Save the date for the popular one-day-only statewide event in which destinations offer free or discounted admission, special activities or giveaways to Connecticut residents.
Connecticut Open House Day on Saturday, June 10, sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Tourism, is designed to showcase Connecticut’s diverse offering of museums, theaters, historical sites and other attractions across the state.
— an announcement from the Connecticut Office of Tourism
The annual celebration, now in its 13th year, encourages residents to discover the wealth of treasures in their own backyard and rediscover old favorites.
From historic to contemporary, cultural to nature-oriented, Connecticut offers a variety of unique experiences within a short drive.
No institutions in Darien, Stamford, Norwalk, New Canaan or Wilton are participating, but you don’t have to go much further to find special offers, reduced rates or free admission to places in Greenwich, Ridgefield, Westport, Fairfield and Bridgeport. Then there are attractions elsewhere around the state that you may have been thinking of visiting anyway.
Here’s a list of all the nearby participating institutions and some highlights of others around the state (for the full list, go here):
- Editor’s note: We found a couple of mistakes in this website’s list, with the Yale Center for British Art listed in New London (where it isn’t) as well as New Haven (where it is); and the “Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society” listed in West Haven (where it isn’t) and not West Hartford (where it is). So we recommend you click through to websites and confirm information there.
- Barnum Museum
Free admission from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., along with free Barnum bookmarks, Barnum-blend coffee tasting, guided tours and post cards.
- Bijou Theatre
Free dance performance by the New England Ballet Company from noon until 2 p.m.
- Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., offering half price off admission for the first 100 guests.
- New England Ballet Company
Free tours of the studio at 130 Elm Street, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. At 1 p.m., enjoy an open performance at the historic Bijou Theater, located at 275 Fairfield Avenue (across the street).
Cos Cob (Greenwich)
- Greenwich Historical Society
Free admission from noon until 4 p.m. Program features “The Doubtful Sprout,” a performance by Liz Joyce and a Couple of Puppets begins at 1 p.m. Make your own puppet throughout the day, visit the “Jim and Jane Henson: Creative Work, Creative Play” exhibit; take tours of the historic site at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Fairfield
Open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Enjoy a free program on birds at 10:30 a.m., along with a walk in the sanctuary. Receive a 10% off items purchased in the Nature Store.
- Fairfield Museum and History Center
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
- Fairfield University Art Museum
Walsh Gallery and Bellarmine Hall Galleries will be open from noon until 4 p.m., offering a free notecard and envelope.
- Ogden House & Garden
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
- Connecticut River Expeditions – RiverQuest
RiverQuest will be offering a special reduced admission of $5 per person (all ages) for a 45-minute cruise on the Connecticut River. First come, first serve, no reservations; cash only. First cruise departs at 9 a.m., last departure at 12:30 p.m
Greenwich (see Cos Cob, above)
- Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library
Free admission from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Offering “Secrets of the Veeder House Tours” at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., tours of the 1928 house not regularly accessible to the public.
- Connecticut’s Old State House
Free admission from noon until 4 p.m.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. After an 18 month interior renovation, the National Historic Landmark Stowe House reopens with a new interactive tour. On June 10, receive a discount on tour admission; enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, “meet” Harriet Beecher Stowe; children’s games, arts and crafts, food vendors and a cake in honor of Stowe’s 206th birthday. Tours free for Hartford residents.
- Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Mystic Aquarium
Open from 9 a.m. until 5:50 p.m. Offering $6 off general admission, good up to four guests when you mention Connecticut Open House Day at the gate.
- New Britain Museum of American Art
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m
- Yale Center for British Art
Open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., offering free Introductory Tours (11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.). These docent-led tours are of the Center’s collections, including the Founder’s Room.
- Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
Open from noon until 4 p.m. with reduced admission of $10 to $30 and $20 to $6; along with offering mini-tours for $3..
- Mill Hill Historical Park
Free admission from noon until 5:30 p.m.
- Norwalk Arts Commission
Docent led tour of Norwalk’s WPA murals depicting the city’s oyster industry, paired with a boat ride out to view the oyster beds in Norwalk Harbor, provided by Captain Norman Bloom, a third generation Norwalk oysterman. $10 per person and limited to 30 people. Schedule from 8:30 a.m. until noon.
- Pedego SoNo
Pay for one hour electric bike rental and receive one hour free, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Free admission from noon until 5 p.m.
- Dinosaur State Park
Free admission from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
- Westport Historical Society
Open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., offering 10% discount on items in the gift shop and on view is “The High School that Rocks.”