Monday, June 30, 2014

New summer exhibition in Kent Connecticut - Iron, Wood and Water

Kent was literally built on the foundation of the iron industry that began in these hills before the town was even founded.

The Kent Historical Society is taking a close look this summer at iron and what it took to make the metal with  “Iron, Wood and Water: Essential Elements of the Evolution of Kent,” which opens to the public Saturday, July 5 at the Seven Hearths Museum located on 4 Studio Hill Rd. just off Rte. 7, a mile or so north of Kent center. 

The lives of people employed in the industry are revealed through careful genealogical research and large scale graphics to bring these people to life. Visitors are asked to imagine what life was like for the iron master, a furnace worker, a collier, a teamster and an ore bed miner.

Seven Hearths will be open to the public weekends during July, August and September from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information about the exhibit can be found at 

After enjoying the exhibit, be sure to explore the shops in the center of Kent that offer a choice selection of apparel for men and women. arts and crafts. Asian and African art and antiquities and antique and vintage jewelry. Stop in for a bite at the popular Fife n' Drum Restaurant or for a sweet treat at Kent Coffee and Chocolate Shop.

For more information on Kent and the Litchfield Hills

Friday, June 27, 2014

Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea at the Bruce Museum

Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea  at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich  explores the vast and extraordinary deep sea.  This show focuses on the highly adapted survival strategies utilized by creatures of the deep and the technology that enables researchers to record ground-breaking observations of what is often called the last frontier on this planet.
Sea Butterfly Photo by Larry Madin © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 
Museum visitors might feel like they are in a deep-sea submersible as they look through view ports to observe the mesopelagic - or twilight zone - of the sea with its bioluminescent inhabitants.  The exhibit will show visitors the extremophiles that form the foundation of a hydrothermal vent as well as  the bizarre appearances and adaptations of deep-sea species.  One of the take aways from experiencing this exhibit is an understanding of the technology that makes deep-sea explorations possible.

Hydrothermal Vent Display Photo by Sean Murtha

The Bruce Museum has created highly accurate casts of deep-sea organisms such as the Pacific Viperfish, Cock-Eyed Squid, Bloodbelly Comb Jelly, Gulper Eel, Giant Tube Worms, and more, created from molds on loan from the American Museum of Natural History. Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is lending preserved deep- sea specimens collected from various deep-sea explorations and dives around the globe. The University of Connecticut is assisting with interpretation of the New England seamounts, or underwater mountain ranges.  Rare footage of creatures of the deep comes from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is sharing cutting edge information on the deep-sea submersible Alvin as well as their expertise on deep-sea ecosystems around the world.

Bloodbelly comb jelly Photo by MBARI ©2002 MBARI 
The exhibition is the second in a series at the Bruce Museum looking at extreme biological, chemical and physical factors that affect different ecosystems around the world. Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea opens runs through November 9.  

And when you go, don’t forget your cell phone:  This exhibition, like many others at the Bruce, will be accompanied by a compelling cell phone audio tour guide program, Guide by Cell, generously underwritten by Nat and Lucy Day.  Easy to follow Guide by Cell instructions will be available at the front admissions desk.

About the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum is a museum of art and science and is 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 less than five 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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Quassy and Lake Compounce Promise New Thrills This Summer

America’s oldest amusement park, Lake Compounce in Bristol, proves once again that it is totally up to date this season, debuting a spectacular new laser light show and a new campground while Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, celebrating its 106th birthday this year, promises new water park fun and new entertainment thrills at its Carousel Theater. Quassy’s popular Summer Idol singing contest also returns this year.


               A spectacular new laser light show beginning July 4th. ‘Illuminate the Night”, will feature a 50-foot water wall veiling the lake with simultaneous synchronized music, projections and lasers. It will light up the sky at Lake Compounce every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through August 24th

               Lake Compounce is also introducing the first East Coast branch of Hollywood’s legendary Pink’s Hot Dogs, a favorite of show business celebrities.  Park visitors will be able to sample and see why Pink’s was number one in a Fox News Top Ten list of America’s best hot dog stands.

               The new Bear Creek Campground will have its grand opening July 1, beckoning visitors with the chance to sleep in a traditional tipi. The tipis are equipped with electricity and mini refrigerators and can sleep four to 6. The campground also offers 20 fully-furnished cabins, 56 RV sites equipped with water and electricity, and 30 tent sites.

Lake Compounce, established in 1846, is now part of the Palace Entertainment family of parks. Millions have been spent in the last few years to equip the park with state of the art roller coasters and thrill rides and Connecticut’s largest water park. See the full line-up at


“The Beat is On” at Quassy Amusement Park and Waterpark, guaranteeing family fun when the Bucket Brigade takes the stage with its unique show “at the Carousel Theater July 4 to 27. These drummers extraordinaire use buckets, oil drums, tubes and all manner of wacky instruments to produce an irresistible beat, and they get the audience into the act, as well.

Quassy also plans its third popular Summer Idol singing talent competition for teens and pre-teens.  Auditions are set for July 7 with shows scheduled on July 20, 27 and August 3.

The Wooden Warrior roller coaster and the Crazy Cups ride are among many recent additions that bring the venerable park up to date while maintaining its old-fashioned charm.

Last year Quassy almost doubled the size of its Splash Away Bay water park, adding thrill features like BulletBOWL, a two-person tunneled tube ride that drops more than 30 feet and travels more than 210 feet. The tube emerges from the tunnel by spinning into a gigantic bowl where speed and centrifugal force keep riders glued to the outside of the bowl. For a full list of rides, see

For more information 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 Fairfield County and the Litchfield Hills of Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at