Expanding your kids’ horizons with a day trip (or shorter trip) to a museum or other site in Connecticut will be slightly cheaper with reduced or free admission or other offers on Saturday, June 10, Connecticut Open House Day.
Connecticut’s not that big a state, and you can see anything with a day trip. Combine a few places to go and it could be a trip your kids will remember. It may even spark an interest in some educational topic.
Connecticut Open House Day is about more than tourist sites for kids — if you have an interest in artist studios, art museums or historical sites or museums about transportation or technology, there’s a museum with a discount of some sort waiting for you on June 10. See the website to find one of them
NOT A LOT OF TIME IN THE CAR
These sites are in Fairfield County or just beyond
- 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.
- Fairfield Museum and History Center
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
From the website: Enjoy a Community Day of free activities and the opening of the new exhibitions on the Museum Commons.
— American Battlefield Protection Program / The Pequot War: 10am – 12:30pm. Learn more about the American Battlefield Protection Project to identify and preserve Native American battlefields, with David Naumec and Ashley Bissonette with the Mashantucket Pequot Museum. Following the presentation, learn about archaeology and how to dig for artifacts in shovel test pits near the museum building. All ages are encouraged to assist, minimum age 5 years old!
— Documentary Screenings: CT in the 1960s, 1pm and Ocean Frontiers III, 2pm.
Sun Tavern Tours: 11am and 1pm with Bill Lee, former Fairfield Town Historian
— Victorian Cottage & Barn: Hands-On Activities 11am – 2pm
— Victorian Cottage: Women in History Presentation & Activities with National Honor Society students from Fairfield Warde High School
- Ogden House & Garden
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
From the website: Step inside the Ogden House and experience how the Ogden Family lived in 18th century Fairfield. Museum Docents will lead guided tours giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look inside this New England saltbox house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Outside in the Colonial Kitchen Garden, learn about colonial era plants, the importance of beekeeping and take part in garden activities led by the Fairfield Garden Club. The Ogden House honey bee project includes apiaries located in Oak Lawn Cemetery that produce honey from the plants and flowers surrounding the Ogden House.
Nearby learn about the experiences of the militia during the American Revolution with costumed historical interpreters and a soldier’s encampment. See what a soldier had to carry, what a wool uniform might feel like, and practice a militia drill formation. Hear engaging stories of how soldiers faced hardships and survived during this important time in American history.
- 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.
- PEZ Visitor Center
Adult guests receive $1 off regular admission, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
MORE TIME IN THE CAR
- Barker Character, Comic & Cartoon Museum
Free admission from noon until 4 p.m.
- Cheshire Historical Society
Open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.; offering copies of “Reflections on the Canal,” a pamphlet on the original Farmington Canal which is now a Linear Walking path.
- Cheshire Strawberry Festival & Craft Fair
Festival runs from 10 a.m. until 4 a.m. and they’ll be giving away free 15 tickets to the Showcase Raffle to Connecticut Open House visitors.
OK, A LOT MORE TIME IN THE CAR
(But this is Connecticut, so it’s still only a day trip.)
- Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery
Open from noon until 6 p.m., offering visitors 10% off purchases.
- Lori Warner Studio & Gallery
Open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., offering visitors the chance to win their choice of an original monotype print by Lori Warner. Exhibition “Blue” artists will be on hand to discuss their work; refreshments will be served.
- Maple & Main Gallery of Fine Art
Open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., special show of Connecticut Scenes – 10% off. In addition, serving milk and chocolate chip cookies.
- Connecticut Trolley Museum
From 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., purchase one admission and receive the second admission free (higher price prevails). For Connecticut residents only, must show valid proof of residency.
- 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.
- Eli Whitney Museum
Open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Construct and sail a micro Fair Haven sharpie, a 4” model of New Haven’s contribution to New England maritime design. Plus, guided tours of the Water Lab: “Ten Lessons to Learn from Water.”
- Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., offering a free art activity for children and families.
- 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.
- Dinosaur State Park
Free admission from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. [Darienite.com editor’s note: Even for dinosaur lovers, this isn’t a big or extremely kid-friendly place, although worth a quick visit for a dinosaur-loving kid. Might be good when combined with other things to do. The Peabody Museum in New Haven has more for dinosaur lovers. In nearby Hartford, there’s the kid-friendly Connecticut Science Center.]
- Railroad Museum of New England
Offering free tours of the restored train station and train rides for $10, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Shuttles to Facia’s Chocolates in Waterbury, departing 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.