Relax near the pond or take a ride on the antique carousel at one of America’s oldest publicly funded parks, located in the heart of Hartford.
Opened in 1854, Bushnell Park is one of America’s oldest publicly funded parks. Join Hartford residents and visitors exploring the rolling lawns and historic monuments of this special place.
The park’s carousel has delighted visitors for over 100 years. Hop on one of the hand-carved horses and appreciate its history. The small ticket price goes directly toward maintaining the antique horses and pavilion.
Located near the carousel and Jewell Street, Bushnell Park’s pond is a central place to congregate. It features a stainless steel sculpture, called Harmony, which seems to burst from the water.
Continue toward Park River, to see the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch. This monument honors the 4,000 Hartford citizens who fought in the Civil War. On Thursdays at noon between May and October you can take a free tour of the arch. Climb the 96 steps to the top and enjoy the beautiful view.
Statues of notable local figures stand throughout the park. Horace Wells, the pioneer of using anesthesia in dentistry, looks out over the pond. Revolutionary War hero, Israel Putnam, lords over the land near the Capitol Building.
Bushnell Park is home to four “champion trees” that are the largest of their kind in Connecticut. These are a Chinese mahogany, a turkey oak, a hardy rubber tree and the offspring of the Charter Oak, the original state tree of Connecticut, which appears on the state quarter. Pick up a “Tree Walk” brochure at Legislative Office on Capitol Avenue to be sure to see everything.
Appreciate culture at the Pump House Gallery. This is a functioning pump house that also features works by local artists. Call the City of Hartford for opening times and current exhibits.
The newly built Performance Pavilion near the Capitol Building hosts theater, music and dance performances. Call the Bushnell Park Foundation to see what’s on the calendar.
From most places in Bushnell Park, you can see the gleaming copper dome of the State Capitol Building. Find good choices for dining at several cafés and shops located within easy walking distance. Bushnell Park is open every day.