Elegant Signature Evenings
Leave Simsbury behind and enter the worlds you love to read about! Our elaborately-themed Signature Events feature fancy dress, elegant food and cocktails, immersive activities and period music, and the kind of enchanting fun you could previously find only by traveling to a major city. A ticket to our events is your key to a magical portal into carefully curated fantasy worlds!
Literary Dinner Party: Last Night on the Titanic
Friday November 15 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Immerse yourself in your favorite book like never before!
What was it like on the night the Titanic sank? Come dressed in your favorite Edwardian formal gown & tux and enjoy a fantastic meal based on the actual first class menu on the night of April 10, 1912. Enjoy live harp and fiddle music, a visit from the Captain, beautiful poetry readings and a visit from the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Don't worry about bringing your life jacket -- we have plenty! Enjoy themed decor and discussion, and curiously original literary games.
This event is BYOB.
"A Christmas Carol" Dessert Gala
Thursday December 12/ 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Enjoy a festive night out with a charming reading of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" by genuine Brit Jennifer Munro, accompanied by live Christmas carols and traditional British Christmas pudding! A native of Great Britain and a nationally acclaimed storyteller, Jennifer Munro, will bring the real spirit of Christmas alive with her dramatic telling of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic, "A Christmas Carol".
During the intermission, enjoy your enjoy mulled cider and Christmas pudding. You may also wish to BYOB. Come celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas by the fire in our beautiful Victorian library!
Murder at the Ivory Tower: Holiday Murder Mystery
Saturday December 14/ 8:00 - 10:00 pm
Join a cast of live actors as we solve yet another murder mystery at the Storyteller's Cottage! Stroll the house interviewing suspects, poking holes in alibis, and watching out for danger -- there may be a murder tonight! Enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres and dessert, plus a cash bar. Correctly guess the identity of the murderer at the end of the evening and win a prize!
Details about this holiday-themed literary mystery will be posted in November. Food restrictions are cheerfully accommodated with advance notice.
Fun Literary Events
In the mood for a fun night out? Join one of our casual literary events!
Whether we're tasting foods from our favorite books, creating beautiful crafts from pages of old books, or playing trivia games to test our literary knowledge, we're always enjoying being surrounded by fans of books and reading and meeting new friends!
TEA & TIPS: HOW TO GET PUBLISHED featuring Carrie Firestone
Sunday, November 17 / 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Join us in our Literary Tea Room with other aspiring writers for a chat with bestselling author Carrie Firestone ("The Loose Ends List" and "The Unlikelies") about the secrets to becoming a successfully published writer. Carrie will answer your burning questions and share tips and experiences that will help you with your journey to getting published.
A GRAND ADVENTURE: Grandparent/Grandchild Game
Sunday September 22 and October 20 / 2:00 - 3:30 pm
Grandparents and grandchildren (aged 8 and up) are invited to solve an exciting mystery together then celebrate with a delicious tea party! Spend an hour with other grand-pairs in our mysterious Victorian Parlor finding clues and solving riddles and codes to determine the identity of a dastardly murderer (it's like a live game of Clue!), then enjoy your victory in our lovely English Kitchen with cakes and cookies, lemonade and tea. This is a great bonding experience for all ages, and a fantastic bargain at $20 (our mystery games are normally priced at $33 per person, and this one also includes food!) Grab your favorite Grand and sign up today (space is limited).
Live Storytelling with Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti
Saturday November 23 / 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Tellabration is a worldwide celebration of storytelling that brings thousands of listeners and tellers together all over the globe throughout the month of November. Spearheaded in Connecticut by the CT Storytelling Center, this event features professional storytellers at locations around the state, including libraries, schools, retirement communities, churches, and even private homes. At the Storyteller's Cottage, we are pleased to welcome storyteller Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti, a living history artist who will portray Zora Neale Hurston, a prominent novelist, journalist, folklorist and anthropologist.
Jane Austen Society:
Celebrate Jane's Birthday with High Tea
Sunday December 1 / 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Celebrate Jane Austen's birthday at a formal High Tea sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of Connecticut. Enjoy sandwiches, scones and treats, along with a special guest lecture.
MURDER SHE WROTE: MYSTERY GAME & TEA PARTY
First Wednesdays of each month / 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Are you a fan of Jessica Fletcher? Bring your mystery-loving friends and come to the Storyteller's Cottage on the first Wednesday of every month to solve a mystery and celebrate with a tea party afterward. For a special reduced price of $20, play a different one of our mystery room games (regular cost is $33), then talk over your adventures as you enjoy tea and cakes in our Literary Tea Room afterward.
This event is great for senior citizens!
Holiday Literary Gift Crafting Studio
Thursday December 5 / 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Join us for a creative winter evening of literary crafting just in time for the holidays! Create unique book-based gifts for your friends and family using discarded antique encyclopedia pages. Construct charming ornaments, bookmarks, flowers, garlands, gift packaging, and more, and enjoy the company and light conversation over hot chocolate and cookies. It's a beautiful way to spend a chilly winter night!
(Cost includes book pages and crating supplies)
Live Murder Mysteries
Join us for a full evening of costumed fun! Periodically, our house is filled with suspects in a riveting murder mystery, and we need your help to find the culprit! Come dressed in your crime-solving finest and enjoy a night of elegant hors d'oeuvres, fancy drinks, vintage music, and the chance to interview a variety of shady characters to determine whose alibi is the weakest.
Custom murder mystery games
available for private parties!
Join us for unprecedented access to talented local authors at our intimate Author Salons. Hear authors read from their works in our charming Jules Verne Library, then participate in a lively discussion about their writing process and inspiration. Enjoy a light reception afterward and an opportunity to speak personally with each author and purchase signed copies of their books.
Authors Charles Veley & Anna Elliot
"The Sherlock Holmes & Lucy James Mysteries"
Sunday November 24 / 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Join father-daughter author duo Charles Veley and Anna Elliott to discuss their charming young readers series, The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mysteries.
ABOUT THE BOOK: Holmes – as brilliant and engaging as ever – is the father of Lucy James: an independent, modern-minded American actress living in Victorian London who inherited her father’s intelligence, detective skills, and bravery. Each book centers on Sherlock and Lucy as they collaborate on solving a crime, and contains clean language, exciting conflicts, and imaginative mysteries in the Conan Doyle tradition.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Charles Veley has loved Sherlock Holmes since boyhood. As a father, he read the entire canon to his then- ten-year-old daughter at evening story time. Now this very same daughter, grown up to become acclaimed historical novelist Anna Elliott (the Twilight of Avalon trilogy; The Pride & Prejudice Chronicles), has worked with him to develop critically acclaimed adventures in The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series!
Author Talk with Rick Collins
"The Providence of Basketball
Sunday December 22 / 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Join author Rick Collins as he reads & discusses his latest novel, "The Providence of Basketball."
Tim decides to spend a week with his grandparents in the inner city of Providence, Rhode Island. His friends suggest this might not be a good decision, but he goes anyway with the idea he can spend his time playing basketball at the court in the Cranston Street Projects. He is befriended by Marcus, the best basketball player in the projects. But Marcus and his sister are in danger from Pele, the drug dealer on Cranston Street. Tim is thrust into danger when a rival drug dealer, Raja, tries to take Pele's turf. He survives a drive by murder, but it is clear that Raja cannot leave witnesses. In the course of hiding out, Tim comes to realize that his preconceptions about being black in the ghettos of the inner city are completely off-base. He begins to understand that he has his own racist ideas. Can Tim survive being hunted and change the way he thinks about black people?
Author Talk with Janet Elsbach
"Extra Helping: Recipes for Caring, Connecting, and Building Community One Dish at a Time"
Sunday January 5 / 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Join author Janet Reich Elsbach, a home cook inspired by seasonal food, the particular cravings of those she loves to feed, and the idea of bringing people together at the table, for an intimate author talk. Her book, "Extra Helping: Recipes for Caring, Connecting, and Building Community One Dish at a Time," was recently published by Roost.
A portion of the sales proceeds will be donated to Feeding America.
Every book sold provides five meals to families in need! Show up, be kind, and cook!
Author Talk with Pat Kelbaugh
"Dreamtime" novel series
Sunday April 26 / 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Through her “Dreamtime” novels, Kelbaugh has created a world in which vampires are not all evil and can live unrecognized among normal humans, thanks to a drug called Lexiri that, among other benefits, eliminates the craving for blood.
These are not your typical vampire tales. Rather, they read like modernized detective stories from the 1950s, with breezy, smart dialogue that sweeps the reader along, smoothly slipstreaming between dimensions, while making perfect sense of it all.
Just For Kids
From full-day programs based on their favorite books, to unique creative writing classes, unusual book clubs and immersive fantasy game nights, we've got something for every kind of reader!
JOIN DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY!
Calling all witches & wizards! Join us the second Sunday of each month in the secret Room of Requirement at Ilvermorny, the American outpost of Hogwarts, to learn all of the magical skills Professor Umbridge doesn't want you to know!
Each month, we'll base our lessons on a different Harry Potter book from the series. Take two different classes each month (ranging from Potions to Herbology to Divination to Defense Against the Dark Arts, and more) with visiting Hogwarts professors. We'll make cool things, discuss the books & movies, enjoy magical snacks, and have a fantastic time with our new friends. Students will receive the monthly Quibbler newsletter featuring awesome Harry Potter projects as well!
Just $20 each month.
TEAM 1 meets 1.00-2.30 pm
TEAM 2 meets 3.00-4.30 pm
on the 2nd Sunday of each month
FROZEN Fairytale Fun Day
Saturday, November 23 | 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Join us to celebrate the premiere of Frozen II (opening November 22nd) with a fun afternoon of Frozen-themed games, crafts and treats!
Three years after the events of the first film, Elsa starts to hear a strange sound from the north calling her. Together with her sister Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven, they embark on a new journey beyond their homeland of Arendelle in order to discover the origin of Elsa's magic powers and save their kingdom.
Wear your favorite Frozen dress and come ready to save the kingdom!
Pajama Storytime & Cookie Decorating
Wear your holiday jammies and join us for a festive evening! Santa's elves will read the Polar Express in the library, followed by cookie decorating in the kitchen and dining room, then a chance to visit with Santa by the fireplace. Every child takes home a wrapped book.
Cost: $15 per child
FANTASY SUMMER CAMPS
Your favorite summer camps will return next summer!
Join us for Harry Potter Camp, Camp Half Blood,
Code Breakers Camp, Get Published Camp and more!
(for ages 9 - 14)