PLEASE NOTE: This post was written about the 2015 Connecticut Open House Day event. While it should still give you a good overview of and background about this annual event, the participating venues change each year, so you’ll want to check The Connecticut Office of Tourism’s website for the current 2017 list of participating destinations. For 2017, CT Open House day will take place on Saturday, June 10th.
Many of these places are destinations that we have reviewed here on Out and About Mom, so be sure to check our Places We’ve Been page to see if we have a post on the destinations you’re hoping to visit.
Some great family-friendly picks for 2017 include:
- Imagine Nation Museum in Bristol (FREE to first 100 visitors)
- The Carousel Museum in Bristol (FREE)
- The Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor (Buy one, get one FREE admission)
- The Connecticut River Museum in Essex
- RiverQuest Cruise in Haddam
- The Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford (FREE)
- The Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester (Includes a Touch-a-Truck event!) (FREE)
- The New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain (FREE)
- The Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut in Niantic
- The Pez Visitor Center in Orange
- The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield (FREE)
- Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill (FREE)
- The Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston
- KidsPlay Museum in Torrington
- Eleanor Buck Wolf Nature Center in Wethersfield (FREE)
- The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks
Don’t forget to check out the LIST OF PARTICIPATING 2017 VENUES for additional details, including information on hours, discounts and special events for each of these destinations (and many others!).
We hope you enjoy this annual opportunity to discover new and exciting places across our state!
Please note that this is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Connecticut Office of Tourism. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
One of my favorite days of the year will be taking place next weekend!
Each June the Connecticut Office of Tourism sponsors Connecticut Open House Day where residents can experience a variety of destinations in the state, each offering special incentives for visitors.
This year’s event will be held on June 13, 2015 and visitors can receive discounted or free admission, free gifts, or participate in special exhibits and events during the 11th annual event.
This celebration encourages Connecticut residents to try new venues or re-visit favorite attractions and destinations such as museums, theaters, art studios, sports parks, spas and much more.
Several of the destinations participating this year are places we have written about right here on Out and About Mom and we once again thought it would be fun to do a little of the leg work for you and put together some family-friendly itineraries you and your family are sure to enjoy. Check out our suggestions and then be sure to check out the full list of participating venues to make the perfect itinerary for your family that day. Whatever you decide to do, just take the opportunity to get out and explore our beautiful state and all of the wonderful things it has to offer!
If you come up with a unique itinerary for Open House Day, we would love to hear about it! Share it with us by leaving a comment below or share the details on our Facebook page. You can also find out more information about Connecticut Open House Day on CTvisit.com, on the Visit Connecticut Facebook event page, or by following along with the #CTOpenHouse hashtag.
**NOTE: These itineraries also include places that are not part of the Open House day program. Open House Day venues will appear in RED. We have also included in our itinerary a few destinations that we have not yet written about but thought you and your family might enjoy.**
Itinerary #1: River Valley
Start your day with a ride across the Connecticut River on the Chester/Hadlyme Ferry. From 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. you (and your vehicle) can enjoy a FREE ferry ride aboard Selden III (the second oldest continuously operating ferry service in the state). Then make the short trip to the beautiful grounds of Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam. The park is FREE and offers picturesque views of the river, picnicking areas, and walking trails. To go inside the Gillette Castle, the fee is $6 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-12, and FREE for children ages 5 and under. Bring a lunch and enjoy your afternoon at these two historical destinations.
Itinerary #2: Litchfield Hills
Visit the newly renovated Imagine Nation Children’s Museum in Bristol and let your children explore its many exhibits and get creative in their art studio. One of the most talked about exhibits at this destination is their replica of the ESPN Sports Center studio where your budding broadcaster can practice their craft! From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Open House Day visitors receive a 20 percent discount off admission. Then go right across town to the New England Carousel Museum where children (up to age 14) can enjoy FREE admission and carousel ride from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Adults will pay just $6 for their visit and carousel ride that day.
- Imagine Nation Children’s Museum: Website, OAAM Post
- New England Carousel Museum: Website, OAAM Post
Itinerary #3: Mystic Country
For this itinerary, I suggest you spend the day in the coastal town of Niantic with your first stop being at the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut. For Open House Day they are open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and offering visitors, with a valid Connecticut ID, a discount of $1 off regular admission. With an interior space full of opportunity for imaginative play and two outdoor spaces there is plenty for your family to enjoy. Then head across the street to the Hole-in-the-Wall Beach at McCook Point Park for an afternoon of fun in the sun. A beach pass is required and the cost is up to $25 per day depending on the residential status of visitors.
- Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut: Website, OAAM Post
- Hole-in-the-Wall Beach: Website, OAAM Post
Itinerary #4: Mystic Country
Head over to Manchester where the Lutz Children’s Museum will be offering Open House Day visitors FREE admission from noon until 5:00 pm. While you are there be sure to enjoy their Touch-a-Truck event happening from noon to 3:00 p.m. that day. After your visit, head to the nearby Fish Family Farm in Bolton to tour their dairy farm and try their delicious ice cream. They will be scooping that day from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Itinerary #5: Fairfield County
Enjoy the amazing indoor and outdoor exhibits at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk as they will be offering FREE admission on Open House Day. The children’s museum will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and featuring its new Mega Making exhibit. Stay for lunch and then make your way to the New England Ballet Company in Bridgeport where you can see a special performance of “Peter & the Wolf” at 1:00 p.m. The New England Ballet Company will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and also offering a FREE trial class at 10:00 a.m. that day.
Want to create your own Open House Day itinerary?
Choose from these participating venues that we’ve explored (see “OAAM Post” links below for all the details) or from the entire list of more than 180 destinations.
- Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Stamford is offering free admission for the first 100 visitors from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk is offering free admission from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
Greater New Haven
- Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market & Winery in Guilford is open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and offering complimentary cider donuts and balloons for children Website, OAAM Post
- Imagine Nation Children’s Museum in Bristol is offering 20 % off admission from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- New England Carousel Museum in Bristol is offering free admission and carousel rides for children from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (adults $6) Website, OAAM Post
- Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut in Niantic is offering $1 off admission for CT residents Website, OAAM Post
- Chester/Hadlyme Ferry is offering free rides from 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford is offering free admission from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor is offering half price regular admission from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill is offering free admission from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- Eleanor Buck Wolf Nature Center in Wethersfield is offering free admission from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- Essex Steam Train & Riverboat in Essex is offering a free ride for children (11 and under) when they are accompanied by a paying adult with a valid CT license Website, OAAM Post
- Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester is offering free admission from noon – 5:00 p.m. and a Touch-a-Truck event from noon – 3:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- New Britain Museum of American Art is offering free admission from 10:00 a.m. – noon then buy one get one free from noon – 5:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks is offering buy one get one free admission for Connecticut residents from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- Rocky Hill/Glastonbury Ferry is free from 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
- Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford is offering free admission from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Website, OAAM Post
Want to keep up with things to do with kids in Connecticut?
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