Connecticut Convention Center – Things To Do With Your Team

Whenever there’s a big event taking place in Hartford, Connecticut, it’s likely being held at the Connecticut Convention Center. At 540,000 square feet, the Connecticut Convention Center is the largest convention facility between New York and Boston. You’ll be impressed within moments of entering this expansive, state-of-the-art facility.

Although it was opened over a decade ago in 2005, the Connecticut Convention Center remains as impressive as ever. It features 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom, and 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, all with modern, visually stunning architecture and décor. Over time, the Connecticut Convention Center has gradually ventured beyond hosting conventional events like galas, corporate meeting, trade shows, and conferences. In addition to these kinds of events, the convention center now hosts sporting events such as volleyball and boxing, live musical performances, and more.

Whatever your reason for attending the Connecticut Convention Center is, you and your team are sure to wholly enjoy your visit to this world-class facility and the beautiful, historic city where it is located. That’s because some of the most popular and unique attractions in Hartford, as well as more than enough fantastic eateries to please any palate, can be found just minutes away from the Connecticut Convention Center. This makes it convenient and easy to enjoy the complete Hartford experience no matter how busy your team’s schedule might be.


Things to Do

Connecticut Science Center

Connecticut Convention Center - Travel - Hotels4TeamsWith more than 165 hands-on, interactive exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D theater, four educational labs, plus daily programs and events, the Connecticut Science Center offers practically endless exploration and discovery no matter what your age and interests are. From physics to forensics; geology to astronomy; you and your team will have nearly all of the sciences at your fingertips at this science center (it’s just a five minute walk from the Connecticut Convention Center).

Just a few of the exhibits include Sports Lab, where you and your team can “get in the game” by building a bike, hitting the slopes, and testing your physical and mental strength as you play your way through a variety of fun educational activities; River of Life, a small-scale tour of New England’s largest river, the Connecticut River, complete with a stream table, marine touch tank, and even a one-of-a-kind view of the actual Connecticut River from the Overlook Balcony; and Exploring Space, where you and your team can embark on a journey across the galaxy without ever leaving Earth!

When the hunger for knowledge becomes outweighed by their hunger for lunch, stop by the Subway restaurant or Froyo World. Both of these eateries are conveniently located inside of the Connecticut Science Center. Also, make sure to visit the gift shop before you leave. There you’ll find awe-inspiring science kits, educational toys, tech games, books, souvenirs, apparel, and more. Discounted admission rates are available for groups with 15 or more people. 250 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103


Mortensen Riverfront Plaza

Located just minutes away from the Connecticut Convention Center on the banks of the Connecticut River, Mortensen Riverfront Plaza is a beautifully landscaped park that has been the centerpiece of the downtown Hartford’s Riverfront park system since it was first opened in 1999. Mortensen Riverfront Plaza is a great place for you and your team to spend some time outdoors while enjoying breathtaking views of the Hartford skyline as you leisurely stroll alongside the river. The plaza also hosts a number of events throughout the year. So, if you’re lucky, you and your team might end up visiting Mortensen Riverfront Plaza while something spectacular is taking place, making your visit to this popular Hartford destination even more unforgettable. 300 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103


Old State House

At well over two centuries old, the Old State House has certainly earned itself the prefix “Old.” This National Historic Landmark is also one of the most unique attractions Hartford has to offer. It is open to the public year-round, making it convenient to fit into your itinerary, and is managed by the Connecticut General Assembly. In addition to restored historic chambers, educational exhibits, and hands-on activity areas, the Old State House is also home to a museum of curiosities.

The museum features a variety of interesting oddities from Connecticut’s amazing and eccentric past, like a two-headed calf and Mark Twain’s bicycle. Guided tours of the Old State House are available. If you plan to take a guided tour during your visit to the Old State House and will be visiting with a group of 10 or more people, it is recommended that you make a reservation at least two weeks in advance to ensure the availability of a tour guide. 800 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103


Bushnell Park

Hartford in the 1850s was a rapidly growing river town with a booming economy, financed by then-prominent industries such as publishing, insurance, banking, munitions, manufacturing, and shipping. Like many American cities at that time, Hartford was enjoying the benefits of the Industrial Revolution but was also suffering from some consequences of the era, which included crime, crowded tenements, poverty, poor sanitation, and polluted water and air. This situation inspired the Reverend Horace Bushnell, a Congregational minister, theologian, and Hartford resident, to propose an idea that had not yet been suggested in any other American city: the creation of a public park, financed entirely by public funds.

Over 130 years later, Bushnell Park remains one of Hartford’s most popular attractions. Visitors from Hartford and beyond are drawn to this beautiful, 50-acre park year-round to enjoy unique features such as a hand-carved carousel made by Russian immigrants Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein in 1940 with over 40 horses and a 1921 Wurlitzer band organ; historic memorials honoring Civil War and Spanish-American War soldiers; over 150 varieties of breathtaking trees; and much more. When the team is ready to step out from the Connecticut Convention Center, you’ll know where to go for some fresh air. 99 Trinity St, Hartford, CT 06106


Connecticut State Capitol

Situated adjacent to Bushnell Park, the Connecticut State Capitol is one of, if not the most historically-significant and visually-striking buildings in the entire city. The State Capitol houses the Connecticut General Assembly, the upper and lower house, the State Senate, the House of Representatives, as well as the office of the Governor of the State of Connecticut. During your team’s visit to Hartford, immerse yourselves in the site of Connecticut’s legislative past and present with a tour of the Capitol.

Self-guided tours are available, as well as a free one-hour guided tour. While on the guided tour, you and your team will learn about the history of the Capitol; view items important to Connecticut history; visit the Hall of Flags, where flags that have been carried into battle by Connecticut soldiers are displayed; learn about the legislative process while in the House and Senate chambers; and more. 20 Trinity St, Hartford, CT 06106


Museum of Connecticut History

If you and your team are in the mood to visit an attraction that’s free, fun, and can’t be found anywhere else, visit the Museum of Connecticut History. While at this unique museum you can trace the history of the state and its crucial role in the development of the nation from the Colonial era to the present as you visit exhibits focusing on a variety of interesting subjects. Focuses of exhibits include the state’s government, its military and industrial history, and more. The museum is open Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays and holidays. Guided tours are not available during group visits. 231 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106


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Places to Eat

Bear’s Smokehouse Barbeque

Located just a few steps away from the Connecticut Convention Center, Bear’s Smokehouse Barbeque offers a wide selection of wood-smoked, Kansas-style barbeque, in addition to all of the savory, mouthwatering sauces and sides that are synonymous with the cuisine. Their menu features conventional barbeque fare like pulled pork, brisket, and smoked wings alongside some more unique offerings, including their signature “Moink Balls,” bacon-wrapped meatballs that are slow smoked and tossed in your choice of sauce; hearty beef ribs that are only served during the weekend; and “Paw Paw’s Poutine,” a Quebecois delicacy consisting of crispy, hand-cut fries doused in rich cheese cause and savory meat. 25 Front St, Hartford, CT 06103


The Blind Pig Pizza Company

If you’re a fan of barbeque but also a fan of pizza, head right down the street from the Connecticut Convention Center to one of Hartford’s most unique restaurants. Established in 2016, The Blind Pig Pizza Company has taken the tried-and-true concept of a great local pizza joint and turned it into something that’s innovative, fun, and most importantly, delicious. They were able to accomplish this with the addition of one very special component: smoky, meaty barbeque made right next door at Bear’s Smokehouse Barbeque. In fact, both The Blind Pig Pizza Company and Bear’s Smokehouse Barbeque are owned by Jamie McDonald, a professional competitive eater known as the Bear, along with his wife, Cheryl McDonald. So, if you enjoyed one of their two restaurants, there’s a real good chance you’re going to enjoy the other as well.

The menu at The Blind Pig Pizza Company has everything you’d expect to find at a restaurant that serves pizza topped with barbeque. For instance, there’s the “Cruben” pizza, topped with beef cheek pastrami, cheddar, raclette spicy mustard, and pickled onions; and the Texas pizza, topped with brisket, cheddar mozzarella, jalapenos, and BBQ sauce; along with a few surprises along the way. Some of the more surprising menu items at The Blind Pig Pizza Company include New England-style steam buns, a decadent appetizer made with pork fat griddled steam buns, pork belly kimchi, jalapenos, and General Tso’s sauce; a Bibb lettuce salad topped with spicy tuna, bacon, and radishes, dressed with a honey vinaigrette; and an imaginative s’more calzone. 89 Arch St, Hartford, CT 06103



For a culinary experience in Hartford that’s second to none, dine with your team on the delicious Italian cuisine they’re serving up less than a half mile from the Connecticut Convention Center at Salute. The extensive lunch and dinner menus at Salute are paired with a combination of upscale contemporary décor and a friendly, casual atmosphere, making for a pleasurable dining experience that you and the whole team are sure to enjoy. The lunch menu at Salute features bright, fresh salads and hearty sandwiches in addition to entrée dishes like chicken gnocchi, shrimp piccata, and ragu Bolognese. The dinner menu offers even more selections, including roasted pork tenderloin and “Salute’s Sunday Dinner,” a comforting dish consisting of linguine with house marinara and homemade meatballs. 100 Trumbull St, Hartford, CT 06103


Agave GrillConnecticut Convention Center - Travel - Hotels4Teams

Agave Grill is a modern Mexican restaurant that specializes in sensational cuisine served amidst a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The mango glazed chicken skewers over black bean corn salsa and the cheese and veggie-stuffed crispy empanada pastries make for delicious starters for everyone to share.

Some of Agave Grill’s house entrées include the Mexican-style beef pot roast casita with chipotle whipped potatoes, the succulent lobster enchiladas baked in a lime sour cream sauce, and the chicken adobo burrito with crème fraîche. Additionally, Agave serves burgers and wraps, such as the serrano burger, piled high with roasted serrano peppers, Chihuahua cheese, pico de gallo, and chipotle mayo, making for an amazing Tex-Mex style dish. 100 Allyn St, Hartford, CT 6103


Hartford is a city with a whole lot of history, charm, and character that has something for everyone in your group to enjoy. Whether you’re all interested in stepping into Hartford’s past at one of the city’s many historic landmarks, making scientific discoveries at the Connecticut Science Center, or just having a great meal at one of the fantastic restaurants located well within walking distance of the Connecticut Convention Center, there’s a good chance you’ll all end up wanting to plan a return trip in the very near future.