Mystic Places have plenty to offer this fall

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In Southern New England’s Mystic Places region, the spectacular changing of the leaves reflects the vibrancy and excitement of the fall season bursting from this collection of picture-perfect towns and cities in southeastern Connecticut and coastal Rhode Island. While the summer sun may be fading in the rest of the country, here things are just beginning to heat up with an incredible roster of entertainment options for individuals and families, including festivals concerts, exhibits and parades; exciting new attractions; and scores of charming, fireside hideaways ideal for a romantic, couples retreat.

Pick your date. there’s plenty to do.

Children’s Museum of SE Connecticut: (Niantic, CT) 860-691-1111,

“The Haunted Garden” is a creepy adventure for kids, ages 3 to 12. Open Fridays and Saturdays in October. Admission is $3 per person. Friday nights are free until May 2003.

Connecticut River Museum: (Essex, CT) 860-767-8269,

On Sept. 26, “Riverfare: A Taste of Autumn” offers an evening of food and fun on the banks of the Connecticut River. Included in the festivities are a gourmet buffet provided by local caterers and eateries, a silent auction, open bar and music. Tickets are $75 per person.

Upcoming highlights include “By Land and By Sea,” a display of classic steam launches, including the museum’s steam-powered Osprey and Indian Motorcycles Sept. 28-29, plus “Hiking the Hopyard” on Oct. 12, when guests can explore the autumn beauty of the Devils Hopyard in East Haddam. Members are free, and non-members are $5.

Downtown Mystic Annual Halloween Parade: (Mystic, CT) 860-536-3575 Oct. 31 at 6 p.m.

Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center: (Mystic, CT) 860-536-3575 Hit the “Spooky Nature Trail” Oct. 25 and 26. All ages will enjoy walking the haunted trails among ghosts, goblins and wonderfully fanciful creatures. Inside the center, children can partake in crafts, games, and lots of tasty holiday treats. Admission is $6 for members and $8 for non-members.

Foxwoods Resort Casino: (Mashantucket, CT) 800-FOXWOODS;

Upcoming performances at the Fox Theatre include Jackie Mason Oct. 4, Michael Bolton Oct. 5, Smokey Robinson Oct. 11, John Michael Montgomery Oct. 18 and Alice Cooper, Oct. 30.

Garde Arts Center: (New London, CT) 888-ONGARDE,

Upcoming events include Renee Taylor in “An Evening With Golda Meir” Oct. 10 and “Let the Music Begin!” with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, featuring Santiago Rodriguez, Oct. 19.

Goodspeed Musicals: (East Haddam, CT) 860-873-8668,

Jam-packed with nostalgic Rodgers and Hart melodies such as “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “My Funny Valentine,” the play, “Babes in Arms,” has been extended through Oct. 5 due to popular demand.

The Granite Theatre: (Westerly, RI) 401-596-2341,

“Lend me a Tenor” runs Sept. 6-29; “Annie” runs Oct. 18-Nov. 17. Performances are Thursday through Sunday. The building began as a church, which was originally organized in 1843.

Lyman Allyn Art Museum: (New London, CT) 860-443-2545,

Experience the “Lure of the West” starting Oct. 4. This exhibition, coordinated by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art, includes striking paintings and sculptures by artists who traveled west in the decades following explorations by Lewis and Clark. Admission fees are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, children under 8 free. Through June 30, 2003, Saturdays are complimentary admission.

Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center: 800-411-9671,

On Sept. 20-21, more than 25 experts, including John Echohawk of the Native American Rights Fund, present insightful historical analysis at this two-day conference, “Eighteenth Century Native Communities of New England in the Context of Colonial Change.” Conference registration is $45.

On Oct. 5, the Research Center staff leads a two-part program on a pre-Revolutionary War house and farm focusing on the archaeology, food uses and landscapes of the eighteenth century. Hands-on archaeological research takes place at Randall’s Ordinary, a North Stonington farmstead owned by the Randall family from 1685-1885 and currently operated as an inn and restaurant. The cost is $40 pr person and includes lunch.

Mohegan Sun: (Uncasville, CT) 800-477-6849,

From Sept. 4-8, celebrities and athletes will hit the links for the inaugural Mohegan Sun New England Celebrity Players Tour Team Championship at the Fox Hopyard Golf Club in East Haddam, CT. Participants include Charles Barkley and Ahmad Rashaad. One-day general admission tickets are $10 in advance.

The Mystic Art Association: (Mystic, CT) 860-536-7601,

“Watercolor Workshop,” with Jack Garver. Learn to create detail and depth with watercolors from an award-winning artist. Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 25-27 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuition is $200 for members and $220 for non-members.

Mystic Places Marathon Festival: (East Lyme, CT) 203-481-5933,

Runners and their fans take their mark on Oct. 26-27 at Rocky Neck State Park. The weekend encompasses a marathon, marathon relay and award ceremonies, kid’s races, health expo and other family events, live entertainment, a traditional pasta dinner and fireworks display.

Mystic Seaport -Museum of America and the Sea: (Mystic, CT) 888-9SEAPORT,

On Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., get a taste for the region at Chowderfest. Museum admission, which is valid for two consecutive days, is $17 for adults and $9 for youth ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. Does not include food. Visit to get a youth admission free until Sept. 30.

Nature’s Art: (Oakdale, CT) 860-443-4367

Saturdays in October, expect the unexpected during “Monty Mania.” Special events include bat, raptor and other wildlife demonstrations; a visit from Jonathan XI, the retired canine mascot for the UCONN Huskies; a gourmet food cooking demonstration; aura photography; Fenton Glass open house; free arts and crafts projects for kids; dinosaur trivia contests; door prizes and Halloween festivities.

Olde Mistick Village: (Mystic, CT) 860-536-4941,

On October 6 at 2 p.m., shop to the rhythm of The Heartbeats at this collection of 60 unique stores incorporating gardens and a pond.

O’Neill Theater Center: 860-443-5378,

October 18-20 is the Third Annual Eugene O’Neill Celebration. Free and open to the public, the series of performances, workshops and discussions will feature the presentation of the Monte Cristo Award, recognizing “distinguished artistic achievement in the spirit of Eugene O’Neill’s pursuit of excellence.”

Salem’s Apple Festival: (Salem, CT) 860-859-3873 ext. 101

Oct. 26 at Congregation Church on the Green. Free admission

Science Center of Eastern Connecticut: (New London, CT) 860-442-0391,

On Oct. 19, choose the Halloween Enchanted Trail. The Arboretum comes alive as characters act out a story along the way. Oct. 24, test your engineering skills as you experiment with structure and design during the Building Big Build-a-Thon.

Stonington Antiques Show & Sale: (Stonington, CT) 860-535-2478

Preview on Friday, Oct. 11. Show runs Oct. 12-13.

Stonington Vineyards: (Stonington, CT) 860-535-1222,

Oct. 19-20, experience the Harvest Celebration & Case Sale with food, wine and live music. Highlights include a wine tasting, cellar tours plus New England food vendors sampling and selling their wares. Free admission.

Imagine a place where the coast and the country are within minutes of each other. A place where blue skies meet blue waters, white snowflakes meet white church spires and four distinct seasons offer something for everyone.

From world-class casinos with headline entertainment, renowned family attractions and national historical landmarks to wooded hiking trails, quiet country roads, miles of beaches, acclaimed seafood and traditions that date back centuries. Now imagine all of this in one region. This is Mystic Places, where Southern New England’s best attractions, accommodations, events, dining, arts and entertainment can be found.

Located in southeastern Connecticut and coastal Rhode Island, Mystic Places is just two hours from New York. Centered around Mystic, Conn., the region is accessible via Interstates 395, 91 or 95.

For a free copy of the Mystic Places Vacation Planner, call 800-692-6278, or visit them online at

Posted 7:19 pm, October 10, 2011
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