Bristol, CT is a city-sized ‘small-town’. It’s got all the infrastructure and shops you would expect from a city while maintaining the charm of a small US town. It’s a great place to explore the Connecticut countryside. Today, we’ve collected 6 fun museums in Bristol, CT for the days when indoor activities seem more attractive.
When it comes to Bristol, CT museums, it’s all about fun. From Carousels to Interactive Children’s Museums there is everything here that will make a family holiday more exciting.
So without further ado let’s jump into the list of our favorite museums in Bristol. As always we’ll give you directions, opening hours, and price as well. Price is usually the base price of an adult ticket.
The Carousel Museum
Hours: Wed&Fri&Sat 10AM – 5PM, Tue 10AM – 8PM, Sun 12-5PM
Probably the most famous and one of the most fun museums in Bristol, CT. The Carousel Museum is a great exhibit with beautiful indoor carousel installations. Strolling along vintage items is always fun but when it comes to vintage carousels it’s a different story.
All the colors, all the designs, and all the interesting details will amaze you. However, if you want more there’s even more. Apart from the carousels, there is also a firefighting museum here and a nice collection of Greek art.
It’s a great family museum and you’ll definitely take home some fond memories. Oh, we almost forgot to mention: you can ride the carousel. Each ticket includes one ride of the indoor carousel and you can get an unlimited ride stamp for $5.
American Clock & Watch Museum
Hours: Wed-Sun 10AM – 5PM
Here’s another fun museum mainly catered towards people who love vintage watches. The American Clock & Watch Museum has an extensive collection of old watches that you can check out.
With thousands of vintage clocks to browse through there is plenty to look at but the staff makes sure to enhance your experience. They are very knowledgable and ready to answer any questions and even tell some stories about the clocks they have.
The museum caters well to families as well. They have a small ‘scavenger hunt’ game for kids that they can complete during their visit to the museum.
One of our favorite rooms was the big hall with the grandfather clocks. It’s interesting to hear them each chime in different ways and there are some truly beautiful pieces on display.
All in all, it’s a great cheap museum in Bristol, CT. If you are interested in the topic then we highly recommend a visit.
Harry C Barnes Memorial Nature Center
Hours: Sat 10AM – 4PM, Sun 12 – 4PM
Museum and nature center in one. The Harry C Barnes Memorial Nature Center is a nice place to visit if you want to walk some trails, meet some animals, and learn about the local nature. It’s especially nice for families.
The museum consists of a few exhibits along the likes of geology and nature. There are even some live animals like frogs. Our favorite part was definitely the bird lookout. You can observe beautiful birds come and visit the lookout.
We recommend visiting during good weather as that will also allow you to explore the small nature trail that’s connected to the museum.
Imagine Nation is both a preschool and a museum. On normal working days, it operates as a school but during special events, you can attend tours of the museum coupled together with interesting activities for children.
You can attend events like cooking classes, painting classes, and other different learning opportunities all catered to children. It’s a fun and interactive family museum that’s highly recommended if you are in town during one of the workshops.
Bristol Historical Society
Hours: Wed 10AM – 2PM, Sat 10AM – 4PM
The local history museum is housed in the building of the Bristol Historical Society. You’ll have an opportunity to check different bits and pieces from the city’s history, all in a beautiful historical building itself.
The exhibit consists mainly of memorabilia. Items from the past that somehow connect to the city. It’s a small but interesting museum to check out. Although you can browse through the collection quickly if you want there are plenty of interesting things that will make you slow down and appreciate this museum.
Lock Museum of America
Hours: Winter – Closed, Other times by reservation
You’ve seen the watch museum now it’s time for the Lock Museum of America. Another themed museum around an intricate item that comes in many shapes and sizes.
You will get an opportunity to learn about how locks work, and what goes into making a lock, and you check out all the superb craftmanship work of locksmiths from all around the nation.
As an extra, there is even an Escape Room available here. We recommend a visit to the museum and then an attempt at the escape room for added fun.