With three floors of interactive exhibits, Imagine Nation keeps tykes aged 2–8 and their parents engaged for hours of synapse-firing fun. Kids can create their first masterpiece in the art studio, or visit the ESPN center, where they 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.
Once, antique wooden carousels dominated parks around the country, delighting kids and adults with jaunty music and exquisite craftsmanship. Today, the experts at the New England Carousel Museum preserve those bygone playtimes for future generations, acquiring and restoring old-fashioned carousels and carousel memorabilia to educate the public on these vintage treasures. In addition to its restoration and exhibition work, the museum also houses an art gallery hosts educational programs for families that can include visits from collectors of other pieces of Americana such as quilts and dolls.
Timexpo: Inside a brass mill built in 1854, the Timex Museum traces the story of the famous watch brand and its impact on modern timekeeping, starting from its inception as Waterbury Clock Company in 1854. Here, visitors learn about the heritage of Timex through
modern and interactive exhibits and discover how the watch company turned
Waterbury into a landmark.
Size: three floors of time-related exhibits
Eye Catcher: a vast collection of clocks and pocket watches, all manufactured in Waterbury since the mid-1800s, when everyone stopped wearing their wall clocks on neck chains
Permanent Mainstay: an exhibit focusing on the ever-popular vintage Timex torture-test ads and their famous slogan "Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'"
Don't Miss: though seemingly unrelated to timepieces, the Time Tunnel archaeology exhibit is based on discoveries of explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who found interesting and peculiar connections between seemingly disparate cultures
Hidden Gem: the company's iconic Mickey Mouse watches are highlighted in their own exhibit
Hands-On Experiments: guests can decorate and assemble a working clock or participate in an assembly line and create a paper wristwatch
Pro Tip: at the museum store, you can not only buy Timex watches, but also get your watch battery or strap replaced
While You’re in the Neighborhood:
the American Clock & Watch Museum in nearby Bristol also keeps a collection of pieces from Waterbury Clock Company
“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 gallery tours and lectures, live music performances, travel programs, and more.
Whether you're an artist or just an admirer, come check out the collection of exclusive handcrafted artwork.
If you're in the market for some new wall decor, be sure to clear some space for items like mirrors.
Tired of driving in circles? Head to Frame Shop for a bite to eat and find quick parking in the lot next door.
Behind the exhibits at KidsPlay Children's Museum is a simple philosophy: children learn best through hands-on activities. There’s plenty of that at KidsPlay, from enclosing yourself in a giant bubble to designing glowing, 3-D shapes on a magnetic light table. Children can grace the museum’s stage in costumes and with props, imagine doing donuts in a racecar, or dash to pretend fires in a fire truck. Those are stored in the museum’s firehouse, part of a small-town play area complete with a grocery.