Museums

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 info@pelhamartcenter.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.