Best Kid-Friendly Museums in Mystic Country Last Updated: August 2022

Summer means a lot of things; beach trips, travel, barbecues, fireworks, but it also means that the Connecticut Summer at the Museum is back! From July 1 to September 5, Connecticut children ages 18 and under (plus one accompanying Connecticut resident adult) can visit participating museums free of charge.  The program is designed for kids to discover different experiences and learn something new over their summer break. Read our guide to learn about some of the best museums Mystic Country has to offer.

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Niantic Children's Museum (Niantic)

Known for its hands-on learning with children, Niantic Children’s Museum takes the cake for being one the best places to bring your child this summer. Targeting ages nine months to nine, this museum caters to the wild imaginations of children and explores their ideas using the world around them. Jumping into art, science and world culture, the museum offers three major exhibits; the Imagination Room, Discovery Room, and the Outdoor Playscape. Each room offers something special and memorable that kids can take home with them.

 

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Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (Mashantucket)

The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center is a tribal owned and operated museum that preserves Native American culture. Located in Mashantucket, Connecticut, the center serves as the source of recorded history of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Native Americans in the Northeast. The museum’s permanent collection contains life-sized dioramas, films and interactive computer games. The 308,000 square foot complex is sure to capture your child’s attention for the day. Learn about Connecticut’s roots with your child during a tour at this essential museum.

 

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Lyman Allyn Art Museum (New London)

With already free admission for children under 12, Lyman Allyn Art Museum aims to make their museum as family friendly as possible.  Housing over 17,000 objects from around the world, there's no chance of being bored. And besides their impressive collection, the gallery also offers programs aimed at encouraging children to become more involved in the arts. Now through September, "Saturdays at the Lyman Allyn", offers children to explore creativity and its intersections. The museum also often hosts a wide range of educational and musical events so it’s a good idea to check their calendar every once in a while so you don’t miss out on the fun!

 

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Blue Slope Country Museum (Franklin)

If your curious one is interested in how food gets on the table, visit Blue Slope Country Museum in Franklin for some explanations. This farm-part-museum has a collection of historical farming and country life artifacts that chronicles the early days of agriculture. The country offers private tours for small groups or family outings that will give your visit a personal touch. The museum prides itself on its various activities like the process of milking cows, wagon rides through their 380 acres of farmland, as well as lessons on common farm animals and local wildlife. They also offer weekly themed events during the summer.

 

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Florence Griswold Museum (Old Lyme)

Located in the scenic Old Lyme, Florence Griswold Museum is not only known for its American Impressionist art collection, but also for its community events for all ages, including Discovery Sundays. Supplied with paints and brushes, visitors can try their hand at their own works of art. If you can’t make it on a Sunday, don’t worry! There’s still so much to do; the museum separates its campus into 7 locations: the Krieble Gallery, Florence Griswold House, Gardens and Grounds, Chadwick Studio, Rafal Landscape Center, Hartman Education Center, and their award winning restaurant, Café Flo. If you want to get the most out of your visit to this 12 acre institution, it's best to visit more than once.

 

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Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center (Mystic)

With more than 10 miles of trails owned by the Denison Homestead and the Avalonia Land Conservancy, Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is the best place to learn about our natural history. Founded in 1946, their mission is to inspire an understanding of the world we live in and help us consider our past, present, and future. There are 10 trails to choose from, ranging in length from 0.35 miles to 1.4 miles and they also allow biking on a few of them! They also host  engaging events throughout  the summer that encourage participants to be hands on with nature.

This is the perfect place for your little one to learn about the world around them!