It would take months of sea travel, extensive scuba certifications, and fluency in several crustacean dialects to find—let alone interact with—all the creatures found in Ocean Explorium's interactive exhibits. The science center emphasizes environmental stewardship and scientific literacy through several educational habitats such as touch tanks of local aquatic wildlife—including New Bedford's world-famous scallops and schools of rays and sharks. The Living Laboratory exhibit brings visitors face to face with sea creatures such as baby sharks, shark egg cases, coral farm, and moon jellies. Beyond the up-close encounters with denizens of the deep, Ocean Explorium also enlightens patrons with a variety of non-living displays. The Explorer's Zone presents scientific experiments that reveal the workings of the natural world through hands-on exhibits themed around different weekly topics, and Discovery Bay enthralls children aged eight or younger with games, puzzles, and a sand and water table. Advanced computers construct a three-dimensional image of our home planet as it appears from outer space in the Science on a Sphere exhibit, displaying global weather patterns in real time or replaying natural phenomena from history, such as the time it rained men.
For the past 15 years, The New Bedford Art Museum has dressed up downtown New Bedford with a seasonally changing collection of visual stimuli from local, national, and international artists—all presented within a former bank that still contains two vintage vaults. Pamela Calore's Time Has Left Its Mark explores the haunting remnants of abandoned local factories and the Rhode Island System that governed the lives of its workers. New Bedford Through the Lens, meanwhile, charts the city's changes over time through photographs or a feature film, depending on how fast attendees sprint past the photographs. The New Bedford Art Museum is open Wednesday–Sunday.
Thanks to lines such as Royal Flemish and Crown Milano, the city of New Bedford rightfully earned the nickname ?Art Glass Headquarters of the Country? by the late 19th century. With 7,000 objects to its name, The New Bedford Museum of Glass not only celebrates the area?s rich heritage, but also spans more than 3,000 years of worldwide glassmaking history. Through its permanent collection and rotating exhibits, the museum highlights everything from Victorian glass syrup bottles to 19th-century glass cigar holders. Our Nation?s Heritage in Glass encompasses 500-plus pieces of American-themed glass, including Bicentennial glass and the glass teeth George Washington wore in battle. Along with its rich displays, the museum?s in-house libraries delves deeper into global glassmaking with more than 8,000 volumes in 10 languages.
Deemed one of New England's Top Five Public Gardens by Yankee magazine, Blithewold invites guests to explore 33 acres of gardens alongside the Narragansett Bay. Amid this paradise, a 45-room Queen Anne?style mansion sits, filled with relics from the past?furniture, family heirlooms, and presumably, a box of Nomar Garciaparra rookie cards that hasn't been found yet.?Here, the hospitality of the VanWickle-McKee-Lyon family shines as groups tour the floors, getting lost in history before reemerging into the world.
Outside, acre after acre of flowers and trees envelop the wanderers in an ever-changing landscape. Guests explore 50 specimens of trees, a rock and water garden, and a north garden that looks across the great lawn and into the bay.
From its unobstructed perch directly on the bay, the Herreshoff Marine Museum showcases a vast sampling of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company’s historic fleet of power and sailing yachts. Herreshoff helped usher in the early 20th-century's golden age of yachting, building eight consecutive America’s Cup winners before constructing the first torpedo boats for the U.S. Navy, which until that point had relied on splashing the enemy’s vessels whenever the lifeguard wasn’t looking. A family membership grants two adults and up to four children free year-round access to 60 classic yachts, plus steam engines, fittings, photographs, and memorabilia. Members also get to wander the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, which honors the inductees of yachting’s premier competition.