Once home to the world’s largest silk mill, Manchester, CT is now known for the Cheney Brothers Historic District, which used to be the heart of the U.S. silk industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. These days, Manchester living means being in the midst of a thriving arts and culture scene. Whether you enjoy galleries, theatre or museums, you definitely won’t be short of things to do in this city. Here’s a look at just a few of the city’s cultural destinations.
Lutz Children's Museum
Developed in 1953, the Lutz Children's Museum is a fun and educational adventure for kids. One of the museum’s most popular exhibits is the Farm Room, which is based upon the experience of living and working on a farm. The exhibit has a model cow that can actually be milked! Another interesting exhibit is Main Street 1943, which is a play area replicating Manchester’s Main Street in that year. The exhibit explores the history of that era and depicts the former Marlow's department store, a Main Street apartment as well as artifacts from the 1940s. Children love the Animal Room with its homage to turtles, chinchillas, rabbits, birds and Chuckles the woodchuck. The museum has ongoing programs and events throughout the year, including talks, classes and summer camp.
The Old Manchester Museum
You’ll find the Manchester Historical Society's Old Manchester Museum on Cedar Street. If you’re interested in Manchester history, this is the place for you. Here you can get information on the city’s historically diverse community and its development of industry and business. The many exhibits include photographs of Manchester’s schools, Cheney silk, Pitkin glass, maps with Native American trails, Spencer and Springfield Rifle exhibits, an old post office, mid-1800s dresses and furniture, and "School House" corner. The Manchester Sports Hall of Fame is also housed in the museum. To date, it has inducted 257 honorees who come from 27 different sports. The museum’s research facility is home to 75 separate collections and master files containing historic paperwork relating to genealogy records and war documents from the Revolutionary, Civil, and Spanish Wars, World War I and II, and Vietnam war.
Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall
Fans of the performing arts love the Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall. Here you can enjoy world-class plays like Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” sing along with the cast of “Oklahoma!” and laugh at the Tony award-winning production of Clybourne Park. The theater also hosts regular events such as live music, and the popular Evenings@7, which occur on the second Tuesday of specific months. Evenings@7 includes one man shows, musical reviews and staged play readings. Each performance is a one-night-only show involving minimal costume, set design, props and sound and lighting. Amateur thespians can also participate in the theater’s occasional workshops to improve their technique.
Museums, arts and theatre play an important roles when it comes to Manchester living. When you’re looking for something fun to do in your spare time, pay a visit to one of the city’s cultural venues.