The Stamford Museum and Nature Center seems to have it all – with a farm, 80 acres of walking trails and woods, animal viewings both indoors and out, a museum, a planetarium and observatory, big outdoor playground, and the Bendel mansion, it is a mecca for kids. Located in Stamford, CT and a little over an hour outside of NYC, it is an ideal spot to take the wee ones (or not so wee) for some much fun nature-themed activity. It has so much to offer that it is one of our favorite nature preserves in the area to go to – whenever we need a filler for a morning or afternoon, this is high on the list.
For those of you that live locally, every Sunday morning there is a farmers market, at least during the summer months. It’s not big, but there are some nice stalls to peruse around. Last Sunday we walked away with fresh corn, squash blossoms, blueberries, greens and some scrumptious baked goods. I wish I wrote down the name of the seller, because these raspberry and chocolate muffins were to die for. Being a Sunday with not much food in the fridge, the girls had an embarrassingly light breakfast…but not a problem because we knew we could refuel them at the nature center with some good quality food.
A visit for us typically goes like this: first watch the hilarious and very active otter in the otter pond upon entering, and then walk around Heckscher Farm and say hello to the animals. This last time we saw baby piglets come out of the shed and feed from their mama, and it was an amazing site for the girls, and us. There are also llamas, sheep, goats, horses, all the typical farm animals. This past visit we also saw the bee keepers outside in their full head-to-toe gear, taking care of business. After walking around the farm, we like to go inside and take a look at the indoor animals – reptiles, a tarantula, chinchillas and more. If we have enough time we enjoy walking on the trails that seem to go on and on, over streams and through the woods. We always, without a doubt, end our visit at the Nature’s Playground, an awesome big playground set in the woods.
It is a beautiful piece of property that we have always stayed outside, but there is also a museum and the Bendel Mansion, which we’ve never seen. It was home to (and designed by) the New York designer and department store owner Henri Bendel – cool! So up my alley, amazed I’ve never been! Can’t wait to check that out next time.
With a ton of programs including WILD! Feeding Animal Meet & Greet and Observatory Visitor Nights, and so many more, the Stamford Museum and Nature Center is a super fun place to visit. Your kids will beg to go back!