Museums in Plymouth

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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.

1 Pleasant St
Bristol,
CT
US

When Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein of Brooklyn. N.Y.'s Artistic Carousel Company completed the Bushnell Park Carousel in 1914, they channeled the Coney Island-style of carving that made the boardwalk's rides unique. Adorned with large, wide-eye horses, the carousel also sported big cabbage roses, fish scales, and buckles.

Today, the New England Carousel Museum manages the structure, making it one of the few remaining antique wooden carousels still operating in the country. Set in Bushnell Park, this carousel houses 48 hand-carved wooden horses, 36 jumper horses, 12 stander horses, and two chariots that revolve around a Wurlitzer band organ. The historic piece is one part of the New England Carousel Museum's larger mission to acquire and restore old-fashioned carousels and carousel memorabilia to educate the public on these vintage treasures. The museum also hosts educational programs for families that can include visits from collectors of other pieces of Americana such as quilts, dolls, and perfectly preserved 1890s-era hot dogs.

95 Riverside Ave
Bristol,
CT
US

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.

100 Maple St
Bristol,
CT
US

“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.

144 W Main St
Waterbury,
CT
US

Nestled in the charming and historic suburb of Farmington, the Hill-Stead Museum hosts a mixed-medium menagerie amidst a sprawling, 152-acre Colonial Revival estate. Hill-Stead's dynamic collection includes French Impressionist works by Monet and Degas, as well as notable works by Manet, Cassatt, and Whistler, as well as a bounty of prints, photographs, ceramics, furniture, and archival documents. Along with unlimited complimentary admission to the museum, members enjoy reduced admission to museum programs, a 10% discount on Museum Shop purchases, and a one-on-one painting lesson with the cheery spirit of museum founder Alfred Atmore Pope. Join other new members on Wednesday, June 8, for the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, where poet Tony Hoagland will pluck audience heartstrings with poignantly funny stanzas about life and heartache.

35 Mountain Rd
Farmington,
CT
US

The Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden creates a natural journey through an ever-changing landscape. As people follow the curving paths, they come across tranquil ponds, large stepping stones, and wooded hollows, all encouraging contemplation along the way. The museum also stimulates minds with a variety of art exhibits such as contemporary photography, clay sculpture, and Chinese brush paintings, along with programs and events including an annual moon-viewing concert and ceramics classes for kids.

28 Deveau Rd.
North Salem,
NY
US