and visiting a pumpkin patch in search of the Great Pumpkin can bring the inner Linus out in each of us—but with in the forecast, we may opt for something else.
This week, we want to let readers know about all the museums in and around Fairfield County devoted to transportation’s design, delivery and delights.
FOR THOSE WHO RELISH THE RAILS
- : Danbury may still be waiting for branch line improvements, but this museum offers train rides in the rail yard, exhibits, and a chance to climb aboard Boston & Maine Steam Engine or view the Lionel train layout. Open Monday through Sunday, 10 am to 5pm.
- : Founded in 1940 this East Windsor museum may be the nation’s oldest museum devoted to what it calls “electric railroading.” It has a 1.5-mile heritage railroad over the original right-of way of the Hartford and Springfield Street Railway Company. Visitors can ride it as often as they choose the price of admission ... The museum boasts several pieces of equipment from the trolley era including New Orleans public service car and a Rio de Janeiro tramway car ... Also, special events are scheduled throughout the year; including ‘Rails to the Darkside’ and ‘Pumpkin Patch’ for October ... The museum’s schedule changes with the season. In October it’s only open from 10-3:30 on Fridays, from 10-4:30 pm on Saturdays and from 12pm – 4:30 pm on Sundays. It will be open Columbus Day from 10 – 4:30pm.
- Railroad Museum of New England: This museum in Thomaston, was founded 1968. It features New England artifacts dating from the 1840s to the present. That means visitors can see everything from tickets to signal towers, freight cars and cabooses. Trains run on Tuesdays and weekends. Call 860-283-7245 for more information.
FOR AFFICIANDOS OF THE AIR
- : Founded in 1983 this Stratford museum takes a sort of multi-media approach to helicopters. It features photographs and drawings from every corner of the world including Leonard da Vinci’s ‘Helix’. There is also an intriguing photo essay about helicopters; the “natural” kind like dragonflies to man-made ones like the Army’s Apaches ... Visitors can climb inside a detached cockpit of a Sikorsky S-76 ... The museum is open Memorial Day through mid-October, Wednesdays through Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm.
- : The museum’s Military Exhibit Hangar has display of World War Two-era Flying Tigers and a 57th fighter group WW2 Memorial. Visitors can also see “Jack’s Hack” a WW2 B-29 Superfortress and a PT-17 Stearman. Those are just some of the highlights. The museum has more than 125 aircraft and 200 aircraft engines on display ... It’s open from 10-5 daily, seven days a week ... Located at Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks.
FOR ROAD WARRIORS
- Merritt Parkway Museum: Many Fairfield County residents drive this road each day without knowing its history. Stop in the storefront museum in Stratford to learn more. The museum has a 30-minute video talking about how hard it was to build the Merritt. There is a lot of photography and a map that highlights historical points of interest along the way ... Open Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. Located in Stratford’s Ryder’s Landing Shopping Center.
FOR BOAT BUFFS
- : This outdoor maritime museum highlights Connecticut’s role in sea faring. Visitors can see tall ships and several ships of high historic value including the Charles W. Morgan and the L.A. Dunton. In addition there is a shipyard devoted to preserving such historic treasures. At one point it worked on the Amistad ... It’s open daily from 9 am – 5 pm.
- : It may look like something from Jules Verne “Two Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” but in fact it was instrumental in the early years of the Cold War. That’s right – this museum in Groton has the USS Nautilus, the first submarine to go under the North Pole ... It’s the only museum owned by the US Navy. Situated on the banks of the Thames River, it also includes several outdoor displays. Inside there are more than 33,000 artifacts devoted to submarine ... The museum is open May 1 – October 1, 9am – 5 pm daily. It’s open November 1 – April 30 9 am – 4 pm daily. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.