What's Open Now: Aquariums, Museums & Other Attractions Last Updated: July 2020
There’s something about strolling through a museum to experience art and history up close that books and screens can’t match. So, after staying home for so long, reconnecting to culture feels so good. From marine life to outdoor grounds to vintage radios, there’s much to see and learn.
And safety is the top priority, so Connecticut museums are following guidelines to make sure you can just focus on exploring when you visit! Here are a few of the protocols:
- All employees and customers are required to wear a facemask
- Sanitizer is available and accessible
- Fewer people are allowed in each exhibit or guided tour at a given time
- Social distancing markers are installed for lines and elevators
- Contactless payment is encouraged
- Restrooms are disinfected thoroughly multiple times a day, especially during busy times
Find the perfect spot for exploring with this growing list of re-opened museums, zoos, and other attractions following these safety protocols. You can filter these lists by town and region.
Below are a few museums going above and beyond to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for their visitors.
Time travel to a prehistoric era – safely, of course! The Dinosaur Place is making visits safe with restrictions on visiting time limits, smaller tour groups, a one-way traffic trail, and all visitors and employees are required to wear masks.
Explore all three exhibit hangars with over fifty historic aircraft on display in 90,000 square feet of exhibit space. To keep things spread apart, out on the five acre grounds you'll find an additional ten aircraft. For extra safety, their hangar doors will remain open during operating hours, allowing for natural ventilation and fresh air. And for extra fun, the museum is offering social distanced outdoor games and take-home activities for families included with admission.
Mystic Seaport is going the extra mile to ensure safe exploration of all things maritime. All grounds will be open while indoor exhibitions will remain closed. While enjoying the grounds, they are limiting capacity to ensure social distancing, all visitors and employees will be wearing masks, and hand sanitizer is available at entrances.
Experience life from the American Colonial era through the mid-20th-century! Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center is open outdoors with social distance-friendly activities like a self-guided "Gilberts in the Gardens" walking tour. For the kids, they are running a virtual summer camp for safe and fun learning.
Mystic Aquarium is implenting many measures for safe fun for visitors and their animals! They have reopened indoor and outdoor habitats only at 50% capacity, created timed tickets available through online purchase only, one-way traffic flow through outdoor habitats, installed social distancing signage throughout the open areas of campus, added a temperature screening process prior to entry, and more!
Got lost in some old school tunes and TVs at the Vintage Radio & Communications Museum of Connecticut! Although they're typically a hands-on museum, they ask that only the tour guide handle items in the museum until further notice. Additionally, the facility is undergoing thorough cleanings multiple times per day,and all visitors and volunteers will be asked to use hand sanitzer, wear a face mask, and have a laser thermometer check on their forehead before entering.
Discover the life of Mark Twain right in his historic home! The Mark Twain House & Museum is keeping visitors safe with tours limited to five people, contactless ticket purchases, and a limited capacity for areas like the Nook Cafe and gift shop. For an extra intriguing treat, visitors can watch Ken Burns’ short film, “Mark Twain.”
And finally, get ready for a summer of free art exploration! To celebrate the return of visitors and to share its love of the arts with the community, the Lyman Allyn will be open for free to all guests all summer long, through Labor Day. And of course, all required safety measures will be in place, so you can focus on admiring the masterpieces.
From mountain biking to tubing, there’s so many way to get out and get active! For safe adventure, Powder Ridge is disinfecting all tubes or rental bikes between guests, gloved lift attendants load each bike and sanitize their gloved hands between bikes, all employees wear PPE, hand sanitizer and wipes are at building entries and the base of the life, and more.