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Day at the Museum

Fun and Interactive Museums for Kids

Image provided by Connecticut Science Center

Who said that learning has to be boring? On the contrary, these local Connecticut museums have made it their mission to provide interactive and educational environments for children as well as parents. Visit any of the following museums and you and your children can play and pretend together, sharing in fun and learning.

The Connecticut Science Center

The word "exhibit" doesn’t come close to describing the incredible interactive stations at the Connecticut Science Center. For example, their "Animation” room allows one to explore animation from concept to finished product — from storyboarding, and character design to movement and sound! This hands on museum is perfect for kids of all ages. For more information, visit ctsciencecenter.org

Florence Griswold Museum

With outdoor art installations, gorgeous paintings, and photography exhibits, children are introduced to only fine art here. Aside from beautiful displays, they have also set up activities like, "Make-A-Painting Sundays" which encourages your budding artist to have a go at a blank canvas with color and gusto. florencegriswoldmuseum.org

The Aquariums at Norwalk and Mystic

The beautiful aquatic life swimming at the Aquariums at Norwalk and Mystic captivates any and all who walk through the doors. Take your pick, as both have paired marine creatures with breathtaking exhibits, IMAX films, touch tanks, and more. For even more excitement, check their websites for feeding times. maritimeaquarium.org; mysticaquarium.org

Kid City Museum

Venture into a whimsical world of learning and pretend geared for kids through age eight. Get ready to play, play, and play! Each room has a theme from Pirate Ships to Farm geared towards enticing children to use their imaginations! Whether you spend your time in the Green Party Room or the Cornfield, the whole family will have a blast! kidcitymuseum.com

Imagine Nation - A Museum for Children and Families

Imagine Nation has created interactive exhibits specialized for children ages 2 to 10 years. They include live animal exhibits, and their newest station “Healthy Nation.” A collaboration with Bristol Hospital and local professionals, this is where a sample of hospital life comes to the museum.  Children can dress in hospital attire and role-play in a newborn nursery. The exhibit also features a six-foot operation table, and dental chair where children can learn about the human body.  For more information, visit imaginenation.org.

The Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut

Take your little ones to discover sensory adventure in the Discovery Room, and if the weather is nice take advantage of the two Outdoor Play spaces, with a tree house, bubbles, and water play to name a few. For more information, visit childrensmuseumsect.org.

Lutz Children's Museum

Designed for kids aged two to ten years, Lutz Children’s frequently changes exhibits so you may visit time and again without getting bored. Your little ones must visit "Bounce” the chinchilla and about fifty of his friends at the Nature Center. The Lutz Children’s Museum has trained and licensed staff to care for injured wildlife, and these animals receive medical care, a balanced diet and lots of loving care. They are then released into the wild when they are healthy again. lutzmuseum.org

Connecticut Children's Museum

Interactive exhibits are made up of eight thematic rooms like the "Music Room", where kids can experiment making their own music with instruments from around the world. Have fun playing with your kids and watching them learn! childrensbuilding.org

The Mashantucket Pequot Museum

This museum demonstrates the culture and history of the Mashantucket Pequot Indians and is tribally owned and operated. Native artwork and crafts, as well as archeological items are featured in the displays. They have also supplied fun and interactive programs for kids and adults. Visit pequotmuseum.org.

Connecticut Trolley Museum

Founded in 1940, this non-profit historical and educational museum takes visitors on a 3-mile round trip trolley ride with a fun and educational narrative given by the conductor. Over 70 pieces of “rolling stock” are on display, including passenger cars, freight cars, and maintenance vehicles dating back to 1869. The museum is set to open for the season April 6, 2012. ct-trolley.org

The Children’s Museum

Before you even get inside this fabulous interactive science and nature museum, you are greeted by Conny the Whale, a 60-foot long sperm whale that you can climb inside. During the summer Conny will spray you with water from his blowhole! The exhibits found here are perfect for kids ages 2 through 12. The planetarium features several astronomy shows daily, and live animal demonstrations are always happening. All of the activities are geared towards hands on learning and participation (fun for grownups, too!). Visit thechildrensmuseumct.org.

Stepping Stones Museum

This museum is all about hands on learning, great for children ten and younger. The Waterscape Room is a favorite among visitors, where kids  have a blast getting wet while floating boats and balls in the water world of streams, waterfalls, and whirlpools. 
Another is the mesmerizing Color Coaster, a 27-foot kinetic sculpture designed by artist George Rhoads. The museum's only permanent exhibit, the Color Coaster is a non-stop toy that uses energy, motion, gravity, color and light as it spins, and delights onlookers of all ages!

Dinosaur State Park

Travel  back in time to when dinosaurs walked the earth. The Dinosaur State Park is one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America, displaying footprints from the early Jurassic period (around 200 million years ago). Your family will love exploring the miles of nature trails, the dinosaur tracks, life-size dinosaur dioramas, archeological exhibits, and interactive activities like making a plaster cast of a real dinosaur footprint. 
Visit dinosaurstatepark.org for more information.

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