If you live in the New York City suburbs, sometimes making it into the city for a museum visit is not in the cards; perhaps not a big enough time window, not in the mood for crowds, whatever the reason is, it’s just not happening. Which is why I like to explore museum alternatives outside of the city. I’ve written about the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in Connecticut (see post here), which is a great, smaller alternative to the Museum of Natural History in New York. Another fabulous Connecticut museum completely worth checking out is the Bruce Museum in Greenwich.
Highly regarded for its collections in art, natural history and science, there is a bit of everything for the curious mind. It’s a small museum, but a good one. With both permanent and temporary exhibitions, there is always something to interest adults and kids alike. It has a terrific natural history section, which is always a huge draw for the kids. Comprised of fossils, mammal and bird mounts, minerals and rocks, and reptiles and skeletons, my girls are engaged from the minute we walk in. They especially love the water tank with crabs, lobster and fish, as well as the diorama of the animals in the woods, a big, intriguing display.
What I really love about the museum is that it also has an art collection, in addition to its science collection, with art mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries. We loved the Hans Hoffman exhibition, which was recently up this past fall. In general there is a good mix of art, science and natural history – a nice, well-rounded collection.
The Bruce Museum has a bunch of Youth and Family programs, such as the Tuesday Toddler Tours (Tuesdays, 11:00 – 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 – 1:45 p.m.), Stroller Tours (one Wednesday a month, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.), Sunday Family Gallery Tours (most Sundays, ages 6 – 10, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.), Family Studio Workshops (two Sundays a month, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., $7 for members, $15 for non-members) and School Vacation Workshops (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., grades K-5, $7 for members and $20 for non-members, advanced registration required). For more info., see the museum’s website here.
One final note – across the street is the Bruce Park playground, a huge, awesome playground your kids will be sure to squeal over, and a good way to combine both indoor and outdoor play.
Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT 06830, 203.869.0376, Tuesday- Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays (EXCEPT for MLK, Presidents and Columbus Days) and most major holidays. Admission: $7 for adults, $5 for children 5 and over, 4 and under FREE. Tuesdays: FREE individual admission.