Mostly Free and Fun Things to do in CT With Kids This Weekend January 18-20: Jellyfish, Dinos, and MLK Day Events
Sometimes when it's cold and dreary out, a three-day weekend can feel more like a grind than a pleasure. Luckily, we've uncovered a raft of things to do throughout Connecticut, whether you want to enjoy the great outdoors, experience some fantastic children's theater, or explore the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. For starters, check out or list of Indoor Play Places for Big Kids in Hartford County, our guide to Winter Break Activities in Fairfield County, or our list of Things to Do on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Hartford County.
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Jiggle a Jelly at the Maritime Aquarium (Fairfield County)
Are jellyfish the animals that you've tried to avoid touching all your life? Well now you can touch one—pain free!—in a special exhibit opening this weekend! Gently touch the tops of live moon jellies (the stinging cells of moon jellyfish hang on tentacles below their bodies and their sting is relatively benign for most people.) Included with aquarium admission ($19.95, adults, $12.95, children (age 3-12), $17.95 youth (age 12-17). Saturday to Monday.
The Littlest Mermaid at Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre (Fairfield County)
Something fishy’s going on off the shores of Cape Cod! The Mermaid Sisters are about to hook a record contract but someone’s “wicked” jealous. With the help of Cindy Lobsta and friends Fish and Chips, the littlest of the mermaids believes all her dreams will come true—but what’s the catch? Tickets start at $19. Saturday and Sunday.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice at the Peabody Museum (New Haven County)
The Yale Peabody Museum will open its doors once again in honor of Dr. King and his efforts to ensure environmental and social justice among all people. The weekend's activities will include world-class performances and educational activities for visitors of all ages. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. strove to raise awareness about urban environmental issues and public health concerns that disproportionately affect communities of color. While these issues by no means have disappeared in the last three decades, great strides have been made in many communities to bring such inequalities to light and to improve living and working conditions. Free. Sunday and Monday.
Sesame Street Live at the Oakdale Theatre (New Haven County)
Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and all their Sesame Street friends are taking to the stage to share their love of music in Sesame Street Live "Elmo Makes Music." Jenny, an enthusiastic new music teacher, arrives on Sesame Street only to discover that her instruments are missing. Jenny's new Muppet friends quickly come to the rescue and discover 'instruments' they never knew existed...rubber duckies, trash can lids and even cookie jars. Elmo and friends teach children that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together. Tickets start at $18. Saturday and Sunday.
Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend at the Connecticut Science Center (Hartford County)
School may be out on January 20, but the Connecticut Science Center is open all weekend long with a special discount: everyone pays kids' price for general admission! $14 per person. Saturday to Monday. Note: the cafe is closed for renovation until mid-February, but you are welcome to bring your own lunch or snacks.
Saturday, January 18
Family Art at the Aldrich (Fairfield County)
Join teaching artist Lucia Hierro for a piñatas and dancing workshop! From 10 am to 12 noon, children aged two to five are invited to play in the galleries, followed by storytime and art-making. From 1 to 3 pm, children aged six to ten are invited to engage in gallery games and hands-on art projects. All children must be accompanied by a caregiver, and oth sessions include snacktime. Free with museum admission ($10 adults, children under 18 free).
The Civil War: Theatreworks USA at Greenwich Library (Fairfield County)
This production will help bring the complexity of the Civil War to life for young audiences in grades 3-9. Written by the playwright behind Theatreworks USA’s most successful educational shows, this moving production features traditional songs of the era while sensitively illustrating this complex, tumultuous chapter of American history. The Civil War illuminates the humanity and sacrifices of those who fought, and the many that died. The 60-minute performance is aopen to all at no charge. Assigned seating tickets are limited to six per person and will be available at noon at the auditorium. Return at 1:50 pm when the doors will open for the performance. Free.
Owl Walk at the CT Audbon Society in Pomfret (Windham County)
Join Sanctuary Manager, Andy Rzeznikiewicz as he calls in various owl species. Attempts will be made to locate barred, eastern screech, great horned, and maybe long-eared owls. Register in advance by calling 860-928-4948. Program will cancel due to bad weather (rain, snow, or ice). $5 members; $10 non-members.
Sunday, January 19
New England Air Museum's Open Cockpit Day (Hartford County)
On Open Cockpit Sundays visitors are permitted to climb into the cockpits of up to 10 vintage aircraft which may include the WWII Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, the North American F-100A Super Sabre, the Lockheed F-104C Starfighter, several helicopters, and more! Open Cockpit Sundays are held inside the Museum's three large, heated display hangars and a food vendor will be on site where visitors can purchase sandwiches, snacks and hot and cold drinks. Adults $12; children ages 4-11 $6.50; 3 and under free.
Dino-Light at Westport Country Playhouse (Fairfield County)
Glowing electroluminescent creatures will light up the darkness in this heart-rending original tale. The cutting-edge blend of puppetry, technology, and dance is produced by CORBIAN Visual Arts and Dance, in collaboration with Lightwire Theater. Recommended for ages 7 and up. Tickets are $20 each (but get them soon as they are selling quickly!)
Sunday Explorers at Stamford Museum and Nature Center (Fairfield County)
Winter is a great time to explore the SM&NC! Stop by Overbrook Nature Center for a self-guided craft, to visit our animals, or join us for a program such as the popular "Science Spot" at 2:30 or the animal meet & greet at 3:30. Different themes, animals, and science activities each week. Included with museum admission (adults $10, $5 children 4-17).
Monday, January 20
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (Hartford County)
The Stowe Center will open its doors free of charge in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Free tours will be offered all day, from 9:30 am to 5 pm. At noon, the Stowe Center joins the King Center and individuals and organizations from around the world to ring bells for peace. All are encouraged to ring their own bells—real or virtual—to show their commitment to nonviolence and peace. Free.
Winter Wonderland at Roaring Brook Nature Center (Hartford County)
Head to the Roaring Brook Nature Center for a guided hike through the woods at 11am, 1pm, or 3pm. Then check out the bear cave and learn about "Super Hibernators." See whose tracks we can find around the Nature Center and in the woods, and make a winter animal craft. Hike and crafts free with admission to the Nature Center. $6 adults; $4 children.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday at the Westport Historical Society (Fairfield County)
WHS will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a drop-off program on Jan. 20 for children aged 5 to 12 to learn about the civil rights leader and how he inspired a Westport artist to become involved in the battle for racial equality. The program will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will also include yoga instruction, as well as an opportunity to engage in dramatic role play with actress Jennifer Devine from Westport’s Musical Theater Center. $45 for members; $55 for non-members.
Martin Luther King Jr. Family Day Celebration at the Bruce Museum (Fairfield County)
Celebrate this year with performances by Connecticut’s Arts for Learning Hip Hop Dimensions at 11:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. This is a diverse collection of dancers with raw talent in Hip Hop and Break Dancing. While electrifying audiences, they inspire youth to think of dancing as a positive outlet for artistic expression. Audiences are educated on the history, culture, foundation, and the dance styles of Hip-Hop. Free with museum admission ($7 adults; $6 children; free for members and children under 5).
Have a wonderful weekend!
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