“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.
Today’s Groupon lets you live out lumberjackian desires with an evening’s worth of grizzly games and grub at Museum by Moonlight at the World Forestry Center. For $4, you’ll get admission to the 21-and-over, after-hours event, taking place December 10 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
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 Aldrich is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States, and the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art. Founded on Ridgefield’s historic Main Street in 1964, the Museum concentrates its exhibition program on solo exhibitions by emerging and mid-career artists.
Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden builds a bridge between Eastern and Western cultures with landscape architecture, art exhibits, and community programming. Designed by artist and heiress Natalie Hays Hammond, the 3.5-acre garden sends feet meandering among dark evergreens, groves of blossoming fruit trees, and glassy ponds covered with lily pads so princely frogs need not get their webbing wet. The museum's permanent collection boasts Carl Van Vechten's silver gelatin photographs of American artistic luminaries, including modern choreographer Alvin Ailey and expat poet Gertrude Stein, alongside a private collection of ornate fans and traveling exhibits. The Hammond mansion's library shelters a traditional tearoom hand crafted by a 17th-generation descendent of the originator of the Japanese tea ceremony, Sen Rikyu, who is rumored to have also invented beverages in general.
The Shore Line Trolley Museum—founded in 1945—pays tribute to the bygone era of suburban trolleys. In its multisensory collection, the museum boasts nearly 100 vintage trolleys and exhibits chock-full of trolley-related artifacts including tokens, hat badges,and ticket punches.Throughout the year, the museum hosts seasonal events, from haunted trolley rides at Halloween to visits with Santa at Christmas.