UPDATE 6/28/16: Please see here for the 2016 schedule.
A few updates for this post:
Beginning with the 2013 season, the City of Hartford will no longer be allowing visitors to park on the grass in Elizabeth Park. If you are going to the summer concert, there is a parking lot near the Pond House Cafe and parking along the roadways. Concert attendees will also be encouraged to park on side streets or in the parking lot of the University of St. Joseph.
Picture it . . . A beautiful park with a 100 year- old rose garden, your children playing and laughing in the lush green grass, you relaxing with an adult beverage in your hand, and a little “Summertime” cover pouring out of a loud-speaker.
Sound nice? Sound like something you would enjoy?
Well, then what are you doing tomorrow night?
Every Wednesday night from the end-of-June to the end-of-August there is a wonderful FREE concert at Elizabeth Park in Hartford/West Hartford. Families from all over the area pack a picnic dinner and enjoy an evening with family and friends.
The concert series has really only just begun, so you still have plenty of time to check it out. There are still 8 concerts left this season.
Each Wednesday night, the entertainment begins at 6:30. We always try to get there early, but that doesn’t usually happen.
Parking is available throughout the park. There is a parking lot near the greenhouse and parking spaces along the roadways within the park. Some people also park on the adjoining neighborhood streets. One popular parking destination is on Walbridge. See map below for a little more information.
If you park on Walbridge, you can take a little path through the woods to get into the park. That is usually the way we go.
On a beautiful night, this venue is very popular and parking fills up fast. If you are driving to the event, I do suggest getting there early.
In terms of what we bring, you can see from the picture above that we load up.
We normally bring dinner for the kids, appetizers for the adults and plenty of adult beverages (unless you are preggers like me and your adult beverage is just good ole water). We also bring a blanket, chairs for my husband and I (this kind is my favorite because you can wear them as a back pack), cooler, diaper bag, and some toys.
We normally like to sit pretty far away from the stage when we go. This is for two reasons (1) the bands can get pretty loud and (2) we like to have lots of space for the kids to run around and explore (without getting into everyone else’s stuff).
Prime real estate around here is usually on the edge of the gardens where people try to get a little shade.
All sorts of dinner spreads are on display.
- You could order dinner from the Pond House Cafe located right in the park. Meals range from $10 – $25.
- You could order lighter fare from the Pond House Cafe’s take out window called the Dog House. Menu options include gourmet hotdogs, ice cream, and other goodies. The take out window usually stays open until ~ 7:00 p.m. when there is a concert in the park.
- You could grab some italian ice from one of the vendors located on the edge of the concert seating area. They offer flavors of Strawberry and Lemon for $2.
There is always lots of entertainment for the kids as well. They enjoy dancing to the music, running in the gardens, playing with balls and other toys.
There is also a lady that brings a ton of hoola hoops every week to share with the young and old alike. These are always a hit.
The bands usually play for about one and a half hours and we typically end up back home around 9:00pm. Yes, I know this is late for two 1 1/2 year olds, especially those that typically go to bed at 6:30pm, but my kids have done really well the last two weeks. I think they are so entertained that the fact that they are up way past their bedtime doesn’t seem to bother them. Whatever it is, it seems to work.
If you want more information on the concert series, check out their website here or take a look at the schedule below.
Have you been to the Elizabeth Park concert? What is your favorite part?
Elizabeth Park is located at the corner of Prospect Avenue and Asylum Avenue on the Hartford/West Hartford line.
If you are looking for directions to use for your GPS, the address for the Pond House Cafe located right on the park property is 155 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut.
Get directions here:
- Concert is held every Wednesday night from late June to late August from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
- Concert is held near the rose garden
- Admission is FREE and parking is FREE
- The 2012 schedule can be accessed here
- The concert starts at 6:30pm, but I would suggest getting there early so that you can find a parking space and a good spot for concert viewing
- No tickets are needed for the concert. You just show up and find a spot to sit.
- I would suggest bringing food, drinks, some entertainment for the kids, blanket, chairs, suntan lotion and bug spray.
- Food is also available at the Pond House Cafe.
- You can definitely bring a stroller if that is helpful for toting the kiddos around.
- The concert lasts about 1 1/2 hours.
- Bring balloons or a brightly colored flag if you are planning to meet people and want an easy way for them to find you.
- The bands can get pretty loud, so if you have really little ones, you may want to set up closer to the rose garden than near the stage.
- If it rains, the concert venue is moved indoors to the Pond House Cafe Hall. You can get the latest information on any weather issues or changes in venue by checking out the Elizabeth Park Facebook page.
On Thursday, it’s officially berry picking season, and Shawna’s got more PYO fun.
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