Posted by: Wisdoh | March 26, 2013

More Free or Almost Free CT Gems


As spring approaches, it’s time to wake up from our winter hibernation and have a little fun!

A great way to say hello to Spring is to head over to the White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center Museum off of Route 202, where you can enjoy the 4,000 acres of lakes, woods, bogs and fields. It’s a fantastic place to hike, ride horses, fish and picnic. The grounds are open daily, year-round, from dawn to dusk with free admission. The museum is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Adult admission to the museum $5; children 6-12 $2.50; children under 6 are free.

The family owned March Farm at 160 Munger Lane, Bethlehem, offers a free hayloft playscape for kids, with a mini hay loft and farm-house,  slides, a climbing wall, sand boxes, and wrap-around hay bale track, with pedal tractors and wagons to ride. They also offer a free animal yard with three pygmy goats and newborn calves.  In season, you can pick your own blueberries, peaches, strawberries, apples, and pumpkins.  Be sure to check out the farm’s market and bakery for locally grown produce, home-baked pies, donuts, cookies and muffins.

Another great outdoors site is the Housatonic Meadows north of Cornwall Bridge on Route 7. This place is a fisherman’s paradise! There’s a two-mile stretch of river limited to fly fishing where anglers will feel at home. There’s a large campsite with 95 sites available from mid-April to December for just $10 per night. There are many nearby fly shops and outfitters offering top-quality fishing equipment, outerwear and fishing guides. For day use, there is no charge from 8 a.m. to sunset.

A unique pastime for those who love to travel is letterboxing. It’s a treasure hunt where participants find letterboxes (hidden in cities, towns, forests and parks across the country) by cracking codes and following clues found on websites such as and Once kids find a letterbox, they use the location’s stamp to record their discovery in their journal, then use their own rubber stamp, (called a signature stamp), to stamp into the letterbox’s logbook.

If you prefer the indoors, check out the Children’s Museum in West Hartford.  The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $14.75 adults, $13.75 age 2 through 12 and seniors 63 and older; children under age 2 are free. Admission includes non-premium planetarium show. The museum is located at 950 Trout Brook Drive.

The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks offers a great activity for those who want to know what it’s like to fly a plane without paying for flying lessons (or leaving the ground). The Flight Sim Spot uses the latest flight simulation technology, allowing visitors to experience how airplanes move in three-dimensions with their hands at the controls including yokes, throttles, and rudder pedals. Flight Sim Spot is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m., and will be open on select holidays and school vacation periods.

For our history buffs, check out the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, 211 Main St., Wethersfield. They offer half-hour highlight tours on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., with the last tour at 3:30 p.m. The museum is composed of multiple houses that date back to the 18th century and was a host to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Children’s exhibits include a colonial dames toy collection, a doll collection and an 18th century children’s bedroom. Admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors and $2.50 students and ages 5 to 18.


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