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.

1.Wickham Park

Wickham Park
© 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

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2.Case Mountain

Case Mountain
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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

Lutz Children's Museum, Manchester, CT
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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, 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, 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
© 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

HRLPC: Laurel Marsh Trail
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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, Manchester, Connecticut
© kwadrat70/

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

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9.Bistro on Main, Manchester, Connecticut

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, 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

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11.Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana

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, 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

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13.Manchester Country Club

Manchester Country Club
© Manchester Country Club

Golfers of all abilities are bound to enjoy teeing up at the Manchester Country Club. The 18-hole golf course was originally designed by Tom Bendelow and Devereux Emmet back in 1917, in what was then known as the “old New England” design. The enjoyable but challenging course follows the natural lie of the land and features long undulating fairways which lead players to small contoured greens. Although this is a private golf course, visitors are always welcome to play on a daily basis. After your round you can relax and enjoy a well-deserved drink and meal in the Waterview Café.

Manchester Country Club, 305 S. Main Street, Manchester, CT 06045, 860 646 0226

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14.Old Manchester Museum

Old Manchester Museum
© Manchester Historical Society

Maintained and operated by the Manchester Historical Society, the Old Manchester Museum is housed in a former school building which was built in 1859. The structure was moved to its present location in 1914 and was used for various purposes until being taken over by the Historical Society in 1985 and turned into a museum which showcases local Manchester history. The museum contains an eclectic collection of interesting bits and pieces including clothing and furniture from the 1800’s, map, old photographs. There are also examples of Chesney Silk and Pitkin Glass which were famously produced in Manchester. The museum also has an important research facility where historians can access old war records, books and other objects of interest.

Old Manchester Museum, 126 Cedar Street, Manchester, CT 06040, 860 647 9742

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15.2nd Bridge Brewing Company

2nd Bridge Brewing Company
© 2nd Bridge Brewing Company

2nd Bridge Brewing Company is a popular meeting place for soccer fans and craft beer enthusiasts. Although beers of all kinds are the beating heart of the brewery, watching live soccer on a big screen with like-minded friends is almost as important as the brewing. The brewery produces a range of beers influenced by master brewers from all over the world. Here you can try British-style ales and stouts, French Saisons, Belgian Reds and innovative American IPA’s. In addition, they are always experimenting with new hybrids and new ingredients. Visitors are invited to stop by for a tasting flight and enjoy some great soccer at the same time.

2nd Bridge Brewing Company, 642 Hilliard Street, Manchester, CT 06040, 860 783 8580

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16.Manchester Bicentennial Band Shell

Manchester Bicentennial Band Shell
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Offering music lovers a wonderful source of free entertainment, the Manchester Band Shell, on the campus of the Manchester Community College, is celebrating its 44th season. On most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in summer, Manchester residents and visitors are most welcome to come and enjoy some great music under the stars. You can bring along a blanket or some cushions and make yourself comfortable on the grass as you wait to be entertained. The musical concerts are varied and you will find something to suit all tastes – genres include military music, Irish, Polish, German, Italian, bluegrass and big band – check their website for the latest schedule.

Manchester Bicentennial Band Shell, 69 Bidwell Street, Manchester, CT 06040, 860 432 7728

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17.Hall’s Arrow Indoor Archery Range

Hall’s Arrow Indoor Archery Range
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If you would like to do something completely different during your visit to Manchester you can head to the Hall’s Arrow Indoor Archery Range to try your hand this centuries-old hunting and combat skill. The range was established by expert archer Art Hall, who wanted to share his love of the sport with everyone. Archery teaches how to use a simple bow and arrow for recreational target practice or for hunting, and at Hall’s Arrow Indoor range you can get expert tuition from enthusiastic instructors, including an Olympic gold medalist. In addition, you will get to enjoy a state-of-the-art indoor range and the use of excellent equipment.

Hall’s Arrow Indoor Archery Range, 291 West Middle Turnpike, Manchester, CT 06040, 860 646 0443

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18.Stumpy’s Hatchet House

Stumpy’s Hatchet House
© Stumpy’s Hatchet House

At Stumpy’s Hatchet House you can try your hand at an old-school primitive art which has re-surfaced as a “new” and exciting activity. Yes, we are talking about axe throwing, the latest rage. Stumpy’s was the first indoor venue of its kind in the US and the Manchester franchise is the first in Connecticut. At Stumpy’s Hatchet House you can have fun with friends and family, get some exercise, relieve your stress and learn a new skill. When you arrive at Stumpy’s you will have a short training session and learn how to throw your axe safely and then it’s over to you to enjoy a great new recreational activity.

Stumpy’s Hatchet House, 8 Progress Dr, Unit 2, Manchester, CT 06042, 860 432 0029

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19.Divine Treasures

Divine Treasures
© Divine Treasures

A special treat for chocoholics, Divine Treasures is a must on your Manchester itinerary. Here you will find chocolates to die for. Look forward to hand-crafted gems, made from the finest imported European organic dark chocolate. While they may be sinful, they are as healthy as a chocolate could be and contain no added dairy products, gluten or refined sugars. Owner and Chef Diane Wagemann honed her chocolate-making skills in Belgium and France, returning to Manchester to wow locale palates. In addition to the beautifully crafted chocolates you can try a wide variety of other treats including artisan vegan “cheeses”, soft-serve ice-creams and non-dairy, gluten-free vegan desserts.

Divine Treasures, 404 Middle Turnpike West, Manchester, CT 06040, 860 643 2552

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20.Soarin' Indoors

Soarin' Indoors
© Soarin' Indoors

Soarin’ Indoors is a wonderful indoor aerial adventure park where you can enjoy all kinds of rope courses and aerial fun all year round. An ideal attraction for families, Soarin’ Indoors caters for everyone from 5yrs upwards and has recently introduced a new Lower Course for the youngest visitors to enjoy. The main course consists of a series of obstacles and rickety bridges, set up about 12 foot above ground. Expect tightropes, slack lines and an untethered zip line. The course is a great place to combat your fear of heights in complete safety as you are always attached to a sturdy harness.

Soarin’ Indoors, 169 Progress Drive, Manchester, CT 06404, 860 645 0303

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20 Best Things to Do in Manchester, CT

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