2016 Update: December 2 – 11, 2016 (closed 12/5 & 12/6)
Disclosure: The Wadsworth Atheneum provided me with complimentary admission. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
600 Main Street, Hartford, CT 860-278-2670
One of my favorite holiday activities in Connecticut is visiting the Festival of Trees and Traditions at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT. It’s been a few years since we last visited the festival and our first time visiting with children, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with 3 little ones running around. Besides having to keep an eye out for little fingers that might touch the trees it ended up being a great family-friendly holiday activity, perfect for all age groups.
Dates & Times
December 4 – 13, 2015 (closed 12/7 & 12/8)
Wednesday – Friday – 11 AM – 5 PM
Saturday & Sunday – 10 AM – 5 PM
There are several parking garages located all around the museum. If you get lucky you could also snag on-street parking.
We parked in the Front Street South Garage. It was only a short walk to the museum.
TIP: Enter Front Street Crossing, Hartford, CT into GPS for accurate directions
Regular admission (price reflects surcharge) – Members – $3, Adults – $13, Seniors (62+) – $11, Students (13+ or w/ college ID) – $8, Children (12 & under) – Free
A $3 fundraising surcharge is added to ALL regular admission during the Festival of Trees & Traditions
The Wadsworth Atheneum and Women’s Committee transform Avery Court into a hall of trees. Trees and wreaths created by community members, artists and local organizations line the perimeter of the room and surrounding hallways. As we entered through the garland covered corridor we were greeted by a choir singing classic Christmas songs. Seeing all of the decorated trees with familiar Christmas tunes in the background immediately put me in the Christmas spirit.
Each tree has a unique theme. Some are decorated with homemade ornaments and others are more intricate and delicate. My kids loved looking at the different trees, many of which were decorated by children. You could vote for your favorite tree. I think my favorite tree was the blue tree decorated with sunflowers. I’m sure my husband loved the Boston Red Sox tree the best.
All of the wreaths and trees are available for purchase. Purchases could be made in the museum shop. All proceeds help fund special exhibitions, educational programs and operating expenses.
Along with the trees and wreaths in Avery Court there are also decorations in the Great Hall and outside the cafe (a perfect spot to capture a quick family photo).
December 3, 2015 from 5 – 8 pm
First Thursday: Night of Illumination!
December 4 & 5, 2015 at 8 pm
Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus: Home for the Holidays
December 11 & 12, 2015 at 8 pm; December 13, 2015 at 2 pm
CONNetic Dance: The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy
December 12, 2015 from 10 am – 1 pm
Second Saturdays for Families: Art Holiday!
Santa & Mrs. Clause
December 6, 2015 – 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
December 12, 2015 2 pm – 5 pm
December 13, 2015 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
The Festival of Trees and Traditions is a great holiday activity for the whole family. Each year is a new experience with new trees and wreaths. The special events and visit from Santa and Mrs. Clause make it the perfect holiday tradition. I hope you enjoy the festival as much as I have.