School’s out, the sun is shining, and families hit the road to visit new sights and various attractions all over the country.
However, if you’re a Connecticut native, you don’t have to travel far to find some great places to visit this weekend. In fact, there are a variety of museums, aquariums, and other historical monuments your family can visit for an affordable price.
Not to mention, your local library most likely offers free or discounted passes to these places. So, before you hit the road, stop in and see what they offer.
If you’re looking for a fun time at the shore, head down to Mystic Seaport for a bit of history on sailing and life on the sea. Visit vintage ships and daily events that will take you and your family back in time. Stop in to this museum for a variety of workshops and classes for all ages.
Mystic Seaport also hosts day and overnight summer camp courses for children aged 10 to 16 years old. During these courses kids can learn to properly sail on water and learn skills such as, teamwork and responsibility.
The museum is open daily from 9AM to 5PM in the summer and children under 3 years old receive free admission.
While you’re in Mystic it’s a good idea to also stop by the Aquarium there, too. Mystic Aquarium is huge and a great way for your children to learn about the creatures of the deep. Mystic Aquarium provides a variety of exhibits and shows that include feedings and tricks with sea lions. The Aquarium is open daily from 9AM to 5:50PM and when you purchase your tickets online, you’ll receive a 10% discount off total admission. Plan your trip ahead of time for this one because there’s a lot to do and see in Mystic, CT!
Transportation of the Times
Trains, ferries, and trolleys have played an important part of our history here in Connecticut and have even influenced how we move around today. If you have children who love trains, and everything that moves, these museums are a must see!
Windsor Locks is the airport hub of Connecticut, but this town also holds the New England Air Museum. Exhibits hold real life aircraft from the first inventors to modern day, they even have a special exhibition dedicated to the air force veterans who lost their lives during World War II. This is a great place to visit and learn about how aircraft has impacted our history. Admission is pretty inexpensive and the museum is open daily in the summer from 9AM-5PM.
Plus, while you’re in the Windsor area, East Windsor also holds a special Connecticut Trolley Museum. The trolley museum holds a variety of locomotives, streetcars, and other types of trolleys that would be common in the late 1800s. You’ll even get the chance to experience riding in a working trolley right on the grounds. It’s a great experience for the whole family!
This museum also has dedicated exhibitions of vintage firetrucks and motorcoaches. The Trolley Museum is open daily in the summer from 10AM to 4:30PM and also has very affordable admissions pricing.
Connecticut was once home to a variety of native tribes and that’s why it’s important to see how our state was really shaped. A visit at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum will take your family to a whole new time in history and culture. Admission for children under 6 years old is free, and this museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 9AM to 5PM.
Another prominent piece of land was of Mark Twain’s home. In fact, you can visit his home and museum dedicated to his works right in Hartford. The museum has great exhibitions and hold over 16,000 artifacts related to Mark Twain and his life. The museum is open from 9:30AM to 5:30PM every day, and the admission price includes a guided tour of the Mark Twain home. Children under 6 years old receive free admission and there is a free parking garage under the museum.
Don’t forget to visit the famous Hempsted Houses. If you’re not familiar, these houses provide a look into colonial life and African American heritage. Admission is very affordable, and tours of the houses are only on Saturdays and Sundays from 1PM to 4PM. Additionally, while you’re down in the New London area, take your family to visit Fort Trumbull State Park. There are plenty of interactive exhibits in the visitor’s center, and your family can even tour the fort that was constructed in the 1800s to provide naval defense to the United States. Parking and entrance into the park are free, however, there is an admission fee into the visitor’s center. Both the visitor’s center and fort are open Wednesday to Sunday from 9AM to 5PM.
So, wherever you are in Connecticut there is a lot to see with your family. Enjoy a nice summer day learning about the history of our state. Do you have any historical landmarks you visit that aren’t included in this list? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!