Since are children are getting older we decided to check out the Hartford First Night celebration this New Year's Eve in Hartford.This is billed as a multi-cultural alcohol free family fun time with fireworks scheduled at 6 and midnight.
We decided to bring along our 15 year old nephew so we would have additional help with the 3 kids and he would have some fun. It was not too cold to start the afternoon as the festivities begin early and go until after midnight.
We started our afternoon at the Old State House. Volunteers in period dress told us about the buildings use in days gone by and we got the visit the Museum of Oddities located in the Statehouse. Actually we had been wanting to visit the oddiites museum for some time and this celebration gave us an excuse. The museum houses oddities from the 18 century, and although not all of them are necessarily oddities in our time, I'm sure they were in the day. On the lower floor of the statehouse we saw some exhibits about Connecticut including an old firetruck and some circus performers. They also had facepainting, but the lines were far too long.
We proceeded outside to walk to some of the other evening attractions. Unfortunately they were too spread out distance wise and time wise to short in duration to visit any of the sites that were age appropriate. We decided to then visit the Carousel at Bushnell Park. This is a beautiful old carousel located in a pavilion at the outskirts of the park. The line again was ridiculously long, but we waited. After we had ridden it was about time for the fireworks which were magnificent. The kids loved them. By then we were freezing and it was time to leave. I cannot imagine having stayed any longer. There was ice skating if you had purchase a pin which we had: $10 adults and $2 children over 2, and children under 2 free.However the lines were long and the rink cramped. I do not believe if we went back we would purchase the pins. Although I am sure the money is put to good use, I did not feel we got value for our money. Essentially all the pin got us was a free ride on the carousel which would have cost us $1 a piece anyway. The remainder of the events were not easy to get to in a timely manner or had amazing lines.Everything we did or saw could have done without the button. The fireworks and street performers were entertaining., however, I do not think we would do it again.