5 Great Things to Do in April in Litchfield

The April showers in Litchfield may be more like a deluge at the beginning of the month, but there’s also a more hospitable type of showers this month – great things to do. We highlight a handful here and you can find many others on the Visit Litchfield CT events calendar.

“There and Back Again” Festival at Bantam Cinema & Arts Center
April 4 & additional dates

5 Great Things to Do in April in LitchfieldPart One of the Bantam Cinema’s “There and Back Again” Festival features screenings of the extended versions of the Hobbit movies. Guests are advised to come prepared to feast like a dwarf, show off your knowledge of Middle Earth, and dress to impress in costume contests.

Doors open at 5:45 for each film, with trivia beginning at 6 p.m. followed by the costume contest. Films begin at 7 p.m.

The festival lineup is:

Thursday 4/4: An Unexpected Journey

Thursday 4/11: The Desolation of Smaug

Thursday 4/18: The Battle of the Five Armies

There will be two additional chances to see all three films, coinciding with Litchfield High School’s spring break.

An Unexpected Journey is also being shown April 12 and 14 at 6:30, The Desolation of Smaug is also being shown April 11 at 7 p.m. and 13 at 6:30, and The Battle of the Five Armies is also being shown April 14 at 3 p.m. and April 18 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $12.50 for adults, and $10.50 for students and senior citizens. Tickets and more information available at bantamcinema.org/movie/there-and-back-again-festival-part-one.

Bantam Cinema & Arts Center is located at 115 Bantam Lake Rd.

Solar Eclipse Party at White Memorial
April 8

5 Great Things to Do in April in LitchfieldThe Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club and the White Memorial Conservation Center are partnering to celebrate the 93 percent total eclipse that will pass through Litchfield on Monday, April 8.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth, according to the White Memorial calendar listing. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the Sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs only in a narrow path across Earth’s surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of miles wide. Although not in the path of totality, Litchfield will experience 93 percent totality.

There will be an Open House in the Museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 8 for the festival (the Museum will be closed from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. for our staff to enjoy the event), as well as nature walks and a workshop in which guests can make their own pinhole cameras for viewing.

Hungry Bill will be serving hot dogs and sausages to purchase, or guests can bring a picnic – as well as a colander from home to learn how it can be used to view the eclipse.

White Memorial reminds everyone not to forget to purchase Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses well in advance. They are available in the gift shop or can be purchased online. (Do not view any part of the eclipse with the naked eye.)

Oliver Wolcott Library Art Opening
April 18

5 Great Things to Do in April in LitchfieldLand & Sky: A Photography and Printmaking Exhibition, featuring work by Wendy Costa and Sally Frank, will be on view from April 15 to May 30 in the gallery at Oliver Wolcott Library, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 18.

Wendy Costa and Sally Frank both draw inspiration for their work from the natural world, according to the library. They found it fitting to collaborate in a joint show to share their artistic visions.

Wendy Costa is inspired and energized daily by the natural world. She seeks to share this love with others through her art. Costa uses infrared photography, with its unusual reading of light and shadow, to bring attention to land, water, and especially clouds and skies. This medium allows her to share perspectives that are otherwise unseen by the human eye and therefore bring greater attention to the natural world. With our climate in peril, Costa feels especially passionate about sharing this powerful vision of nature. Visit for more information about her work.

Sally Frank5 Great Things to Do in April in Litchfield is a printmaker who draws inspiration from close observations of the natural world and a deep sense of connection with the earth. Her work channels the vibrant forces of life that flow through the forests, hills, rivers, and lakes that make up 29 percent of our planet. She uses a variety of printmaking techniques to create etchings, woodcuts, monotypes and lithographs. In her intaglios, she balances the beauty of native woods and landscapes with a sense of impending danger posed by a changing climate. Her woodcuts explore nature’s fragile complexities. Using the patterns created by leaves, branches and bark, her prints suggest fractals, revealing the delicate and vulnerable structures of plants and trees.

Sky’s the Limit Hiking and Walking Challenge

Topsmead State Forest in Litchfield is one of the destinations on the 2024 Sky’s the Limit Hiking and Walking Challenge just announced by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP).

The program promoting exploring CT state forests encourages participants to hike and walk highlighted trails in 15 state forests and take designated photos along the way.

Participants who hike or walk 10 of the 15 forest trails will receive a 2024 Sky’s the Limit hiking staff medallion and a certificate for their efforts. For hiking or walking all 15 locations, 50 participant names will be randomly drawn to receive a hand-carved hiking staff made by the DEEP sawmill or from the Connecticut Woodcarver’s Association, in addition to the medallion and certificate.

The challenge runs through December 6, 2024. See the Sky’s the Limit webpage for details, and follow Friends of Topsmead State Forest for info about this Litchfield treasure where free tours of Miss Edith Chase’s cottage are offered from June through October on the 2nd and 4th weekends of each month. See the Friends’ website to learn all about Topsmead and plan your visit.

Opening for New Exhibit, “With Their Busy Needles,”
At Litchfield Historical Society, April 26

5 Great Things to Do in April in Litchfield

The Litchfield Historical Society is opening its new exhibit, With Their Busy Needles: Samplers and the Girls Who Made Them, with a reception April 26 at 6 p.m. at the Litchfield History Museum. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Those planning to attend should RSVP by email to [email protected] or by calling 860-567-4501.

Samplers are more than thread stitched through cloth, the historical society explains. As objects of art, samplers tell stories of creativity, instruction, and skilled work. As historical records, they document the lives and experiences of thousands of young women, histories that might otherwise remain unknown.

With Their Busy Needles showcases works from the sampler collection of Alexandra Peters, displayed alongside Litchfield examples from the Historical Society’s textile collection. Peters, a sampler historian and collector, serves as guest curator of the exhibit. This exhibit is sponsored by twenty2 wallpaper + textiles. 

The Litchfield Historical Society’s museums, the Litchfield History Museum and the Tapping Reeve House and Litchfield Law School, reopen to the public April 27 with free admission courtesy of Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services LLC.

The Litchfield Historical Society is located at 7 South Street, Litchfield, CT. Learn more at www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.