67 Main Street, Steamboat DockEssex, CT, 06426Phone: 860-767-8269
Inside and out, lots to fascinate and entertain families along our riverbank!
There are so many things to do outside at the family-friendly Connecticut River Museum – winter cruises to see majestic bald eagles, sailing adventures aboard the 1614 replica ship Onrust, canoeing or kayaking on a quiet cove, strolling the harborside grounds, walking to historic Essex Village for lunch – that you might forget to go inside. But don’t! The kids will love to examine the handmade tools used for fishing and hunting in and along the river, old navigation tools, the model train layout set up every fall, the three-story river mural that snakes up and down staircases and the model of the very cool Turtle, the first submarine to be used in combat (during the Revolutionary War).
Families learn together about issues of the 19th and 21st centuries
Take advantage of the Family Tour option at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, where visitors learn how the author’s words changed the world – and will be inspired to do the same. At the center, which celebrates the work and ideas of the abolitionist author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” storytelling, photographs and historic letters help connect the past to the present. The Family Tour is for children 5 to 12 accompanied by an adult. Children and adults alike have praised the interactive nature of the tour, where conversations about social justice and issues of Stowe’s day, and of ours, are as important as the exhibits and the home’s beautifully preserved interiors. Outside, Victorian-era gardens are made to be strolled through and enjoyed.
The Bushnell Park Carousel
Jewell Street at the Memorial ArchBristol, CT, 06010Phone: 860-585-5411
Kids and adults both are entranced by this hand-carved carousel with 48 horses, two chariots, stained glass windows, mirrors reflecting 800 twinkling light bulbs, and a Wurlitzer band organ. Open May to October, Tuesday to Sunday; September and October, Thursday to Sunday. Call for seasonal changes in hours.