All that makes Britain great on display at this all-encompassing art museum
Escape the everyday on a rainy day and immerse yourself in British culture at the Yale Center for British Art, the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Artistic works from the Elizabethan Age through today, many from the Paul Mellon collection, are on display. Stand in front of the great oil paintings by Turner, Constable, Whistler, Stubbs and Reynolds. Admire a Hepworth sculpture. Let your imagination soar examining a watercolor map of the Francis Drake expedition in 1577 or the amazing animals on the pages of the Helmingham Herbal and Bestiary, circa 1500. The museum, itself a work of art by renowned architect Louis I. Kahn, includes 2,000 paintings, 250 sculptures and 35,000 rare books and manuscripts.
Parents: You won’t need to rope in your children to head to this adventure course
Your kids will have so much fun at the IT Adventure Ropes Course inside Jordan’s Furniture that they will be hoping for rainy days! And no surprise: It’s the world’s largest indoor ropes course, featuring more than 100 activities from four ziplines 48 feet up (and a free-fall experience to go along with it); to four climbing activities where you climb as far as you can on colorful, challenging walls then scale down to the ground; to a four-level ropes course that stands 56 feet high and includes criss-cross angled rope ladders, double catwalks, bridges and cargo nets. Not big enough for the course? There’s also a section for the little ones, with platforms less than three feet from the ground.
242 East Main StreetThomaston, CT, 06787Phone: 860-283-7245
Get on track with this museum, and excursions, celebrating local railroading
Want to spend your rainy day inside? How about inside a passenger car from the 1920s being pulled along the rails by a diesel locomotive? Stop by the Railroad Museum of New England for a trip on the Naugatuck Railroad starting at the historic Thomaston Station. In addition to educational exhibits, the museum has an amazing collection of diesel and steam engines, passenger and freight cars and cabooses. Scenic tours go over dams and bridges, through valleys and woods. Special tours include the Chocolate Decadence Tour with a side trip to Fascia’s Chocolate Company; the Easter Bunny Express with the famous bunny himself; a spirit-tasting trip; the Pumpkin Path train; the Northern Lights Limited; and the jolly Santa Express.
Mathews Park - 303 West AvenueNorwalk, CT, 06850Phone: 203-899-0606
Spark your child’s imagination at this colorful, interactive museum
Stepping Stones Museum for Children knows what makes kids tick, which is why the museum, for infants on up, is such a hit. At the Energy Lab, kids can experience a mini wind tunnel or use waterfalls and water wheels to pump and push water to perform activities. In Build It, they can pretend to put down carpeting or wallpaper or haul building materials. In Express Yourself, art, music and games help them explore their emotions. And in Tot Town, infants through toddlers enjoy activity mats, puzzles and a play kitchen. Time for a nutritious but delicious snack? There’s lots to choose from at the Healthyville Cafe. Shared moments of discovery and playful explorations happen every day at this engaging museum.