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The Children’s Museum in West Hartford

Traveling to West Hartford with young travelers in tow? Then, you can’t miss a visit to our Children’s Museum, which has been engaging young minds since 1927.

Originally a one-room natural-history museum housed in Elizabeth Park’s Pond House and today one of the oldest and most respected children’s museums in the country, the institution moved to its current spot – almost directly across the street from DELAMAR West Hartford – in 1958.

Cetacean Welcoming Committee

An iconic landmark of the Children’s Museum, Conny the Whale greets the young and young-at-heart from outside the museum. Constructed in the mid-1970s by Cetacean Society volunteers, this life-sized, 60-foot model of a male (bull) sperm whale – a creature indelibly associated with New England’s history – is sure to impress all visitors. Especially in summertime, when Conny blasts water out of his blowhole!


The exhibits at the Children’s Museum cover a wide range of topics, from composting to space exploration, in the kind of exciting, hands-on manner that captivates young visitors.

Highlights include Dinosaurs in Your Backyard, which introduces some of Connecticut’s oversized inhabitants from the Jurassic period; Blue Planet Red Planet, focused on our alluring solar-system neighbor, Mars; the Imagination Playground, where large but lightweight foam blocks offer sky’s-the-limit building opportunities; and the Pendulum Staircase.

The Children’s Museum also houses live animals: in the Turtle Town and Lizard Lair reptile exhibits, as well as in the Wildlife Sanctuary, which cares for abandoned pets and wildlife confiscated by the state. During the summer, the museum also opens its beautifully gardened Winged Wonders Butterfly House.

The Planetarium

Here resides the only planetarium in Connecticut housed within a children’s museum. The Travelers Science Dome at the Gengras Planetarium presents shows guaranteed to awaken a child’s sense of wonder for the universe that envelops our planet.

Review the schedule of planetarium presentations here.

Roaring Brook Nature Center

Over in nearby Canton – a half-hour’s drive or less from West Hartford – the Children’s Museum also manages the Roaring Brook Nature Center, an outdoor classroom well worth visiting.

Delight and dazzle the family with the Children’s Museum’s interactive exhibits – just steps from DELAMAR West Hartford!

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