Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best of NC : A Day In West Hartford

This week, we're running the best posts from this past year.  Enjoy!

Welcome to the next installment in our series, A Day In, where one of our Nutmeg Collective members takes us on a tour of their hometown and gives us the scoop on some of the must-see local spots. Today we're visiting West Hartford, home of Trish Nelson of Melley Nelson Designs.

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Westmoor, is a park that is used constantly. It has barns with the regular farm animals like horses, cows, pigs and barn kitties. It also has meadows, gardens, woods and a stream to see all sorts of wildlife animals. There is Plant a Row for the Hungry which is all about farming, volunteering, and donating food. Every school has field trips to the park and there are 'fests' for every season, including the Polar Bear Fest in the dead of winter, with games, demonstrations, music and hay rides.

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Elizabeth, which is home to the oldest public rose garden in the country. It is just lovely. There is the rose garden itself but there are also other gardens of different flowers: tulip, perennial, annual, shade and more. Gorgeous trees, greenhouses, a pond, bridges and paths. In addition, there are tennis courts, a baseball field and a lawn bowling club. On summer Wednesdays, there is a regular concert series where a ton of people come with dinner to listen to different music.

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Playhouse on Park,, is in its sixth season of plays, musicals, comedy nights, improv, children's shows and dance. It's pretty amazing that this little theater can put on Tony Award winning plays like Proof and Angels in America and still have a ton of acting classes for adults and kids. And it's right next door to AC Petersens, a long time restaurant on Park Road with some pretty amazing ice cream.

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It's a toss up between the Noah Webster, and the Children's Museum, The NWHouse is great because it gives you a sense of the history of West Hartford. They have fun programs for kids and adults to experience the colonial times, including hearth cooking and tavern nights. 

The Children's Museum has a planetarium, which is a 40ft. dome that shows you the sky and also different science-based movies. There are rotating exhibits that keep children learning, playing, and discovering. Also there are wildlife animals and Conny the Whale, a 60 ft long sperm whale replica that you can climb all around.

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There are two Reservoirs, also know as The Res, where there are large bodies of water that are surrounded by lots and lots of trails, paved and not. Really, it is a long series of connected reservoirs and they are all loaded with walkers, runners and mountain bikers, pretty much anytime the sun is shining and even when it's not. It's wonderful all year round, but it is particularly beautiful in the fall. A nice surprising escape that, for the locals, is right down the street.

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Trish Nelson, of Melley Nelson Design, is an architect, artist and mother. Drawing house portraits gives her the opportunity to combine all three. The drawings are done of homes that are loved and have, or are about to have, many happy stories of the families that live in them.
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