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Museums in Mystic, Connecticut range from fine art to American history

The Turtle Submarine - Connecticut River Museum - Essex, CT
Connecticut River Museum

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

Artifacts, artwork, activities and adventures: It’s all happening at this river museum

Artifacts and artwork that tell the story of the importance of the Connecticut River and the river valley are just part of what makes the Connecticut River Museum well worth a visit. Permanent and special exhibits show the lives of Native American communities along the river and convey the excitement of the speed-racing era, in the first half of the 20th century. There’s a three-floor river mural and an operational model of the Turtle, the first submarine to be used in combat, in 1776. The museum also hosts live entertainment with its Thursdays on the Dock series, offers cruises aboard an eco-tour boat and a re-created 1614 sailing vessel as well as drop-in Summer Fun Days for kids 6 through 12.
windham Textile Museum Ct
Windham Textile and History Museum

411 Main Street Willimantic, CT, 06226 Phone: 860-456-2178

Museum preserves the textile industry of southern New England at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Exhibits include thread factory floor, rooms from a workers rowhouse and owner’s mansion. Hours: Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Guided tours Sunday at 3 p.m. Admission: Adults, $7; seniors and students, $5. Information: www.millmuseum.org/
Interior Slater Memorial Museum and Converse Art Gallery Norwich Connecticut
Slater Memorial Museum and Converse Art Gallery

Norwich Free Academy - 108 Crescent Street Norwich, CT, 06360 Phone: 860-887-2506

Set on the campus of Norwich Free Academy in Norwich CT, this unique museum was founded by philanthropist William A. Slater more than a century ago. Housed in a stunning architectural treasure designed by  architect Stephen C. Earle. The museum offers a diverse collection of fine and decorative arts,  replicas of great Greek and Roman sculpture, historical artifacts, and ethnographic material spanning five continents and 35 centuries. Exhibits rotate regularly. See film screenings, discussions, book signings, and other events. An interpreter-guided tour is free with admission. The Museum shop is filled with unique gifts, including fine art prints and reproductions, the works of Connecticut artisans, and other items. Open year round, Tuesday-Sunday.
Mystic Seaport Museum - Mystic, CT
Mystic Seaport Museum of America and the Sea

75 Greenmanville Avenue Mystic, CT, 06355 Phone: 860-572-0711

Mystic Seaport is a maritime museum that preserves artifacts of America’s seafaring past. The Seaport’s grounds cover 19 acres on the Mystic River and include a re-created 19th-century coastal village, a working shipyard, and formal exhibit halls. The Seaport is home to more than 500 historic watercraft, including four National Historic Landmark vessels, most notably the 1841 whale ship Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship still in existence. The Seaport is a great adventure for families. It hosts many seasonal celebrations, along with exhibits and festivals related to seafaring life, such as the annual sea music festival and a lobster fest. A gift shop on the grounds has many high-quality products, from books and maps to toys and home décor, all with a seafaring theme. Open year-round.
Kid Fun, Unique Cuisine, Ocean View - Stay in Warwick, See Rhode Island!
Niantic Childrens Museum - Niantic, CT
Niantic Children's Museum

409 Main Street Niantic, CT, 06357 Phone: 860-691-1111

Interactive hands-on exhibits for the entire family. Don’t miss our Long Island Sound Marinelife Tank, Parent Pockets, a self guided tour of the Museum and Kidsville, an entire kid-sized town. Themes include arts and science, health and history. Have fun while learning. Explore the Discovery Room, see live animals and say hello to Richter the Red Tailed Boa Constrictor.
Hours: Open Tuesday thru Saturday 9:30am - 4:30pm and Sundays Noon - 4:30pm. Admission is $10 per person (Children under 1 year Free). Group rates available in advance.
Florence Griswold Garden - Old Lyme, CT - Photo Credit Connecticut's Historic Gardens
Florence Griswold Museum

96 Lyme Street Old Lyme, CT, 06371 Phone: 860-434-5542

In the early 20th century, Florence Griswold’s boarding house in Old Lyme was the hub of one of the most important summer art colonies in America. The colony attracted artists Henry Ward Ranger, Childe Hassam, and Willard Metcalf and others who were in the vanguard of the Tonalist and Impressionist movements. Today, visitors see the boarding house and much of the work of these American Impressionists, an adjacent gallery building with rotating exhibits, and extensive gardens. Special programs are offered in summer and holiday seasons.
Museum of the Fife and Drum

Highland Terrace at 63 North Main Street Ivoryton, CT, 06442 Phone: 860-767-2237

Exhibits focus on the fife and drum, not only as an important symbol of American patriotism during the Revolutionary period, but as an integral part of military strategy in the 17th and 18th centuries. The museum is a visual and musical history of America on parade, from the Revolutionary War to the present. Theme displays feature drums, fifes, military swords, music, uniforms, medals, awards and photographs. Hours: June 30 through Labor Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; third weekend of July and fourth weekend of August reserved for private activities. Admission; Adults, $5; youth age 12-17, $4; seniors, $3; children under age 12, free.
Lyman Allyn Art Museum - New London, CT
Lyman Allyn Art Museum

625 Williams Street New London, CT, 06320 Phone: 860-443-2545

Eighteenth-, 19th- and 20th-century art and decorative arts, American Impressionist paintings, contemporary American art, changing exhibits. Outdoor Children's Art Park.
Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday, 10am - 5pm, Sundays 1-5pm.
Admission: Adults $12, Seniors $9, Active Military $7, Students $5, Children 11 & Under Free. Members and New London residents are also Free.
Kidcity Children's Museum

119 Washington Street Middletown, CT, 06457 Phone: 860-347-0495

Whimsical, one-of-a-kind rooms filled with hands-on play and learning, for kids ages 1 to 8 and their grown-ups. Hours: Sunday-Tuesday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $8 per person. Information: www.kidcitymuseum.com
Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry

Weaver Road (off Route 44) Storrs, CT, 06269 Phone: 860-486-4605

Collection of more than 2,000 puppets from the world over. Each exhibition features a different view of the variety of styles and periods in puppetry. Hours: Friday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. or by appointment Admission: Free; donations accepted. Information: www.bimp.uconn.edu/
Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center - Ledyard, CT - Photo Credit Mashantucket Pequot Museum
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center

110 Pequot Trail Ledyard, CT, 06338 Phone: 860-396-6910 Toll-Free: 800-411-9671

Permanent exhibits on the Native and natural history of southern New England include a cool descent into a glacial crevasse from 18,000 years ago. Walk through a 1550 Pequot Village. Interactive computer programs, films providing additional information and interpretation of the exhibits. Two research libraries, one for children. Museum store and restaurant.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 9am - 5pm.
Admission: Adults $22, Seniors & Students with ID $17, Youths 6-17 $13, Children under 6 Free.
Prudence Crandall Museum

Junction Routes 14 and 169 Canterbury, CT, 06331 Phone: 860-546-7800

The Prudence Crandall Museum is a collection of objects, from clothing to books and more, from the life and times of Prudence Crandall, a female abolitionist teacher whose legacy is left here. See a full description on our Historic Homes & Sites page.