15 Best Things to Do in Newington, CT

Newington, CT
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Home to the known Mill Pond Falls, Newington, Connecticut, is a popular destination in New England for its incredible fall foliage and natural areas.

It's part of Hartford County, with a population of 30,536 as of the 2020 census.

The town's first settlers were from the nearby Wethersfield town, which dates as far back as 1636.

Used to be called West Society, the settlers requested the Connecticut General Assembly in 1721 to name the town Newington, which indicates that it was a new town in the meadow.

It was incorporated as a town in 1871, with its first telephone in 1883 at John Fish’s Store on Willard Avenue.

Although it's mostly a residential suburb, the town is famous for its recreational activities and outdoor adventures.

The possibilities of a fun and memorable trip to the town are endless with its unmatched tourist destinations.

Here's a round-up of the best things to do in Newington, Connecticut!

Wander around the Historic Newington Junction

Part of the Historic Newington Junction
Sage Ross, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The historic section of the town called Newington Junction has three historic districts—South, North, and West.

The name itself refers to the railroad junction, which meets with the lines from the three neighboring cities: New Haven, Bristol, and Waterbury.

These historic districts feature old-world architectural styles that were prevalent from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.

A depot at the Historic Newington Junction
Sage Ross, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You'll see sprawling houses that were built in Gothic Revival, Colonial, Late Victorian, Colonial Revival, and Queen Anne styles

The oldest structure in the junction dates as far back as 1650.

The 10-acre Newington Junction was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

Attend the Famous Waterfall Festival

Celebrated annually in the month of September, the Waterfall Festival honors the Mill Pond Falls, which is considered the smallest natural falls in the U.S.

The festival features lots of family-friendly activities, including a Chalk Walk for local artists, sand art for kids, ornament making, a photography contest, a car show, a street party, and more.

Over 70 food vendors, local artisans, and many community groups join the fun-filled festival.

The Waterfall Festival started in 2000 to celebrate the famed waterfall for its contribution to the town's history and heritage.

It takes place at Market Square, right in the heart of the city.

See Mill Pond Falls Upclose

The famed Mill Pond Falls receives thousands of visitors a year for its natural cascading beauty and its great contribution to Newington's progressive economy.

Located in Mill Pond Park on Garfield Street, you can sit on a bench at the park's observation area to watch the waterfall and its cascading rhythm.

In front of the falls, there's a Crimson Maple tree that the Newington Waterfall Committee planted and named the "Thankful Tree" as gratitude.

The park itself is an outdoor oasis that offers great opportunities for nature walks, fishing at the pond, swimming at the pool, picnics, and more.

Mill Pond Falls was named after a sawmill constructed in 1860 on Mill Pond.

Read a Book at the Lucy Robbins Welles Library

Holding over 179,000 resources, the Lucy Robbins Welles Library is a gem in town, offering lots of treats for the community.

Constructed in a Georgian Revival architectural style, the library offers a wide array of books of all genres for all ages.

You can also find new or recent releases here.

The library also hosts activities and programs for adults, teens, kids, and infants, such as crafts workshops, storytime, book discussions, yoga classes, and more.

Established in 1939, the Lucy Robbins Welles Library was formed after a bequest and land donation from sisters Fanny A. Welles and Mary Welles Eddy.

The library was named after their mother, Lucy, and has seen a few additions to its structures since its construction.

You can find the library on Garfield Street.

Tour the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station

The world-famous radio operation Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station is Newington's flagship station and is the primary operating station of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

Its call sign, W1AW, used to be Hiram Percy Maxim's during his time as the president and co-founder of ARRL until his death in 1936.

The station was dedicated in 1938 and was named after Maxim with its building that didn't change at all since its construction.

To this day, the station is still popular for its Morse code practice sessions and news bulletins.

If you're a licensed amateur operator, the station has three guest operating positions that you can try and even temporarily use the W1AW call sign.

Tours at the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station are available for visitors, where you can see Maxim’s roll-top desk, post-World War II transmitters, and more.

The station is located on Main Street, next to the ARRL headquarters.

Enjoy Comfort Food and Craft Beer at Wood-N-Tap

Comfort food and craft beer are a great match, which you can enjoy at Wood-N-Tap!

The restaurant is famous for its sliders, sweet potato fries, bison burgers, blackened chicken pasta and shrimp, bourbon sirloin, and more.

It also offers a great selection of craft beer from all over the state and the best creations of New England.

Happy hour here is great if you're with friends or family.

Its seasonal menu is not to be missed!

Wood-n-Tap also has a welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere.

Visit the restaurant at Berlin Turnpike.

Get an Adrenaline Rush at Montana Nights Axe Throwing

New England's largest axe-throwing destination, Montana Nights Axe Throwing in Newington, is a popular spot for those who want an extraordinary activity.


Yes, but heavier and more intense.

You'll need a group of at least eight people to start, but before anything else, the instructor will have a short orientation with you to ensure safety for everyone.

Montana Nights Axe Throwing also hosts birthday parties and many special occasions, especially for families and friends who are in need of an extra adventure without the need to go outdoors.

You can also enjoy cold beers, pizza, and other games to play with the entire family.

Montana Nights Axe Throwing is located on Fenn Road.

Visit the Kellog-Eddy House & Museum

Exterior of the Kellogg-Eddy House
Sage Ross, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the significant buildings in Newington's historic districts is the Gen. Martin Kellogg House, also known as the Kellog-Eddy House & Museum.

It was built in 1808 for Gen. Kellogg, who came from a prominent farming family.

The wood-frame two-story house, which is now well-preserved as a museum, stands on Willard Avenue with five bays and is sheltered by an original Doric portico.

Elford Welles Eddy, a relative of the Kelloggs, who also served in the state legislature, purchased the house museum in 1913.

It's one of the historic structures in Newington Junction that plays a significant role in the history of the town and is worth the visit.

The Kellog-Eddy House is an example of Federal and Georgian architecture.

Buy Fresh Roasted Coffee at Omar Coffee Company

When it comes to coffee, Newington has the best in the region with its fresh roasted coffee beans in different flavors.

How cool is that for coffee aficionados?

At Omar Coffee Company, you get to taste one of the best and finest coffees in the world.

Flavors like hazelnut, breakfast blend, Brazilian Nut, Cinnamon Pecan, Kona Blend, Columbian Blend, and pumpkin spice are popular among coffee lovers.

Founded in 1937, Omar Coffee Company is a boutique coffee roaster that caters to businesses, institutions, and private individuals that can't let a day pass without a cup.

It's located on Commerce Street, but it also delivers coffee right to your doorstep.

Have a Picnic at Churchill Park Overflow

When traveling with friends and family, one of the memorable activities is to have a picnic at a nice spot.

In Newington, you can't go wrong with Churchill Park Overflow, which features pavilions with picnic tables so you can share a delicious lunch or snacks with your loved ones.

There are also athletic fields for sports enthusiasts, as well as nature trails where you can take scenic walks.

A nice pond on-site is also available for fishing for kids and older adults, as well as an outdoor pool.

Two playscapes are great for the children to interact with one another; one is for the bigger kids, while the other is for the smaller ones.

You can spend an entire day at the park with your loved ones without getting bored, as there are many family-friendly things to do here.

Churchill Park Overflow is located on Main Street.

Go Skating at the Newington Arena

If you're into ice skating, the Newington Arena is an ideal spot in town, which features two ice sheets for both figure and recreational skaters.

The facility also hosts ice skating tournaments for high school leagues and regional athletes in New England.

There's also a golf simulator, a pro shop, and a snack bar.

The Black Bear Sports Group, which operates five different ice skating rinks in Connecticut, owns and operates the Newington Arena.

Glide your way to Alumni Road, where the facility is located!

Drop by the Newington Historical Society

Caring for several historic homes, archives, artifacts, and other important information about the town's history, the Newington Historical Society hosts programs and events every year.

The organization aims to preserve and maintain all the historical structures and artifacts of the town.

It offers museum tours, presentations, and exhibits you may want to participate in.

The Newington Historical Society was established in 1971 with a merger with the Newington Historical Trust, Inc.

It's conveniently located at Willard Avenue.

Strike Some Pins at Callahan’s Bowl-O-Rama

Bowlers can have the time of their life at Callahan’s Bowl-O-Rama on Berlin Turnpike.

Established in 1959 by the Callahans, it's a 10-pin bowling alley with well-maintained lanes in a beautiful old-school space.

The ambiance is welcoming and family-friendly, which is why it's a popular destination for families visiting the town.

There's also a pro shop, an arcade, and a lounge for everyone's entertainment.

People love the karaoke nights here, so if you're up for it, join the fun after hitting some pins on the lane!

Callahan’s Bowl-O-Rama also offers great food and drinks that you can share with your family and friends.

Get a Relaxing Massage at Art of Touch

Spend an hour or two of relaxation at Art of Touch, which offers therapeutic massages.

The spa offers top-notch massage services, including pregnancy, cupping therapy, deep tissue, foot massage, and more.

If you're in town and in need of a massage to get rid of those aching muscles after a full day of outdoor activities, Art of Touch is the ultimate destination.

It also offers skincare services by professionals and experienced therapists.

The spa is located on Market Square.

See the Historic Enoch Kelsey House

Exterior of the Historic Enoch Kelsey House
Sage Ross, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another historic house museum to check out in Newington is the Enoch Kelsey House on Main Street.

The house was built in 1799 by the farmer and tinsmith Enoch Kelsey and his son David in a Federal period architecture and center-chimney style.

It was originally located in the city of New Britain, but the Newington Historical Society was able to acquire it after a demolition threat.

Now preserved and maintained in its location in Newington, the house features rare and unique freehand-painted wall decorations representing the early American art form.

In 1982, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Enoch Kelsey House is open for tours between May and September.

Final Thoughts

One of Connecticut's crowning jewels, Newington is an oasis for both historical and recreational activities in New England.

If you're visiting the region, don't miss out on this small town's charm.

Take note of these best things to do in Newington, Connecticut, for a memorable trip!

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