By Janet Serra

Posted: 09/09/2019 15:42:31

Everyone likes a freebie and this fall courtesy of the Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day and a collection of Western Connecticut Museums in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County, visitors, no matter where they are from will get in free with a ticket from the Smithsonian. Museum Day celebrates our boundless curiosity and the wonderful museums across the country, many of them in Connecticut. On September 21, Museum Day participating museums allow visitors with a special Smithsonian Pass in for FREE! The Museum Day pass is easy to get online and provides free admission for two people on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. To get your ticket click here  All you have to do is check the Connecticut box for a list of participating museums and print out your tickets.


Participating Museums


American Clock & Watch Museum

100 Maple Street, Bristol, CT 06010


10 am - 5 pm

Get a ticket click here

Step back in time with a visit to the American Clock & Watch Museum in the world-renowned clock making city of Bristol, Connecticut. The Museum houses one of the largest collections of American clocks and watches in the world with approximately 6,000 timepieces in its collection. As visitors travel through the museum’s eight galleries, many timekeeping devices chime and strike upon the hour.  Located in the historic "Federal Hill" district of Bristol, the museum is housed in an 1801 Federal-style home with a sundial garden that is beautifully maintained by the members of the Bristol Garden Club.


Danbury Museum and Historical Society

43 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06819


10 am - 3 pm. 

Get a ticket click here

Enjoy a free tour of these historic buildings located in the heart of Danbury during Smithsonian Museum Day from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Visit the John & Mary Rider House (c.1785), the John Dodd Hat Shop (c. 1790), The Marian Anderson Studio and The Little Red Schoolhouse. The Danbury Museum and Historical Society Authority acquires, preserves, exhibits, interprets Danbury's past. Situated in downtown Danbury, the museum preserves the John and Mary Rider House (c. 1785), the Dodd Hat Shop (c. 1790), the Marian Anderson Studio, the Old Kingstreet Schoolhouse, the Little Red Schoolhouse, and the Charles Ives Birthplace. Huntington Hall, a modern exhibit building, contains the museum offices and a research library.

Danbury Railroad Museum

120 White Street, Danbury, CT 06810

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Get a ticket click here

The Danbury Railroad Museum located in the historic station and rail yard in downtown Danbury, Connecticut, offers railroad history, tours, train rides, a collection of original and restored rolling stock, and opportunities for hands-on railroad work at "12 inches to the foot" scale.

EverWonder Children's Museum

31 Pecks Lane, Newtown, CT 06470

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 


Get a ticket click here.

Explore the beauty and wonder of science through hands-on experimentation at one of Connecticut’s newest museums for children. Many of EverWonder's permanent exhibits were developed by the Sciencenter of Ithaca, New York, and the Rochester Museum & Science Center, Rochester, New York, with funding from the National Science Foundation and engage and educate children in creative play.

Fairfield University Art Museum

1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT. 06824

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Get your ticket here

The Fairfield University Art Museum (FUAM) is a dynamic space for engagement with the visual arts on the campus of Fairfield University. In its Bellarmine Hall Galleries, FUAM presents its small but choice permanent collection of European and American paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs, as well as Asian, African and Pre-Columbian objects. Objects on long-term loan include antiquities and medieval pieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Penn Museum, the Worcester Art Museum, and the American Numismatic Society; Asian art on loan from the Columbia University Collection; and European paintings and objects borrowed from private collections. FUAM presents special exhibitions showcasing works of art in all media from a broad swathe of time periods and world cultures, ancient to contemporary, in both the Bellarmine Hall Galleries and the Walsh Gallery in the Quick Center for the Arts


Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center 

One Pleasant Street, Bristol, 06010

Fall Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 9:30am-5pm

Get a ticket click here

Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center is a hands-on, interactive children's museum designed for ages 2 to 8, and an innovative NAEYC accredited, Reggio-Emilia inspired Preschool Program. On a daily basis, 126 children attend our preschool, while children and families from across Connecticut and beyond visit to explore three levels that feature 12 interactive Museum Studios with a weekly schedule of STEAM-based initiatives and educational workshops. 

The Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden

49 Hollow Road

Woodbury, CT 06798

1 pm - 4 pm

Get a ticket click  here

Hours for September 21st: 12-4 pm

Glebe House will be open with free tours of the main floor of the museum. Costumed docents will be on hand to answer questions. The Glebe House is one of the earliest historic house museums in the nation. Its architecture, outstanding regional furniture collection, and Gertrude Jekyll Garden combine to create one of the most authentic house museums in Connecticut. Through tours, educational programs, and special events, The Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden continues to give visitors a sense of what life was like in the 18th century.


Institute for American Indian Studies

38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT 06793


10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

To get your ticket click here

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have an outdoor replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village and an award winning Wigwam Escape Room. The Museum has temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world, the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut.


Kids Play Children's Museum

61 Main St., Torrington, CT 06790


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Click for tickets here

KidsPlay Museum is a place where children learn through hands-on and multi-sensory activities and is geared toward children ages one to ten.  We offer exciting programs in areas including science, arts, and literacy with the goal to spark curiosity and encourage learning.

Litchfield Historical Society & Tapping Reeve Litchfield Law School

7 South Street, Litchfield, CT 06759


11am – 5 pm

For tickets click here

The Litchfield History Museum exhibits the evolution of the town of Litchfield, CT from its settlement in 1719 to today. Through changing exhibits, artifacts and archives, as well as hands-on areas, visitors can explore the diverse history of the town. Litchfield was a bustling commercial, political, and educational center and is a case study for the evolution of New England towns following the Revolutionary War. The town’s history includes that of the center village, Bantam, East Litchfield, Milton, Northfield, and pre-1850s Morris. Tapping Reeve is the first Law School in America opened in 1784.


Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum

295 West Ave., Norwalk, CT 06850


12 noon to 4 p.m.

Click to get your ticket here

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as the earliest and most significant second Empire Style country house in the United States. Built during the Civil War era as a summer residence for renowned financier LeGrand Lockwood and his wife Ann Louisa, the Mansion, with its unparalleled architecture and interiors, illustrates magnificently the splendor of the Victorian Era. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is both a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.


New Canaan Museum and Historical Society

13 Oenoke Ridge Rd., New Canaan, CT 06840


10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

For tickets click here

The New Canaan Museum & Historical Society has 5 museums on its campus at 13 Oenoke Ridge: The Cody Pharmacy, an early drug store; the Rogers Studio, the former studio of the sculptor John Rogers, which is a National Landmark; the 1764 Hanford-Silliman House, which includes a period Tavern; the 1799 Rock School; and the Tool Museum of building and agricultural tools. On exhibit is Shoes, an exhibition of more than 200 pairs of shoes from 1750-1930, all curated from the Society's permanent collection, along with information on the shoe industry in New Canaan. There is also a permanent exhibition of the paintings of New Canaan resident Augusta Simon.


The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art

258 Main St., Ridgefield, CT 06877


10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Click to get your tickets here

Photo: Jason Mandella.

Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is dedicated to fostering the work of innovative artists whose interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. The Aldrich is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States and the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art, and engages its diverse audiences with thought-provoking, interdisciplinary exhibitions, and programs.


The New England Carousel Museum

95 Riverside Ave., Bristol, CT 06010


10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Click to get your tickets here

This amazing one of a kind museum collection includes carousel ephemera plus vintage firefighting gear, Greek art & indoor working carousel. The New England Carousel Museum is dedicated to the acquisition, restoration, and preservation of operating carousels and carousel memorabilia and the creation of new carousel material, for the education and pleasure of the general public.


This is an excellent way to explore the cultural heritage and history of Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County this fall courtesy of the participating museums and institutions and the Smithsonian.