Virtual Activities for At-Home Experiences Last Updated 7/20

Connecticut attractions, museums and entertainment venues have temporarily closed in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean you can’t visit—virtually.

Here are a few popular attractions across Connecticut that have created special online experiences or projects to entertain, teach and engage you while you stay safe at home.

Due to the rapidly evolving situation, we encourage you to check back frequently for updates and to verify offering details with individual properties.  

NOTE: This is not a complete list of all available offerings.

Animals

  • The Children’s Museum in West Hartford has live animal demonstrations every day at noon on their Facebook page. Schedule a Meet the Animals demonstration today and have the museum’s animals brought to you virtually. They have programs and live demonstrations for both families and educational institutions. Visit their website www.tcm-online.org and schedule your demonstration today.
  • Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport is running a live "zoo cam" of their Red Pandas and Spider monkeys. They are also offering a Distance Learning Programming for students to do while at home. Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo also just launched an interactive campaign called "Do You Have a Zoo at Your House?" which encourages children to write letters to the animals and zookeepers and send drawings and photos of how they've turned their house into a zoo.
  • Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is running a Facebook Live series featuring various animals on Tue., Wed., and Thu. at 10 a.m.
  • Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut in Bristol offers live videos of their farm animals on their Facebook page.
  • Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington is scheduling Virtual Sheep Experiences from April 23 through September 8.
  • Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center in Ashford, specializes in in raptors and large corvids (such as crows and ravens), is offering free live educational videos with resident birds on their Facebook page.
  • Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk is bringing the marine life right to you with virtual events, videos and interactive social-media experiences to keep you up-to-date on Aquarium happenings.
  • Meigs Point Nature Center in Madison is offering a fun virtual segment in which Ranger Russ will go live each day on Facebook to show off different animals at the center.
  • Mystic Aquarium in Mystic has a great list of virtual experiences including a Live Penguin Feed that brings the beloved penguins right to your computer screen, as well as a Facebook watch series "Aquarium Rehab" that goes behind the scenes with the aquarium's animal care professionals.
  • Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Stamford has daily Facebook Live classes featuring live farm and exotic animals, as well as hikes, field studies, and other programs. To get a closer look at the museum itself, take the virtual tours of the museum and nature center’s extensive grounds including the farmhouse, great room and terrace.

Art Museums

  • Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield is hosting virtual events for adults and children, including Virtual Poetry and Virtual Family Tours.
  • Artspace in New Haven flatfile exhibitions allows the visitor to experience a collection of 2-D works by local and regional artists.
  • Bruce Museum in Greenwich goes digital of their latest exhibitions and family activities.
  • The Connecticut Art Trail’s members have virtual experiences you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Check them out.
  • Creative Arts Workshops is offering a variety of engaging content such as online art classes, online art exhibits, a virtual tour, and a virtual knitting circle.
  • Ely Center of Contemporary Art in New Haven has brought many of their exhibits online during these uncertain times. You can tour exhibitions including, to (be)scare, Ashley Pelletier Dissembling the Self, Brooks Dierdorff Ballistics & Blindsight, and Tony Saunders elucidating, among others. 
  • Fairfield Museum and History Center in Fairfield is offering a variety of online content including virtual tours and weekly art challenges.
  • Fairfield University Art Museum in Fairfield is offering a Watch, Listen & Learn section on their website which includes online lectures, audio guides and family and children’s activities.
  • Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is providing online exhibitions and collections and learning resources for teachers and students. In April, the museum will be debuting virtual tours of  the Griswold House and the current exhibition. Additionally, those who wish to be inspired by stunning nature photos can follow along on social media to find posts with beautiful images, exhibitions, fun facts, and behind-the-scenes videos. 
  • The Glass House in New Canaan has a deep selection of content to engage with online including a virtual look at the amazing structure through 360 moving pictures that feature panoramic views of The Glass House, a virtual look at the Pavillion in the Pond, a virtual look at the sculpture gallery, virtual look at the Monument to Lincoln Kirstein as well as videos about Philip Johnson's architecture and influence on other designers.
  • Guilford Art Center in Guilford is presenting through ZOOM a variety of experiences including Creative Check-In and discussions on different topics through their Facebook page.
  • Kehler Liddel Gallery in New Haven has mulitply exhibits that you can view virtually.
  • Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme has a virtual walk through of their museum that allows you to see some of the artwork featured there.
  • Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury has set up The MATT @ Home, a dedicated page on the museum's website with content and activities which include online exhibitions as well as educational worksheets and coloring pages for families. The museum is collecting and documenting how COVID-19 has affected our local community. By preserving local responses and the impact, this will help with future researchers understand the local impact of these trying times. Click here to participate.
  • Palestine Museum U.S. in Woodbridge is bringing the museum right to your home with a virtual tour of the museum on YouTube that lasts about 10 minutes.
  • Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich is giving the opprtunity to virtually tour through the museum's gorgeous interior, including art and history collections.
  • Spectrum Art Gallery in Centerbrook has their current exhibition, Shadow Dance online to view.
  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford is helping people keep up with the museum’s art. Simply follow the museum’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and see daily photos and information about past and present exhibits.
  • William Benton Museum of Art in Storrs offers a variety of online exhibitions.
  • Yale Center for British Art in New Haven is offering a mobile app that gives users an in-depth guide to works in the Center’s collection as well as detailed information about its landmark building and a virtual tour.
  • Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven is connecting you through Instragram and online exhibitions and Soundcloud.

Family Experiences

  • Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry in Storrs is offering virtual puppet-making workshops, which are perfect for young kids.
  • Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut in Niantic offers children's activities, recipes and projects every day at noon on their Facebook page. Along with Miss Donna's Woodland Adventures: Miss Donna lives in a log cabin in the woods, an online video series on Fridays at 1 p.m. And PopLab with Mis Rita presenting challenging Pinterest recipes, crafts and activities.
  • Connecticut Science Center in Hartford is posting engaging activities as well as a spring scavenger hunt that families can do at home using ordinary household items. You can also enjoy the Science Center’s exciting Facebook content including Animal Encounters every Tuesday and Thursday at noon, Field Trip Fridays and #MuseumFromHome on weekends.
  • Danbury Public Library offers Seuss on the Loose on Mondays at 2 p.m., celebrate all things Dr. Seuss. Also, daily stories are offered Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. and storytime live on Facebook every Friday at 11 a..m.
  • EverWonder in Newtown is offering a series to help families learn together which includes themed tips, challenges, experiments, downloads, videos and more with a new post every day. Suggested ages pre-K through 4th grade.
  • Get your planetarium fix with Glastonbury Planetarium's weekly broadcasts exploring the stars and planets on their Facebook page.
  • Guilford Free Library is hosting a scavenger history hunt. The Hunt will take you around the town of Guildford (while you practice safe social distancing) to discover the town’s treasures. A checklist and descriptions including photos, addresses, and audio recordings are included. School children who wish to participate in a quiz can submit their answers by June 15.  Three winners, randomly selected from the correct entries, will receive a prize.
  • Hamden Hall Country Day School in Hamden is offering educational opportunities that include sing alongs, read alongs while making meaningful connections, fun at-home activities, gardening activities, storytime and more.
  • Imagine Nation in Bristol has created an At Home community via Facebook, where members are able to participate in playful learning activities while staying home simply by following the Facebook page.
  • Kidivity.com has a variety of virtual at home family-friendly activities.
  • KidsPlay Children’s Museum in Torrington is providing online content daily on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, its website and subscriber emails. The content includes resources for caregivers and STEM, art and play activities for children. Video content which includes  Caregivers' Circle Online, Interviews with Community Resources, KidsPlay Chefs, KidsPlay Maker Space Projects at Home and a daily story, Tales with Humphry, by volunteer Humphry Rolleston.
  • Lake Compounce in Bristol is making sure kids are having fun at home with their online Activity Book.
  • Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London has a variety of family-fun art activities posted on their website.
  • MyConnecticutKids.com, Statewide is offering children's activities through its Facebook page. Activities include live Q&A sessions, coloring images to print, and object collecting. Additionally, it is providing online educational resources for kids at home via its website.
  • Mystified Escape Rooms in Mystic is offering a Family Frolic Special CAR EDITION Scavenger Hunt around downtown Mystic. The can be completed from the car, but also offers opportunities to visit local trails and open spaces. Purchase online and print at home.
  • New England Carousel Museum in Bristol created an online video tour of the museum.
  • Pequot Library in Southport offers activities for both children and adults on their Facebook page. Activities include storytime, books clubs, special concerts and more.
  • The PEZ Visitor Center in Orange is offering an incredible 3-D virtual visit to see the center's interior and get up close to exhibits. Simply click around and you'll feel like you're really there!
  • Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury is providing stay-at-home projects for kids, including a crossword puzzle, math problems, a worksheet on how to design an amusement ride, a Quassy coloring book and more.
  • Stonington Free Library in Stonington is streaming a bedtime story reading each night at 7 p.m. on Facebook and videos of live chapter readings of popular books on YouTube
  • Storytellers Cottage in Simsbury has the following experiences: Try Mysteries by Mail. Choose the case you'd like to solve from our selection of mysteries for all ages. You'll receive clues by email for five days in a row.  Everything you need to solve the crime will be attached, including letters from eye-witnesses, mysterious codes found at the scene, and even photographs. Once you've received all the necessary evidence, email us your guess of the identity of the criminal(s).  Guess correctly and you'll earn a fun downloadable prize. Visit the Online Academy to download complete courses on video to watch. Learn how to get published from a successful local author, take courses at our version of Hogwarts, dive into creative writing, learn to build your own escape room at home, and more. Visit our YouTube page for free classes and activities, including film analysis, literary crafting demonstrations by the "real" Jane Austen, a charming pen pal club, and fascinating interviews with local authors. Enjoy watching children's authors read their books in a virtual storytime as well.Follow our Podcast, "Scribes of the Round Table: Secrets and Lore Behind the Door." In each episode, listen to three authors from the same genre discuss a thorny literary issue.
  • The Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington is offering Facebook series home activities including lessons, activities, stories and more.
  • White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield is providing live streaming nature program on their Facebook page.
  • Hamden's Whitney Workshop at Eli Whitney Museum is having weekly Creative Challenges. Click on their Facebook page for each week challenge.
  • Woodcock Nature Center in Wilon is offering self-led nature activities and educational videos.
  • Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven offers Peabody@Home with digital resources, educational tools, and online curiosities of the museum's collections.
  • Yellow Farmhouse Educational Center in Stonington offers cooking classes for all ages on Tuesday through Thursday at 11 a.m. on their Facebook page.
  • Printable coloring pages are available featuring of some of Connecticut's most famous attractions.

Film, Theater & Entertainment

  • A Contemporary Theatre of Connecticut (ACT) in Ridgefield livestreams storytime for children and hosts a Happy Hour for adults.
  • Avon Theatre in Stamford offers online movie rentals for $12. Click here to see what's showing.
  • Bradley Playhouse in Putnam is hosting live Variety Shows on their Facebook page.
  • Brookfield Theater for the Arts located in Brookfield offers Virtual Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., which includes pre-recorder performances, live staged readings, and live Studio B open studio performances.
  • Connecticut Cult Classics hosts a virtual watching party of a horror movie at its Facebook page on Saturdays at 10 p.m., so grab some popcorn and enjoy (if you dare).
  • Eastern CT Symphony Orchestra is posting videos on YouTube of educational videos provided by ECSO musicians. These videos will walk through the personal background of our musicians, musical concepts demonstrated by performed and recorded excerpts, and background about orchestral composers. The content is aimed at children in grades 3 through 5 and may be used by all, free of charge.
  • Elm Shakespeare Company based out of New Haven is offering a variety of engaging content including home learning activities, streamed stage performances, and a list of suggested reading.
  • Fairfield Theater Company is curating a new list of live stream concerts to view each week.
  • Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam has created a Spotify playlist of soothing and inspirational musical theatre songs that you can listen to for extra comfort in your day. You can also be entertained at home with Goodspeed From Home activities, including live on Instagram on Monday evenings at 5 p.m., "I'll Drink to That," for witty conversation and musical musings.
  • Hartford Stage in Hartford is offering Scene and Heard: LIVE, where Melia Bensussen celebrates theater arts with various special guests.
  • Hartford Symphony Orchestra is offering HSO To Go, an online home for performances, music education, and other great digital content featuring HSO musicians. Listen to an archival recording of the HSO, learn from a master teacher, and connect with HSO musicians all from the comfort of your own home. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and The Bushnell collaborated on a video thanking Connecticut-based essential workers for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to see this wonderful video.
  • La Grua Center in Stonington on Thursdays will be highlighting past artists, musicians and presenters on their Facebook page. On June 12, watch and enjoy a Virtual Magic Show.
  • Mohegan Sun in Uncasville offers the opportunity to binge watch its award-winning digital TV series "Back of House" where you can view an exciting plethora of happenings from cake showdowns  to celebrity red carpet rollouts. 
  • New Haven Symphony Orchestra is performing and providing the following: Christmas in July (July 1-31) on NewHavenSymphony.org, this fun activity center for families and kids will include recordings of past NHSO Holiday Extravaganza concerts, a sing-along, recipes, and an interview with Santa. HomeCooked Music Festival (August 1-8), a series of virtual concerts by NHSO musicians, community members, and students will raise money and awareness for food insecurity non-profits in New Haven. NHSO @Home Series: NHSO musicians and guest artists perform music from home. Viewers can watch the series at YouTube.com/NewHavenSymphony. Listen Up! Podcast Series: This series explores a diverse range of musical topics and teaches people how to hear more when they listen to music. The Symphony recently added an interactive Quiz Center for teachers and students to use with podcast episodes. Episodes can be streamed at NewHavenSymphony.org or on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Spotify. Other offerings to date include Concerts on DemandMy Music Movie contest for kids, and an ongoing series of Watch Parties.
  • No Boundaries Youth Theater has been posting daily theater activities for children on its Facebook page, including a daily photo challenge and videos of Shakespeare monologues.
  • Norfolk Chamber Music Festival—Yale Museum School of Music in New Haven is sharing a virtual series of postings featuring performances from the Music Shed to enjoy at home.
  • Palace Theater in Waterbury is offering virtual tours of the historic theater.
  • Pantochino Productions based out of Milford has an online series for family audiences, Let's Learn Stuff on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. on their Facebook page. The show is a hodge-podge of unusual knowledge, arts and crafts, stories, and more.
  • Sea Tea Comedy Theater in Hartford is posting live content regularly on its Facebook page.
  • Shakesperience Productions based out of Waterbury want you to express yourself during your stay at home through the Neighborhoods of Now Project, and offer Midsummer Night's Dream virtual classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Shubert Theater in New Haven is staying connected with you by offering for kids of all ages, activities to create art at home with a backstage tour, Pinkalicious story time, a playwriting challenge, and learn how to make puppets and a puppet theater.
  • TheaterWorks of Hartford is offering Living Room Music Series, so kick back and enjoy.
  • United States Coast Guard Band in New London is offering a Concert Hall on YouTube featuring a variety of content including performance footage, educational resources and tutorials, and other exciting projects.

Fitness & Mindfulness

  • Aiping Tai Chi Center in Orange and Westport launched a free live streaming channel offering free Tai Chi and Health Qigong classes. All classes are available to watch as videos after the stream.
  • Breathing Room Yoga Center in New Haven is offering online classes via Zoom which include Mixed Level Vinyasa, Dynamic Hatha Flow, Candlelit Yoga and more. Preregistration is required.
  • Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford is offering a new virtual mindfulness program each day including guided meditations, live online meditation, live workplace webinar, live mindful movement, and a podcast.
  • FitStyle by Shana in New Haven has classes via Zoom, including Zumba, walking, as well as FitStyle Q&A's on how to work from home and stay fit.
  • Fresh Yoga in New Haven offers online classes via Zoom including Vinyasa, Hatha Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Forrest Yoga, Fresh Flow, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Chair Yoga, Core Connection. Prerecorded links are sent so that you can enjoy the class at whatever time works best for you.
  • Hartford Sweat in Hartford is streaming free classes on Instagram/Facebook Live or via Zoom. Classes include Barre, Yoga, Zumba and more. Beginning April 1st, you can even download their app for more direct streaming classes.
  • JoyRide Cycling + Fitness in New Haven is hosting high intensity interval training spin rides every morning on Zoom. All fitness levels are welcome and preregistration is required.
  • New England Ballet Company in Hartford is offering a virtual workout series for dancers.
  • Personal Euphoria in Wethersfield is offering virtual Pilates, yoga, strength, and interval training, providing safe, fun classes to help you keep moving, and we post a story every weekday to encourage you to hold plank.
  • Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, choreographer Darlene Ponist Zoller is offering daily dance classes and workouts on her Facebook page.
  • Root Down Power Yoga in Hartford is offering yoga classes through Zoom at monthly unlimited and drop-in rates.
  • Vasu in Hartford is offering virtual experiences such as their upcoming Dharma Circle.
  • VidFitness of New Haven is providing a complementary access to a platform for shared fitness videos. You can use a stationary bike, indoor smart trainer, elliptical, etc. to exercise virtually against cycling videos from around the world.
  • Yoga Culture in Danbury is offering daily yoga classes via Zoom, several free of charge , free meditation session on Saturday mornings.

History

  • Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library in New Haven has available digital exhibitions from the library's collections.
  • Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford has online exhibitions, and digital programming. Through its Facebook page, the museum is offering Facebook Live tours, like the CT Quilts Tour. You can also become a part of the historical documentation of this Covid-19 pandemic by digitally contributing your own story of how it has impacted you. Learn more about participating here.
  • Derby Historical Society in Ansonia is hosting "Tuesday Tours at Ten," an onsite Facebook Live show featuring a wide variety of local history topics, from sneak-peeks of rooms inside the David Humphreys House to artifacts in the extensive collection of the Derby Historical Society.
  • Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum in Hamden of highlights from the museum's permanent collection.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe in Hartford has a wealth of information on their website and a peek at many parts of the exhibit. Stay tuned to the center's social media channels, which will soon have even more virtual content of the museum available to enjoy at home.
  • Henry Whitfield State Museum in Guilford is providing the opportunity to take a virtual tour of Connecticut's oldest house.
  • Mark Twain Museum in Hartford has a virtual tour where you can explore the twenty-five room Victorian mansion where Mark Twain lived and wrote – right from your own home.
  • The Mill Museum - Windham Textile and History Museum in Willlimantic offers a virtual experience of their current exhibit and a History at Home series.
  • Mystic Seaport in Mystic has created a one-stop source for all existing videos, photographs, and blog posts for the museum. You can even watch a video walk-through of historic Boat storage area, normally closed to the public.
  • New England Air Museum in Windsor is offering virtual 360 degree tours through panoramic photos of the restoration projects and the museum interior. 
  • Noah Webster House & West Hartford History Society presents on Wednesdays at noon on their Facebook page, West Hartford's fascinating and often hidden history stories.
  • Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine in East Granby is providing the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the first chartered copper mine in North America.
  • Seaside Shadows Haunted History Tours are doing Spooky Story Sundays live on their Facebook page, telling local lore and spin-tingling tales of history and mystery.  And join in over the cauldron for a weekly virtual segment on all things magic on Witchy Wednesdays; embark on a journey with pagan and druid ancestors, nature-based foremothers and forefathers to current practices today.  On Saturdays at 4 p.m. on Facebook Live for Cemetery Saturdays. Learn of tales of historic Connecticut residents of note and legendary figures.
  • Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown is hosting virtual history tours of the Wadsworth Mansion every Wednesday from 2 to 3 p.m. on Facebook.
  • Westport Museum for History and Culture’s Tuesday Treasures is a program that showcases objects from their collection not normally on public view. See and hear the stories behind some of the most unique, mysterious and impactful artifacts in our community on their Facebook page.
  • Wilton Historical Society is offering regular digital fun and interesting historical stories, as well as digital tours of exhibits and behind the scenes look at the museum's collection through YouTube and Facebook page.
  • Yale University in New Haven is offering a virtual tour of the historic university, including its campus, athletics and residential life.

Other

  • Art Plus Studio in New Haven is offering online art classes for a small fee.
  • Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford is offering gardening tips and other helpful topics that you can access through their Facebook page.
  • Between Two Rocks is a Podcast about New Haven and comedy.
  • Café Aura in Manchester owned by Geno Auriemma, UConn’s girls basketball coach, and while he can't greet you in person at this time, he has created a series of Café Aura at Home videos to show you how he creates some of his favorite recipes.
  • Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a membership service nonprofit with more than 550+ members; from artists, galleries and museums, to historical societies, nature centers, across 15 towns of coastal Fairfield County. FCBuzz-Events is a great source for discovering current arts and culture activities in the area. See an online version of the E-Buzz here.
  • CTBeer.com is hosting a virtual "hoppy hour" with four Connecticut breweries live on Instagram on March 31. Stay tuned for future dates.
  • FOX61 Meteorologist Dan Amarante will be broadcasting live science lessons every weekday at 11 a.m. on the FOX61 Facebook Page.
  • Full Pours is a Connecticut Beer and Brewing podcast.
  • Grating the Nutmeg is a Connecticut history podcast from the State Historian and Connecticut Explored.
  • Hartford Public Library offers virtual programming including Monday Art Inside (arts and crafts to try at home), Tuesdays Read from the Hart with local authors, Wellness Wednesdays, Thursday Home Hacks (cooking, gardening and more), Friday Jams with local performers.
  • The Quarantined Series is a series of Connecticut musicians and artists who have confirmed live stream shows on their their social media channels.
  • Ridgefield Streams provides virtual events from the arts and cultural organizations from the town of Ridgefield.
  • Stafford Speedway in Stafford is offering the opportunity to re-watch the iRacing Stafford Speedway 100. Stay tuned for more virtual races and events.

Additional Resource

For even more options, here is Hartford Courant's Roundup of Virtual Art Museum Tours:

If you are the manager of an attraction that you think should be on this list, please contact the Connecticut Office of Tourism.