Virtual Experiences Last Updated: June 2021

If you're looking to enjoy this year's Connecticut Open House Day from the comfort of your own home, then check out these virtual experiences that are being offered by tourism attractions across the state.

New London Ledge Lighthouse, New London

Virtual Experience:
Overview of the history of lighthouses in southern Connecticut. Specifically, New London Ledge Lighthouse, its history and the opportunity to visit the lighthouse in 2022 with guided tours.

 

ACT of Connecticut, Ridgefield

Virtual Experience:
ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut is a nonprofit professional Equity theater located in Ridgefield and presents limited engagement runs of well-known musicals. With its 182 seats and turntable stage, the theater offers an intimate, unique, and immersive theatrical experience for its patrons. The provided link shows viewers highlights from our past three seasons of Broadway-caliber productions. Enjoy!

 

Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield

In-Person Experience:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to offer half-priced admission to visitors for Connecticut Open House Day. Timed-entry tickets or reservations must be made in advance. Three exhibitions will be on view in the museum: Tim Prentice: After the Mobile, Lucia Hierro: Marginal Costs, and Hugo McCloud: from where i stand. Sculptures by Frank Stella will be on view outside on the museum's grounds and Sculpture Garden.
Virtual Experience:
Enjoy a virtual tour of Tim Prentice's exhibition, After the Mobile, led by Prentice and his collaborator David Colbert, and moderated by The Aldrich's Exhibitions Director Richard Klein.

 

Fairfield Museum and History Center, Fairfield

In-Person Experience:
Visit the Fairfield Museum and History Center to experience amazing exhibitions and more. Learn about all of the wonderful in-person and virtual programming has to offer including speaker series, walking tours, educational experiences, summer youth workshops and fun family activities. Stop in the Museum shop for unique local merchandise and great gift items. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., with free admission.

 

Fairfield University Art Museum, Fairfield

Virtual Experience:
The Fairfield University Art Museum's exhibition Birds of the Northeast: Gulls to Great Auks features paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and natural history specimens from the early 19th century through the present day. Beyond merely connecting us to the natural world, the artworks in this exhibition remind us of the toll taken on bird habitats since the beginning of European colonialism in North America; the delicate ecosystems that allow birds of all species to thrive came under attack, as birds were hunted for food and ornamentation and their habitats were destroyed. This exhibition offers our viewers a 3D virtual tour, and a video tour of the exhibition installed in the gallery. We also offer numerous recordings of previous bird-related lectures. The digital exhibition catalog and Birds of Fairfield Guide are offered in English and Spanish. This exhibition showcases artwork that will appeal to all nature lovers and will excite the viewer to get outdoors and explore Connecticut wildlife!

 

Gallery at Still River Editions, Danbury

Virtual Experience:
Digital opening of the "10 Year Retrospective Group Exhibition" at The Gallery at Still River Editions featuring work by over 25 gallery artists from Connecticut and the northeast. The works from the exhibition will be featured in a slideshow.

 

New Insights Crystal Boutique, Sandy Hook

Virtual Experience:
Looking to learn about crystals? We'd love to meet you at New Insights Boutique. We are a family owned Spiritual and Metaphysical Shop in the heart of Sandy Hook, offering a multi-colored palette of crystals and gemstones from around the world, crystal jewelry, boho apparel, and a variety of tools to help you feel the good vibes.

 

Stratford Historical Society, Stratford

In-Person Experience:
We are offering tours of the historic David Judson House and we will also be offering an onsite virtual tour of the house as well as a Revolutionary War tour of the David Judson House for those who would be more comfortable with more social distancing.
Virtual Experience:
Virtual tour of the historic David Judson house.

 

The Glass House, New Canaan

Virtual Experience:
Enjoy the Glass House #Museumfromhome as Chief Curator and Creative Director, Hilary Lewis takes you through the site for a brief virtual tour of the 49-acre landscape.

 

American Clock & Watch Museum, Bristol

In-Person Experience:
Reduced admission! The American Clock & Watch Museum will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with special activities offered throughout the day for visitors of all ages.
Virtual Experience:
Clock demonstrations, craft activities, and videos of the galleries and special exhibits will be posted on the museum's Facebook page.

 

Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

In-Person Experience:
Join The Amistad Center for Art & Culture and the Wadsworth for Juneteenth Family Day - a free event being hosted outside of the Wadsworth, with accompanying virtual programming available online. Festivities at the museum include: art pack giveaway (noon-2 p.m.), free ice cream (noon-2 p.m., while supplies last), a sidewalk community art project, pop-up by key bookstore, interactive drum and dance performance by stilt walker Mellissa Craig and FriendZWorld Music (12:30-2 p.m.), Juneteenth Celebration Stroll led by Mellissa Craig and friends (1:30 p.m.-2 p.m.), and Storyteller Angel R. and her arts troupe 515United share African folktales in the Amistad Center gallery beginning at 1 p.m.
Virtual Experience:
Virtual programming will include educational online activities and printouts. Videos will be available June 12 and accessible thereafter via amistadcenter.org

 

Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford

In-Person Experience:
Free admission to galleries all day! And join us for a free guided exhibit tour at 11 a.m. (pre-registration required; spaces are limited). Register at chs.org/guidedtours.
Virtual Experience:
Check out online, 3D tours of our recent and current exhibits.

 

Connecticut’s Old State House, Hartford

In-Person Experience:
Enjoy the grounds of Connecticut's Old State House between noon and 4 p.m. The 1796 National Historic Landmark served as one of Connecticut's two-state capitols. Blow bubbles, play games, participate in an outdoor scavenger hunt, or bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic on the lawn. At 1:30 p.m., rock out with the Balkun Brothers. Join an outdoor walking tour at 2:30 p.m., meet at Information Table.
Virtual Experience:
Enjoy a virtual tour of Connecticut's Old State House at noon. At 1:30 p.m., the Balkun Brothers concert will be live-streamed.

 

East Hartford Public Library, East Hartford

Virtual Experience:
For the 17th annual Connecticut Open House Day, the East Hartford Public Library is offering a virtual tour of five highlights from its museum collection. Join Head of Reference & Cultural Assets Manager Jason Pannone as we look at some of the gems from the collection.

 

First Church of Christ Meetinghouse, Farmington

Virtual Experience:
In celebration of 250 years of history, First Church of Christ, Congregational, 1652 welcomes you to a "Brief History of The Meetinghouse." This National Historic Landmark in Farmington, designed by Judah Woodruff, features a tall steeple which can be seen for miles. Originally a town building, it was used for both worship and public meetings until 1836. It has remained in continuous use by the church since November 25, 1772.

 

Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford

Virtual Experience:
We will be offering Facebook Live feeds at five to six different times throughout the day, in which people can join us for Virtual Tom Sawyer Day: A Musical Celebration. We will be featuring local musicians, and choral groups, our living history actors will do readings, and we will be hosting Adelka Polak's puppetry Show Metamophis.

 

Old North Cemetery, Hartford

Virtual Experience:
What do the founders of The Connecticut Historical Society, Wadsworth Atheneum, the American School for the Deaf, the Institute of Living, Watkinson Library and Coltsville, plus Horace Bushnell, Frederick Law Olmsted, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Blacks and Whites, three Governors, four Congressman and two mayors, the 29th Regiment of Colored Troops and Nathan Hale’s fiancé have in common? Welcome to Old North Cemetery, Hartford's black pearl.

 

Oliver Ellsworth Homestead, Windsor

Virtual Experience:
Offering a "3D Virtual Tour" self-guiding of the Oliver Ellsworth Homestead. You can decide where you want to travel throughout The Homestead and what items inside you want to focus on. It's like being there in person.

 

Eric Sloane Museum, Kent

In-Person Experience:
Enjoy free admission on CT Open House Day and experience the Eric Sloane Museum like never before! See original works of art and the early Americana collection of Eric Sloane. Explore what life was like in the early 19th century at the new Noah Blake Cabin. Take advantage of the natural beauty of the picturesque Housatonic River Valley and the history of Kent Ironworks. The museum offers something for everyone!
Virtual Experience:
Virtual tours and presentations are available by visiting the website and social media accounts.

 

Watertown History Museum, Watertown

In-Person Experience:
The Museum re-opens on June 12 with two new exhibits celebrating local history. Milking Memories, this exhibit features stories of the farming community in Watertown and Oakville from Colonial times to the 20th-century.
Stories in Service: In War & In Peace honors citizens who served in the military or supported War efforts as civilians from the French and Indian War through the present.
Virtual Experience:
Launched May 1, 2021, the Spring Walking Tour featured 18 buildings and monuments in historic Watertown. The webpage for this event includes an online gallery providing "Then and Now" viewpoints. For Museum Open House day, we hope to launch an additional online exhibit with more detailed histories.

 

Adam Stanton House & General Store Museum, Clinton

In-Person Experience:
You are cordially invited to stroll the grounds and enjoy the herb and perennial flower gardens of the Adam Stanton House & General Store at 63 E. Main Street in Clinton from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Docents will be on hand, outside, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. to give a brief history of the house and the three generations of Stanton’s who lived there.
Virtual Experience:
Adam Stanton House Museum President and Clinton Town Historian Bob Bruch is seen narrating a brief tour of the museum which was produced and aired by CT Valley Public Access TV. Built c. 1791 and, having never left the Stanton family, the House retains its original furnishings. It's also architecturally exceptional, notable for its large scale and the presence of an authentic 18th century general store and 11 fireplaces.

 

Goodspeed Musicals, East Haddam

Virtual Experience:
Go behind-the-scenes at home of hits like Annie, Man of LaMancha and Holiday Inn to see how our artisans work their magic. Glimpse inside the costume, scene and paint shops and learn how musicals are made.
The first theater in the nation to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement in musical theater. Goodspeed has sent 21 musicals to Broadway and more than 90 new musicals have been launched. Goodspeed produces powerful, world-class productions of enlightening new and established works to entertain and inspire audiences.
Join CT Cultural Treasures for a special look inside the "Home of the American Musical."

 

Wesleyan Potters, Middletown

Virtual Experience:
Please join us in safely celebrating CT Open House Day 2021 with a virtual tour of Wesleyan Potters! We will take you through our pottery studio and kiln room, metalsmithing lab, and weaving loft upstairs. The tour will culminate in a walk-through of our Gallery Shop, your one-stop shop for unique gifts and handmade works of art.
In-Person Experience:
The Gallery Shop will also be open for in-person shopping from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

 

Dudley Farm Museum, Guilford

In-Person Experience:
Welcome to The Dudley Farm Museum where the barns, outbuildings, landscapes, and woods have changed little over the last 175 years. The buildings and landscapes of today's museum illustrate the farm's late 19th-century activities, which included dairying, maple syrup production, the planting of crops, as well as the production of apples, ice, flowers, and eggs. Staff are here to not only guide you but to answer any questions. Museum will be open from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m., with free admission, donations accepted.
Virtual Experience:
Take a self-guided tour of the 10 1/2 acres of The Dudley Farm where the barns, outbuildings and farm animals will give you a glimpse into the life and work on a family farm in New England circa 1870-1910.

 

Osborne Homestead Museum, Derby

In-Person Experience:
The Osborne Homestead Museum will have a special outdoor architecture tour exploring the exterior features and transformations, Frances Osborne Kellogg’s influences on the home, and the architectural career of her husband Waldo Kellogg. Open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/self-guided-interior-tour-tickets-154102170741?aff=ctvisit
Virtual Experience:
In the Osborne Homestead Museum's interior virtual tour, view the transformation of this modest 1800s farmhouse into an elegant 20th century Colonial Revival style home.

 

Palace Theater, Waterbury

In-Person Experience:
A free, behind the scenes tour of Waterbury's historic Palace Theater, from 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. The ninety-minute tour includes exploring areas of the venue not seen by the public and detailed information about the history and architecture provided by well versed tour guides. Admission to the tour (regularly $5.00) is being offered free in celebration of CT Open House Day. Register online at www.palacetheaterct.org, by phone at (203) 346-2000, or in person at the Box Office, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury. Box Office hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon.
Virtual Experience:
Take a five-minute virtual tour of the magnificent Palace Theater, featuring the cinematic and on-air talents of Waterbury Arts Magnet School Senior, Viola Flowers.

 

Avery-Copp House Museum, Groton

In-Person Experience: Take your own picture with our historic paper moon photo prop, along with old-fashioned games for children, scavenger hunt, and self-guided exploration of museum first floor and kitchen.
Dog friendly grounds.
Virtual Experience:
Virtual tour of the entire museum, including the kitchen and the servant’s quarters on the third floor.
Tour offers three viewing options and the opportunity to click icons for enhanced descriptions of many of the objects in our collection.

 

Colchester History Museum, Colchester

In-Person Experience:
Offering free admission, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. In addition, offering tours of the Colchester Burying Ground, featuring the Tomb of Gershom Bulkeley and his descendants, and tours of Colchester's historic School for Colored Children. Open House Day offers a unique opportunity to visit all three sites in one day.
Virtual Experience:
Visit the Colchester History Museum without leaving your home by taking a 360 Virtual Museum Tour. The virtual tour provides a 360-degree view of four exhibit rooms at the Colchester History Museum. Stop and start the tour with the click of a button and select information icons to learn more about the items in each exhibit. Take the virtual tour and then visit with friends to impress them with everything you already know about Colchester history!

 

Custom House Maritime Museum, New London

Virtual Experience:
New London Maritime Society will present a brief overview of both the exhibitions at the Custom House Maritime Museum and of our lighthouse tours.

In-Person Experience:
Visit New London's Custom House and see the fantastic artwork from Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School and Harbor School's third graders. They have recently completed the New London Local-History & Landmarks course, a program of the New London Maritime Society. NLMS educator Christina Corcoran writes, "The artwork from Mrs. Wallace, Mrs. Tynan, Mr. Fitzmaurice, Mrs. Clark, and Mr. Lyons' classes corresponds to five virtual field trips: 'Intro to New London's landmarks', 'New London Waterfront', 'New London in the early days', 'New London in the American Revolution, and 'New London in the Whaling era'. With each lesson, the students were asked to complete a worksheet make a drawing. The drawings were beyond my expectations and have to be shared with the community. The students enjoyed the 'draw your favorite ship' and 'favorite lighthouse' assignments the most! There are some submarine drawings as well. The students added their own favorites not addressed in the classes such as pirates walking the plank!!!"
The Custom House Maritime Museum & Shop will be opened for extended hours from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., with admission by donation, only.

 

Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, Groton

In-Person Experience:
The Friends of Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park will be offering guided tours of the Fort at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m., as well as access to the Museum, Monument, and gift shop. "Abby Slocomb" will visit at noon to tell the story of her life here in Groton, where she designed the Connecticut state flag, and her adventures abroad. Visitors are welcome to tour the grounds on their own bring a picnic.
Virtual Experience:
A costumed guide leads you on a tour of the Battlefield and tells the story of The Battle of Groton Heights.

 

Indian and Colonial Research Center, Old Mystic

Virtual Experience:
The Mission of The Indian and Colonial Research Center is to preserve and make accessible to the public, the collected works of Eva Butler and additional historical and genealogical materials of the people of Old Mystic, Connecticut and surrounding areas. This year the Indian and Colonial Research Center is offering a virtual tour of our historic building and unique collections.

 

Portersville Academy, Mystic

In-Person Experience:
Free of charge tour of the Mystic River Historical Society's Portersville Academy from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
Virtual Experience:
Video tour of Portersville Academy.

 

Art & Garden Tour of Northeast Connecticut

In-Person Experience:
A free self-guided tour features 11 artists' gardens displaying the works of 17 area artists. Enjoy paintings, sculpture, ceramics, woodwork, photography, and other works of art in gardens in Ashford, Coventry, Mansfield, and Willington. The gardens, which vary in style, include a handmade greenhouse, a hydroponic greenhouse, ponds and pools, a stone arch, paths, terraces, and an abundance of flowers, shrubs, vegetables, trees, and herbs. Artwork will be available for purchase. All current Covid-19 protocols will be followed, including masks. For more information and a map, please visit our website.

Virtual Experience:
Visit the beautiful gardens and artists' work in beautiful northeastern Connecticut on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

 

Atwood Farm Museum, Mansfield

In-Person Experience:
Tour the farm museum to see the Weaver's Cottage, Blacksmith's Shop, Barn, Pig Sty, Corn Crib, Chicken Coop, and Ice House. The farm will be open from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m., with free admission.
Virtual Experience:
See some of the old farm buildings with a special visit inside the Weaver's Cottage.

 

Willow Tree Pottery, Ashford

In-Person Experience:
Suzy Staubach is a potter, writer, and gardener. She makes simple yet elegant platters, bowls, mugs, baking dishes, table and kitchen ware. Her newest book is A Garden Miscellany: An Illustrated Guide to the Elements of the Garden. Her blowsy cottage garden of old-fashioned flowers at Willow Tree Pottery is set in an old hayfield. Visitors are welcome to choose a handmade amulet to take home. Barbara Katz, Gretchen Geromin and Lauren Merlo will be guest artists.
Virtual Experience:
Virtually tour the old-fashioned cottage gardens at Willow Tree Pottery. Step into the studio and watch Suzy throw. See a few pots. Shop online if you wish.

 

Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme

In-Person Experience:
The Florence Griswold Museum will be open free to the public. Celebrate art, history and nature in one place in the historic town of Old Lyme. Visitors can enjoy a new art exhibition, including "Bloom with a View," floral arrangements that play off a selection of artworks, stroll lush, historic gardens and riverfront Artists’ Trail, and tour the historic Griswold House. Have you seen the dining room? There is no other room like it in America!
Virtual Experience:
Visit the Museum’s website to take a virtual tour of the Griswold House and recent exhibitions, learn about the lives of the art colony artists, travel back in history through letters between a young 19th-century sea captain and his family, delve into new scholarship about the renowned photographer Walker Evans and his unforgettable images of the Great Depression, and use all of your senses as you take a guided walk into one particular painting.

 

Nowash Village at Wood Memorial Library & Museum, South Windsor

In-Person Experience:
Nowashe Village is an outdoor museum of Indigenous life comprised of two wigwams, a Sachem’s house, Three Sisters garden, and communal fire area. Featured Native Artisan, Dylan Smith, will discuss the clothing, jewelry and regalia worn by East Coast Native Peoples. Activities include storytelling, hands-on crafts for kids, multimedia self-guided tour and Native American stone tools and artifacts. Free admission from noon until 4 p.m.
Virtual Experience:
Can’t visit Nowashe Village in person? Experience it at home! We offer online programs about the life ways of the Indigenous Peoples of the Connecticut River Valley. Watch the Introduction to Native Storytelling with Annawon Weeden for free. Understanding the oral tradition and a little about the types of stories that were told, sets a fascinating introduction to learning more about thousands of years of Native American history in New England.

 

Barnes Museum, Southington

Virtual Experience:
Preview the grounds of the Barnes Museum, a historic homestead, and take a step back in time with a tour of one of the rooms. Tours are currently by appointment only but will be opening again in July.

 

Fascia’s Chocolates, Waterbury

In-Person Experience:
At Fascia's Chocolates, on-site events include raffles and the opportunity to Make-Your-Own chocolate bar at a 30% savings of $7 each.
Virtual Experience:
Fascia's Chocolates Virtual Tour will be a short, guided walking tour of the Retail Store and behind the scenes in the chocolate factory.

 

Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden, Woodbury

In-Person Experience:
The Glebe House Museum will present an open house with free admission. The main floor of the historic site will be open for guests to view. Docents will be available to share history and answer questions about the historic site.
The Gertrude Jekyll Garden will be open for self-guided viewing.
Virtual Experience:
A video presentation "Welcome to the Glebe House" gives viewers a brief tour of the Gertrude Jekyll Garden and Glebe House Museum and shares an overview of this historic site.
The video is available through our YouTube Channel, Website, Facebook page and Instagram.

 

Wethersfield Historical Society, Wethersfield

In-Person Experience:
The Wethersfield Museum currently has three exhibits on view: Wethersfield Women, Castle on the Cove: The State Prison at Wethersfield, and our permanent exhibit Legendary People, Ordinary Lives. Admission to the museum is free and the Historical Society will be offering a free refrigerator magnet to all visitors featuring a photo of one of the society's properties.
Virtual Experience:
This exhibit is the virtual version of Wethersfield Women, currently on view in the Watson Gallery of the Wethersfield Museum. It features all the panels in the exhibit and custom photographs of the artifacts on display.

 

Charter Oak Genealogy, Middletown

Virtual Experience:
Have you always wanted to learn more about your Connecticut ancestors or to solve a tough Connecticut genealogy research problem? Charter Oak Genealogy will be offering four, 25 minute virtual consultations on Connecticut research questions. Visit our website to register.