Saturday, June 10th marks a state-wide celebration of everything that makes Connecticut great! Attractions, museums, galleries and organizations in towns across the state will be welcoming visitors with discounted or free admission, giveaways, educational activities for kids and more. It’s a great way to rediscover all that is happening in our state. We’ve pulled together 17 of our picks for Open House Day. See you there!
1. Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut – Niantic
From 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., visitors with a valid Connecticut ID receive $1 off regular admission.
The Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut is an interactive, hands-on, educational place for children to try on new roles, let their imaginations soar and feel safe while exploring the world around them. Families can experience the Outdoor Playspace, Discovery Room, Imagination Station and more!
2. Clinton Art Gallery – Clinton
Open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., offering a free lottery drawing for a piece of art or an artisan gift.
Clinton Art Gallery offers fine art, artisan crafts, classes, workshops, and is recognized as a 501 c3 nonprofit. For a complete list of classes offered, check out their website.
3. Connecticut Historical Society Museum and Library – Hartford
Free admission from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Offering “Secrets of the Veeder House Tours” at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., tours of the 1928 house not regularly accessible to the public.
The Connecticut Historical Society is located in a Colonial Revival mansion originally owned by inventor Curtis Veeder. Veeder graduated from Lehigh University in 1886 with a Masters of Engineering degree and moved to Hartford to start his own company. The Veeder Manufacturing Company produced counting and precision manufacturing devices–all invented and designed by Veeder himself. An exhibit in the original living room of the house (which Veeder had built in 1928) features wall labels, blow-ups of the original blueprints, and an interactive touchscreen explaining the history of the building and the Veeder family.
4. Fascia’s Chocolates – Waterbury
Free special chocolate tours from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., along with round trip train rides from Railroad Museum of New England (Thomaston), departing 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Fascia’s Chocolates continues to be family owned and operated by the originating members and continuing generation of the Fascia Family. All products are made in-house and in small batches to ensure the highest quality and freshness possible. Chocolate experiences are available, where participants learn how chocolate is made and can create their own chocolate bars.
5. Goodspeed Opera House – East Haddam
From 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. (final tour 12:45 p.m.), enjoy free tours of the historic Victorian theater built in 1876.
Goodspeed mounts both new and newly revived musicals each year on the main stage at the Opera House and second stage in Chester – a total of more than 400 performances during the April to December season attracting 130,000 patrons to the Connecticut River Valley.
6. Guilford Art Center – Guilford
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering a drawing for a one year family membership.
Guilford Art Center is a non-profit school, shop, and gallery established to nurture and support excellence in the arts. The Center seeks to preserve craft traditions and foster innovation by providing an environment where artists can gather, practice, exhibit, teach and exchange ideas.
7. Hill-Stead Museum – Farmington
Buy one admission ticket and get one free, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Hill-Stead Museum, a National Historic Landmark, serves diverse audiences in Connecticut and beyond as a welcoming place for learning, reflection and enjoyment. The museum develops, preserves, documents, displays and interprets its exceptional Impressionist paintings, 1901 historic house and 152-acre landscape for the benefit of present and future generations.
8. KidsPlay Children’s Museum – Torrington
Half price admission from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
KidsPlay provides children with an environment that fosters imagination and creativity through interactive exhibits and play that will deepen their appreciation and understanding of the sciences, the arts and the world around them.
9. Lutz Children’s Museum – Manchester
Free admission from noon until 5 p.m., with “Touch-a-Truck” where visitors can climb inside big trucks and heavy equipment.
The Lutz Children’s museum is a place for children to explore culture, history, and the natural sciences through internal and external exhibits, programs, and experiences.
10. Memorial Military Museum – Bristol
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Theme for the day, “Museum Magic: Magic of Time Travel;” with free donuts and coffee served from a World War I canteen with accompanying stories of Salvation Army “Donut Girls.” In addition, there will be children’s activities, drawing for prizes, scavenger hunt and more.
The museum’s mission is to honor, to preserve, to explore Bristol’s military heritage. Their current exhibit, ‘OVER HERE, OVER THERE: Bristol in World War I’ explores Bristol’s involvement both on the home front and overseas.
11. Mystic Aquarium – Mystic
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.
Mystic Aquarium’s formal and informal education programs inspire learners of all ages. Through inquiry-based teaching and hands-on activities, education programs encourage people to use and develop skills such as observing, hypothesizing, experimenting, and drawing conclusions.
12. Nathan Hale Homestead – Coventry
Free admission from noon until 4 p.m.
Captain Nathan Hale, captured and hanged as a spy at age 21 by the British in September of 1776, is famous for his alleged last words: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” The Georgian-style home he grew up in has remained virtually intact since its 1776 completion. It is furnished with Hale family possessions and other period antiques that were amassed by George Dudley Seymour, who purchased the Homestead in 1914.
13. New Britain Museum of American Art – New Britain
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m
Founded in 1903, this is the country’s first museum dedicated strictly to American art. The singular focus on American art and its panoramic view of American artistic achievement make the New Britain Museum of American Art a significant teaching resource available to the local, regional, and national public.
14. Nomads Outdoor Adventure – South Windsor
Open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., offering visitors a buy one ticket, get one free.
The newest and most exciting ‘aerial adventure park’ in Connecticut. Traverse six adventure trails crafted through nine acres of beautiful woodland. Our trails start on one centrally located platform where you can choose a path suited for your skill level.
15. & 16. Simsbury Historical Society – Simsbury
Simsbury Public Library – Simsbury
The Simsbury Public Library and Simsbury Historical Society celebrate Connecticut Open House Day with “Simsbury Joins the Revolution,“ with four events at the two locations.
- Begins at 10:30 a.m., at the Public Library. “Militiamen, Evangelicals, and other Independent Thinkers: American Revolutions Come to Simsbury, 1740-1789,” learn the cultural, social and intellectual routes traveled by ordinary farmers and tradespeople of what are today’s towns of Simsbury, Granby, East Granby, Canton and Bloomfield.
- 11:45 a.m., lunch on the grounds of the Simsbury Historical Society (rain location TBA).
- 12:30 p.m., guided tour of Revolutionary War soldiers’ graves at the Simsbury Cemetery.
- 1 p.m., be part of a 1775 town meeting at the Simsbury Historical Society.
17. Wadsworth Antheneum Museum of Art – Hartford
Free admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m
The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the oldest continuously-operating public art museum in the United States, founded in 1842 by arts patron Daniel Wadsworth.