When the beach outing or the picnic is rained out, what to do with restless kids on a wet summer weekend? Plenty of possibilities await in Western Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County, where special indoor exhibits from bats to dinosaurs to a working carousel are guaranteed to bring smiles. Families can join a workshop learning how to make their own clocks or even have a “stay-cation” at a resort with an indoor water park.
In Norwalk, the Maritime Aquarium is featuring Africa from Dessert to Sea starring amazing creatures from exotic fish to adorable meerkats, geckos and awesome giant boas. Playful meerkats are a favorite, and special windows allow following them into their underground burrows. A viewing bubble even lets young visitors stand up right among the meerkats. www.maritimeaquarium.org.Not far away in Norwalk at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Dinosaur Revolution, a special exhibit through September 8, lets youngsters uncover fossils and facts about dinosaurs as they navigate a giant maze. www.steppingstonesmuseum.org
The Stamford Museum and Nature Center has a new exhibit through September 2 called Masters of the Night, starring bats, those mysterious and often misunderstood mammals. Visitors can try out a variety of fun and informative interactive stations featuring life-like models, such as "Bat Ears," “Feast in Flight," and the "Echo - Echo Unit." www.stamfordmuseum.org.
In Greenwich, Eggs-hibition: Unscrambling Their History at the Bruce Museum through October 20 promises to enthrall all with its array of bird eggs, edible eggs, and eggs both ugly and beautiful. www.brucemuseum.org.
LITCHFIELD HILLS TREATS
A ride on an old-fashioned merry-go-round is a treat for all ages, and it is included in the price of admission at the Carousel Museum in Bristol. This unique museum offers one of largest collections of antique carousel pieces in the country in its "Golden Age of the Carousel" exhibit. Visitors also see the workshop where antique carousel creations are restored. Upstairs, a Museum of Fire history awaits and the museum includes a changing art gallery and a children’s craft center, as well. www.thecarouselmuseum.org.
Waterbury’s Timexpo: The Timex Museum is a fascinating place for older kids with its Time Tunnel and a colorful history of watch making. Fun for all is the museum’s Make A Clock workshops offered every Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Workshop participants choose among many designs, decorate and assemble their own working clock. http://timexpo.com.
Waterbury also offers a unique splurge solution for a rainy weekend. It is always 84 degrees and sunny at the Coco Key Water Resort and Conference Center, where a 50,000 square foot indoor water playground offers an Adventure River, water slides, raft rides, activity pools with water basketball and the Parrot's Perch Interactive Play Island with a special shallow Kiddie Entry Area. If you don’t want to stay the night, day passes are available. www.cocokeywaterbury.comwww.cocokeywaterbury.com.
For more information about family activities and a free copy of UNWIND, a full-color,
152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in
Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968,
Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitlitchfieldhills.com and www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com