“Other communities looking to establish museums preserving their regional culture and history would do well to visit The Mattatuck Museum,” raves the New England Travels about the Connecticut treasure. The Museum’s educational programs, rotating exhibits, and permanent collections showcasing over 2,000 works of American art focus on preserving and sharing Connecticut’s cultural history. Members receive free admission and discounts on programs and events including readings of Shakespearian plays, walking tours of local neighborhoods, regular live jazz performances, and field trips to go bully Rhode Island, Connecticut’s diminutive neighbor.
Framed by Kosal's archivists comb a vast inventory of conservation materials to retrieve mats and mouldings that best showcase each client's valuables. By giving special attention to each custom framing order, the archivists carry on a tradition that began when the shop first began preserving artwork, keepsakes, and entire refrigerator doors. From in-store to at-home consultations, staff members guide customers toward the framing materials that optimize beauty and longevity. In addition to framing, Framed by Kosal's specialists offer photo restoration and large-format photo printing, and stock the store with a wide selection of art.
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.
American Clock & Watch Museum’s staff and visitors never have to worry about keeping track of time. Inside a Federal-style home originally built in 1801, curators display more than 1,500 clocks and watches from a collection of more than 5,500, making it one of the largest in the world behind the legion of wristwatches glued together to form Big Ben. Guest curators showcase timepieces from different eras and manufacturers, from antique clocks to art deco accessories made in the Jazz era. Visitors can admire clock maintenance in action on the first and third Friday of each month when the “Ol’ Cranks” wind more than 70 of the museum's historic items. Visitors can also learn more about their own antique treasures by consulting with the museum staff during scheduled evaluation events.
The interactive exhibits at Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre chronicle the impact of Alberta’s oil boom from the first drilling in 1947 to discoveries in the present day. Traipse back in time through the Centre’s collection of historical artifacts, letting eyes feast on a banquet of oil-patch memorabilia, rig equipment, and models. Or, ensconced in a theatre designed to look like a giant drill bit, visitors can embark on a virtual journey 1,700 meters below the earth's surface. A cadre of expert guides circulates throughout the exhibits, stopping to answer visitors’ questions such as, "How did oil transform Alberta’s formerly agrarian economy?" and "Does oil really hate water that much?" Guests may also meander through the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame, which pays homage to the enormous contributions of 124 petroleum-steeped pioneers and heroes through a series of photos and personal stories. Members of the Leduc #1 drilling crew and Hall of Famers have also been known to put in appearances at the Centre, regaling lucky day-trippers with tales of bygone years and reenactments of their favourite moments in oil’s 374-million-year history.
The only zoo in the state and a participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Program, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo has charmed visitors for more than 80 years with more than 300 cared-for critters and a mission that minds the tenets of ecological education, conservation, and recreation. Patrons brandishing a Director's Circle membership can visit the zoo an unlimited number of times for one year, plenty of time to navigate the sundry indoor and outdoor exhibits on the back of a Roomba. Guests can espy such endangered species as the siberian tiger, red wolf, and golden lion tamarin, as well as the zoo's most recent denizens on display: two canada lynx and a pair of common rhea. In spring, patrons can go snout-to-snout with a rare chacoan peccary piglet, whose birth made the zoo the first in the Northeast to host an infant of her species and prompted a feature in the Monroe Courier. Birds ride unsuspecting propeller beanies in the South American rainforest exhibit's free-flight aviary, and children play interspecies games of Heads Up, Seven Up in the prairie-dog exhibit's pop-up viewing capsules. After chowing down at the Peacock Café, groups can befriend more statuesque creatures on a vibrantly painted carousel.