If you are looking for some indoor fun for your toddler or preschooler, there are plenty of options in Connecticut. We’re very lucky that there are so many great children’s museums in CT to choose from.
Whether you are simply looking for a nice indoor playspace or you want something more educational for your child, there are plenty of options to choose from.
And while many of the children’s museums on this list are geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, there are plenty of good ones for elementary-age kids, tweens, and teenagers.
Since the pandemic, Connecticut has been funding free summers at the museum, and hopefully, we’ll see that again this year.
Anyway, let’s get to the list of great children’s museums in CT.
12 fun children’s museums in CT
Niantic Children’s Museum – Niantic
The Niantic Children’s Museum is a small, but fun, children’s museum that is located in the beach town of Niantic.
It’s filled with interactive, hands-on, educational activities for kids ages 8-9 years and younger.
The museum has three main areas: the Imagination Room, the Discovery Room, and the Outdoor Playscape.
The Imagination Room has a couple of fun air and wind exhibits, as well as a couple of climbing structures.
Here, you’ll also find a large play market and garden, as well as a safe area for younger toddlers and babies.
The Discovery Room is focused on science and nature. Here, there are live animals, crafts, and building exhibits.
The Outdoor Playscape is really fun and has been upgraded a bit over the past couple of years.
There’s a large treehouse, a zipline, musical instruments, an obstacle course, and more.
The Niantic Children’s Museum also hosts field trips and birthday parties.
Address: 409 Main St., Niantic, CT 06357
Stepping Stones – Norwalk
Stepping Stones Museum for Children is a non-profit children’s museum located in Norwalk, CT.
This Connecticut children’s museum has numerous hands-on exhibits that are designed to engage children in a variety of ways.
The exhibits include:
- Big Adventures: Dinosaurs
- Energy Lab
- Celebration Courtyard
- Lights on!
- Multimedia Gallery
- Studio K
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events for children and families.
While Stepping Stones Children’s Museum may be enjoyed by older kids and the very, very young, the exhibits are definitely geared toward toddlers and preschoolers.
Stepping Stones hosts field trips, as well as birthday parties.
Address: 303 West Ave., Norwalk, CT 06850
Kids City – Middletown
Kidcity Children’s Museum is a children’s museum located in Middletown, Connecticut. It is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1994.
The museum’s mission is to “provide a fun, educational, and interactive environment for children to learn and grow.”
Kidcity Children’s Museum has dozens of awesome exhibits with which kids can interact.
KidCity has toddler sea caves, a medieval village, a play fishery, and so much more.
Kidcity Children’s Museum is a popular destination for families with young children. It’s probably the most popular children’s museum in CT, in fact.
Because it’s so popular, it can get pretty crowded sometimes. So, if you’ve got a sensory-sensitive little one, this might not be your spot.
Address: 119 Washington Street, Middletown, CT
Connecticut Science Center – Hartford
The Connecticut Science Center is a multi-level children’s museum located on the Connecticut River in Hartford, Connecticut.
This is the ultimate children’s museum. We renew our membership every year and it’s well worth the price.
The center has hundreds of hands-on exhibits spanning multiple galleries, plus a 3D digital theater, and a Butterfly Encounter that costs a bit extra.
It offers a variety of programs and events for visitors of all ages, including live science demonstrations, educational workshops, and family-friendly activities.
The center is also home to a traveling exhibit, which changes periodically.
Over the years, they’ve had dinosaur exhibits, mummy exhibits, and wildlife-focused exhibits.
I highly recommend this place.
It’s not just for toddlers, either. Kids in their teens can even have a great time here.
Address: 250 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, CT
Lutz Museum – Manchester
Lutz Museum is a small children’s museum in Machester, CT.
The museum has a variety of interactive exhibits that are designed to be fun and educational for children.
The focus on the main play area is definitely imaginative play.
Here, young kids will enjoy the exhibits that have been set up to encourage a variety of pretend-play scenarios.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs, such as summer camps, classes, and more.
They also have live animal showings, kids’ art exhibits, and more.
Address: 247 South Main Street, Machester, CT
KidsPlay – Torrington
KidsPlay Children’s Museum is a large-ish children’s museum that’s located in Torrington, CT.
Here, you’ll find plenty of hands-on exhibits that are designed to engage children in a variety of ways.
The exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including science, technology, engineering, art, imaginative play, and math.
Here are just some of the exhibits at KidsPlay Children’s Museum:
- The Town Center
- The Art Studio
- Polar Pond
- Light Lab
- Rock Climbing Wall
- Air and Wind
- Literacy Treehouse
KidsPlay is definitely one of the less talked about children’s museums in CT, but, in my opinion, it’s one of the best ones.
Address: 61 Main Street, Torrington, CT 06790
EverWonder – Newtown
EverWonder Children’s Museum is a non-profit children’s museum located in Newington, Connecticut.
This is a great children’s museum for kids of ages up to about 10 years old.
Many of the exhibits are geared toward the toddler and preschool crowd, however, there’s a technology station that’s more for elementary-age kids.
This isn’t one of the larger and more grand children’s museums, but for its size, there’s a lot to do here.
Address: 31 Pecks Lane, Newtown, CT 06470
The Children’s Museum – West Hartford
The Children’s Museum of West Hartford is a non-profit children’s museum located in West Hartford, Connecticut.
The Museum is geared towards young children, ages 2–8.
Depending on your child’s abilities and interests, they might enjoy outside of this age range, however.
Whereas most of the children’s museums on this list are heavy on imaginative play, this place has a heavy nature-education focus.
This children’s museum also hosts a nature-based preschool program for kids ages 3-6.
Address: 180 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford, CT 06117
Imagine Nation – Bristol
Imagine Nation is a non-profit children’s museum located in Bristol, Connecticut.
Recently, the model of this museum changed from self-directed exploration to facilitator-led learning experiences.
Imagine Nation offers classes and workshops instead of free exploration. They still offer birthday parties, though.
If you loved Imagine Nation and you’re sad to hear it’s changed a bit, you might be happy to know that children now have the opportunity to attend and experience all the amazing exhibits in a more immersive and educational way – as students.
Imagine Nation is now both a children’s museum and a Reggio Emilia-style school.
Address: 1 Pleasant Street, Bristol, CT 06010
Discovery Science Center – Bridgeport
The Discovery Museum and Planetarium is a hands-on science center and planetarium located in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
It’s a popular destination for families with preschoolers, elementary-age children, and teens, as well as for school groups.
The museum has numerous hands-on exhibits that cover a wide range of scientific topics, including physics, biology, chemistry, and astronomy.
It also has a planetarium that shows educational films about the solar system and other astronomical objects.
Address: 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604
The Children’s Building – New Haven
The Children’s Building is a historic building located in downtown New Haven.
Exhibits here include a music room, math room, movement room, linguistics room, and more.
It’s not a typical children’s museum where kids go wild exploring. Instead, it’s more of a traditional museum that kids can explore – if that makes any sense.
Definitely check out the link above if you’re curious. It’s a really cool place.
This museum is only open to the public on Saturdays.
Address: 22 Wall St., New Haven, CT
Children’s Museum at Mystic Seaport – Mystic
There is a lovely children’s museum at the Mystic Seaport Museum, near the playground.
I debated including it in our list, but my kids just love it so much.
The first time I took them to the Mystic Seaport Museum, I thought to myself, “The price of the membership is worth it just to be able to come to this children’s museum”.
Everything in the building is sailing and sealife-themed.
This place is great for toddlers, preschoolers, and younger elementary-age kids.
As I mentioned, there’s a nice playground right outside, as well, which is nice.
And, of course, it’s at the Seaport Museum, so there are so many other fun and educational things to do.
Address: 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT 06355
There you have it, the list of the best children’s museums in CT!