The Governor’s official Hartford state residence will open Saturday, along with hundreds of other Connecticut venues, to the public as part of the statewide Open House Day to promote tourism destinations.
Tour guides will hold free tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 990 Prospect Ave., which is adjacent to Elizabeth Park.
Open House Day is an annual event coordinated by the state Office of Tourism that encourages residents to explore the state’s exciting destinations and attractions, by offering special incentives for one day only. Some of the incentives include free or reduced admission, free gifts, or special exhibits and activities.
This year nearly 200 arts, history and tourism attractions across the state will be participating. Four state parks are offering free admission, which includes: Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, Fort Trumbull State Park in New London, Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, and Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby.
Open House Day gives residents the opportunity to experience what made the state of Connecticut revolutionary, by providing special access to the unique and inspiring attractions around the state.
Connecticut Open House Day originated in 2005 in an effort to reacquaint residents with the cultural organizations and tourism attractions available.
The following list includes some of the destinations and deals available on Saturday:
- Sweet & Simple (Fairfield): Bakery offering free samples of Farmer’s Cow Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches and more from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Stamford Museum (Stamford): Free admission for the first 100 visitors from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Discovery Museum (Bridgeport): Visitors receive half price off general admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Greater New Haven
- PEZ Visitor Center (Orange): Free admission from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven): Free admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- New England Ballet School & Company (Orange): Free trial classes (ballet, jazz, and tap) with a special performance of Peter & the Wolf ($5 admission). Open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Waterski CT (Derby): One hour of discounted (25% off) water skiing, tubing, wake-boarding, or boat ride. Open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
- Jerram Winery (New Hartford): Offering the first 24 visitors a free wine tasting. Open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Southwind Farms LLC (Watertown): Free admission to one of Connecticut’s largest alpaca farms from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
- Fort Trumbull State Park (New London): Free admission from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Mystic Aquarium (Mystic): $5 off general admission for up to four people. Open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Creamery Brook Bison (Brooklyn): 40-minute wagon ride to see the bison at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. for $5 (50% off), followed by a craft project for children.
- Gillette Castle State Park (East Haddam): Free admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Governor’s Residence (Hartford): Enjoy some Italian Ice served on the patio from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
- Bushnell Park Carousel (Hartford): Free ride for the first 100 visitors. Carousel will be open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Chester/Hadlyme Ferry (Chester) – Visitors can ride for free aboard Selden III, the second oldest continuously operating ferry service in the state, which crosses the scenic Connecticut River near Gillette Castle State Park. Available from 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Connecticut River Expeditions (Haddam) – RiverQuest will be offering a special reduced admission of $5 per person for an hour cruise on the Connecticut River. Cruises depart at 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 12:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.