Did you enjoy all the free museum visits last summer? Well, there’s good news – CT Summer at the Museum is back in 2023!
That’s right – there are nearly 100 free museums in CT right now!
From July 1st through September 4th, admission to many museums, aquariums, and nature centers is totally FREE!
- Who can participate in the 2023 CT Summer at the Museum?
- CT Free Museums List for 2023
Who can participate in the 2023 CT Summer at the Museum?
Children in Connecticut ages 18 and under plus one accompanying adult (Connecticut resident) can visit the following museums for free through Connecticut Summer at the Museum program.
Here are the rules:
- Participating adults and kids must be residents of CT
- CT driver’s license or proof of residency may be required
- Some places on this list require advanced online registration
- This program is geared toward families, not large groups, camps, or parties
CT Free Museums List for 2023
We’ve gone ahead and sorted the participating museums for the CT Summer at the Museum 2023 program based on theme.
This should help you figure out where you’d like to visit this summer.
Of course, there will be some overlap in themes. This should make it easier for you to pick a museum based on your child’s interests, though.
The following art museums in CT are free during the CT Summer at the Museum initiative for 2023.
- Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum – Ridgefield
- Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance – Willington
- University of Saint Joseph Art Museum – West Hartford
- Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art – Hartford
- New Britain Museum of American Art – New Britain
- Lyman Allyn Art Museum – New London
- Mystic Museum of Art – Mystic
- Mattatuck Museum – Waterbury
- cARTie – Shelton
- MoCA Westport – Westport
- American Mural Project – Winsted
- Real Art Ways – Hartford
Zoos & Aquariums
- Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center – Mystic
- Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo – Bridgeport
- Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk – Norwalk
- Mystic Aquarium – Mystic
Trolleys & Trains
Connecticut has some awesome railroad and trolley museums. A couple of them even offer rides on real antique trolleys!
- Connecticut Trolley Museum – East Windsor
- Danbury Railway Museum – Danbury
- Essex Steam Train & Riverboat – Essex
- Shore Line Trolley Museum – East Haven
- Railroad Museum of New England – Thomaston
There’s only one participating aviation museum, but it’s a great museum. Kids get to climb into some pretty neat airplanes here.
- New England Air Museum – Windsor Locks
Farms & Gardens
If you’re looking to stroll around some natural spaces, these museums are great options.
Common Ground in New Haven is one of the new free museums this year that we highly suggest checking out – great mission.
They’re all great, though.
- Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens – Stamford
- Samuel Smith Farmstead c 1685 – East Lyme
- Earthplace – Westport
- Strong Family Farm – Vernon
- Auerfarm 4-H Education Center – Bloomfield
- Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden – Woodbury
- Dudley Farm Museum – Guilford
- Harrybrooke Park – New Milford
- Brookside Farm Museum – Niantic
- Common Ground – New Haven
Dinosaur State Park is not participating in this year’s CT Summer at the Museum program.
Fortunately, though, Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village is on the list!
I know – it’s only one. If you’re looking for some other options for your little dino-lover check out our list of dinosaur museums.
- Nature’s Art Village – Oakdale
Science & Technology
If your kiddo is interested in science and technology, these museums are perfect for them!
- Connecticut Science Center, Hartford
- Sacred Heart University’s Discovery Science Center and Planetarium, Bridgeport
- Bruce Museum, Greenwich
- Eli Whitney Museum, Hamden
- EverWonder Children’s Museum – Newtown
- Stepping Stones Museum for Children – Norwalk
- Lutz Children’s Museum -Manchester
- Children’s Museum – West Hartford
- Imagine Nation – Bristol
- KidsPlay Children’s Museum – Torrington
- Niantic Children’s Museum – Niantic
- New Britain Youth Museum – New Britain
- Blue Slope Country Museum – Franklin
Military & War
If your child is interested in the military, these are great choices.
- Stratford Veterans Museum – Stratford
- New England Civil War Museum – Rockville
- Greater Middletown Military Museum – Middletown
- Memorial Military Museum – Bristol
Connecticut’s history includes major contributions from African-American people, as well as other minority populations.
These museums are great for showing history in accurate and inclusive ways.
Seaport & Maritime
Connecticut’s waterways are a huge part of its history and culture. These free museums are great for learning about the history of our seaports, submarines, and ocean life.
- Norwalk Seaport Association – Norwalk
- Submarine Force Library & Museum – Groton
- Connecticut River Museum – Essex
- Mystic Seaport Museum – Mystic
- New London Maritime Society at Custom House Maritime Museum – New London
These historical museums are plentiful and free this summer.
Most of the museums below showcase documents, homes, and artifacts specific to the history of a certain town, though some of them are for learning about the general history of Connecticut.
- Connecticut Landmarks – Hartford
- Historic New England – Woodstock
- Connecticut Historical Society – Hartford
- Norwalk Historical Society – Norwalk
- Windham Historical Society – Willimantic
- Finnish American Heritage Society – Canterbury
- Ellington Historical Society – Ellington
- Stonington Historical Society – Stonington
- Stratford Historical Society – Stratford
- Avon Historical Society – Avon
- Milford Historical Society – Milford
- Bristol Historical Society – Bristol
- Simsbury Historical Society – Simsbury
- Wethersfield Historical Society – Wethersfield
- Bethany Historical Society – Bethany
- Farmington Historical Society – Farmington
- Essex Historical Society – Essex
- East Haddam Historical Society – East Haddam
- Haddam Historical Society – Haddam
- Middlesex County Historical Society – Middletown
- Fairfield Museum and History Center – Fairfield
- Greenwich Historical Society – Cos Cob
- Historical Society of Glastonbury – Glastonbury
- Windsor Historical Society – Windsor
- Litchfield Historical Society – Litchfield
- Keeler Tavern Museum – Ridgefield
- Guilford Keeping Society – Guilford
- Derby Historical Society – Ansonia
- East Lyme Historical Society – Niantic
- Colchester Historical Society – Colchester
- Leffingwell House Museum – Norwich
- Florence Griswold Museum – Old Lyme
- Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust – Wallingford
- Stony Creek Museum – Branford
- New Haven Museum – New Haven
- Hyland House Museum – Guilford
- Henry Whitfield State Museum – Guilford
- Wood Memorial Library & Museum – South Windsor
- Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum – Wethersfield
- Westport Museum for History & Culture – Westport
- Stanley-Whitman House – Farmington
- Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine – East Granby
- Hill-Stead Museum – Farmington
- Ridgefield Historical Society – Ridgefield
- Wilton Historical Society – Wilton
- Weston History & Culture Center – Weston
- Old Tolland County Jail & Museum, a Tolland Historical Society Museum – Tolland
Civics & Law
If your child is interested in how the government works, Connecticut’s Old State House is the perfect museum for them.
Unfortunately, it’s not free this year. It’s still affordable and worth the visit, though.
It was free in 2022 and hopefully, if Connecticut does the Summer at the Museum Program next year, it’ll be free again.
Here are some places that are free in 2023.
There’s little more important than learning about this state’s original inhabitants!
- Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center – Mashantucket
- Institute for American Indian Studies – Washington
Unique & Novelty
- American Clock & Watch Museum – Bristol
- New England Carousel Museum – Bristol
- Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut – Windsor
- Barker Character Comic and Cartoon Museum – Cheshire
- Florence Griswold Museum – Old Lyme
- The Barns Museum – Southington
- Palestine Museum US – Woodbridge
- Mark Twain House & Museum – Hartford
- Katharine Hepburn Museum – Old Saybrook
- Boothe Memorial Park and Museum – Stratford
- Danbury Museum – Danbury
- Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society – West Hartford
- Harriet Beecher Stowe Center – Hartford
- Mather Homestead – Darien
- Avery-Copp Museum – Groton
- Ward Heitmann House Museum – West Haven
- Eric Sloane Museum – Kent
- Hicks-Stearns Museum – Tolland
- Windham Textile & History Museum – Willimantic
There you have it – the full list of free museums for the CT Summer at the Museum 2023 program!
What’s your favorite one of these museums?
We’re partial to the Science Center and the Shoreline Trolley Museum.
Leave a comment below and let us know!