Attendees continue to appreciate offsite venues for events, with those that are rich with the art and culture of the host destination resonating. 

For planners organizing a meeting in Connecticut, there are a wealth of options to choose from that will satisfy your creative-minded attendees.

Connecticut’s performing and visual art venues help tell the history of the region as well as bring nationally and internationally recognized performers, artists and works of art to the Constitution State. 

You can infuse this state culture into your next event. From the capital of Hartford to the historic seaside village of Mystic, these five venues showcase Connecticut’s art, but also have ample space for meetings and events.  

1. The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the nation’s oldest continually operating public art museum, according to the Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau. Located one block from Connecticut Convention Center, this facility is a great option for an evening event, or for attendees to visit before or after a meeting or convention in Hartford.

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Credit: Connecticut Office of Tourism
The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Credit: Connecticut Office of Tourism

First opening its doors in 1844, the museum underwent a major five-year renovation and reopened in 2015 with 17 new gallery spaces across 16,000 square feet of exhibition space.

The museum is home to nearly 50,000 works of art. Included are Greek and Roman antiquities, Baroque and Surrealist paintings, Hudson River School landscapes, Impressionist paintings, Modernist pieces, American colonial furniture, and African American art and artifacts.

There are several galleries and spaces at the facility than can be used for private events:

  • Avery Court is a gallery that features Venus with a Nymph and Satyr, a fountain sculpture dated 1600 made for a garden in Florence by the Mannerist sculptor Pietro Francavilla. This large space can accommodate 350 guests standing and 220 seated. 
  • Morgan Great Hall, a Beaux-Arts style space that was restored in the last renovation project, features 50-foot high ceilings and can seat up to 200 for a reception and 120 for dinner. 
  • Additional spaces include the Aetna Theater, Loctite Lobby, Hartford Courant Room as well as the onsite restaurant Untitled Bistro. 
  • Gengras Court is an outdoor option for warmer months.

2. The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Hartford

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts hosts national touring shows and concerts in Hartford. The venue can also be used for private events and functions, both on the main stage or other spaces in the theater. 

The Bushnell offers two theaters: 

  • The historic Art Deco-style William H. Mortensen Hall, which has 2,799 seats. 
  • The modern Maxwell M. & Ruth R. Belding Theater, with 908 seats. 

Both are fully equipped with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and production systems. Both theater lobbies can also be rented for private functions.

Autorino Great Hall, Bushnell Center, Credit: Roger Castonguay – The Defining Photo
Autorino Great Hall, Bushnell Center, Credit: Roger Castonguay – The Defining Photo

The Autorino Great Hall is another space at the venue that can be rented for private events. This hall features floor-to-ceiling windows, a 35-foot ceiling and a veranda that overlooks the courtyard. Dale Chihuly’s “Ode to Joy” glass sculpture is a focal point of this space.

The Seaverns Room has a stage and adjoining an outdoor terrace. Chandeliers and hand-carved woodwork walls make this space attractive for receptions and banquets.

3. Mystic Museum of Art, Mystic

The Mystic Museum of Art, or MMoA, is located on the banks of the Mystic River in the heart of historic downtown. The museum features a permanent collection of over 250 artworks from prominent American artists, rotating exhibitions, and workshops and classes for local artists.

Mystic Museum of Art Waterfront Views, Mystic, Credit: Love, Sunday Photo
Mystic Museum of Art Waterfront Views, Mystic, Credit: Love, Sunday Photo

The facility not only gives groups a backdrop of artwork for events, but also striking waterfront views. In the museum, there is over 3,000 square feet of indoor gallery space as well as 2,200 square feet of outdoor terraces.

In addition to the main galleries, 15 Water Street Gallery—the former Mystic landmark Emporium building—can host events for up to 60 people. The building was renovated as an art gallery and is owned and operated by the MMoA.

4. Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington

Hill-Stead, designed to be a private country home, is the first architectural project of Theodate Pope Riddle, the fourth registered female architect in the country. The home was built for Theodate’s parents, Alfred and Ada Pope and is located west of Hartford.

Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, Connecticut
Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, Connecticut

The 33,000-square-foot, 1901 Colonial Revival mansion opened as a museum in 1947 to showcase the family’s impressive collection of fine art, including impressionist paintings by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet and James McNeill Whistler.

[Related Content: Connecticut Teambuilding Activities to Add to Your Meeting]

The estate also features a print collection spanning 400 years and including pieces by Albrecht Dürer; Giovanni Battista Piranesi; Jean-François Millet; and Japanese woodblock artists Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaro.

The sweeping grounds boast a sunken garden and farmland that hosts annual outdoor summer poetry series. Groups can also use both indoor and outdoor spaces on site for meetings and events. 

The Makeshift Theater is an arts and crafts-style room in the Carriage Barn on the property. This space can be used year-round and has capacity for 120 guests. The Pope Board Room is the other indoor option, which can host 50 people also with the adjacent porch. 

The outdoor spaces on property can accommodate over 350 people and include the West Lawn and Veranda, offering views on the estate’s farm buildings, meadows and pond. The Sunken Garden is another open-air option for larger groups. 

5. Infinity Music Hall, Hartford

Infinity Music Hall Hartford is located in downtown Hartford’s new Front Street entertainment district.

Infinity Music Hall, Hartford, Connecticut
Infinity Music Hall, Hartford, Connecticut

This is the second location for this concert and entertainment venue. There is also the Infinity Music Hall Norfolk, which dates back to 1883, in northwest Connecticut. 

In Hartford, the facility boasts main floor and mezzanine space that can accommodate up to 650 people in total. Groups can use the venue for meetings in the traditional theater setup with 400 seats on the Orchestra Level and an additional 100 on the Mezzanine Level.

The seats on the Orchestra Level can be removed, permitting stand-up shows or a reception space. This main level can be arranged for cabaret seating for private events or a sit-down banquet for 150 people. The venue also has a private room that can be used as a VIP space, hospitality suite or meeting room. 

Available in-house amenities can include catering and hotel accommodation assistance, production and technical staff, professional wait staff, and bartenders and security personnel.

Online Extra: New & Improved Hotels and Venues in Greater Hartford

Downtown Hartford’s Red Roof Plus rebranded as The Capitol Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member in May 2019.

Located across Bushnell Park from the state’s Capitol building, the hotel underwent major renovations to all 96 guest rooms and the lobby to upscale the venue into a boutique hotel. There are two meeting rooms with over 1,400 square feet of meeting space for up to 80 guests. 

Originally constructed in 1930, Dillon Stadium in Hartford has been renovated with 7,500 seats and new amenities. The stadium opened this summer to welcome the new Hartford Athletic, a newly formed team of the USL Championship professional men’s soccer league.

Group tickets and experiences are available. 

Monza World-Class Karting, Foxwoods Resort Casino
Monza World-Class Karting, Foxwoods Resort Casino

The largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods Resort Casino north of Mystic, added new adventure experiences this year:

  • HighFlyer Zipline, a 60-mile per hour, 3,750 foot-long thrill;
  • Monza World-Class Karting, a high-performance, European-style indoor karting center with nine-horsepower karts;
  • and Topgolf Swing Suite, with interactive simulators offering a variety of golf and non-golf games, as well as old-school arcade games.

The 2,200-room Foxwoods Resort Casino also debuted four new restaurants this past year as well as the renovated Rainmaker Casino.

Greater Hartford CVB Contact Information

Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau