“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.
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.
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.