Spread out over hundreds of acres and two locations near the Shuttle Meadow Reservoir and near the
Waturbury/Southing line, Rogers Orchards is a pleasant change of scene on the drive from New Britain to
Southington. Their Home Farm store is just minutes past the reservoir and the “pick-you-own” a few hundred yards past that.
Maybe picking apples – they have Jeramac and McIntosh this time of year – is a generally traditional activity of fall, but is usually never dull and always tasty. Grab a bag and wander through the lanes of trees, and don’t forget insect repellent. Apples are $.99 per pound and a small paper bag-full is more than enough for a fat apple pie.
Back at the Home Farm store, Rogers sells the usual apple cider, jams and jellies, fudges, pies – both fruit and meat – and assorted other vegetables, but they also sell fresh milk, eggs, bacon, salsas, cheeses and syrups. The real attraction are the apple fritter donuts bathed in cinnamon sugar.
Leaves and Pages
Leaves and Pages proves to be a quiet barrier from the cars whizzing by on West Main Street. The cozy bookstore smells of fresh coffee and its perimeter is filled with books of all kinds. From Freud to fiction, this Leaves and Pages has a large selection of books.
The price of the books won’t empty out your pocket. This past week there was a table of books on sale five for a dollar and a bookshelf of books that were only one dollar each. The books that you’ll find aren’t new releases, but you still might find a couple that pique your interest.
After perusing the stocked shelves, take a look at the various tea and coffee options listed and find one that suits your taste buds. Gelato, cookies, and bagels are also available if your stomach starts to rumble. Even if you don’t leave with a book in hand, Leaves and Pages has a relaxed and authentic feel that you won’t want to miss out on.
Avery’s has been running a successful soda making business for over 100 years. If you’d like to see what all the hype is about, visit Avery’s. You can take home a six-pack of this local favorite for $4.95. Vintage cola signs hang above boxes of the 35 flavors of premium old-fashioned soda.
Avery’s also makes novelty flavors and packaging, such as their new “Stimulus Soda,” which is a tart mix of blue raspberry and pineapple to produce a “hard to swallow” taste – like the stimulus plan, the staff said.
If you are looking for something new to do on a Saturday afternoon, stop by Avery’s with a group of five friends or more. For $11.50 each you can go behind the scenes and see how soda was made 50 years ago. You will also take home three bottles of your own soda and an official soda maker’s apron.
New Britain Museum of American Art
It’s no wonder that the New Britain Museum of American Art attracts over four thousand visitors each month. This lively museum has a permanent collection that never tires and offers many new exhibits each year.
For CCSU students museum entry is always free. With this entry you don’t only have access to the colorful collection of art on display, but also to various programs that the museum holds. Each Friday until the end of September the museum plans to hold “Sketching with Masters” classes from 10:30 a.m. to noon and take 20 at 12, where a guide will take visitors to explore various works. This Sunday pianist, Isadora Pastragus, will play in the galleries as a part of the Second Sundays concert program. Be sure to check out the NBMAA website for information on all of the upcoming events.
When you get tired of cafeteria food and begin to miss home cooked meals, visit Angelo’s Market on West Main Street. Upon entering you will be greeted with a smile and the aroma of fresh sauce.
After browsing shelves filled with spices, fresh pasta, and Italian cookies you can make your way to the counter filled with fresh salads to order your sandwich of choice. For $5.95 you’ll get a sandwich on a hard roll stuffed with all of the toppings of your choice.
If you’re able to finish your sandwich, take a look at the appetizing desserts in refrigerated case next to the cash register. You’ll be sure to leave with happy taste buds and a full stomach when you visit Angelo’s.
Walnut Hill Park
Walnut Hill Park is an exercise enthusiast’s dream. While some fields are under construction, the wide paths that wind through the park attract bikers, runners, and walkers alike. There is purple exercise equipment, such as pull up bars, stationed around the path. Walnut Hill Park also has two tennis courts and a baseball diamond on site.
If you aren’t looking for another place to exercise, Walnut Hill Park is a relaxing green space. The park has several flower gardens as well as an amazing view of New Britain from the upper level of the park. Free concerts are held at the Darius Miller Memorial Band Shell each summer.
Hardware City Tavern
Expand your horizons beyond Elmer’s. It’s the traditional college bar – cheap(er) beers, bar food, but even more so because they set up a beer pong table occasionally. Located in downtown New Britain, it’s also another opportunity to step outside of the usual CCSU boundaries. Even better yet, it’s centrally located near Walnut Park, Hole in the Wall Theatre and across the intersection from Trinity-on-Main.
Visit and show nearby or go for a stroll in the park and stop by the Tavern to grab a cold one. Hardware City is also known for its buffalo wing selection, which is beer’s perfect tasty accompaniment, and these come in dozens of flavors as well as a mess of chicken sandwiches and burgers. Aside from the odd two or three other restaurants in the area, the H.C.T. also serves sweet potato fries. Hardware City Tavern is also a great place to watch the games on Sunday. Be sure to get there early so you can get your seat at the bar. There is no better way to kill a few hours than drink beer and yell at one of H.C.T’s flat panel TVs.
And, the H.C.T. has daily specials for beers, shots, pitchers for when you need to get your legal drink on.
New Britain and Newington Public Libraries
In addition to the vast array of books available at both the New Britain and Newington Public libraries, both offer fun free events for any age or interest. At the NBPL the first Friday film series is offered the first Friday of each month at one p.m. Other upcoming events include Wii bowling, silent films, and book discussions.
Join the NPL for their “Water Fall Festival” featuring a chalk walk and used book sale on September 26. You will find some deals at the book sales held by the Friends of NPL. On September 23 the Mariachi band, Fiesta del Norte, is scheduled to perform at 6:30 p.m. An evening book discussion, job search assistance, and brown bag it with art lunch series are also on the list of upcoming events at NPL.
The Newington Public Library also has a Friends of the Library fall book approaching. They expect book donations soon and will have a sale on their lawn the weekend of Nov. 21.
Hole in the Wall Theatre
The curiously shaped entrance of this play house, situated directly across the street from Trinity-on-Main, is a small hint of what’s to come,.
Hole in the Wall Theatre has been around for 37 years, but has only been living in its current performance space, at 116 Main Street, New Britain, for three years.
The next performance at Hole in the Wall is Anton Checkov’s Uncle Vanya, a dramatic comedy, playing Sept. 25, 26 and Oct. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17. Expected donation is set for $20.
Trinity-on-Main was converted from the Trinity United Methodist Church into an arts and education center that serves the community. Not all events at Trinity-on-Main are under $10, though, there are a few to check out that are. Their upcoming performance is called “The No More! Project.” It features an original acting from youth and adult actors about relevant issues in today’s community.
The Beatles tribute band, The Mystery Tour, performed this past Friday. Admission was free and door prizes and an Italian buffet were offered. Take a look at the upcoming calendar online and see if any events catch your eye. (www.trinityonmain.org)