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Looking for some free family fun? CT Residents are lucky to have some museums available free of charge. I’ve listed some of my favorites, along with terms and conditions of free entry:

  1. Meig’s Point, Hammonasset Beach State Park:

    Meig’s Point is one of our favorites, and not just because it is FREE for ALL CT Residents! The museum features touch tanks, CT Coastline exhibits, and an events calendar that is full of incredible family programs.
    Summer Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm

  2. Dinosaur State Park – Must bring free library pass

    Travel back in time to the era of the dinosaurs. This is one another kid favorite- it features so many amazing activities, like this interactive sand table.
    Note that free access requires visiting your local library and checking out a free CT Parks Pass. All libraries have this as it is issued by the state as part of the No Child Left Inside Program. If you do not bring the pass, you will need to pay an adult admission fee.
    Summer Hours: Tuesday thru Sunday 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM

  3. Eli Whitney Museum:

    The Eli Whitney Museum focuses on innovation and invention. There are many kid’s activities, some for an additional fee. Access to the museum itself is free of charge.
    Summer Hours: Varies, visit website for details

  4. Ansonia Nature Center:

    156 mile of hiking trails, a fun playground, and tons of animals make this a fun family stop! 
    Summer Hours
    : Sunday – Saturday: 9am – 5pm; FREE Admission

  5. Northwest Park Nature Center

    This is another family favorite with hiking trails, playground, animals and a huge nature center- all available free of charge. Plus, they offer some fabulous events – like their annual county fair!
    Summer Hours: Mon – Fri: 8:30AM – 4:30PM; Saturday: 9:00AM – 5:00PM; Sunday: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

  6. Connecticut Antique Machinery Museum

    Older kids who love things that go will get a huge kick out of the engines available at this museum. Check the calendar for some fun special events too!
    Summer Hours: 10 AM to 4 PM, Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday)

  7. Yale University Art Gallery

    An incredible collection of fine art, totally free!
    Summer Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10:00 am–5:00 pm; Weekends 11:00 am–5:00 pm

  8. Fort Trumbull- Must bring free library pass

    Per DEEP: “Get an interactive history lesson at the visitor’s center, or just walk the Fort and ramparts for a view of the Thames River, a visit to Fort Trumbull has something for everyone including a boardwalk and fishing pier.”
    Note that to access for free, you will need to check out the library pass that is available to all CT residents.
    Summer Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 9 AM to 4 PM

  9. Benton Museum, UCONN

    Another art museum featuring some gorgeous artwork, plus a cafe and a decent souvenir shop with unique gifts.
    Summer Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 4pm;  Saturday & Sunday: 1 – 4pm

  10. Ballard Museum of Puppetry, UCONN

    Per their website: “The Ballard Institute presents exhibitions, performances, workshops, forums, and online resources about puppetry around the world; its collection of over 3,000 puppets and its archival resources offer further insights into puppet history.”
    Summer Hours: Wednesday-Friday: 11:00am-5:00pm; Saturday-Sunday: 11:00am-7:00pm


Do you have a favorite free CT museum? Drop it in the comments and I’ll get it featured here! 

As always, lots of care is taken while compiling lists. However, it is always better to be “safe than sorry” and check with the organization before you go. Things change! 

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