Governor Ned Lamont announced this week that the popular statewide Connecticut Summer at the Museum program is returning for the 2022 summer season, giving Connecticut children free admission to more than 130 museums across the state during the summer months.
The Governor created the program in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide children with engaging summer enrichment and learning experiences. It is funded by a $15 million investment in federal COVID-19 recovery funding that Connecticut received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
As part of the program, from July 1, 2022 through September 5, 2022, Connecticut children ages 18 and under—plus one accompanying Connecticut adult—can receive free admission to any of the participating museums, including historic house museums, historic sites, historical societies. , art museums, children’s museums, science centers, specialty museums, natural history museums, university museums, arboretums/botanical gardens and zoos.
The full list of participating museums is available at www.CTSummerMuseums.com.
Some of the notable attractions include:
- Connecticut Science Center, Hartford
- Beardsley Zoo, Connecticut, Bridgeport
- Hill Stead Museum, Farmington
- Institute for American Indian Studies Museum & Research Center, Washington
- Kidcity Children’s Museum, Middletown
- Norwalk Sea Aquarium, Norwalk
- Mystical Aquarium, Mystical
- Mystic Harbor Museum, Mystic
- Prudence Crandall Museum, Canterbury
“We are thrilled to bring back this popular summertime enrichment program for children and families in Connecticut at a time when affordability is a priority for so many households,” Governor Lamont said. “Connecticut’s world-class museums and cultural institutions provide unparalleled educational and recreational experiences that will keep kids engaged all season long and spark curiosity for years to come.”
“Governor Lamont and I are very proud to be able to bring this program to children and families in Connecticut,” Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “Free admission to the museum is a great way to spark children’s curiosity and keep them engaged ahead of the next school year, continuing their learning at no cost to mom and dad.”
“We fought for federal funding from ARPA to help increase educational and cultural opportunities for children in Connecticut,” members of the Connecticut congressional delegation said in a joint statement. “Free access to Connecticut’s world-class museums and cultural institutions will provide our young people with countless educational, creative and recreational experiences.”
The Connecticut Summer at the Museum program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of Arts and Humanities in partnership with the Office of the Governor, the Connecticut State Department of Education, the Bureau Early Childhood and the Tourism Bureau. .
While any museum in Connecticut can choose to participate in the program by offering free admission, eligible properties were given the opportunity to apply for a grant. Over 120 grants have been awarded, calculated on the basis of the applicant’s average income from admissions of children over the same period for several years, plus a base grant tied to the operating budget. The minimum grant is $1,000.
“Museums and other artistic and cultural institutions play an important role in our communities and local economies, in addition to being rich canvases for the socio-emotional development of young people”, Liz Shapiro, director of arts, preservation and museums at the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, said. “It’s the only program of its kind in the United States. We applaud all participating museums and encourage everyone to take advantage.
“Between zoos, aquariums, museums and more, children and families in Connecticut have access to enriching educational opportunities to ensure learning continues to happen every day, everywhere during the summer months” , Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker said. “This is critical to our collective efforts to accelerate learning this summer and next school year.”
“Connecticut has an incredibly diverse array of museums reflecting our state’s diverse histories, cultures and communities – all of which contribute to our vibrant tourism scene,” Noelle P. Stevenson, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, said. “We are thrilled to help spread awareness of this unique program for state residents and the wonderful institutions it supports. ‘Find your vibe’ this summer at Connecticut museums!”
Participating museums have the discretion to administer the Connecticut Summer at the Museum program to the best of their abilities and according to their needs. Certain restrictions may apply and capacity may be limited (e.g. limit of one adult per household, blackout dates, exclusions for special events, etc.). Connecticut residents should check each museum’s website for restrictions before visiting.
Additionally, Governor Lamont reminds residents that all Connecticut transit buses are operating free until November 30, 2022 and are a convenient way to travel to many of these great destinations.
Anyone taking advantage of this program is encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the program hashtag, #CTSummerMuseums.