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.
“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.
A lifelong small-scale speed-mobile builder and driver, Rapid Raceway co-owner Rick "Rapid" Raducha initiates aspiring 1:24-scale motorists into the ways of the controller with two massive slot-car courses. Racers can challenge the grooves of the 145-foot Grandstand track, where they’ll command their electrified speedsters through its tricky S-curves before flooring it on two 13-foot straightaways. Fast fingers can also test their abilities on The Whip, which features two 34-degree banked turns and more than 88 feet of raceway that'll leave drivers little time to break for necessary pit stops or unnecessary blueberry-scone runs. This Groupon provides a rental car and remote so casual competitors don't have to propel cars with mind control, but slot-car gurus are welcome to bring their own models.
On Another Farm’s 90-acre plot of scenic, rural countryside, Sue Peterson and her team of equestrians lead services ranging from horse training to human instruction in the art of riding. Sue possesses 45 years’ worth of industry experience and passes on her hard-earned acumen to students during lessons in styles such as Western, hunt seat, or dressage, tailored to any level of riding skill. Lesson appointments can be made seven days a week, rain or shine, with teacher and pupil heading in to the large indoor arena when the weather doesn’t cooperate so horses don’t get mud on their new pairs of Air Secretariat shoes.
In the past 40 years, the Southern Litchfield Hills of northwestern Connecticut have seldom stood without an echo of laughter or music. That's because Woodbury Ski Area keeps them pulsing with skiers and snowboarders during winter months and warm-weather revelers and concertgoers throughout the summer. Tubing slides run down the hills throughout the summer, along with zorb balls—inflatable spheres that carry passengers to the bottom in 45 seconds.
Woodbury Ski Area's president Rod Taylor, who competed as a member of the U.S. Ski Team, maintains the facility with the same drive he used to become the national downhill ski champion and record holder for clearing 222 feet in the Glendale Jump contest. While helping to keep adrenaline levels high, Rod ensures the facility hosts more laid-back cultural events with concerts on the Woodbury stage. Past shows have featured legends including The Wailers, Fela Kuti, and UB40, as well as Muddy Waters, The Band, Bonnie Raitt, and Earl Scruggs.