Action Wildlife Foundation, Inc. offers residents of CT, MA and NY the unusual opportunity of observing and learning about animals from North America, Africa, India, New Zealand, Asia and the Artic. As well as viewing wild animals, children can visit the small petting zoo and feed the animals as well as a museum gallery. Action Wildlife Foundation, 337 Torrington Road (Rt. 4), Goshen, CT 06756. For more information, call (860) 482-4465 or visit www.actionwildlife.org
Located on Route 35 in Ridgefield, Connecticut, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is a family-friendly place featuring monthly children’s events and programs in all areas of visual and performing arts, from sculpture lessons to spoken-word poetry slams. The museum’s mission is to promote challenging and progressive artwork. The Aldrich features both established and emerging artists. Recent events have featured performances by Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson, and readings by David Sedaris and Billy Collins. 258 Main St, Ridgefield,CT. (203)438-4519. Visit www.aldrichart.org.
This famous New York museum explores all aspects of nature from wildlife, to plant life, to life in outer space. The museum features hundreds of rooms with permanent installations, including the new Hayden Planetarium, and changing exhibits. The museum is open from 10:00am to 5:45pm daily. It is located at Central Park West on 79th St. Admission is $13.00 for adults, $7.50 for children ages 2-12, and $10.00 for seniors or students with student ID. For general information and current exhibition schedules call (212) 769-5100 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Visit www.amnh.org
1601 Route 9D, Garrison, NY 10524, (845) 265-3638
Boscobel is situated on a bluff on the east bank of the Hudson River opposite the United States Military Academy at West Point. The house museum and surrounding grounds and gardens are situated on 45 acres. They offer visitors memorable views of the Hudson Highlands and the Hudson River. The house was completed in 1808 for the States Dyckman family and is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in the country. It contains one of the nation’s leading collections of furniture and decorative arts from the Federal period, much of it made by premier New York cabinetmakers such as Duncan Phyfe and Michael Allison. Nearby, visitors can explore the nineteenth century village of Cold Spring with its antique and specialty shops. Check for hours and days before your visit, Boscobel is not a year-round facility. Visit www.boscobel.org
The Bruce Museum was founded in 1908. The building dates back to 1853 and was originally the private home of Robert Moffat Bruce. Today, its mission is to encourage the appreciation of art and science to enrich peoples’ lives. In 1908, Robert Bruce bequeathed his home to the Town of Greenwich and stipulated that it be used “as a Natural History, Historical and Art Museum, for the use and benefit of the public.” The Bruce Museum is located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich. Also part of the Bruce Museum is the Seaside Center which is a beachside museum located on Greenwich Point. The Seaside Center aims to educate visitors about the ecology of Long Island Sound and environmental issues with a touch tank, coloring area, weekly activities, and weekly guided walks. For information, call 203.869.0376 or visit www.brucemuseum.org.
Bush-Holley Historic Site, 39 Strickland Road in Cos Cob, features the circa 1730 National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House, home of Connecticut`s first art colony. Guided tours of Bush-Holley House feature an American Impressionist art collection and historic interiors. The William Hegarty Gallery presents historically and artistically significant exhibits that focus on the art and artists of the Cos Cob art colony, museum collections and aspects of Greenwich history. Open Tues. through Sun.; 12 to 4 p.m. Admission to gallery, visitor center and house museum: $6 seniors, $4 adults and students. Children under six are free. House tours included with admission. Free admission Tuesdays. Take I-95, exit 4. 203-869-6899, x 10, www.hstg.org
149 Girdle Ridge Rd, Katonah, NY 10536, (914) 232-5035
Caramoor is the legacy of Walter and Lucie Rosen, who established the estate and built a great house as its centerpiece, filling it with treasures collected on their travels. The Rosens furnished their mansion with their vast collection of European and Asian art and furnishings. With its outstanding performances, engaging arts-in-education programming, the extraordinary Rosen House, and beautiful grounds, Caramoor is a cornerstone of the cultural life of Westchester County and beyond. Since 1945 visitors have delighted in the exceptional music – from classical to opera to jazz – and the enchanting garden setting that makes Caramoor such a unique and treasured resource. Visit www.caramoor.org.
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) is a not-for-profit institution, founded in 1973, to engage children and families in a partnership of learning through interactive exhibits and educational programs. CMOM inspires children and families to learn about themselves and our culturally diverse world through the arts, literacy, media & communications, science & the environment and early childhood education. The Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam, New York, NY 10024. For more information, call (212) 721-1234 or visit www.cmom.org
Dinosaur State Park is one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. Beneath their geodesic dome, you will find an exceptional display of early Jurassic fossil tracks that were made 200 million years ago. Surrounding the Exhibit Center are more than two miles of nature trails and the Dinosaur State Park Arboretum. For more information call 860.529.8423 or visit www.dinosaurstatepark.org. Dinosaur State Park, 400 West Street, Rocky Hill, Connecticut 06067-3506.
The Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, CT functions as both a tourist attraction featuring science and space science exhibits and as an informal science education center. Through its exhibits, it enhances public understanding of science and technology by providing fun, instructive experiences that encourage participant interaction. As an informal science education center, it provides an extensive range of educational programs in science and technology. The Discovery Museum’s 20,000 square foot facility includes changing and permanent interactive exhibit galleries, a 124 seat planetarium, Connecticut’s only Challenger Learning Center, an 80 seat auditorium, and five multi-purpose classrooms where hands-on science classes are conducted for schools, groups and the general public. Permanent exhibits include Green Energy, Sound, Light and Space Galleries and a simulated Moon Base Discovery play area for very young visitors. The recently upgraded Henry B. duPont III Planetarium offers traditional star shows and fulldome digital planetarium shows daily for both very young children and for ages 8 and up. The Discovery Museum and Planetarium, 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport CT 06604, 203-372-3521, www.discoverymuseum.org.
What child does not thrill at the chug-chug sound of a steam train? At Essex Steam Train – they have tailored their steam train experience for children of all ages. They have two coal-fired locomotives available to pull their collection of lovingly restored railroad cars. You will be swept away by the hiss of steam, the blast of the whistle, and the clickety-clack of the tracks. From the exciting “All Aboard” to the engineer checking the locomotive before the run, they promise an experience of an authentic journey back to the days of steam. For more information call 800.377.3987 or visit www.essexsteamtrain.com. One Railroad Avenue, P.O. Box 452, Essex, CT 06426
28 Deveau Rd, North Salem, NY 10560, (914) 669-5033
The Japanese Stroll Garden provides a place of natural beauty and tranquility, to delight the senses and refresh the spirit. It is a place where aspects of Eastern and Western culture can be appreciated through art exhibitions, concerts, special events and educational programs in order to promote global awareness and understanding. The museum also supports the efforts of artists and performers in the Greater New York Metropolitan Region. Visit www.hammondmuseum.org.
There’s always something new at the historic sites of Historic Hudson Valley. In spring, lambs are born on the farm at Philipsburg Manor and wisteria blossoms cover the façade of Kykuit. Summer brings opportunities to kayak on the river or play 19th-century baseball at festivals like River Day and Independence Day 1856. The Headless Horseman, ghosts, pirates, and other scary characters from Hudson Valley folklore make appearances around Halloween. Winter is the time to explore the sites by candlelight and enjoy a warm cup of cider by the bonfire. You will want to come back to the sites again and again, and bring friends and family to celebrate the changing seasons at Historic Hudson Valley. Of course, Historic Hudson Valley’s sites are wonderful places to just unwind. You can read a book, picnic, stroll in a garden, hike a woodland trail, bird watch, sketch, visit the farm animals, play traditional children`s games, and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Hudson Valley. www.hudsonvalley.org
Four beautiful garden sites and the historic home of the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Jay. Pleasant walking environment and interesting house museum. Childrens’ programs are run throughout the year, call for a current schedule. 400 Route 22/Jay Street, Katonah, 914.232.5651. For more information, visit www.nysparks.com or www.johnjayhomestead.org.
The Katonah Museum is a non-collecting institution dedicated to encouraging the enjoyment, appreciation, and study of the visual arts by visitors of all ages. 2004 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Museum, which each year presents a series of changing exhibitions that span a wide range of cultures, media, historical periods and social issues. The Museum offers lectures and symposia by noted artists and scholars; tours of private collections, special exhibitions, and regional museums; children and family workshops and community festivals; free summer jazz concerts; and volunteer opportunities. The Museum also offers children’s art classes and features a drop-in center for kids to create their own art! Located off of Route 22 in Katonah, NY. Call 914.232.9555 or visit www.katonahmuseum.org.
Liberty Science Center is an innovative learning resource for lifelong exploration of nature, humanity and technology, supporting the growth of our diverse region and promoting informed stewardship of the world. The museum features several programs and exhibits for children and many hands-on events. It is open from 9:30am to 5:30pm Tuesday through Sunday. Liberty Science Center is located at 251 Philip St in Liberty State Park in New Jersey. For additional information, please call 201.200.1000 or visit lsc.org.
635 S Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591, (914) 631-4481
Lyndhurst is a Gothic Revival mansion whose 67-acre grounds offer fine views of the Hudson River. The house, clad in Sing Sing marble, was designed in two stages by Alexander Jackson Davis. In 1838, he created a Gothic villa for William Paulding, a former mayor of New York City; 26 years later, he doubled the house’s size, adding a four-story tower and porte cochere for New York businessman George Merritt. For both men, Davis also designed Gothic-style furniture, which the home’s third owner, railroad magnate and stock manipulator Jay Gould, retained and complemented with furnishings of his own. Gould’s daughter, Anna, gave the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. The house contains stained glass, faux finishes, and murals. Particularly impressive are the dining room, created to resemble a medieval banquet hall, and the two-story-tall art gallery. The grounds, combining sweeping lawns and groupings of magnificent specimen trees, also feature a rose garden with more than 500 varieties and a restored fern garden, as well as the estate’s carriage house, bowling alley, and conservatory. The carriage house contains an exhibit about the house’s various owners and a small café. 914-631-4481.
This child-centered museum emphasizes interactive education through exploration and discovery. It embraces scientific, historical, and artistic exhibits. It maintains programs and exhibits appropriate for children of all ages, including a special area for infants and toddlers. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is $6.50 per adult and $6.50 per child. Free Admission for members and children under 1 year. The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is located on 75 North Water St., Poughkeepsie. For more information, call 845.471.0589 or visit www.mhcm.org.
Muscoot is a 777 acre early 1900′s interpretive farm that depicts life as it would have been lived on a country gentleman’s farm circa 1880-1950. Visitors can view a variety of farm animals, tour historic farm buildings, see a collection of historic agriculture equipment and tools, walk to the ice pond, and hike over 7 miles of woodland trails. Educational programs and workshops are offered on weekends. Hayrides are offered on Sundays from May through October. Refreshment stand open in season. Admission and parking are free. Rte 100, Somers, NY 10570. 914.864.7282. Visit muscootfarm.org.
From boat building to barnacle scraping, this is the place for the young pirate. In the Discovery Barn kids aged 8 and up can discover through interactive displays and hands on learning. At the Children’s Museum, kids aged 7 and under can swab the decks, cook in the galley, dress in sailor garb, lie in the ships bunks, and more. A planetarium and lively sea show are available as well. Just FYI, some displays are not available during the winter. For more information, call 860.572.5331 or visit www.mysticseaport.org.
The Neuberger Museum of Art is a major visual arts center and vital cultural resource. The permanent collection features major works by American and European modern artists, an extensive collection of African Art including masks and sculpture, and presents more than a dozen changing exhibitions each year dedicated to new forms of artistic expression. The Neuberger Museum offers special events for children and families throughout the year. The Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577-1400. Call 914-251-6100 or visit www.neuberger.org
The New England Air Museum is situated in two large display buildings consisting of more than 75,000 square feet of exhibit space. Exhibits feature amazing planes, helicopters, and the like. As well as airplane and helicopter displays, the museum also has many fascinating exhibits on such diverse topics as the History of Sikorsky Aircraft, Early French Aviation, a History of Air Mail, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Flying Mollisons, and many others. There is a small dining area with snack vending machines and aviation-related arcade games for the kids. A variety of restaurants can be found on nearby Route 75. For more information, call 860.623.3305 or visit www.neam.org. 36 Perimeter Road, Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, CT 06096.
Pelham Art Center’s mission is to provide the public with a place, the resources and the opportunity to see, study and experience the arts in a community setting. Last year the Art Center provided the following programs and services to nearly 8,700 households from Pelham and east to the Sound, west to the Hudson, north to White Plains and south to the Bronx: presented 6 exhibits with work by 106 artists, 6,800 visited exhibitions and 1,370 were school children on free tours, 51 teaching artists were employed and art works by 33 artists were sold, 11 artist residency programs took place at 5 different schools and community centers, 240 disadvantaged youth were served in free outreach programs, 146 fee based art classes served 1,393 students, 98 students received need based financial aid, 25 free workshops, lectures, and performances were presented. Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803. 914-738-2525. Visit www.pelhamartcenter.org email firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in 1963, the Southeast Museum offers exhibits on the history of the Town of Southeast, including the early American Circus, the Harlem Line Railroad, the Tilly Foster Mine, the Borden Milk Condensery, and the Croton Reservoir System. In addition, the museum presents various changing exhibits, drawing on its extensive collection of antique farm and household implements, quilts, clothing and assorted Americana reflecting 19th century material culture. The museum is located on Main Street, Brewster in one of Putnam County’s largest landmarked buildings, the 1896 Old Town Hall, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Southeast Museum, 67 Main STreet, Brewster, NY, (845)279-7500, www.southeastmuseum.org.
This is several venues in one! Check out the different visiting exhibitions in the Museum. This always includes a child-friendly hands-on activity. Then tour Heckscher Farm– ask for The Heckscher Farm Activity Guide & Scavenger Hunt booklet. Then stop by for a visit at Animal Embassy, an independent venture that rescues exotic pets. Maybe you’ll stumble upon lunch time for the giant turtles when they amble between your feet to eat off the vegetable plate that the caretakers set on the floor for them. Or maybe you’ll be able to hold a snake or chinchilla! And don’t miss the amazing playground. That’s a great place for mom to bring a book for a long read while kids play! Call theStamford Nature Center at 203.322.1646, 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford CT 06903, www.stamfordmuseum.org.
The Stepping Stones Museum for Children invites children to explore, imagine, create and discover new experiences every time they visit! All of our exhibits, designed for children ages ten and under, encourage hands-on exploration and discovery, incorporating the themes of Science, The Arts, Culture and Heritage. The Museum offers a water room, where children can don smocks and play in the water, and a play area where even the smallest children can run, climb, and build with manipulatives. Mathews Park, 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850. Phone: (203) 899-0606. www.steppingstonesmuseum.org.
West Sunnyside Lane, Off Route 9, Tarrytown, (914) 591-8763
A visit to Sunnyside is an enchanted adventure in a romantic landscape and a much-loved riverside home that has been charming visitors for generations. Hear about Washington Irving’s storied past and how he came to be America’s first internationally famous author, best remembered now for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other short stories. A gently curved path leads to gorgeous views of the Hudson River and reveals the allure of Sunnyside’s unique design, its intimate setting, its bucolic grounds, and its association with a beloved man of letters. Your guide, dressed elegantly in hoop skirts or formal dress of the times, explains how Washington Irving designed Sunnyside and its grounds himself, collaborating with his neighbor, the artist George Harvey. The grounds reflect Washington Irving’s romantic view of art, nature, and history. He arranged garden paths, trees and shrubs, vistas, and water features to appear natural, and planted an exotic wisteria vine (still growing) to envelope the house. Visit site.
Slated for opening July 16, 2012: The Adventure Park at The Discovery Museum! The Adventure Park will be situated on five acres of forestland in Veterans Memorial Park, behind the Discovery Museum & Planetarium and will consist of about 110 platforms installed in the trees and connected by various configurations of cable, wood and rope to form bridges and challenges of different kinds including the ever-popular zip lines. Groups of bridges link together to form “aerial trails” throughout the forest. There will be a total of 8 different trails to choose from, ranging in difficulty from beginner level to expert. Trails are suitable for ages seven to adult. Participants wear harnesses which are doubly secured to safety cables using the Park’s own “always locked on” climbing system of interlocking carabineers (coupling links). Park goers receive a thorough orientation before going on the trails. For more information please visit www.DiscoveryAdventurePark.org.
The Bronx Zoo is the biggest zoo in the Metropolitan area, and is dedicated to the preservation of wildlife and wild places around the globe. It is a part of the Wildlife Conservation Society. The zoo has over 4,000 animals and features such installations as the Congo Gorilla Forest and the Indoor Asian Rainforest. It also features a string of children’s and family educational programs that involve animal study and projects. The Bronx Zoo is open from 10:00-4:30 every day. For additional information, please call (718) 367-1010 or visit www.bronxzoo.com
The Garbage Museum is an environmental education facility for all ages. Their mission is to empower children and adults with the knowledge that each individual can make a difference in the preservation of our natural resources. All activities are FREE to the public. Go greet Trash-o-saurus, the resident 1-ton dinosaur made entirely out of garbage. The museum also offers a unique variety of hands-on exhibits, a learning laboratory, and an amphitheater for videos and lectures. You’ll observe recycling in action with a “sky box” view of the dumping and sorting process. Family Fun Days are also scheduled on select Saturdays throughout the year. For more information, call 203.381.9571.
Explore the marine life and maritime culture of Long Island Sound. Watch sharks, jelly fish, sea turtles, and more than 1,000 other marine animals, or enjoy a film at the area’s only IMAX theater. Watch the professionals feed the seals, the river otters, or allow your kids to touch the animals in the “Touch Tank” where children can touch green crabs, sea stars, and horseshoe crabs. As well as the wonderful exhibits, when the kids have had enough, take them to the “Ocean Playscape”, a great play area for children under 5 years old. 10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT 06854. Call 203.852.0700 or visit www.maritimeaquarium.org
The Trevor Zoo is dedicated to environmental education and to the conservation of the world’s wildlife through programs in habitat preservation and the captive breeding of endangered species. Visitors enter the six-acre zoo via a bridge overlooking a North American otter enclosure on one side and a large waterfowl pond with on the other. They then proceed to four zoo geographic regions: Australia, North America, Asia, and South America. Winding paths take visitors through a total of twelve different exhibits including a covered bridge with views of birds of prey as well as bamboo groves sheltering red pandas and Asian deer. The center encourages people to support wildlife conservation, to become better informed about pressing environmental problems, to make environmentally sensitive decisions regarding their life-style, and to promote conservation alerts and legislation at the local, state, and federal levels. For information, call 845.677.3704 or visit www.trevorzoo.org
525 S Riverside Ave, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520, (914) 271-8981
At Van Cortlandt Manor, explore the stone manor house and brick ferry house, wander through the heritage gardens, and stroll down a quiet country road along the Croton River. There, you`ll experience the domestic life of a patriot family living in the years just after the American Revolution – the New Nation period. Costumed guides demonstrate and invite visitors to try their own hands at blacksmithing, brick making, open-hearth cooking, spinning, weaving, and other crafts and tasks of the period. These activities and a lively program of special events help bring the past to life. Enter the manor house and see an extraordinary collection of furnishings from the colonial and federal periods, in their original setting. Downstairs hear about one of the largest and best-equipped colonial kitchens in America and see samples of 18th-century medicines and foodways. At the Ferry House, built before 1750, find a rural tavern that offered food, drink, and lodging to travelers along the Albany Post Road. As you walk through the gardens, you`ll find a remarkable array of flowers, vegetables, and herbs available to American gardeners in the late 18th century. Visit www.hudsonvalley.org