CHS for Families

The CHS is a great place to visit with kids! Come on your own and explore the interactive exhibits, or join us for one of our many fun family programs!

Programs for Children and Families at the CHS

Join us for one of our many youth and family programs offered at the CHS. Visit our calendar to see what family programs are coming up soon at the museum!

Picnic and Play

Join us every Thursday, June – August, from 12:00 – 5:00 pm for free family fun! Have a picnic lunch on the CHS lawn, get creative with crafts, and play complimentary lawn games! Then head inside to explore the exhibits, enjoying free admission to the galleries for children under 18.

Don’t want to pack a snack? No problem! Hartford Food System’s mobile Market will be on site from 12:00 – 2:00pm offering fresh, healthy food for purchase! This self-led, drop-in program is great for children of all ages; no registration required. Click here for more information.

Family Exhibit Tours

On the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 11:00 am, the CHS offers a special family tour of our permanent exhibit Making Connecticut. The 30 minute tour offers unique, hands-on opportunities for children and is followed by a related craft. These tours are free with admission and great for children ages 5 and up. Tours are limited to 15 participants. Pre-registration is recommended; any remaining open spaces will be offered to walk-ins. Click here for more information and to register.

History To Go Bags

Learn, create, and explore! History To Go Bags are a great way to experience hands-on, educational fun! These family activity kits include historical background information, activity instructions, necessary supplies, and a road trip map to sites throughout the state! Simply choose from the following themes: Stories in the Stitches, Groovy Games, and Whale of a State! Click here for more information and to place your order!

Each kit is $7 for members and $10 for non-members. Once you place your order, a member of CHS staff will send you invoice within 1 business day. For questions or assistance placing an order, please contact Katerina Mazzacane, Youth and Family Programs Manager, at Katerina_mazzacane@chs.org or call 860-236-5621 x222.

Free First Saturday Family Programs

On the first Saturday of every month, the CHS offers free admission to the museum exhibits and a fun free family program. These drop-in family programs are typically scheduled from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, and involve a craft or activity for children and caregivers to work on together. Free First Saturday Family Programs are designed to be open ended, and are usually appropriate for children ages 4 and up. No registration is required.

School Vacation Programs

Join us during your school’s spring or winter break for a vacation program for kids and families. Create a masterpiece, learn a new skill, and explore the galleries at these programs designed for elementary-aged children.

Planning Your Visit

Strollers are welcome in the museum. Please see our visitor’s map  for more information about the location of the accessible entrance and elevators to help you easily move around the museum.

There is a family restroom with a baby-changing station on the first floor, directly behind the Welcome Desk. There are women’s and men’s restrooms as well.

Our gift shop has a selection of kid-friendly souvenirs for sale, as well as snacks and beverages. Please note that food and beverages are not allowed in exhibit spaces. There are fast food and area restaurants close to the museum, please ask at the Welcome Desk for recommendations.  

We ask that parents and caregivers take an active role in their children’s behavior during their visit to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience.  Help prepare your kids for their visit by reviewing good museum manners before or during your visit.  

  • Remember to use walking feet in a museum.
  • There are lots of fun things that we can touch and play with in the exhibits, but there are also things, like historic artifacts, that we can’t touch because we could damage or break the artifacts. 
  • Please help us keep our historic artifacts safe by keeping food and drinks out of the exhibits. Food and drink can be consumed outdoors on the picnic tables, in the Auditorium Lobby, or in the Veeder Living Room.

Visiting On Your Own

Explore our family-friendly exhibits! In our permanent exhibit Making Connecticut, kids can dress up in historic costumes, try out life in a colonial home, “build” a town on one of our magnet boards, work a World War II assembly line, and try other hands-on activities.

Pick up a family activity sheet at the Welcome Desk to help your family find fun activities around the museum! Or, download the activity sheets ahead of time to prepare for your visit!

Food and Drink Family Activity Sheet

Transportation Family Activity Sheet

Did You Know?? Family Activity Sheet

Find Upcoming Family Programs

Click here for COVID-19 visiting rules. Click here for the CHS’s digital programs.