Colourful fall foliage turns Connecticut picture-postcard pretty come November time each year, providing a scenic backdrop to a busy programme of events taking place across the state.
With a mix of coastal cities and rural areas dotted with small towns, the southern New England state boasts varied landscapes – and equally diverse culture to match. Throughout the year, Connecticut is a hotbed of great events that draw visitors from far and wide. And despite the weather taking a nippier turn in November, the action doesn’t slow down. Far from it, the pre-Christmas run-up is a busy time when it comes to events. Here are 10 to look forward to this November.
Mania – The Abba Tribute
First created in 1999, this tribute to one of the world’s most iconic pop groups has received rave reviews as it has toured extensively across the world, selling out theatres wherever they perform. For one night only this November, the award-winning show comes to the Palace Theater in the Connecticut city of Waterbury for two hours of live songs complete with dazzling staging, lighting and effects. Timeless hits that are sure to get an airing on the night include “Dancing Queen”, “Waterloo”, “Mamma Mia”, “The Winner Takes it All”, “Take A Chance On Me” and many more.
Palace Theater, Waterbury / 2 November 2023
The Connecticut International Auto Show
Car enthusiasts in southeastern Connecticut are in for a treat this November with the city of Montville playing host to the latest annual edition of the Connecticut Auto Show. Showcasing cutting-edge automobile design and technology, the event will feature a huge assortment of vehicles – including cars, vans, crossovers, hybrids, light trucks and SUVs. Visitors will have the chance to browse all of them, as well as sit inside, pop the hoods, inspect the trunks, kick the tyres, and generally get their petrol head fix over three full days.
Mohegan Sun Expo Center, Montville / 10-12 November 2023
Bill Burr Live
In recent years, American comedian Bill Burr has grown to become one of the world’s most critically acclaimed stand-up comedians. This November, as part of his US tour, Burr brings his punchy and quick staccato snap to the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resorts Casino in the Connecticut town of Ledyard, where he’ll be performing two repeat back-to-back shows – one late afternoon and another early evening during a single day. Attendees can expect a cocktail of observational comedy and social commentary laced with edgy, pushing-the-envelope humour.
Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resorts Casino, Ledyard / 5 November 2023
Crafting Worldviews: Art and Science in Europe, 1500–1800
This multidisciplinary exhibition showcases nearly 100 objects from across Yale University’s collections and examines the inseparable relationship among art, science, and European colonialism from the 16th through the 18th century – an era of voyage, trade, and Europe’s territorial dominance on a global scale. The objects included reveal histories of invention and appropriation, consumption and exploitation, collaboration and conflict, ranging from the everyday, such as books, maps, globes, drafting tools, microscopes, playing cards, and sundials, to the more unusual, such as a hand-cranked model of the solar system, an automaton clock, and anatomical figures.
The Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, New Haven / Through 25 June 2023
Gingerbread House Festival
It may be one of the lesser-known national celebrations, but those familiar with Gingerbread House Day – which falls on 12 December each year – will be aware that it is all the excuse that gingerbread devotees need to put their creativity to the test. To mark the occasion, the Wood Memorial Library & Museum in the Connecticut town of South Windsor stages its own eagerly-awaited festival which runs from late November to just before the official day itself. Visitors can gaze upon row after row of inventive gingerbread creations, all made by regional artisans and bakers, students and community members, expert and beginner alike. Musical performances, story time and craft events, and even a pre-Yuletide visit from Santa are also scattered throughout the festival.
Wood Memorial Library & Museum, South Windsor / 24 November-7 December
Manchester Road Race
Held annually on Thanksgiving Day in the Connecticut town of Manchester, this 4.7-mile footrace has grown dramatically since its inaugural edition back in 1927 when just twelve runners pounded the streets. Today, more than 15,000 participants compete, with a number of professional runners – including Olympians – taking part in front of enthusiastic crowds of spectators who stand on the sidelines of Manchester’s central streets urging the challengers on with vocal encouragement.
Manchester / 23 November 2023
An Evening with Andrea Fraser
For over thirty years, American performance artist Andrea Fraser has investigated the ways in which she believes that organisations, groups, and individuals hold and wield power, using performance, video, text, and a range of other forms to expose and challenge the perceived biases of arts institutions. Her work combines extensive research with incisive – and often humorous – delivery. This event includes a screening and discussion of her groundbreaking performance-based video installation on the highly contested subject of whiteness and gender.
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven / 3 November 2023
Jurassic World Live
Fans of the Jurassic Park movie franchise can step back in time and experience what life was like in the time of dinosaurs at this immersive live show. The production has received widespread acclaim as it has toured the world, and comes to Hartford for three days this November. During the show, Jurassic World bursts to life against a backdrop of captivating scenery where dinosaurs, including fan-favourite Velociraptor Blue and a Tyrannosaurus rex more than 40 feet in length, take centre stage. In total, the show features more than 24 film-accurate, life-sized dinosaurs, with scale, speed and ferocity, operated by animatronics and performers.
XL Center, Hartford / 3-5 November 2023
Honoring the Veterans Powwow
This commemorative event was created to united and honour the many Native and non-Native Americans who have bravely served side by side in the U.S. Armed Forces for more than two centuries. Drawing nearly 1,000 veterans, active-duty service members, and families each year, attendees are treated to breathtaking performances, dazzling regalia and traditional music as dancers and drummers strut their stuff inside the Mashantucket Pequot Museum’s soaring, two-story, glass-encased Gathering Space.
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, Mashantucket / 11 November 2023
Remembering G. Fox and Co.: Behind-the-Scenes Tour
G. Fox & Co. was the largest privately held department store in the nation when it was sold in 1965. Founded by Gerson Fox in 1848, it operated in downtown Hartford before eventually shutting down in 1993. This behind-the-scenes tour offers visitors the chance to explore a vast collection of memorabilia from Hartford’s most iconic department store. The archive contains hundreds of goods sold at the store over the years, ranging from wedding gowns to toilet paper. You’ll also learn about Beatrice Fox Auerbach, the pioneering businesswoman who led G. Fox & Co. through its golden age.
Connecticut Museum of Culture and History, Hartford / 25-26 November 2023
By Paul Joseph