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Museums in Hartford, Connecticut range from fine art to circus history

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Exterior 500x250
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

77 Forest Street Hartford, CT, 06105 Phone: 860-522-9258

Stowe Center features a treasure trove about historic abolitionist author

Listed as a National Historic Landmark and a stop on the Connecticut Freedom Trail as well as on the Connecticut Women’s Heritage Trail, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is a treasure trove of collections that illuminate the life of and issues that stirred the famous abolitionist author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Rotating exhibits deal with the life of slaves and the role of women. Collections include paintings (some by the author), memorabilia inspired by “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” the dining table where the book was written, decorative arts, rare manuscripts, drawings and household furnishings from the Beecher and Stowe families. In all, 228,000 items illustrate the lives and times of Stowe and her family. Interactive tours of her Victorian Gothic cottage leave visitors inspired.
Aerial View 500x250 - Connecticut River Museum - Essex, CT
Connecticut River Museum

67 Main Street, Steamboat Dock Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-8269

A year-round adventure through nature, history & life on the sea

Discover the exciting history and spectacular environment of New England’s Great River at the Connecticut River Museum, located in beautiful Essex Village. Bring your family and explore the exhibits! Climb aboard a replica of the Turtle submarine and find out what it was like to be a submarine pilot during the American Revolution. Walk all 410 miles of the River as you travel our vertical gallery filled with fantastic aerial photos and a whimsical mural of the River. Learn the stories of people and the River from Native Americans through the present in our three floors of exhibits. Complete your visit with a picnic lunch and a chance to run around on the Museum’s riverfront lawn.
The Connecticut River Museum offers seasonal exhibits and programs as well. Come November – February for the magic of our annual Holiday Train Show; visit in February and March to see the wintering Bald Eagles on one of our EagleWatch Boat Tours; and spend a summer day sailing on the River on the historic wooden sailing ship Onrust. Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle the quiet coves.
webb Deane Stevens Museum in CT
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

211 Main Street Wethersfield, CT, 06109 Phone: 860-529-0612

This museum consists of three houses, each built in the 18th century. Two are now National Historic Landmarks, with each furnished to represent a different period in American history. In 1781, on this site, Washington and his partners planned their strategy that led to the American victory at Yorktown. Tours begin every hour on the hour up until 3 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $6, seniors, $5, students, $2.50.
Connecticut Trolley Museum

58 North Road (Route 140) East Windsor, CT, 06088 Phone: 860-627-6540

Three-mile round trip ride on antique trolleys. Tour the Visitor's Center display and stationary trolleys. Gift shop, deli and cafe. Hours: Charters only from January through March; April to Memorial Day, Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m.; Memorial Day to Labor Day, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; Sundays in October, Pumpkin Patch rides Admission: Adults, $8.50; seniors, $7.50; children age 2-12, $5.50. Information: www.ct-trolley.org.
Luddy/Taylor Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum

Northwest Park, 135 Lang Rd. Windsor, CT, 06095 Phone: 860-285-1888

Displays of artifacts and history of "Tobacco Valley." Tobacco curing shed houses exhibits of early and modern equipment. Other facility exhibits photographs, writings, and other documents. Hours: March-mid-December, Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, noon-4 p.m. and by appointment Admission: Free. Information: www.tobaccohistsoc.org/
New Britain Industrial Museum

185 Main Street New Britain, CT, 06051 Phone: 860-832-8654

This history of manufacturing in Central Connecticut is detailed in this museum, featuring exhibits of products made in the region over the past 200 years. Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 2-5 p.m.; Wednesdays. noon-5 p.m. Admission: free. Information: www.nbim.org/
The Trash Museum

211 Murphy Rd. Hartford, CT, 06114 Phone: 860-757-7765

Educational facility, tours and hands-on exhibits on solid waste management and recycling, including the "Temple of Trash;" adjacent to recycle center. Hours: Wednesday-Friday, noon-4 p.m. Admission: $3 per person. Information: http://bit.ly/dMNx3K
Old Manchester Museum

126 Cedar Street Manchester, CT, 06040 Phone: 860-647-9983

Local historical artifacts including Pitkin Glass Works, Cheney Brothers Silk Mills, Bon Ami Soap Co., military memorial. Manchester Sports Hall of Fame, research and genealogy library, gift shop. Hours: Weekends, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $2; children age 16 and younger, free. Information: http://bit.ly/SPcftr
Connecticut Science Center

250 Columbus Blvd. Hartford, CT, 06103 Phone: 860-724-3623

A visit to the Center is a high-impact learning experience in a green, clean, bright, and stimulating environment. Adults and children alike will find entertainment and educational value in hands-on, engaging, and exciting exhibits and programs that emphasize current science and science you can use every day. Open year-round. Hours Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Adults, $21.95; seniors above age 65, $19.95; youth ages 3 to 17, $14.95. Information: www.ctsciencecenter.org
Imagine Nation Children's Museum

1 Pleasant Street Bristol, CT, 06010 Phone: 860-314-1400

This science museum for kids age 2 to 10 is packed with fun exhibits that allow children to dig into science projects and experiments of all kinds. Some activities that will fascinate children are the Sandsational Sand Pendulum; the Gravity Well; the Tuning Fork Table; a construction zone; Dolls of the World; and Waterplay. Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Admission: $4 per person. Information: www.imaginenation.org.
Museum of Connecticut History

231 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT, 06106 Phone: 860-566-3056

Historic documents, including Connecticut's Royal Charter, are just part of the exhibit material in this museum. Special exhibits feature Colt firearms, Connecticut's Governors and changing exhibits. Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Closed on state holidays Admission: free. Information: www.museumofcthistory.org/