Friday, March 29, 2013

Take a Walk Through the Dinosaur Age at The Bruce Museum

Since the first paleontological expedition to Mongolia by Roy Chapman Andrews of the American Museum of Natural History in the 1920s, the allure of discovering exotic Asian dinosaurs has been the dream of every paleontologist. Subsequently, dinosaurs from China have been unearthed revealing their relationships to birds as evidenced by the presence of feathers together with scales. Several of the most spectacular of these dinosaurs are coming to the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, and will continue through April 21, 2013.

Chinasaurs: Dinosaur Discoveries from China welcomes visitors to walk among the skeletons, skulls, nests and eggs of more than a dozen of these rare Asian dinosaurs. From the huge 32-foot long, meat-eating Yangchuanosaurus to the gazelle-sized plant eaters such as Psittacosaurus, the prehistoric fossils of the Far East provide an exciting experience for dinosaur enthusiasts.

Skeletons of all sizes from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods tell the tale of dinosaur diversification and shifting continents. Maps, video and activity tables help visitors of all ages learn more about the specimens on view. One display features a Jurassic battle between the plated, plant-eating Tuojiangosaurus with a spiked tail and the large meat-eating Monolophosaurus with teeth like steak knives. The long tail feathers and fused bones of Confusiusornis indicate that it was an early precursor to birds, and evidence suggests that male and female looked different, like many birds today.

Chinasaurs offers a glimpse of the unprecedented evolution of dinosaurs and their dominance over the world for more than 155 million years.

About the Bruce Museum
Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children under 5 years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at .

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Friday, March 22, 2013

African Penguins Return to Maritime Aquarium At Norwalk through April 22

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is bringing back one of the most popular species it’s ever displayed: African penguins, who will waddle in for a celebratory encore exhibit through April 22, 2013.

African Penguins” will be open through April 22 in an outdoor exhibit on the Aquarium’s riverfront courtyard. It’s free with admission. The small colony of penguins will be on loan from the Leo Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich (

Educating visitors on where penguins live may be one of the first basic goals of the exhibit. None of them live at the North Pole, or with Eskimos or polar bears. Some species do live in Antarctica. But many penguins can be found in warmer climates of the southern hemisphere, like African penguins in South Africa and several species that live up the western coast of South America, all the way to the equator and the Galapagos Islands. 

The African penguins – whose conservation status is listed as endangered – will help call attention to Africa’s troubled coastal environments, which receive far less conservation protection than the continent’s inland savannahs, plains and jungles.

African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) stand about two feet tall and weigh 8 pounds. They’re recognizable by the black stripe that loops up across their chest and their pink “eyebrows.” The pink “eyebrows” actually are an adaptation that helps them to survive in a warmer habitat like South Africa – or Norwalk. The “eyebrows” are featherless patches with lots of blood vessels underneath. When a penguin gets too hot, these patches get brighter as the penguin circulates more blood there to dissipate body heat.

African penguins also have evolved shorter feathers because, unlike Antarctic species, they do not face extreme cold.

The previous penguins exhibit at the Aquarium was open from February 2009-December 2010. For more details about

The Maritime Aquarium’s exhibits, programs and IMAX movies, go to or call (203) 852-0700. For area information

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ride a Vintage Train to Visit the Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny will once again pay a visit to the Danbury Railway Museum located in downtown Danbury in Litchfield Hills and you can take a ride in a vintage train through the historic rail yard to visit him.  This popular annual family event will take place on Saturday & Sunday, March 23 & 24, and Friday & Saturday, March 29 & 30.  

Museum hours are 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; noon - 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.  Trains leave every 30 minutes from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m..  Admission is $9.00 (age 2 and up); each child will receive a small gift from the Bunny.  Reservations are suggested and may be made by visiting the museums Web site at   

The short train ride in a fully-restored 1953 New Haven RR Rail Diesel Car (Budd RDC), will take visitors past the fully operational turntable, over 70 vintage railroad cars and locomotives, and many unique pieces of railroad history, including a Boston & Maine steam locomotive built in 1907.  The highlight of the trip is when the train stops at the Easter Bunny's special railroad car. 

The museum’s beautifully restored circa-1910 Railway Post Office (RPO) car is open for tours.  The exhibits inside the restored 1903 Danbury station will be open, along with a coloring station, temporary tattoos, Thomas® play table, and the operating model train layouts.  Don't miss a visit to the fully-stocked gift shop chock full of affordable items.    

The Danbury Railway Museum is a non-profit organization, staffed solely by volunteers, and is dedicated to the preservation of, and education about, railroad history.  The museum is located in the restored 1903 Danbury Station and rail yard at 120 White Street, Danbury, CT.  For further information, visit the Web site at, email, or call the museum at 203-778-8337.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Step Into Art™ at Stepping Stones Museum for Children

Have your kids ever wanted to curate their own gallery, create a self portrait at a designated computer station, take part in an art hunt through an exhibit and let their imaginations run wild by creating as many different images as possible at the three-dimensional Pattern Puzzle?  Now through May 12 kids can do all this and more by literally stepping inside the framework of famous paintings and experience art in Framed: Step into Art™, at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk located on 303 West Ave.  For information or 203-899-0606. For area information

Mona Lisa Exhibit Minnesota Children Museum photo credit
Kids enter the special exhibit by stepping through an over-sized frame and instantly become immersed in the worlds created by well-known artists. Each work is re-created as a three-dimensional, sensory, walk-in environment that includes a print of the artist’s original work, as well as important facts about the artist’s life and painting style.

There are four featured paintings in this bi-lingual exhibit that provides a different cultural experience for participants.  Dinner for Threshers by Grant Wood for example teaches children about rural life at the turn of the century. Kids can tend to a chicken and eggs, prepare a meal in the kitchen, set the dining table, enjoy a noontime dinner, and mix and match the farmers’ patterned shirts.  The detail the featured painting provides includes theme of patterns, the farmers’ tan lines and the hour of the meal. 

John Singer Sargent’s Camp at Lake O’Hara Photo Credit: Minnesota Children Museum 
At the popular Camp at Lake O’Hara visitors are transported to the Canadian Rockies circa 1916 to the John Singer Sargent’s Camp at Lake O’Hara.  Children can climb inside a tent and explore camping gear like Sargent would have used.  After cooking a pretend meal over the campfire, kids can tell stories around the fire and arrange items in a magnetic frame to show what a painting of today’s campsite may look like. 

The Big Chicken by Clementine Hunter is a salute to Louisiana’s most famous female artist and folk art icon that creates imaginary animals like Hunter’s “goosters” by mixing body parts.  Children and adults can load the cart in this exhibit with cotton, climb behind the reins of the giant rooster and take their load to town. 

The Big Chicken  Photo Credit Minnesota Children's Museum

Travel south of the border when visiting Corn Festival by Diego Rivera through this work from the Court of Fiestas in the Ministry of Education Building in Mexico City.  Kids will have fun exploring a rendition of one of Rivera’s frescos while adding their own whimsical flourishes such as flowers and ribbons of “corn husks” to the flower tower and on a miniature building’s mural.

About Framed: Step Into Art™ 
Framed: Step Into Art™ was created by the Minnesota Children’s Museum for the members of the Youth Museum Exhibit Collaborative (YMEC): Bay Area Discovery Museum, Boston Children’s Museum, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, Children’s Museum of Memphis, Long Island Children’s Museum, Minnesota Children’s Museum and Stepping Stones Museum for Children.  The exhibit is sponsored locally by Xerox Foundation.
 About Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Stepping Stones Museum for Children is an award winning, private, non-profit 501 (c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. For more information about Stepping Stones, to book a field trip or schedule a class, workshop or facility rental call 203-899-0606 or visit  The museum is open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.