If you’re looking for fun places to visit in Connecticut, consider the arts and crafts style home of actor William Gillette. Gillette found fame as the actor who personified Sherlock Holmes over 1,300 times on stage. Now owned by the state of Connecticut and classified as a historical landmark, Gillette Castle State Park includes a hiking train, museum and picnic area. It’s an ideal place to spend a sunny, summer day with active kids.
Set high overlooking the lush Connecticut River, Gillette’s stone house recalls the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early part of the 20th century.
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After a short hike up from the banks of the river, we were there. The castle looks down to the Connecticut River and its green banks.The castle’s stone porch presented ample climbing opportunities! Here are Beckett, Annaliese and Marielle with beloved cousins Freya and Jasper.Marielle with her trademark band-aid. The skin on her nose got torn off early in the summer from a bad fall, so I wanted to keep it away from the sun until it healed. She couldn’t wait to get back to school and lose the band-aid.Inside the castle, we enjoyed talking to the knowledgeable tour guides who presented the various rooms. In this great room, Gillette would gather his friends around a warm fire. Many famous actors, actresses and other people of note came to visit. Little did they know that hidden mirrors above close to Gillette’s bedroom allowed him to spy on them.A classic early 20th century bathroom.A handwoven textile from the Castle’s interior.Many rooms contain Gillette’s personal memorabilia such as personal letters, show bills, and advertisements for his plays.All in all, a great way to get outside and learn something new. After a super visit, my brother Jamie loaded all the kids in his car and took them for ice cream, while his wife Rebeca and I began planning that evening’s family barbecue. Oh summer I do miss you!Thanks for reading and see you back next week for some new fun content.
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