, Manchester, CT
© Market Grille
Market Grille in Manchester, Connecticut features a great menu of modern and creative American fare, along with an extensive bar and wine menu. Customers will find dinner specials on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, as well as Happy Hour specials from 3:00pm until 6:00pm Sunday through Friday. Lunch is served 11:30am until 4:00pm Monday through Friday, with Brunch available 11:00am until 3:00pm during the weekend. Dinner is served every day. Market Grille strives to please even the most discerning of diners with a menu that ranges from Black Angus burgers to more elegant scallops caprese.
110 Buckland Hills Dr, Manchester, CT 06042, Phone: 860-644-1011
13.Soar Indoors, Manchester, Connecticut
© Soar Indoors
Soar Indoors is an aerial adventure center that offers visitors tons of thrilling fun in the air. The aerial adventure course consists of two different courses, one that is a lower course only two and a half feet off of the ground and a high course located twelve feet from the floor. Both the low and high courses are made up of similar challenge elements just waiting to be conquered. These challenge elements include ziplines, cargo nets, tricky swings to negotiate across, and wobbly rope bridges. The low course is more suited towards younger visitors, such as smaller children.
422 North Main St, Manchester, CT 06042, Phone: 860-645-1595
12 Best Things to Do in Manchester, CT
- Wickham Park, Photo: Wickham Park
- Case Mountain, Photo: duke2015/stock.adobe.com
- Lutz Children's Museum, Manchester, CT, Photo: Arkady Chubykin/stock.adobe.com
- Cheney Homestead, Manchester, CT, Photo: Cheney Homestead
- The Fire Museum, Manchester, Connecticut, Photo: The Fire Museum
- Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall, Photo: Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall
- HRLPC: Laurel Marsh Trail, Photo: ant/stock.adobe.com
- Aussakita Acres Farm, Manchester, Connecticut, Photo: kwadrat70/stock.adobe.com
- Bistro on Main, Manchester, Connecticut, Photo: Bistro on Main
- Artisanal Burger Company, Manchester, CT, Photo: Artisanal Burger Company
- Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana, Photo: Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana
- Market Grille, Manchester, CT, Photo: Market Grille
- Soar Indoors, Manchester, Connecticut, Photo: Soar Indoors
- Cover Photo: duke2015/stock.adobe.com
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