Founded in 1903, New Britain Museum of American Art was designated the first museum in the country to be dedicated exclusively to American artwork. Upon its founding, wealthy industrialist John Butler Talcott endowed the museum with a hefty sum of gold bonds and bottled phoenix tears with which to purchase modern oil paintings. The collection blossomed to include other artistic media over time, and it now consists of more than 10,000 works spanning more than three centuries of American creative endeavor. The museum's permanent collections showcase works by noted American artists ranging from Norman Rockwell to John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt to Georgia O'Keeffe. Along with rotating exhibitions and borrowed collections, the museum showcases work by emerging artists.
Westport Picture Framing's meticulous frame experts specialize in safeguarding art, photos, and prints and can frame almost any item or size to fit personal tastes and special occasions. With an impressive selection of high-quality materials to choose from, customers can match their boutique artwork or prized Calvin Coolidge trading card with the surrounding décor of the frame's impending wall space. Skilled artisans can also mount and display glass sculptures, lithographs, and serigraphs. Acid-free products and museum-quality, UV-free glass help to ensure the longevity and preservation of framed photos, keepsakes, and important receipts.
With three floors of interactive exhibits, Imagine Nation keeps tykes aged 2–10 and their parents engaged for hours of synapse-firing fun. Tunnels filled with natural decor await youngsters in the museum's indoor jungle-themed playscape, where they can shake excess energy out of their bounding legs in preparation for naptime or hibernation season. In the ESPN center, kids can pretend to be sportscasters as they sit behind the desk of a model TV set, replete with real equipment from the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
The museum also boasts a health exhibit in which children can don hospital attire and explore a model newborn nursery and an operation table, ideal for parents trying to nudge their child toward a career as a hypochondriac. After whippersnapper's minds have been blown learning about the cosmos at the space exhibit, they can unwind with drinks and snacks at the old-fashioned soda fountain, which winds the clock back to the 1940s with the help of a player piano.
Home to more than 1,000 marine animals, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk entices visitors of all ages with glimpses of the Long Island Sound’s rich ecosystem. Pintsize adventurers thrill at the touch tank, which puts friendly rays and other inhabitants of the Sound at arm's reach. Sharks swiftly navigate a glass-enclosed exhibit, giving visitors an up-close view of the powerful creatures without having to disguise themselves as bigger sharks. The friendly staff members feed seven harbor seals three times a day, inviting landlubbers to watch and ask questions as the whiskered inhabitants chow down. A six-story screen displays larger-than-life images in the IMAX theater, as educational tales of seafaring critters and jungle dwellers inspire folk ballads about the family cat. The behind-the-scenes tour steers visitors through the jellyfish nursery and fish kitchen before piloting toward the Open Ocean exhibit, where participants can toss in fish to feed the sharks, and then after-dinner mints to curb the indecorous effects.
Since 1907, Flamig Farm has developed into a reputable educational-resource facility complete with an extensive petting zoo. Visitors can frolic with emus, ducks, and sheep, then cuddle with bunnies and piglets. Though not included in this Groupon, the farm offers several other activities, including pony rides, hikes, and hayrides. The farm closes when the weather gets cold, so be sure to visit before animals migrate to Hollywood and resume their winter jobs as fast-food commercial spokesmen.
When British Colonel Roger Morris and his wife stumbled upon a piece of unclaimed Manhattan hilltop, they knew it would be the ideal spot for their summer home. Built in 1765, the 8,500-square foot Morris-Jumel Mansion—as it's known today—was the centerpiece of an estate that extends more than 130 acres from the Harlem to the Hudson River. Loyal to the British crown, Morris left America during the Revolution; in the fall of 1776, General George Washington used the home as headquarters during the Battle of Harlem Heights.
Today, the mansion offers guided tours of its historic property. After becoming president, Washington returned on July 10, 1790, to dine with cabinet members that included future presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; you can visit the dining room where they ate together. More than 40 years later, in 1833, Aaron Burr got married to Madame Eliza Jumel—the widow of the mansion's second namesake owner, Stephen Jumel—right in the parlor of this estate.
Besides tours, the mansion now hosts rotating exhibits that display everything from period costumes to the axe Washington used to floss his wooden teeth. There are also events throughout the year, from classical and jazz concerts to wine tastings and, once, a lively debate between Burr and Alexander Hamilton scholars.