Accessible Connecticut: A Guide to Recreation for Children with Disabilities and Their Families 9780300130775

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Table of contents :
Contents
Introduction
Animals
Children’s Museums
Museums of Nature, History, and Science
Museums of Fine Arts
Special Interest Museums
Places of Historic Interest
Playgrounds
Nature Centers and Walks
Spectator Sports
Family Sports
Fishing
Camping and Hiking in State Parks and Forests
Amusement Parks
Rides
Theaters and the Performing Arts
Family Weekends Away
Accessible Places in and Around Your Community
Recommended Publications and Additional Resources
Making Your Own Inquiries
Subject Index
Disability Index
Location Index
Additional Suggestions and Corrections
Recommend Papers

Accessible Connecticut: A Guide to Recreation for Children with Disabilities and Their Families
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Accessible Connecticut

Connecticut A Guide to Recreation for Children

ACCESSIBLE

with Disabilities and Their Families

Nora Ellen Groce, Lawrence C. Kaplan, M.D.

and Josiah David Kaplan Yale University Press

New Haven and London

Copyright ∫ 2002 by Yale University. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, including illustrations, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press), without written permission from the publishers. Published with assistance from the Louis Stern Memorial Fund. Designed by Sonia Shannon. Set in Adobe Garamond and Futura types by Keystone Typesetting, Inc. Printed in the United States of America by R. R. Donnelley & Sons. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Groce, Nora Ellen, 1952– Accessible Connecticut : a guide to recreation for children with disabilities and their families / Nora Ellen Groce, Lawrence C. Kaplan, and Josiah David Kaplan. p. cm. Rev. ed. of: Access Connecticut. 1st ed. Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 0-300-08978-3 (paperbound) 1. Handicapped children—Recreation—Connecticut—Guidebooks. 2. Connecticut—Guidebooks. I. Kaplan, Lawrence C. II. Kaplan, Josiah David, 1983– III. Groce, Nora Ellen, 1952– Access Connecticut. IV. Title. GV183.6 .G76 2002 790.1%96—dc21 2001005271 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Contents

Introduction

vii

Animals Including Aquariums, Farms, Hatcheries, and Zoos

1

Children’s Museums

16

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

27

Museums of Fine Arts

55

Special Interest Museums Including Airplanes, Basketball, Clocks, Firefighting, and Nuclear Power

64

Places of Historic Interest

73

Playgrounds

102

Nature Centers and Walks

109

Spectator Sports

134

Family Sports Including Basketball, Sailing, and Swimming

139

Fishing

148

Camping and Hiking in State Parks and Forests

159

Amusement Parks

196

vi

Contents

Rides Including Boat Rides and Railroads

204

Theaters and the Performing Arts

217

Family Weekends Away

222

Accessible Places in and Around Your Community

228

Recommended Publications and Additional Resources

236

Making Your Own Inquiries

239

Subject Index

243

Disability Index

249

Location Index

259

Introduction

Our title is Accessible Connecticut: A Guide to Recreation for Children with Disabilities and Their Families, but the emphasis in this book is on children, not on disability. This guide is intended as a source of information for parents of children who have a disability, with the goal of helping them plan outings in Connecticut that are fun and often educational, too. This is not a medical publication. As we have worked on disability advocacy issues over the years, we have been struck by the fact that all too many children with a disability are ‘‘mainstreamed’’ only during school hours and then sit at home after school, on weekends, and over school vacations. Children who have a disability are more than simply the recipients of medical care or educational programs. They are children first and foremost. Moreover, they are children who are a part of families or foster families, who have likes and dislikes, special interests and talents. Like all other children, they may enjoy a trip to the zoo, a ride on a boat, a visit to a museum. This book is designed specifically for these families. We describe places where parents can take their children on a rainy Saturday afternoon in February or on a sunny summer morning in July. We cover places that are easily accessible, reasonably priced, and require little or no prior planning to reach. (We hope that parents who themselves have a disability will also find this book of help when they wish to take their children on outings.) Our criteria for choosing entries are simple: First, the place or event listed is in Connecticut (or, in several instances, immediately over the border in an adjacent state). Second, the venue provides an activity for the family.

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Introduction

Several excellent guides (listed at the back of the book in Recommended Publications and Additional Resources) provide information on facilities, music and art programs, and afterschool and summer camps where a child with a disability can go as an individual for recreation or extracurricular instruction. But our guide is intended for use by families. We imagine that our reader’s family consists of a parent or parents and perhaps several children of di√ering ages, one of whom is a wheelchair user or has a visual impairment or mental retardation. The places and events we describe are ones we believe would be fun for all members of such a family. Last, places and events must be accessible. Accessibility is an imprecise term, and although state and federal regulations now help us better define what accessible means, many places call themselves accessible without truly being so. For example, in answer to our inquiry about accessibility, one director of a nature center carefully explained how proud the center was of the new ramp that leads to its central rotunda. ‘‘What is in the central rotunda?’’ we asked. ‘‘Oh, from there,’’ said the director, ‘‘you can see the stairs that lead into all the exhibit halls.’’ Places where children (or any wheelchair user, for that matter) can only watch while others enter or participate are not, in our opinion, truly accessible. Likewise, storytelling sessions for children that do not have Sign Language interpreters are not accessible for children who are deaf. We assembled the information for this guide by a telephone survey followed by a visit to determine if these facilities were as accessible as the sta√ had described them. If, however, your experience at a facility or event listed here leads you to a di√erent conclusion, we would greatly appreciate an update (see page 243). In our survey, we asked sta√ members more than whether they considered their venue to be ‘‘accessible’’—we asked them to answer a three-page list of questions. Among many other

Introduction

questions, for example, we asked about on-site handicapped parking, means of entry into buildings, accessibility within buildings, and accessibility of bathrooms. (In ‘‘Making Your Own Inquiries,’’ on pages 239–242, we outline the questionnaire we used to help you if you’d like to ask a few questions before visiting a place not listed in this book.) Although accessibility is often taken to mean wheelchair accessibility, there are other concerns. In our survey we asked whether a child with a visual impairment could touch objects on display or participate in activities with all other children. Places that feature lectures, concerts, and guided tours were asked about the availability of Sign Language interpreters and captioned films for the deaf. Some museums and facilities feature guided tours that move along at a rapid clip and thus may not be considered easily accessible for some children with intellectual impairments who need a bit longer to look and explore.

How to Use This Guide Accessible Connecticut is divided by types of activity, as listed in the contents. At the back of the book, there are separate indexes of each entry by name, by town, and by accessibility for children with di√erent disabilities. For each entry, we provide its location, directions for getting there, current admission prices, hours of operation, and a brief description of what the venue o√ers. In the accessibility section for each entry, we describe wheelchair accessibility for mobility impaired individuals and specific accommodations made for visually impaired and hearing impaired visitors. Parents of children with mental retardation sometimes need to consider other issues, and we have set aside a section for this. We are also keenly aware that many children are multiply handicapped and confront a range of accessibility issues as well as

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Introduction

having a variety of skills and interest levels. The general discussion and specific information furnished for each entry should help you decide what might be appropriate and fun for your children. Some entries contain a general discussion of accessibility that is intended to pertain to individuals with all types of disability. Not all places, events, and facilities are equally accessible. Most of the places and events listed in Accessible Connecticut are wheelchair accessible, but a few are not or require some e√ort, and we describe in detail exactly what to expect when you visit. Some of the places that are recommended for wheelchair users— several of the fine arts museums, for example—do not allow children with visual impairments to touch objects in the collection and hence are not recommended for them. Some venues that currently do not provide Sign Language interpreters are not suitable for the hearing impaired. With all the activities listed in Accessible Connecticut, we feel that families are the best judges of what they and their children will be interested in and enjoy. Families will also be the best judge of what they consider to be easily accessible and what might take more time, e√ort, and energy than they can devote. Last, a comment about the future. ‘‘Accessibility’’ is no longer an afterthought for public and many private facilities around Connecticut. It is now the law of the land, and we have been delighted to find that many places formerly not accessible have made alterations that allow full or fuller participation by children and adults with disabilities. If you know of a place you would like to take your children that in the past has been inaccessible, we urge you to call, write, or e-mail that venue—its accessibility may have improved since your last visit. In addition, if inquiries about accessibility are made regularly, an ever growing number of museums and parks, town playgrounds and beaches, restaurants and stores will realize that accessibility is no

Introduction

longer something that can be put o√ until later. Accessibility is an issue that should and must be addressed now. Although space is too limited here to list everyone by name, we gratefully acknowledge the assistance of dozens of individuals and parents, the sta√ of the many programs and advocacy groups, and the representatives of the many facilities around the state who took time from their busy schedules to answer questions and provide information. We deeply appreciate input from Lisa Davis, Jadwiga Goclowski, Joan Law, Michele White, Karen Zrenda, and the sta√ and advocates of Connecticut Family Connections. As always, Dr. Morris Wessel has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the children of Connecticut and a wonderful colleague. We also gratefully acknowledge the support and encouragement of the faculty of the Hopkins School for Josiah Kaplan’s work on this project. Hannah Kaplan proved to be an exceptional research assistant, and we very much appreciate all her hard work. Last, at Yale University Press we thank Jean Thomson Black and Laura Jones Dooley for their editorial assistance and encouragement. This guide could not have been assembled without the help of all these people and groups.

A Disclaimer Please read each entry carefully. We have made every attempt to provide accurate information, but there will be changes in hours, admission prices, Web site addresses, and even accessibility as time goes by. Whenever possible, we advise you to call ahead for the most up-to-date information.

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Amy’s Udder Joy Exotic Animal Park 27 North Road, Cromwell Directions: From Route 9 North, take Exit 19. At the end of the

ramp, turn left on to Route 372 West (toward the shopping center) and continue straight about 1 mile. Immediately before Webster Bank, turn right onto Coles Road. Turn left onto North Road Extension. The house is on the left (look for the sign). From Route 9 South, take Exit 19. Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Route 372 East, and then follow the directions above. Phone: 860–635–3924 Internet: www.freeyellow.com/members2/aujzoological Hours: May 1 through Labor Day, Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Labor Day through October 31, Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed November through March. Admission: Adults and children 1 and up, $3.00. Children under 1, free. Pony rides, $2.00. Description: In the backyard of her small house on a quiet country road, Amy O’Toole has set up a wonderful small facility with dozens of di√erent animals. Llamas, fallow deer, wallabies, Tennessee fainting goats, prairie dogs, hedgehogs, and many more animals contentedly share this small facility. This is an accredited zoological nature center. Amy O’Toole is also a wildlife rehabilitator, and many of the native animals in this facility are being nursed back to health before they can be returned to the wild. Because there are only one or two of most of the di√erent animals, rather than whole herds as larger facilities would have, this is a particularly good place to take young children. They can come right up to a cage and watch an animal at close range. 1

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Some animals—including what seems to be a very good-natured llama—can be petted. Baby rabbits and kittens can be picked up and held. Signs allow self-guided tours. A vending machine provides a handful of food, which the goats will avidly eat—so get some quarters at the admission booth. There are brief pony rides for small children. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Although this is a small facility, it is fully acces-

sible. Park in the relatively flat dirt lot immediately next to the entrance; the backyard itself is flat. Paths are covered with woodchips that appear to present no problems except to individuals whose chairs have very small wheels (the chips can get caught) or for individuals who are very heavy (the wheels tend to sink in). The bathroom is accessible, as is the small picnic area. The director reports that chair users regularly visit the park. Children with visual impairments: A number of animals here—a llama, goats, miniature ponies, and so on—can be petted, and a small ‘‘touch table’’ allows children hands-on experience with bones, feathers, and shells. Although some animals cannot be touched (the alligator and the tarantula), many animals can be rewardingly experienced. Other: Being able to see and interact with a variety of animals at close range in a homey setting will make this a pleasant outing for many children (and adults). Visitors can stay as long as they wish. Although some may hurry through in 20 minutes, many will want to stay for much longer to enjoy watching and interacting with the animals. The place is sta√ed by young volunteers who are helpful and happy to answer questions. General: All funds from the admission fees, goat food, and pony rides go to the animals’ food and care. This is a nonprofit enterprise run by volunteers who love animals—so it is not only a nice outing but a good cause.

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Beardsley Zoo Noble Avenue (Beardsley Park), Bridgeport Directions: From I-95 North or South, take Exit 27A onto Route

25. Proceed to Exit 5 (Boston Avenue). Turn left at the end of the exit ramp and go up 4 stoplights, turning left on Noble Avenue. The Beardsley Park entrance is on the left. From the Merritt Parkway Northbound, take Exit 49 South to Route 25 to Exit 5. Coming o√ Exit 5, turn right and go up 5 stoplights, turning left onto Noble Avenue. From the Merritt Parkway Southbound, take Exit 52 and turn left onto Route 8. Take Exit 5 o√ Route 8, turning right at the end of the ramp (Boston Avenue) and go down 5 stoplights, turning left onto Noble Avenue. Phone: 203–394–6565 Internet: www.beardsleyzoo.com Hours: Daily, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission: Adults, $5.00. Senior citizens, disabled citizens, and children 3–11, $3.00. Children under 3, free. Parking with Connecticut plates, $3.00, with out-of-state plates, $5.00. Description: The largest zoo in the state, the Beardsley Zoo features animals native to North and South America, as well as some animals from beyond the Americas. Pony rides are available seasonally. There is a children’s area with a New England farm setting. Special events: The zoo o√ers a wide variety of special events and educational programs. Call or check the Web site for details. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The on-site parking lot has handicapped spaces. Visitors using wheelchairs can enter through the front gate. Almost all the zoo is accessible, and most walkways are flat and paved. (The only possible exception is the gravel path to the

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wolf exhibit, which may be hard to negotiate in some chairs.) There are several small hills on the zoo grounds, but they should present no problem to families who come with a chair user. Children with visual impairments: The children’s farm area may be of particular interest to the child with a visual impairment. A volunteer is usually in the farm area with a ‘‘featured animal’’ that children can touch. If the family of a child with a visual impairment calls the zoo o≈ce (203–394–6563) in advance, zoo personnel are happy to try to arrange for more contact with some of their animals. Many of the enclosures feature audio boxes, where all visitors can listen to information about the animals. Children with hearing impairments: Although there are a number of wonderful programs and workshops at the zoo for children, no sign language interpreters are currently available for individuals. If you are planning to bring a group of people who Sign, contact the zoo’s education department. They take pride in having translators for foreign-language groups and are willing to have an interpreter as part of this program. General: Almost all children young and old will enjoy this ‘‘go at your own pace’’ medium-sized zoo. Burlington Trout Hatchery 34 Belden Road, Burlington From I-84 East or West, take Exit 39 to Route 4 heading toward Farmington. At the junction of Routes 4 and 179, turn left and continue on Route 4 up the big hill. The third street on the left is Belden Road. The hatchery is on the left (look for the sign). Phone: 860–673–2340 Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Admission: Free Directions:

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Description: This expedition is both fun and interesting for chil-

dren. The Burlington Trout Hatchery is a state-run fish hatchery. Buildings are filled with pools of baby fish, and there are also small man-made pools outside the building where the babies are moved as they grow bigger before they are released to stock streams and lakes throughout the state. Sta√ members are present on-site to explain how and why fish are raised at the hatchery. Because there are both inside and outside areas to see, the hatchery is probably best visited on a sunny day. Even very young children will enjoy watching the baby fish. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site parking, although there are no

specifically designated handicapped parking spaces. The lot is usually not crowded, and there is a paved road directly to the building. Individuals using wheelchairs can also be dropped o√ in front of the hatchery. Entry is di≈cult through the main door, but a paved ramp leads to the garage door, and sta√ members are happy to open it. The hatchery building itself is flat, and there is enough room for an individual in a wheelchair to move easily. The fish in the pools are easy to see. The bathroom is scheduled to be redone but is not currently considered accessible. (It may be fine for some, but those in larger chairs will have di≈culty in maneuvering.) In any case, a visit to this facility will probably take no more than an hour. Outside, the area is quite level; the walks are paved or packed dirt, and the grassy areas are flat. Wheelchair users regularly visit the hatchery, but be aware that the 1⁄4-mile nature trail is not chair accessible. Children with visual impairments: The sta√ states that they are pleased to make special arrangements for children with visual impairments to touch things, including gently touching the

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fish. Parents do not need to call ahead; just ask an employee for assistance when you arrive. General: Children with a wide range of interests and abilities will probably enjoy this brief outing. Creamery Brook Bison Farm 19 Purvis Road, Brooklyn From I-395 North or South, take Exit 91 and turn onto Route 6 West. Go 2 miles (7 stoplights) and turn left onto Allen Hill Road. Go 2 miles and then turn right onto Creamery Brook Road. Turn left on Purvis Road and go another 1⁄2 mile. Phone: 860–779–0837 Internet: www.creamerybrookbison.com Hours: Monday through Friday, 2:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Wagon tours, July through September, Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 p.m. Admission: No admission fee for the farm and store. Wagon tours: adults, $6.00; children 3–11, $4.50; children under 3, free. Description: This working dairy farm has expanded to include a herd of 60 bu√alo, or bison, that roam the surrounding pastures. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 1:30, a 40-minute wagon ride is o√ered across the fields where the bu√alo live. Visitors learn about the bu√alo and watch as bu√alo cows and their calves come up to the wagon to snack on the grain and hay o√ered to them. A farm store o√ers a variety of items, many featuring the bu√alo, such as frozen bu√alo meat. There is also an ice cream stand. If you are unable to catch a tour on the weekend, one friendly bison is housed in a pen near the store and can be petted gently by the curious. Directions:

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Accessibility Wheelchair users: The one group for whom access may be a problem are chair users. The facility is generally accessible, but the stone path leading to the store and the small threshold into the store itself may be di≈cult for people who are heavier or for those in heavy wheelchairs. The bathroom in the store is technically not accessible, but it is big enough to allow parents to come in and help children in chairs. There is no ramp up to the farm wagon for the tour, but the sta√ strongly emphasizes that they are happy to help put a chair into the wagon, where the visitor can sit throughout the ride. Or, if the chair user prefers, he or she can be transferred onto the wagon and sit on a hay bale with the rest of the riders. For individuals who are heavier or who have heavy chairs, going on a wagon tour may not be feasible, but for many children who use lighter chairs, the wagon ride is possible, and a number of wheelchair users do take the tour. Other: This is the only bu√alo farm in the state and one of the few in New England. Bu√alo are interesting to watch, and the Tanner family has a real dedication to preserving and promoting this once endangered species. This is a fun trip. Caution: Creamery Brook is a working dairy farm. The owners ask that no dogs, Seeing Eye or otherwise, be brought. If you have a dog, leave it in the car or, better yet, at home. Dogs and bu√alo apparently do not mix.

McCulloch Farm 100 Whippoorwill Road, Old Lyme From I-95 North or South, take Exit 70 to Route 1. Turn north on Route 1 toward Rogers Lake and then turn south on Whippoorwill Road.

Directions:

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Phone: 860–434–7355 Hours: Seasonal, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Please note: advance call

necessary. Admission: Free Description: McCulloch

Farm breeds registered Morgan horses. The farm has 20 to 30 horses, and although no riding or feeding is allowed, it is a wonderful place to see horses and newborn foals up close. Foals are born in April and leave the farm in the fall. Mary Jean Vasilo√, the farm’s owner, worked with children with disabilities for many years and has been involved with High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center. She enthusiastically welcomes children and adults with disabilities and their families.

Accessibility

The parking area and the barn are wheelchair accessible. General: This is a great place for a short family outing. Wheelchair users:

Mystic Aquarium/Institute for Exploration 55 Coogan Boulevard, Mystic From I-95 North or South, take Exit 90 and follow the signs. The aquarium is within sight of the highway. Phone: 860–572–5955 Internet: www.mysticaquarium.org Hours: September 1 to June 31, daily, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (last tickets sold at 4:00 p.m.); July 1 to Labor Day, daily, 9:00 a.m.– 7:00 p.m. (last tickets sold at 6:00 p.m.). Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission: Adults, $16.00. Senior citizens, $15.00. Children 3– 12, $11.00. Children 2 and under, free. Directions:

Animals

Description: A $52 million renovation has significantly expanded

this already important destination. Children can see animals that range in size from plankton to beluga whales. Shows throughout the day feature sea lions demonstrating their skills. Remarkable exhibits on the Alaskan coast and on deep-sea exploration (the aquarium is collaborating with famed deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard and his crew) allow visitors to get right next to whales and to imagine what it is like to take part in an oceanographic expedition. Many of the smaller exhibits are just as interesting—watching sea horses clinging to grasses, looking at jelly fish as they move slowly up and down, or peering into eggs in which yet-to-be hatched baby sharks are wiggling around will keep all members of the family busy. Special events: Mystic Aquarium has a number of special events throughout the year and many after-school programs. Call for additional information. Accessibility

Many parents consider the aquarium one of the most ‘‘wheelchair friendly’’ places in Connecticut. Handicapped parking and curb cuts lead to the main entrance. Ramps instead of stairs are found throughout the building, and bathrooms are accessible. The Lions of the Sea show is not only very accessible, but seating is arranged so that families with a wheelchair user can sit together with the rest of the audience. The outdoor exhibits, such as the Alaskan Coast and the sea lions and penguins, are reached by a boardwalk that chairs can travel over with ease. (It should be noted that children might have to be held up to see over the barriers at one of the marine mammal exhibits.) Major renovations, including the installation of an elevator, have made this facility even easier to get around. Of special note, the Challenge of the Deep exhibit—with the sole

Wheelchair users:

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exception of going down into the underwater exploration module itself—is completely accessible. If your child has been intrigued by the idea of underwater exploration (or has seen the movie Titanic)—this is a wonderful and unique experience. Children with visual impairments: Almost all the exhibits are behind glass, and there is very little hands-on material for those who are visually impaired. (Arrangements can be made for groups of 10 or more children to come for a special ‘‘touch and feel’’ session.) There is a very small touch tank, but it is not extensive enough to keep a child busy for long. Regrettably, the one group that may not get much out of the aquarium is children with visual impairments. Children with hearing impairments: There is enough here to interest any child with a hearing impairment. It should be noted, however, that several movies are shown throughout the aquarium and these are not subtitled. Also, live animal exhibits and other demonstrations are not Sign interpreted—parents should be prepared to interpret for their children. Children with mental retardation: The entire aquarium is designed to be seen on a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ basis. The tanks with the whales and larger fish will certainly interest any child, as will the tanks with many di√erent types of fish (including sharks). The sea lion shows are fast-paced and fun. There is enough here to interest all children, no matter what their age or level of ability. General: Set aside at least 2 hours to visit the aquarium. (Many families will want to spend much more time here.) This is a major expedition and well worth a visit from anywhere in the state. Although the expanded facility does not get as crowded as in former times, note that on school holidays and weekend afternoons, particularly in winter, the aquarium can still be very busy. Arriving earlier in the morning will allow many children to get more out of the visit and is a bit calmer on parents’ nerves.

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Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery Central Village, Wareugan From I-395 North or South, take Exit 89 (Wareugan Central Village). At the end of the ramp, turn right. At the first stoplight, turn right again. Bear left at the fork. The road forks again after about 3⁄4 mile. Stay to the left. The hatchery is at the end of Trout Hatchery Road (look for the signs). Phone: 860–564–7542 Hours: Hatchery building, daily, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Adult Fishing Pond, first weekend of March through Memorial Day, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays only, sunrise to sunset. Children’s Pond, third Saturday in April through September 30, daily, sunrise to sunset. (Note that the times for fishing in the Adult Pond are more restricted than those for fishing in the Children’s Pond.) Admission: Hatchery, free. Adult Fishing Pond, adults and children, $2.00. To fish at the Adult Pond, an adult with a fishing license must accompany each child. For example, if there are 2 children, 2 adults, each with a fishing license, must accompany them. (See page 148 on how to obtain a fishing license.) Children’s Pond, free. No license is required to fish in the Children’s Pond, but the adult with the children must only help and not take over the fishing. You must bring your own fishing equipment. Description: This is a nice, small facility. Children can come and watch baby trout. Various pools contain di√erent sizes of the growing fish, which are eventually released to stock Connecticut’s rivers and lakes. The Children’s Pond, open from early spring until September, is free, and children can take home up to a full creel of trout (4 or 5 fish). A picnic area is located next to the Children’s Pond, so children can fish while parents relax.

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Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site parking and a ramp into the main entrance of the hatchery building. The building itself is all on one level, and children can see everything. Unfortunately, this is an older facility, and the bathroom stalls are not large enough for wheelchairs (although the outer area of the bathroom is), so parents who decide to come may have to help their child in the toilet. A walkway leads to the Adult Fishing Pond and its accessible dock. There is a railing around the dock itself so that chairs cannot roll into the water. The Children’s Pond does not have a dock, but it may be reached by crossing a lawn. The area around the pond is hard-packed dirt and should be accessible in all but the muddiest of weather. The adjoining picnic area is also wheelchair accessible. Younger children will probably enjoy this smaller pond more, while older or more serious anglers may prefer the peace and quite of the Adult Pond. General: This spot is recommended for children with all types of disabilities who would enjoy fishing. Because there is no charge for fishing at the Children’s Pond, it could be a nice place to bring children who may not have particularly long attention spans, just so that they can say they have tried fishing.

Roger Williams Park and Zoo Elmwood Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island From I-95 North, take Exit 16 (Elmwood Avenue). Keep to the right at the fork in the road, and then follow the signs to the zoo, which is on Route 1. Phone: 401–785–3510 Internet: www.rogerwilliamsparkzoo.org Hours: Mid-October through mid-May, daily, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Mid-May through mid-October, Monday through Friday, Directions:

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9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, 9:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m. Admission: Adults, $6.00. Children 3–12, $3.50. Senior citizens, disabled citizens, and children under 3, free. Description: Although the Roger Williams Park and Zoo is not in Connecticut, it is easily accessible to families living in the eastern part of the state. This is a wonderful medium-sized zoo. See gira√es, bison, polar bears, snakes, and penguins. Peacocks stroll the grounds, and the farmyard exhibit is great for younger children. There are several pleasant concession stands for lunch or snacks, or you can bring a picnic. Special exhibits, such as the African Plains Exhibit and the Travels of Marco Polo, are outstanding. A number of special activities and talks take place throughout the year. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Follow the signs to the main parking lot in the rear of the zoo. There are 14 designated handicapped parking spaces, but even if these are full, parking should be no problem in this large, flat lot. Chair users can be dropped o√ right at the entrance. The zoo is almost entirely wheelchair accessible, although it is located on a relatively steep hill—be prepared for moderate pushing if you are using a manual chair. Enter at the main gate. Almost all the paths are paved or packed dirt; there are railings on steeper walkways and rest spots specifically designed for those with mobility impairments. A few places still have steps; going all the way into the Gira√e House, for example, is not possible for a chair user because of a short series of steps. The only place to approach with caution is the long packed-earth pathway that leads through the marshy outdoor birdcages around the back of the park. This should be fine in dry weather, but is quite muddy in early spring

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or after a heavy rain and can be di≈cult for chair users and walkers alike. The gift shop and concession stand are accessible, as are all bathrooms with the exception of those in the gift shop building. Children with visual impairments: As with all zoos, there are relatively few things to touch but there is a lot to hear and smell. For those with limited vision, a number of exhibits permit visitors to get quite close to the glass for a clearer view. Children with hearing impairments: There are a number of special programs and talks throughout the year, and these are not routinely interpreted, but the zoo will try to have Sign Language interpreters available if arrangements are made in advance. Children with mental retardation: A ‘‘go at your own pace’’ park, this zoo is a great place to take a child who may need to take a bit of extra time or who does not have a long attention span. If your child likes animals, this is a wonderful place to visit. University of Connecticut Animal Sciences Department University of Connecticut Campus, Storrs From I-84 East or West, take Exit 68 and follow the signs to the University of Connecticut campus. The barns are located on Horse Barn Hill Road (turn left) just as you reach the campus. Follow the signs to the barns. Phone: 860–486–2413 Internet: www.canr.uconn.edu/ansci/ Hours: Daily, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Admission: Free Description: Part of the University of Connecticut’s Animal Science Department, these barns are open to the public and are a nice place for children to see cows and calves, chickens, horses, and sheep. Many of the animals are kept indoors during the winter, but some can be seen in the surrounding fields. Adults Directions:

Animals

must always accompany children. These animals are on special diets, so please do not feed them. Children can get quite close to the animals, but petting is not permitted. Special events: Early spring is a good time to see newborn animals. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Almost all of the barns are accessible, though one small step up is required to get into the horse barn. The dairy barn is completely accessible. There is on-site parking, and a paved road leads right to the barns. A handicapped bathroom is available. Children with visual impairments: The smells, sounds, and general hubbub of the barns will appeal to many children who are visually impaired, although petting is not permitted. General: Tours through the barn are self-guided and appeal to all sorts of visitors, including children and parents who enjoy going at a slower pace. There is rarely a crowd, particularly on weekends. (From time to time on weekdays, school groups make visits.) Very important: Cream and milk from the cows goes to the Dairy Bar on campus to make ice cream that has been loved and enjoyed by generations of UConn students and visitors. The formerly inaccessible Dairy Bar has been relocated to the George White Building (follow signs on campus), which is accessible. See also pages 31, 58, and 95 for information on the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, the William Benton Museum of Art, and the University of Connecticut campus.

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Children’s Museums

Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut 409 Main Street, Niantic From I-95 North, take Exit 73 and turn left onto Route 161. Go 3 miles and turn right onto Main Street (Route 156) in Niantic. From I-95 South, take Exit 74 and turn right onto Route 161. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 860–691–1111 Internet: http://childmuseum.conncoll.edu Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Open Mondays in summer and during school holidays. Closed on major holidays. Admission: Adults and children over 2, $4.00. Children under 2, free. Description: This museum features dozens and dozens of interesting hands-on things for children to do. Small exhibits let kids try their hand at being a firefighter or working in a hospital or a bank. Make bubbles (big ones), try out a computer, feel a snake’s skin (no snake attached), play with magnets, do arts and crafts or puppetry. Designed specifically for children ages 12 and under (although many older children will enjoy some of these activities), this museum is a place for parents and children to explore. Although the building looks small, plan on spending at least several hours with younger children—it is hard to tear them away. Special events: There are many special events and classes throughout the year. Call for details. Directions:

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Children’s Museums

Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is a handicapped parking place in the small lot behind the building. There is also a good deal of parking on either side of Main Street on the block where the museum is located, and the sidewalks and crossways are accessible. Chair users should use the main front entrance. (If you park in the back, do not use the old concrete ramp up to the back.) The museum itself is all on one level and almost fully accessible. All exhibits are not only accessible but also designed for smaller children, with dozens of hands-on activities easily within reach. The bathrooms are fully accessible. Anything that might get in the way of a chair user is immediately moved, if at all possible, to permit easier access. Children with visual impairments: Almost all exhibits are hands-on and designed for children to touch and explore; a child with a visual impairment can really enjoy this museum. Children with mental retardation: Designed almost entirely as a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ place, this museum is excellent for children who enjoy taking a bit longer to explore things or who might like to try one activity for an extended time. Special: Three ‘‘tactile kits’’ (on texture, sound, and fine motor skills) have been put together to allow children with significant disabilities to explore these subjects. The kits can be checked out at the front desk, and children and their parents can sit in the quieter toddler area and go through them for as long as they wish. Note: The museum can become quite crowded on rainy weekend afternoons or snowy winter days. If your child likes to take things a bit more slowly, try to get to the museum earlier in the morning, before it becomes crowded.

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Connecticut Children’s Museum 22 Wall Street, New Haven Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 3. At the bottom

of the ramp, turn left onto Orange Street and go 3 blocks. The museum is at the corner of Orange and Wall Streets. Phone: 203–562–5437 Internet: www.ctchildrensmuseum.org Hours: Year-round, Friday and Saturday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Admission: Adults and children 1 and older, $5.00. Children under 1, free. An adult must accompany all children. Description: This innovative museum is targeted for children ages 3 through 10, although many younger children will also get a great deal out of these imaginative, interactive exhibits. Children can explore eight large rooms, each of which is devoted to a di√erent child-oriented theme. For example, a music room is filled with large drums, rain sticks, and other noise- and musicmaking devices, a ‘‘city room’’ allows children to interact in a hands-on post o≈ce exhibit, and a nature room allows children to see inside a beehive, play with animal puppets, and explore local habitat. The linguistics room duplicates the room seen in the book Goodnight Moon. It is as if a child had walked directly into the storybook, and it should not be missed. Of special note is the low-key and uncluttered nature of the exhibits. Small children can focus on one thing at a time and can interact with almost everything shown—a developmentally appropriate approach to learning in young children. Many museums are too busy and too fast-paced; they may appeal to grown-ups, but they leave children exhausted and overstimulated. This museum is child centered, and children will leave feeling that they have had a chance to explore and think. Although this museum is recommended for children up to age 10, it will be of particular interest to preschoolers through children age 8 (depending, of

Children’s Museums

course, on the child). This facility has been designed with children with disabilities specifically in mind. Accessibility

This museum is designed specifically to meet or exceed all ADA standards. A handicapped parking space is located on the street near the front of the museum, and additional street parking is fully accessible. (Note that there is plenty of parking on Saturdays and that all surrounding sidewalks have curb cuts.) The building is fully accessible, with a ramp leading into the front door, an elevator between floors, and fully accessible bathrooms. All tables, counters, and hands-on exhibits are designed to be accessible by children in chairs. In all exhibits that can be entered, ramps replace steps for everyone. There are no exhibits where most children enter through the front on steps and children in chairs roll through the ‘‘back door’’; instead, children in chairs can take a central part in all activities. Children with visual impairments: Almost all the exhibits are handson, and almost all signs are also in braille (including signs for the murals found throughout the museum). Special credit for the braille signs goes to a 16-year-old volunteer who printed out these signs on her home brailler. One of the exhibits includes a brailler, and all children are encouraged to experiment with it, normalizing the experience for everyone. This would be a great place to take a younger child with a visual impairment. Children with hearing impairments: Special attention has been paid to children with hearing impairments. Although young children with hearing impairments will get a great deal out of this museum anyhow because so many of the exhibits are visually oriented, it should be noted that the museum’s intent is to expose children to 3 languages: English, Spanish, and American Wheelchair users:

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Sign Language. There is a functioning TTY connected between exhibits on the second and third floors. Murals on Sign Language are prominent, and accompanying signs and books are found in the hallway. In the music room, an ‘‘ocean drum’’ (a large drum with small pellets that bounce when the clear head of the drum is struck) and clear rain sticks allow children to see the ‘‘noise’’ being made, ensuring that hearing-impaired children are included in the fun. Of special note: Each Saturday afternoon there is a book reading, and once a month, the reader is a Signing adult. When this deaf individual comes to read, he Signs the story and an interpreter provides a translation for those who are not deaf. Sign Language interpreters are remain rare everywhere, and the museum is to be commended for having a Signer take the lead in such an event. Call or e-mail to find out when the Signer will be the presenter. Although the museum will try to arrange for an interpreter to be present at other readings if contacted in advance, it may make more of an impression on your child if you wait for those sessions where the Signer is the reader. Children with mental retardation: This slow-paced, hands-on museum is wonderful for children with a range of abilities. Because many of the exhibits encourage interaction among children, it might also be a very nice place to bring children for social interaction. Although the recommended age limit is 10, some older children might also get a good deal out of this museum, depending on their interests and abilities. Kidcity Children’s Museum 119 Washington Street, Middletown From I-91 South, take Exit 22 South to Route 9. Follow Route 9 to Exit 15. At Exit 15, go straight 11⁄2 blocks; the museum is on the left. Directions:

Children’s Museums

From I-91 North, take Exit 18, which leads directly onto Route 66, and head toward Middletown. Go 61⁄2 miles; the museum is on the right. Phone: 860–347–0495 Internet: www.kidcitymuseum.com Hours: Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Friday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Additional hours during school vacations. Admission: Adults and children 10 and above, $2.00. Children 1–9, $5.00. Children under 1, free. At least 1 adult must accompany every 4 kids. Description: This imaginative museum is an ‘‘educational playground’’ specifically targeted for children ages 10 and under. Each room of this renovated old house concentrates on a theme—a sailing ship, a farmyard, a video theater, a café, and more. Everything is designed for children to climb on, play with, and explore. Even the coatroom will entertain. Unfortunately, although this is an excellent museum for many disabled children, there are some limitations. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The one group for whom this museum is problematic is chair users. There are metered handicapped parking spaces in the lot right next to the main entrance and a ramp into the building. The bathroom is accessible, as are most of the exhibits on the first floor of this 2-story building. The second floor, however, can be reached only by a steep, curving stairway. Plans are under way to install an elevator in the future, and parents might want to call ahead to check whether this has been put in—but at this point, the second floor is inaccessible. Also problematic is the sailing ship exhibit on the first floor, where a small stairway leads down into a ship’s ‘‘cabin’’ and up to a ‘‘crow’s nest.’’ These are very tempting (even to grown-ups) and

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may frustrate a young chair user who watches other children racing up and down. Children with visual impairments: Because of the hands-on nature of so many of the exhibits, this facility is highly recommended for younger children with visual impairments. Other: This is an excellent ‘‘go at your own pace’’ museum. Children are tempted to make up games and activities on the spot, and any child in the room seems to be included in these games. It is a good spot for lots of social interaction. General: Perhaps because it is so hard to tear children away from many of the exhibits in this museum, it tends to get crowded. Indeed, on rainy afternoons, the sta√ has at times been forced to stop admitting people because of the crowds. On rainy days, especially during school vacation, go early or call ahead to make sure that the crowd is not overwhelming. Lutz Children’s Museum 247 South Main Street, Manchester From I-84 East or West, take Exit 59 (I-384 East). From I-384, take Exit 3 and then turn left at the end of the ramp. Go 1⁄4 mile on Route 83 (South Main Street). The museum is on the left. Phone: 860–643–0949 Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 12:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Also open Mondays from late June through Labor Day. Closed on major holidays. Admission: Adults and children 1 and older, $3.00. Children under 1, free. Description: A hands-on museum with exhibits in the areas of nature, history, and social science. There is a small live animal Directions:

Children’s Museums

collection and a play area. Geared specifically to preschoolers through fourth graders, the museum nevertheless contains exhibits that may interest some older children. Special events: The museum schedules many events and classes throughout the year, during the summer, and on holidays. Call for information. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is handicapped parking on-site. A ramp leads to a side entrance. The interior of the single-story building is fully accessible, including bathrooms and all exhibits. The outside picnic area is also accessible. Children with visual impairments: Many hands-on exhibits designed especially for kids make this a good place for a child with a visual impairment. Children with hearing impairments: The exhibits are fine, but unfortunately, as at many museums, special activities and talks are not Sign interpreted. Children with mental retardation: Almost every exhibit and activity in this museum is designed to be explored by children at their own pace. Children who may need a bit more time to do things or who enjoy repeating particular activities will find much to do here.

New Britain Youth Museum 30 High Street, New Britain From I-84 East or West, take Exit 35, which leads onto Route 72 East. Once on Route 72, take the Columbus Avenue Boulevard Exit, which merges into Columbus Avenue. Continue on Columbus Avenue until it intersects with High Street. Turn left onto High Street and continue until you see the

Directions:

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Children’s Museums

YMCA and the New Britain Library, both on the right. The museum driveway is between the YMCA and the library, and the museum itself is immediately behind the library. From Route 72 West, take the downtown New Britain exit, merging onto Columbus Avenue. Stay in the middle lane and continue through 3 stoplights until the intersection with High Street. Turn left onto High Street and follow the directions above. Phone: 860–225–3020 Internet: www.newbritainyouthmuseum.org Hours: September through June, Tuesday through Friday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. July and August, Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission: Free (donation suggested). Description: The New Britain Youth Museum’s mission is to make children feel comfortable in a museum setting and excite their curiosity about what museums can o√er. There are exhibits on natural history, local history, and cultures around the world. There is a small hands-on exhibit of toys, dolls, dollhouses, games, puppets, and more. This museum is a≈liated with the New Britain Youth Museum at Hungerford Park, located 5 minutes away (see page 118). Special events: The museum o√ers a wealth of after-school, weekend, vacation, and summer programs for children. Call ahead to see what’s happening on the day you plan to visit. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is a ramp from the small parking lot next

to the museum. The free municipal lot down the street also has handicapped parking places. The museum itself is wheelchair accessible. The building is on one level, and the bathrooms have been redesigned for chair users.

Children’s Museums

Children with visual impairments: This is not a particularly good museum for children with visual impairments. Many items are on display, but most are in locked cases. The outdoor section of this museum, the New Britain Youth Center at Hungerford Park, is about 5 minutes away and is a better bet for hands-on activities. General: This is a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ museum. Many children will enjoy the child-oriented displays.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children Mathews Park, Norwalk From I-95 North, take Exit 14. Go through 2 stop signs to the stoplight. Turn left onto West Avenue. Proceed under 2 overpasses. The museum is on the right in Mathews Park. From I-95 South, take Exit 15. Bear right down the hill, and at the stoplight, turn right onto West Avenue. The museum is on the right in Mathews Park. Phone: 203–899–0606 Internet: www.steppingsstonesmuseum.org Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day, also open Monday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Admission: Adults and children over 1, $6.00. Children under 1, free. Description: Connecticut’s newest children’s museum, this excellent facility emphasizes hands-on exploration and discovery in such areas as science and technology, the arts, culture, and history. It is designed specifically for children ages 1 to 10. Special events: The museum holds special events throughout the year. Call ahead for information. Directions:

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Children’s Museums

Accessibility

This facility has been designed to be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. With an emphasis on handson exploration, this museum is highly accessible for children will all types of disabilities. The handicapped accessible parking area adjacent to the building allows families to park nearby and walk or wheel right into the single-story museum. Although the museum is designed for younger children, some older children with disabilities may find that they will enjoy many of the activities and programs. If you or your child does better with a little less commotion, note that the museum does not schedule school groups on Tuesdays or during afternoons throughout the week. The museum may be a bit quieter during those times.

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

Barnum Museum 820 Main Street, Bridgeport Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 27 (Lafayette Boulevard).

Continue straight from the exit ramp through 5 stoplights, turning left on Main Street after the fifth light. The museum is on the right, immediately past the first stoplight on Main Street. From I-95 South, take Exit 27 and turn right, following the sign for Lafayette Boulevard. Continue onto Lafayette and turn right at State Street. At the intersection with Main Street, turn right. The museum is 2 blocks down on the left. Phone: 203–331–9881 Internet: www.barnum-museum.org Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission: Adults, $5.00. Senior citizens and students, $4.00. Children 4–18, $3.00. Children under 4, free. Description: Three floors of exhibits are dedicated to the life and times of showman P. T. Barnum and the circus world of the nineteenth century. The clothes and furnishings of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Thumb, memorabilia of Swedish singer Jenny Lind, ship models, weapons, Egyptian mummies, stu√ed animals, an animated 3-ring circus, real circus wagons, and many other items collected by Barnum during his long, colorful career are on display. Special events: Special exhibits throughout the year.

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Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is metered parking in front of the build-

ing. Getting into the building is not impossible, but be aware that there is one step into the front entrance. For some, this may not be a problem, but if getting up the step is di≈cult, there is a ramped side entrance to the exhibition space. Because the door to the side entrance is locked, however, someone must step inside and ask the sta√ at the front desk to unlock it. The museum sta√ is happy to have people call ahead (203–331– 9881) so that they can unlock the door in advance. The building itself is wheelchair accessible throughout, with accessible bathrooms and elevators to carry visitors from floor to floor. Children with visual impairments: There are few touchable exhibits. This museum is not recommended for the child with a visual impairment. Children with mental retardation: This is a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ museum. A number of things in this eclectic collection might interest children. Bruce Museum 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich From I-95 South, take Exit 3. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto Arch Street. Go straight through 1 stoplight. The museum is up the hill on the left. From I-95 North, take Exit 3. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left. The museum driveway is on your left. Phone: 203–869–0376 Internet: www.brucemuseum.com Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission: Adults, $3.50. Senior citizens and children 5–12, $2.50. Children under 5 free. Free on Tuesdays. Directions:

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

The Bruce Museum, known for its small but interesting collections of natural history and Native American artifacts, has long been a favorite for children growing up in southern Connecticut. This is a good local museum that makes a nice outing for many families.

Description:

Accessibility

Handicapped parking and ramps make this museum accessible to chair users. The bathrooms are also accessible. The exhibits and displays are placed low enough so that wheelchair users can easily see almost everything. Children with visual impairments: Although they will not be able to experience many of the exhibits, children with visual impairments will enjoy a small number of hands-on exhibits, including materials in the science and ethnography section, the discovery room, and a touch tank. Wheelchair users:

Connecticut River Museum 67 Main Street, Essex From Route 9 North or South, take Exit 3 and turn left at the end of the ramp. Go 1⁄2 block to the stoplight and turn up the hill. Follow the signs to the museum, which is at the foot of Main Street in downtown Essex. Phone: 860–767–8269 Internet: www.ctrivermuseum.com Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Senior citizens, $3.00. Children 6– 12, $2.00. Children under 6, free. Description: This museum is dedicated to ships, sailing, and the maritime history of the lower Connecticut River valley. On exhibit are ships’ models (including a full-scale model of the Directions:

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Turtle, the world’s first submarine), sailing gear, and artifacts pertaining to local history. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is a small parking lot on-site, and the walkway to the front door is negotiable. There is one very small step into the building, but most visitors will be able to roll right in. (If a visitor is in a heavy chair, the sta√ can quickly put a portable ramp in place for the chair.) An elevator makes both floors of this museum easily accessible. There is a large accessible bathroom, fitted with grab bars. The museum overlooks the Connecticut River, and outside there is a small park that visitors often use for picnics. Essex is a lovely small town with accessible sidewalks—although many shops in historic buildings are not accessible because of entrance steps. Visitors with a wheelchair can stroll easily all the way down and back on Main Street, although the sidewalk going from the museum toward Main Street has one moderately steep small hill. Children with visual impairments: The fragile nature of much of the material in this collection means that it cannot be touched. This museum is not really recommended for the child with a visual impairment. General: The collections in this museum are designed to allow visitors to go at their own pace. Special exhibits change 2–3 times a year. Parents will be the best judge of their children’s interests, but if your child likes ships or local history, this is a nice small museum. A visit to the museum can also be part of a day’s outing that might include other attractions, such as a train or boat ride at the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride (see pages 212–214).

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at the University of Connecticut 75 North Eagleville Road, Storrs From I-84 East or West, take Exit 68 to Route 195. Follow the signs to the University of Connecticut campus. Phone: 860–486–4460 Internet: www.mnh.uconn.edu Hours: Thursday through Monday, 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and major holidays. Admission: Free ($1.00 donation suggested). Description: A small but nice collection of plants and animals, mounted birds, fossils, minerals, a wigwam (to peek inside—but not enter), and a model of a small research boat to climb (or roll) in. Special events: There are changing exhibits throughout the year, as well as a number of children’s workshops, festivals, and other special events. Directions:

Accessibility

There is on-site handicapped parking, and a ramp leads to the front entryway. There are accessible bathrooms. All exhibits are accessible. Children with visual impairments: There are only a few things that a low-vision or blind child can explore by touch. This facility is not highly recommended for the child with a visual impairment. Children with hearing impairments: The museum sta√ will try to arrange interpreters for special lectures and events but does not routinely have them at events. Call ahead to make arrangements. Children with mental retardation: This is a small facility where parents and children can go at their own pace. It is also small enough so that there is a sampling of a number of di√erent objects, such as minerals and animals, rather than room after room Wheelchair users:

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on a single subject (fossils or arrowheads or whatever). For this reason, certain children will particularly enjoy this museum. Special note: See the entry on the University of Connecticut campus on page 95. It might be fun for your child to see what a college campus looks like if he or she has not been on one before. Much of the UConn campus is now wheelchair accessible. The Center for Students with Disabilities provides services for the many students with a disability who go to UConn as well as information for people visiting the campus. For a free copy of an accessibility map showing visitors how to get around campus in a wheelchair, write: Center for Students with Disabilities, Wilbur Cross 161, Box U-174, Storrs, CT 06269, call 860–486–2020 (voice/TTY), or visit the CSD Web site, www.csd.uconn .edu. See also pages 14 and 58 for information on the University of Connecticut Animal Science Department and Dairy Bar and the William Benton Museum of Art. Dinosaur State Park West Street, Rocky Hill Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 23 (West Street).

Follow the signs; the park is 1 mile to the east. Phone: 860–529–8423 Internet: www.dinosaurstatepark.org Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed on

Mondays and major holidays. The museum bookshop and nature trails close at 4:00 p.m. The casting area (open May through October) closes at 3:30 p.m. The outside area closes at 4:30 p.m. Admission: Adults, $2.00. Children 6–17, $1.00. Children under 6, free. Outdoor casting area, free. Description: A giant geodesic dome houses Jurassic Period (185million-year-old) dinosaur tracks found in place on the site, along with related exhibits. Outside, from May to October,

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

visitors can make plaster casts of dinosaur footprints and take them home. Bring 10 pounds of plaster of Paris, 1⁄4 cup of vegetable oil, and cloth rags or paper towels if you wish to make a cast, and allow an hour or so for the cast to dry. Making a cast can be a bit sloppy, and you may have to wait your turn. Nonetheless, it is a real adventure for the budding paleontologist. Directions on making the footprint casts are clearly posted. If you come for the casting, be sure to pick a warm and sunny day because the casting area is outdoors. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Handicapped parking spaces immediately outside the museum allow chair users to roll right into this single-story building. Inside, the building is fully accessible and Plexiglas railings allow all the exhibits to be seen clearly. The bathroom is accessible, as is the auditorium. The dinosaur footprint casting area, located immediately beyond the main building, is also wheelchair accessible. The trails leading into the woods, where other dinosaur footprints are located, are not wheelchair accessible, and many parents report great di≈culty in using them. Stick to the museum and the casting area. Children with visual impairments: There are few exhibits in this museum that can be explored by touch by a child with a visual impairment. Most things would have to be described. The casting area, however, might well be a fun experience. There are also several walks through the woods that lead to areas where dinosaur footprints remain in the rocky forest floor and children can actually touch these footprints ‘‘in the wild’’—which may be a thrill for interested children. General: This is a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ museum with a number of full-size dinosaur models as well as real dinosaur footprints that will certainly interest many children, even very young ones.

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Discovery Museum 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport From the Merritt Parkway Northbound or Southbound, take Exit 47. Turn left and go 1 mile south. From I-95 North or South, take Exit 27 and follow the signs to Park City Hospital. At the hospital, turn right and go 4 miles north. Phone: 203–372–3521 Internet: www.discoverymuseum.org Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Open Mondays in July and August. Closed on major holidays. Planetarium shows: Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. Admission: Adults, $6.00. Senior citizens and children 3–18, $4.00. Children under 3, free. There is an additional fee for the Challenger exhibit. Description: An interactive science museum, with more than 100 permanent exhibits that allow visitors hands-on experiences with science. Museum visitors can experiment with light, sound, mechanical tools, computer-simulated space missions, and dozens of other things. The planetarium has shows daily. Science-related movies are shown regularly. A food court within the museum allows families to spend the day exploring the exhibits. Although younger children may enjoy many aspects of the museum (some workshops are given just for toddlers), this museum is particularly good for children ages 5 and up. There are certainly enough buttons, levers, and dials to push, pull, or turn to keep all members of the family busy and interested. Special events: A continuous schedule of workshops, special events and festivals supplements the planetarium shows and movies shown daily. Call for details. Directions:

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

Accessibility Wheelchair users: From the handicapped parking spaces in the parking lot, visitors can go directly into the building. Although the museum is located in a 2-story building, a large elevator makes accessibility easy to all parts of the facility. Bathrooms are accessible. Children with visual impairments: A large number of the exhibits lend themselves to exploration by touch, and children with visual impairments are encouraged to come. Children with hearing impairments: This is a very visually oriented museum, and many children with hearing impairments will find this great fun. The planetarium, however, is not recommended for Signers, because the dimmed lights make communication di≈cult. Parents should also be aware that the science movies are not captioned and that Sign Language interpreters are not brought in for lectures and demonstrations. Children with mental retardation: Pick up a self-guided tour brochure as you enter and go at your own pace. Many exhibits are hands-on, and even if your child is not interested in the full scientific explanation of an exhibit, he or she will find much to enjoy in the museum.

Eli Whitney Museum 915 Whitney Avenue, Hamden Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 6 (Willow Ave-

nue). At the end of the exit ramp, turn right onto Willow Avenue, which ends at Whitney Avenue. Turn right onto Whitney Avenue and go 1 mile. The museum is on the right. Phone: 203–777–1833 Internet: www.eliwhitney.org Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

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Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on most major holidays. Admission: Adults, $3.00. Senior citizens and children 3–15, $2.00. Children under 3, free. Description: The Eli Whitney Museum is dedicated to teaching children about the development of industry and science in New England. The museum is located in a former mill building and features numerous hands-on exhibits. Outside, on the museum grounds, there is a Water Learning Park designed to teach children about the mechanical uses of water. Special events: New exhibitions are presented regularly, and there is a continuing series of music, dance, and summer theater productions. Call the main number for information. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The Eli Whitney Museum is located in a large former mill building. The single-level facility, which is accessible in all areas open to the public, can be reached easily from the on-site parking lot, which has handicapped parking spaces. Entry is through the main door, and bathrooms are accessible. The outside Water Learning Park is wheelchair accessible. Although some of the outside dirt paths may not be accessible, a paved road leads directly to the on-site covered bridge, which can be crossed in a chair. Children with visual impairments: The museum has fewer things for a child with a visual impairment to explore than for other children, but some exhibits will probably be of interest. A call ahead to the education director is suggested so that additional things can be set out or access to some exhibits not usually touched can be arranged. Children with mental retardation: This museum has a heavy emphasis on science and history, so gauge your child’s interests accordingly. The hands-on exhibits will interest some children,

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

even those who may not be interested in the theory behind the exhibits, and you can go at your own pace. Gillette Castle 67 River Road, East Haddam From Route 9 North or South, take Exit 7 to Route 82. Follow the signs to the castle. Phone: 860–526–2336 Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day, daily, 10:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. Labor Day to Christmas Day, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Grounds, daily, 8:00 a.m. to sunset. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Children 6–11, $2.00. Chair users and children under 5, free. Entrance to the grounds, free. Description: Built in 1919 by the stage actor William Gillette as a ‘‘dream house,’’ this building on a blu√ high above the Connecticut River resembles a medieval castle, with an interior filled with hand-carved fixtures and much of the furniture built into the structural frame of the castle. Although touring the castle is fun for children, it is the castle’s magnificent location and grounds that prompted Connecticut to add this site to its state park system. The view allows visitors to see for a long stretch up and down the Connecticut River. Bald eagles, reintroduced into the area, can sometimes be seen (especially early on late winter mornings) from the castle area and parking lot. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: The castle is not accessible throughout, but a ramp (fairly steep) allows chair users to come into the main floor area. From there one can see a good deal of the inside of the castle, although the upper floors and small back rooms cannot be reached. The patio outside the first-floor area is accessible, and there is a great view up and down the Connecticut River.

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The nearby picnic area is accessible, as is the goldfish pond at the far end of the parking lot. The bathrooms, gift shop, and concession stand are not accessible, although renovations are under way and this may change. For some children who use a wheelchair and have always wondered what the inside of a castle looks like, this may be a good trip. For others, however, it may be frustrating, particularly if they come with sisters and brothers who quickly disappear upstairs to explore the various small rooms and galleries. A videotape of the upper floors is shown on the first floor when the castle is not too crowded—but this does not compare with seeing the rooms for oneself. Children with visual impairments: The visual aspects of this park, the castle and the view, are the site’s most important features and will hold little interest for the visitor with a visual impairment. Some of the interior parts of the building and the furniture can be explored by touch, but for many children with a visual impairment, this may not be a rewarding trip. General: The thrill of being in a ‘‘real’’ castle (even one that dates only to the 1920s) will make this a pleasant outing for many children, especially those of elementary school age. Although it is fully a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ place, it tends to be crowded on summer weekends. Plan to go earlier in the morning if your child enjoys taking his or her time about things. Institute for American Indian Studies 38 Curtis Road, Washington From I-84 East or West, take Exit 15. Turn onto Route 67 North at the end of the ramp and follow it to Route 199, then continue on to Curtis Road. The museum is located on Curtis Road at the junction of Routes 199 and 47. Phone: 860–868–0518 Directions:

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. January through March, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Senior citizens, $3.50. Children 6– 16, $2.00. Children under 6, free. Description: This museum features 12,000 years of Native American history. The institute not only features artifacts and arrowheads recovered from archaeological excavations around the state and nation but has re-created Onondaga Indian longhouse and wigwams in a traditional village setting for children to walk into. The longhouse is filled with household objects and looks as though the family who once lived there might return at any moment. A mastodon skeleton, found in nearby Farmington, is in the collection and will delight children. A simulated archaeological site is also of interest. Special events: There are a number of after-school, vacation, and summer classes and events. Hours:

Accessibility

This museum is increasingly handicapped accessible. There is on-site handicapped parking, and a paved walkway leads to a ramp at the front entrance of the main education center. The facility is all on one level, exhibits are visible from the wheelchair, and there is a handicapped accessible bathroom. Outside, the Indian village and wigwam are located next to the parking lot on a packed earth surface. The village is built on a hillside, but chair users can get closer by driving up to it and getting o√ onto a ramp. The ground is rocky but passable— although on very wet days it can be a bit muddy for both wheelchair users and walkers. Wheelchair users can enter the longhouse. Although the wigwams are not accessible, a chair user can

Wheelchair users:

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look in. Surrounding trails are not accessible. The curator reports that the museum and the outdoor village regularly receive visits from chair users, an indication of its relative accessibility. Children with visual impairments: Many of the exhibits in the education center are displayed in glass cases, and there is little for a child with a visual impairment to explore. The outdoor village is more accessible and should be the focus of attention for the child with a visual impairment. Children with mental retardation: This is a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ facility, with enough things to see to interest many children. Lyman Allyn Dolls and Toys 165 State Street, New London Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 83. Go straight through 3

stoplights. At the fourth stoplight, turn left onto State Street. The museum is on the left, after the first stoplight. From I-95 South, take Exit 84 South (immediately after the bridge) to downtown New London. At the third light, turn right onto State Street. The museum is on the right, before the stop sign. From I-395 South, take Route 32 to New London. Pass Connecticut College and bear left, taking the exit ramp to downtown New London. At the third stoplight, turn right onto State Street. The museum is on the right, before the stop sign. Phone: 860–437–1947 Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Senior citizens and schoolchildren, $3.00. Preschoolers, $2.00. Children under 2, free. Description: The well-known collection of dollhouses, dolls, and antique toys formerly housed at the Lyman Allyn Museum has been given a new home in downtown New London.

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Located in downtown New London, the museum relies on street parking and parking at the nearby public garage. There is little handicapped parking immediately in front of the facility, although spaces in the garage and on the street are usually available. The main entrance on State Street is wheelchair accessible. Once inside, it is easy to get around the collection. Be aware, however, that bathroom facilities are located down a hallway outside the museum and can be reached only after descending 2 steps. Children with visual impairments: This museum houses old and fragile dolls and toys. Much is behind glass, and very little is available to be explored by touch. This facility is not highly recommended for the child with a visual impairment. Other: Although wheelchair access and access for the child with a visual impairment is limited, children with other types of disabilities might find this a fun visit. One could hurry through this collection, but interested children could spend quite a bit of time looking through all the exhibits.

Lyman Allyn Museum 625 Williams Street, New London From I-95 North or South, take Exit 83. Follow the brown signs to the museum. Phone: 860–443–2545 Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Senior citizens and students, $3.00. Children under 6, free. Description: This museum features permanent and changing exhibits of fine arts and decorative arts, period furnishings, and silver. The Deshon Allyn House at 613 Williams Street (next Directions:

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door), an early nineteenth-century whaling captain’s house, is part of the museum and gives visitors a glimpse of what life was like in a New London mansion during the town’s seafaring heyday. Special events: A number of special events, tours, and children’s art classes are held throughout the year. Accessibility

There is on-site handicapped parking, and a ramp at the side of the old building takes visitors who use chairs to the rear entrance. This entrance is usually locked; simply ring the doorbell, and the door will be opened quickly. All the exhibit areas are wheelchair accessible, and an elevator takes visitors from the main floor to other parts of the museum. There is an accessible bathroom. Children with visual impairments: This museum relies largely on visual displays, and most of the exhibits are behind glass or hung up on the walls. Family members coming with a child with a visual impairment will have to spend a good deal of time explaining, so this museum is not highly recommended. Children with mental retardation: Some children will like this small museum with its interesting collection of paintings and objects, while others may find it a bit slow. As always, parents are the best judge of what their children will enjoy. Wheelchair users:

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk 10 North Water Street, Norwalk Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 14 and follow the signs to

the aquarium. From I-95 South, take Exit 15 and follow the signs. From the Merritt Parkway Northbound, take Exit 39A to new Route 7 and follow the signs.

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

From the Merritt Parkway Southbound, take Exit 40A and go south on old Route 7, following the signs to I-95 and the Maritime Center. Phone: 203–852–0700 Internet: www.maritimeaquarium.org Hours: Summer, daily, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Winter, daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission: Aquarium: Adults, $8.25. Senior citizens 62 and up, $7.50. Children 2–12, $6.75. Children under 2, free. IMAX Theater: Adults, $6.75. Senior citizens 62 and up, $5.75. Children 2–12, $5.00. Children under 2, free. Aquarium and IMAX combined: Adults, $12.50. Senior citizens 62 and up, $11.00. Children 2–12, $9.75. Children under 2, free. Description: The Maritime Aquarium is an aquarium and maritime museum that also features an IMAX movie complex. Galleries, hands-on exhibits, and many interactive exhibits emphasize the maritime history of the region and the ecosystem of Long Island Sound. The aquarium features hundreds of species of fish as well as a shark tank and a seal tank, a touch tank, and hands-on exhibits. The IMAX Theater o√ers films on an enormous screen, with showings throughout the day and feature films that change regularly. A combined ticket allows visitors entrance to the aquarium and the IMAX Theater, or visitors can come to view the latest IMAX production by itself. Special events: The aquarium o√ers many special events, programs, workshops, and lectures. Call for current information. Accessibility

This facility is designed to be fully accessible to chair users. The municipal parking garage next door has handicapped parking spaces. The Maritime Center itself has Wheelchair users:

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bathrooms, exhibits, a gift shop, and a cafeteria all designed with wheelchair users in mind. Children with visual impairments: A large number of the exhibits are hands-on and will be interesting and entertaining for the child with a visual impairment. Children with hearing impairments: The IMAX Theater has an infrared sound system for the hard of hearing. Unfortunately, IMAX films are not captioned for the deaf. Children with mental retardation: The aquarium o√ers such a diversity of things for children of all ages that can be watched, touched, and explored that even children with relatively short attention spans or limited capacity to follow a complicated explanation will find much to enjoy here. The ‘‘go at your own pace’’ design of the aquarium, will allow some children the extra time they may need. The IMAX film is amazing for its sheer size alone. If your child likes to watch TV, she or he will be suitably impressed by the IMAX. Mashantucket Pequot Museum 110 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket From I-95 North or South, take Exit 92 and follow the signs to the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation, located o√ Route 2. The museum is located 11⁄2 miles from Foxwoods Casino on reservation land. From I-395 North or South, take Exit 79A and follow the signs to the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation, as described above. Phone: 1–800–411–9671 Internet: www.mashantucket.com Hours: Summer, daily, 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Winter, Wednesday through Monday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Closed on ThanksDirections:

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

giving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Last tickets sold 1 hour before closing. Admission: Adults, $10.00. Senior citizens 55 and up, $8.00. Children 6–15, $6.00. Children under 6, free. Description: This important museum features permanent exhibits on Mashantucket Pequot history, culture, and changing ways of life from the Ice Age to the present. Allow at least 3 hours to go through this extensive facility that features 4-season dioramas, a 22,000-square-foot sixteenth-century Pequot village that re-creates the sights, sounds, and even smells of woodland Indian life, and a number of interactive exhibits, videos, and films. The Hartford Courant labels this 308,000-square-foot museum ‘‘the most ambitious new museum in America’’ and it well may be right. Special events: The museum holds special events throughout the year. Accessibility

To its credit, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has made this museum not only a fascinating place but also a model of accessibility. Ramps and elevators replace stairs throughout the museum. Although wheelchair users will of course bring their own chairs, a limited number of extra chairs are available in the lobby. (Given the museum’s vast size, some individuals with mobility impairments who usually walk may want to use a chair to get through the facility.) Children with visual impairments: Infrared orientation and digital interpretation systems are available for the child with a visual impairment. Although not all exhibits can be touched, many can, including much of the extensive village display. Children with hearing impairments: Videos and interactive programs are captioned, and assistive listening devices are available in the mini-theaters. Wheelchair users:

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Special: A nice cafeteria in the building allows families to have a

snack or a light lunch or dinner. If your children (or you) are adventurous, in addition to the usual hamburgers, hot dogs, and salads, the menu also regularly features such Native American foods as bu√alo (burgers) and venison (stew). Various traditional soups and other dishes are also often available. Caution: A 30-minute feature film entitled The Witness gives a chilling account of the interaction between Native Americans and early colonists. The film is excellent and very accurately covers a too-long-neglected part of American history, but it graphically depicts killings, including the seventeenth-century massacre at Mystic—a genocidal attack on an Indian village. Parents are the best judges of what their children watch, but be aware that this film may be upsetting to small children and to those who may be more sensitive to such topics. Parents who choose not to have their children view the film will still find a visit to the museum worthwhile from anywhere in the state. Mystic Seaport Museum 75 Greenmanville Avenue (Route 27), Mystic Directions: From I-95 North or South, take Exit 90 and go 1 mile

south on Route 27. Follow the signs to the museum. Phone: 860–572–5315, 1–888–9SEAPORT Internet: www.mysticseaport.org Hours: October through April, 10:00 a.m.–4:00

p.m. Spring, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Summer, 9:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Closed on Christmas Day. Admission: Adults, $16.00. Children 6–15, $8.00. Disabled visitors, $6.00. Children under 6, free. All admissions are good for 2 consecutive days. Planetarium show, $1.00 additional. Description: This 17-acre site on the Mystic River is a living history museum featuring the nineteenth-century age of sail.

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

Dozens of sailing vessels big and small, including the last whaleship the Charles W. Morgan and the square-rigged ship Joseph Conrad are featured, as well as a maritime village with many historic homes and shops sta√ed by working artisans demonstrating blacksmithing, woodcarving, weaving, printing, and other crafts. There are many galleries filled with figureheads, ship models, and marine art, and there is a special children’s building featuring nineteenth-century games and costumes to try on. Excursions on historic vessels around Mystic harbor are available for an additional fee. There is also a planetarium. Special events: Many events, talks, workshops, musical concerts, and festivals are held throughout the year. Call or check the seaport’s Web site for information. Special Christmas Lantern Light Tours are held from mid-December through Christmas. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The seaport has made a strong commitment to

handicap accessibility. Although the historic nature of some of the exhibits, such as the sailing vessels, limits total accessibility, enough is accessible here to allow chair users to make a full day of it. The paved parking lot with handicapped spaces is located across the street from the main entrance, and a sidewalk with curb cuts leads to the ramped main entrance. An excellent access guide that describes what exhibits and activities are accessible for chair users is available free at the entrance. Although some exhibits (including the whaleship) are not accessible, most now can be reached by chair users, including the children’s house with toys and costumes. (A portable ramp is also available and with brief prior notice can be set up to allow access to galleries and buildings that have a short flight of steps.) Almost all bathrooms are accessible. Sidewalks lead to all exhibits, and many of the walkways

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and road beds are of packed dirt that should be easily maneuverable. There are some cobblestone and crushed-shell or gravel walks, including Chubbs Wharf, where the Morgan is docked, that are less easily negotiable and might be avoided. The planetarium is not accessible. Extra wheelchairs are available free at the front gate on a first-come, first-serve basis. A good deal of walking is required to tour the seaport, and some visitors with mobility impairments who do not usually use a chair may find this a convenience. Children with visual impairments: A number of exhibits will be stimulating for visually impaired children. The children’s house is all hands-on, and many of the exhibits, including the ships, allow visitors to walk through and touch. Although some of the maritime art and craft displays are inaccessible, walking through old houses, ships, stores, and public buildings (a church, a schoolhouse, and others) should make this an interesting trip. Children with hearing impairments: Although a state-certified interpreter is available on the second Saturday of each month for groups of visitors with hearing impairments, there is currently no Sign Language interpretation for individuals or at lectures. Films that are shown at various exhibits are captioned. Children with mental retardation: Almost all of Mystic Seaport— with the exception of the planetarium and a few of the demonstrations—works on the ‘‘go at your own pace’’ system. Even children who may not appreciate looking at rows of figureheads or cases filled with scrimshaw will certainly enjoy looking up at the high masts of the old sailing vessels, watching a real blacksmith at work, or looking at (or riding in) a passing horse and carriage. General: A visit to Mystic Seaport can easily be a full-day expedition. There is an accessible cafeteria on-site. The seaport can be quite crowded, especially on summer weekend afternoons, but there is a wealth of things for families to do and see.

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

New England Carousel Museum 95 Riverside Avenue, Bristol From Route 84 East, take Exit 31 and turn onto Route 229 (West Street) toward Bristol, then follow Route 72 West to the museum. From Route 84 West, take Exit 33 and turn right onto Route 72 West (Bristol–Plainville) and follow it to the museum. From Route 8, take Exit 39 to Route 6 East. Phone: 860–585–5411 Internet: www.carousel.org/newengl.html Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays. December through March, closed Monday through Wednesday. Open during many local school holidays. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Senior citizens, $3.50. Children 4– 14, $2.50. Children under 4, free. Description: This museum houses one of the largest collections of antique carousel animals in the country. Guided tours allow you to share the art and history of the carousel, and you and your children can watch craftsworkers (during shop hours) repaint and restore carousel animals to their former glory. A small working carousel allows younger children (up to age 6) to ride. The museum has a number of ongoing events, workshops, and programs designed especially for children throughout the year. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: The facility is accessible. A ramp leads from the

handicapped spaces in the parking lot to the front door, and the interior of the building is accessible throughout. The carousel is for children under 6, and many children with a disability can be lifted onto one of the animals to take a spin. Children with visual impairments: Children with visual impairments are allowed to touch many of the exhibits. (This museum

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is happy to accommodate the child with a visual impairment, and if parents will call ahead, the tour manager will arrange access to some exhibits that are o√-limits to others.) Children with mental retardation: The museum is designed to be seen by guided tours, but it is very child oriented, and the tour guides are used to going at a pace slow enough for young children. The museum is small enough for even children with relatively short attention spans to feel that they have gotten something out of it. Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven From I-91 North or South, take Exit 3 to Trumbull Street. At the second stoplight, turn right on Whitney Avenue. The museum is on the left at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street. Phone: 203–432–5050 (information tape); 203–432–5799 (events tape) Internet: www.peabody.yale.edu Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday and holidays, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays and December 24–31. Admission: Adults, $5.00. Senior citizens and children 3–15, $3.00. Children under 3, free. Description: This large, university-based natural history museum has all sorts of fascinating exhibits—mummies, insects, meteorites, minerals, wildlife dioramas, birds of Connecticut, artifacts from Africa, Asia, Central America, and the Pacific Basin—but is probably best known for its wonderful fossil collection. Skeletons of enormous dinosaurs dominate one hall. Even very young children will be awed by the size of the dinosaurs on display, and older children will find dozens of things to Directions:

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

see and study. Adults will find many of the exhibits of equal interest. This natural history museum is designed for all ages. Special events: There is a regular series of lectures and films during the academic year and a free tour about dinosaurs on weekends. Check for specific hours, call the events tape (203–432– 5799), or check the museum Web site for details. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site handicapped parking as well as fairly easy metered parking (quarters only) on the streets surrounding the museum, especially on weekends. Curb cuts allow chair users to roll right up onto the sidewalks, and the sidewalks lead to a very good ramp to the front entrance. The museum itself is on 3 floors, and elevators allow access to all the exhibit areas. The bathrooms are accessible. Many of the exhibits, particularly the great dinosaur hall, are very easy to see from a wheelchair. Children with visual impairments: Most of the displays are in cases behind glass or in exhibits that do not allow close examination or touch. For this reason, there is relatively little here that will be accessible for the child with a visual impairment. Children with hearing impairments: The education department (203–432–3775) will make e√orts to arrange Sign Language interpreters for lectures and tours if you call or e-mail in advance. Unfortunately, there is no TTY number, but do try to contact the museum by e-mail. Children with mental retardation: This is a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ museum. Even if your child is not particularly interested in scientific explanations, many exhibits, especially the large dinosaurs, are sure to be of interest.

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Science Center of Connecticut 950 Trout Brook Drive, West Hartford Directions: From I-84 East or West, take Exit 43 (Park Road). At

the end of the ramp, turn right. At the first light, take a left onto Trout Brook Drive. The museum is 1⁄2 mile further on the right. Phone: 860–231–2824 Internet: www.sciencecenterct.org Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m. Open Mondays during summer and on many school holidays. Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Admission: Adults, $6.00. Senior citizens and children 3–16, $5.00. Children under 3, free. Disabled visitors, $4.50 (no fee for the adult or attendant accompanying the individual with a disability). Planetarium and light show: Adults, $3.00. Children, $2.00. Description: A small, hands-on museum designed for children ages 4–13 to explore science, nature, and technology. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Located in an older building, this museum unfortunately is only moderately accessible to chair users. There is handicapped parking next to the building and a ramp into the first floor. There is no elevator from the main floor down to the first floor. To get downstairs, children will have to go outside and around the building to another entrance. The planetarium is accessible, as is the bathroom. Other: This museum is listed here because despite its limited wheelchair accessibility, children with many types of disabilities may enjoy it. Most of the exhibits are hands-on, and children can go at their own pace. The wildlife exhibits are behind glass and therefore inaccessible to child with a visual impairment, but the experience of exploring the full-length concrete model of the

Museums of Nature, History, and Science

whale behind the building may compensate for this. Explaining how big a whale is to children is one thing; having them actually walk the length of one and feel it for themselves is much better. Stamford Museum and Nature Center 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford From the Merritt Parkway Northbound or Southbound, take Exit 35 and turn left onto High Ridge Road (Route 137). The museum is located 3⁄4 mile north of the parkway at the junction of High Ridge Road (Route 137) and Scofieldtown Road. From I-95 North or South, take Exit 7 and go north to Washington Boulevard until you reach High Ridge Road (Route 137). Scofieldtown Road is to the left o√ High Ridge Road. Phone: 203–322–1646 Internet: www.stamfordmuseum.org Hours: Monday through Saturday and holidays, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission: Stamford residents: Adults, $3.00. Senior citizens and children 5–13, $2.00. All others: Adults, $5.00. Senior citizens and children 5–13, $4.00. Children under 5, free. Planetarium: Adults, $2.00. Children 5–13, $1.00. Observatory: Adults, $3.00. Children 5–13, $2.00. Description: This 118-acre site features a working Connecticut farm, a country store, animals, trails, and picnic areas. The main building has 7 galleries featuring exhibits on regional and Native American history, natural history, and art. This is a great place for a family picnic. If you don’t bring your own, the only food available on-site is snacks from the gift shop. Special events: Many events are scheduled throughout the year. The planetarium has shows on Sundays. An observatory (not Directions:

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wheelchair accessible) is open every Friday evening, 8:00 p.m.– 10:00 p.m., weather permitting. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The main parking lot has handicapped spaces, and visitors can roll to the main entrance. There are accessible bathrooms. The exhibit area is fully accessible, except for the upper floor of one building, which features art works. The planetarium is accessible through a side door. (The observatory is not chair accessible.) A nice feature is the fully accessible boardwalk that runs along a brook, featuring alcoves to sit under the trees and enjoy nature. Children with visual impairments: This museum has some exhibits that a child with a visual impairment will enjoy, but there are a number of exhibits that cannot be touched and will have to be described. There is more to o√er in the farm area, including lots of animals, but be aware that petting is not permitted. General: This is a facility that many children will enjoy. You can go at your own pace, which is good for children who like to take more time with things. The museum is interesting year-round, and there are baby animals in the spring. Call ahead to see what new animals have been born.

Museums of Fine Arts

New Britain Museum of American Art 56 Lexington Street, New Britain From I-84 East or West, take Exit 35 (Route 72). From Route 72, take Exit 8 to Columbus Boulevard and follow the signs to the museum. Phone: 860–229–0257 Internet: www.nbmaa.org Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Senior citizens, $3.00. Students, $2.00. Children under 12, free. Description: This museum features a large collection of American works of fine art and has a number of changing exhibits and programs throughout the year. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Parking can be a problem here. Parking for the museum is on the street, and although there is one handicapped parking space immediately in front, if this is taken, plan on having to park somewhere else along the street. Roll to the side entrance, which has a lift, and ring the doorbell. Someone will come right away to open it. Once inside the museum, everything is accessible. Children with visual impairments: A grant from the Lions Club has allowed the museum to install a ‘‘Sight Impaired Tour’’ specifically designed to make part of their collections available to those with visual impairments. An audio guide and aids are available to enhance the appreciation of a select group of paintings and

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sculpture. Visitors should call a few days ahead if interested in the tour. Other: A good, local museum with an interesting collection. As with many museums, children will need to be well behaved, but this could be a pleasant afternoon outing. Wadsworth Atheneum 600 Main Street, Hartford From I-91 North or South, take Exit 29A (Capitol Area) onto the connector and then take the second right onto Prospect Street. The museum is the second building on the left. (At the stop sign immediately before the Atheneum, turn left onto Atheneum Square North for the Avery Street handicapped accessible entrance.) From I-84 East, take Exit 48B (Capitol Area). From the exit ramp, turn left on Capitol Avenue. When Capitol ends, turn left on Main Street. The museum is on the right, 2 blocks up. From I-84 West, take Exit 54 (Downtown Hartford, a left exit). After crossing the Founders Bridge, turn left on Columbus Boulevard. Turn right on Arch Street, and turn right again on Prospect Street. The rear of the museum is on the left, one block up. Note: Free parking is available on weekends in the Travelers Insurance outdoor lot #7 on Prospect Street. Phone: 860–278–2670 Internet: www.wadsworthatheneum.org Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. First Thursday of most months, 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission: Adults, $7.00. Senior citizens and college students with valid ID, $5.00. Children 6–17, $3.00. Children under 6, Directions:

Museums of Fine Arts

free. Thursday all day and Saturday until noon, free. Additional charges may apply for special exhibits and programs. Description: Connecticut’s premier art museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum is America’s oldest public art museum and among the dozen or so top art museums in the country. Its extensive holdings and galleries of painting, sculpture, furniture, textiles, firearms, and much more span 5,000 years of art, with special collections of American and regional holdings. This museum is certainly intended for adults, and as is the case with several other art museums discussed here, children will be expected to be on their best behavior. Also note that this is a large museum and could make a full morning or afternoon visit for many families. Remember, it is easy for many children to be overwhelmed in a big museum. You don’t have to tackle it all at once. It might be nice to take children through a few galleries and return another time to take in another wing or collection. Making trips to the same museum every so often can allow children to become familiar with pieces of art and to appreciate these familiar pieces in a new light as they grow up, encouraging them to develop a lifelong love of art. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is no on-site parking, but downtown Hartford sidewalks are fairly accessible. The chair ramp is at the Avery Street entrance on Atheneum Square. Inside, the entire facility is accessible. Children with visually impairments: These galleries with paintings, sculptures, and other fine art objects will require a great deal of description for visitors with visual impairments. This is probably is not the most enjoyable of trips for the child with a visual impairment. Children with hearing impairments: There is a lot to see here, and

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many will enjoy the trip to this museum. Listening devices are available for the hearing impaired. Unfortunately, however, there are no Signed gallery talks. Children with mental retardation: There are a number of things to see in this collection and a family outing here may be enjoyable for a child with mental retardation. Parents will be the best judge of how well their child will enjoy a visit to this museum. William Benton Museum of Art 245 Glenbrook Road, University of Connecticut, Storrs From I-84 East or West, take Exit 68 onto Route 195 and follow the signs to the University of Connecticut campus. Once at the University of Connecticut, turn right onto the campus at Eagleville Road and follow the road as it bears left. The museum is next to the Wilbur Cross Building (clearly marked and visible from a distance because of its large golden dome). Handicapped parking is available in the Wilbur Cross Building lot. Phone: 860–486–4520 Internet: www.benton.uconn.edu Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed on major holidays and during some college recesses. Admission: Free Description: The state art museum of Connecticut, the William Benton Museum features a small collection of European and American painting, prints, sculpture, and drawings from the sixteenth century to the present. Directions:

Accessibility

The museum has parking nearby, and a sidewalk with curb cuts leads to the ramp that brings visitors to the entrance. The building, gallery area, and bathrooms are wheel-

Wheelchair users:

Museums of Fine Arts

chair accessible. Because getting to the museum is confusing to many who are not familiar with the campus, the sta√ encourages visitors, especially those coming with wheelchair users, to call ahead for the best directions on where to park. Most of the UConn campus is wheelchair accessible. Children with visual impairments: Little in this museum can be explored by touch. Because of this, this collection will probably be of little interest to the child with a visual impairment. Children with hearing impairments: Most exhibits in this small museum are visual, and a child with hearing impairments will appreciate them. There are currently no special arrangements for programs with Sign interpretation. Children with mental retardation: This is a small museum with small and manageable collections. Although there is little that is hands-on, a child with a limited attention span may enjoy looking through the collections. The museum is also generally quiet and not crowded. A visit to this museum might be good for a nice, low-key expedition and could be combined with visits to other sites on campus. See also pages 14, 31, and 95 for information on the University of Connecticut Animal Sciences Department and Dairy Bar, the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, and the University of Connecticut campus. Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven From I-95 North or South, take Exit 47 (Route 34/ downtown New Haven). Stay on the ramp, keeping to the right, and take Exit 3. Turn right at York Street, and go 3 blocks to Chapel Street. From I-91 or I-95 North or South, exit onto Route 34 West toward downtown New Haven. Leave 34 West at Exit 3, and

Directions:

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turn right at the first stoplight almost immediately onto York Street. Proceed 21⁄2 blocks up York Street. The museum parking lot is on the right. Although the Museum is on Chapel Street, because Chapel is a one-way street, visitors are advised to park either in the museum lot or on the street and walk up Chapel Street 1 block to the museum. Phone: 203–432–2800 Internet: www.yale.edu/ycba Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission: Free Description: One of the largest collections of British art in the United States, this museum includes examples of British painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, and rare books from Elizabethan times to the present. The collections are probably best appreciated by older children, teenagers, and adults. Even younger children, however, will enjoy some of the exhibits if parents ask them to look at how di√erently people dressed and lived centuries ago. Having 5- or 6-year-olds look for children depicted in the old paintings and drawings will keep some children busy and entertained. Many adults come to concentrate on the exhibits, so children are expected to be on their best behavior. Special events: Lectures, gallery talks, concerts, movies, and other special events are held throughout the year. Call or check the museum’s Web site for specific information. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is fairly accessible metered parking (quarters only) on the streets surrounding Chapel Street. Access for chair users is through the main door. There is an elevator to all floors, and the ample floor space in the exhibit halls makes this a very accessible facility. The bathrooms are accessible.

Museums of Fine Arts

Children with visual impairments: Almost nothing in this museum has hands-on accessibility, so this museum is not recommended for the child with a visual impairment. Children with hearing impairments: The collections are all accessible to hearing-impaired children. None of the special events are Sign interpreted, however, and the movies are not subtitled. Children with mental retardation: Interest in this museum will depend on your child’s interest level, but this is a quiet museum where visitors can go at their own pace. If your child enjoys art, this might be a nice and not overwhelmingly large museum that would make a pleasant family outing. General: This is a museum aimed at the serious adult museumgoer. If your child really enjoys looking at art or visiting museums, he or she might enjoy this collection. However, many children, particularly younger ones, might find this a bit slow going. As always, parents are the best judge of what their children will enjoy.

Yale University Art Gallery 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven From I-95 North or South, take Exit 47 (Route 34/downtown New Haven). Stay on the ramp, keeping to the right, and take Exit 3. Turn right onto York Street and go 3 blocks to Chapel Street. The museum is on the corner of York and Chapel Streets. Phone: 203–432–0600 Internet: www.yale.edu/artgallery/ Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission: Free ($5.00 donation suggested). Description: The nation’s oldest college art museum, the gallery’s collections include art and sculpture ranging from the ancient Directions:

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Near East and Greek and Roman times to modern art. There is a small but excellent collection of paintings by Old Masters, Asian art, prints, and drawing. This is a wonderful museum for the curious older child and teenager (and adult). The 4 floors of collections span the globe and thousands of years of art history, yet the size of the exhibit areas is not overwhelming. This is a serious art museum, and children are expected to be on their best behavior as they view the collections. Special events: Special exhibitions are mounted throughout the academic year, some specifically designed with children in mind. Accessibility

The entrance for chair users is at 201 York Street, and there is one unmetered handicapped parking space nearby. If that space is filled, a metered parking spot (quarters only) can usually be located within a few blocks of the museum. Most sidewalks in this area have curb cuts. If you are unable to find a parking spot nearby, the chair user and a grown-up can be dropped o√ at the 201 York Street entrance, and the driver can join them inside after locating a space. Although the entrance is a bother, once inside, the rest of the building is accessible. A large elevator with low-set buttons takes visitors between floors, and the bathrooms are fully accessible. The only exception: some of the archaeological items in the basement are displayed in cases that are rather high, so some items may be hard for smaller children and wheelchair users to see. Children with visual impairments: There is almost nothing here that a child with a visual impairment could explore by touch or that a partially sighted child could approach closely enough to see well. A parent taking a child with a visual impairment will have to do a great deal of describing. Wheelchair users:

Museums of Fine Arts

Children with hearing impairments: The collections here are fully accessible, and children who are visually oriented may really enjoy this museum’s holdings because although many diverse objects are on display, the museum is not overwhelmingly large. Unfortunately, no Sign Language interpretation is provided at special events. Children with mental retardation: Because the exhibits are relatively small and diverse, it may be easier to keep a child with a shorter attention span interested here than at a larger museum containing dozens of examples of everything. The museum tends to be quieter earlier in the morning and can be a bit crowded in the mid- to late afternoon, so if your child does better with less noise, plan accordingly. General: As noted above, this is a ‘‘serious’’ museum. Although many children will enjoy the exhibits, the museum is designed and run with grown-ups in mind. Parents are the best judges of their children’s interest and activity levels.

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Special Interest Museums Airplanes New England Air Museum Windsor Locks From I-91 North or South, take the Exit 40 ramp, which merges into Route 20, and follow Route 20 to Route 75. Turn right onto Route 75, go up 6 stoplights, and turn left into the airport. Take the first right, and go 3 miles. The museum is well marked; look for the signs. Phone: 860–623–3305 Internet: www.neam.org Hours: Daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission: Adults, $6.75. Senior citizens, $6.00. Children 6– 11, $3.50. Children under 5, free. Description: This is one of the few large aviation museums in the country and a ‘‘must see’’ for any aviation bu√. There are dozens of airplanes from pre–World War I monoplanes to a Vietnam War–era F-105. Along with the planes themselves are many artifacts and objects pertaining to the history of flight. The more visitors know about flight and aircraft, the more interesting these exhibits will be, but even for the novice or younger child, the chance to get close enough to touch (and in several cases actually sit in) these planes will make this a long-remembered afternoon. The museum is located at the far end of Bradley International Airport, and the road goes along the edge of the runway for quite some distance. Allow extra time to pull o√ to the side of the road and let your children watch as planes land and take o√ from the airport. Directions:

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Accessibility Wheelchair users: A large, flat parking lot is located just outside the facility. Wheelchair users can roll into the main entrance. The museum itself is housed in a former airplane hangar, a huge, single-storied building, and almost all the exhibits are placed directly on the hangar’s concrete floor and are thus very accessible. Several of the larger aircraft are kept outside the main building in a flat grassy area, where chair users can roll right up and touch the wheels. (Those who don’t use chairs can also climb the stairs to look inside.) The most interesting parts of the museum, particularly for children, are inside. The bathrooms are accessible. Children with visual impairments: Although many exhibits are behind glass, there are a large number of objects (including airplanes) that children can explore by touch—certainly enough to keep children busy and entertained. Children with hearing impairments: Although there is no Sign Language interpreter, there are a great number of well-labeled exhibits, and children can go at their own pace, reading as much or little as they like. Children with mental retardation: There are a number of great exhibits that many children will enjoy, and even a simulated cockpit they can sit in to try their hand at flying. This is, for the most part, a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ place, with sta√ at various exhibits to answer any questions visitors may have.

Basketball Basketball Hall of Fame 1150 West Columbus Avenue, Springfield, Massachusetts Directions:

From I-91 North in Springfield, take Exit 4 (Broad

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Special Interest Museums

Street). Turn left at the second stoplight. At the next stoplight, turn left. The Basketball Hall of Fame is on the right. Phone: 413–781–6500 Internet: www.hoophall.com Hours: July through Labor Day, Monday to Saturday, 9:00 a.m.– 7:00 p.m., Sunday, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. September through June, daily, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission: Adults, $8.00. Senior citizens, $5.00. Children 7– 15, $5.00. Children under 6, free. Description: Although this museum is slightly beyond the state’s borders, this is a great place for the committed fan to visit. In addition to the Hall of Fame itself, the museum features a great deal of memorabilia from famous players and teams, exhibits on sports and gear, and a ‘‘shoot-out’’ court where visitors can show o√ their own skills. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The entire building is wheelchair accessible. A large, free parking lot with handicapped spaces adjoins the building, and chair users can come through the main entryway. Inside the building, all exhibits and activities are wheelchair accessible. The bathrooms are accessible. Children with visual impairments: The one group for whom this museum may not be accessible is children with visual impairments. Most exhibits here are behind glass. A visitor with a visual impairment will have to have most things described to him or her. Children with hearing impairments: Although there are no Sign Language interpreters, almost all the museum is self-guided, so children will rely on printed signs and discussion with family members in any case.

Special Interest Museums

Children with mental retardation: The self-guided, go-at-your-own pace nature of this museum will allow avid basketball fans a chance to enjoy this collection. Note that the museum can get fairly crowded later in the day and on rainy days. If your child does better with a bit less confusion, you might want to avoid these times. General: If your child (or you) loves basketball, this may be a great adventure. The more one knows about the game, the more interesting most of the exhibits will be.

Clocks American Clock and Watch Museum 100 Maple Street, Bristol From I-84 East, take Exit 31. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto Route 229. Go north on Route 229 for 51⁄2 miles and turn left on Woodland Street. The museum parking lot is 1 mile further on—look for the large museum clock sign. From I-84 West, take Exit 38 and follow the ramp onto Route 6 West. Go 10 miles until you reach the railroad tracks. After crossing the tracks, turn left on Maple Avenue and go 2 blocks. At the stoplight at the intersection of Maple and Woodland Streets, and turn left onto Woodland. The museum parking lot is on Woodland—look for the large museum clock sign. Phone: 860–583–6070 Hours: April 1 through November 30, daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays. Admission: Adults, $3.50. Senior citizens, $3.00. Children 8– 15), $1.50. Children under 8, free. Directions:

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This unusual museum contains thousands of timepieces—grandfather clocks, watches, novelty timepieces, and sundials among them—that were made in Connecticut as well as from all over the world. Not all children will appreciate the craftsmanship and variety on display here, but some children may really enjoy seeing the various timepieces. We recommend this museum for older children and teenagers, but it could also be just the place to take your 8- or 9-year-old who is learning to tell time.

Description:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Almost the entire facility is wheelchair accessi-

ble. There is on-site parking with handicapped parking spaces, and a ramp leads to the main entrance. There is an accessible bathroom. Most of the main building—the house and 2 wings— is fully accessible. A bottom floor with a small exhibit of clocks is not chair accessible. Children with visual impairments: Because almost everything in this collection is behind glass, there is very little for the child with a visual impairment. The museum is not recommended for these children. Children with hearing impairments: For very visually oriented children, this eclectic display of watches and clocks might be very enjoyable—especially if your child is just learning to tell time or really appreciates fine craftsmanship. Children with mental retardation: As with all places listed in this guide, parents are the best judges of what will appeal to their child. However, unless your child is keenly interested in clocks and watches, there is little here that would probably hold his or her attention for long.

Special Interest Museums

Firefighting Connecticut Fire Museum 58 North Road (Route 140), East Windsor From I-95 North or South, take Exit 45. If coming from the north, turn right at the end of the ramp; if coming from the south, turn left. The museum is 1 mile east, on the right. Phone: 860–623–4732 Internet: www.ctfiremuseum.org Hours: July and August, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. May, June, September, and October, Saturday and Sunday only, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed November through April and on Mondays and Tuesdays year-round. Admission: Adults, $6.00. Senior citizens, $5.00. Children 2– 12, $3.00. Children under 2, free. Note: the museum is located on the same property as the Connecticut Trolley Museum (see page 210), and the admission fee covers both museums. Description: This museum presents a history of fire fighting and a fine collection of old-time fire engines and equipment, clothes, and early pictures. This museum is recommended for older children and teenagers through adults. Younger children often find the exhibits too technically oriented for their tastes, and although there are fire engines and equipment, these are older models and not the bright, shiny fire engines that younger children will recognize immediately. Directions:

Accessibility

There are handicapped spaces in the parking lot and a ramped entrance leads through the front door. Once inside, chair users can see everything. The bathrooms are accessible.

Wheelchair users:

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Children with visual impairments: Most of the artifacts displayed here are in display cases and not touchable. The collection of fire engines and other equipment, however, can be explored. General: This large collection of 21 shiny fire trucks and fire equipment is impressive. Children with many levels of ability (as well as their siblings and parents) will enjoy this museum.

Fire Museum 230 Pine Street, Manchester Directions: From I-384, take Exit 3. Turn left on to Route 83 and

then left again at the next intersection onto Hartford Road. The museum is on the next block at the corner of Hartford Road and Pine Street. Phone: 860–649–9436 Hours: Mid-April through mid-November, Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed mid-November through mid-April. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Senior citizens, $2.00. Students, 12– 18, $2.00. Children 6–11, $1.00. Children 5 and under, free. Firefighters, $2.00 (must show badge). Description: This is a small, specialized museum of fire-fighting equipment and memorabilia. Among the items on exhibit are steam fire engines and a hand-drawn apparatus, equipment, clothes, and early pictures. Younger children often find the exhibits too technically oriented for their tastes, so this museum is recommended for older children, teenagers, and adults. The museum is located in the Cheney Historic District, which has a number of curb cuts and flat sidewalks. A short walk around the area to see the historic buildings would probably also be fun on a sunny day.

Special Interest Museums

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Parking is easy and the museum building is wheelchair accessible, with a ramp to the front door. The bathroom is handicapped accessible, although there are no grab bars. Children with visual impairments: Most of the exhibits are visual in nature, and much of the material is displayed behind glass. The sta√ is willing to discuss the exhibits at length and will allow a child with a visual impairment to touch as many objects as possible, but there is still not a great deal for such children here. Children with hearing impairments: Tours can be self-guided. Museum docents also provide short tours, although no Sign Language interpreter is available, so family members will have to interpret for the guide. General: This is a small museum, but if your child is very interested in fire fighting (or perhaps has a firefighter in the family), this may be a fun place for a short visit.

Nuclear Power Plants Millstone Discovery Center 278 Main Street, Niantic Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 72 (Rocky Neck Connec-

tor). Turn left at the end of the exit onto Route 156. Go east for about 3 miles to Niantic Center. Millstone is on the right-hand side of the street. From I-95 South, take Exit 74 (Niantic). Turn right at the end of the exit onto Route 161. Go 4 miles south to Niantic Center, turning right onto Main Street. Phone: 860–691–4670, 1–800–428–4234

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Summer, Tuesday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Winter, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays. Admission: Free Description: Run by Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, this information center features exhibits on the Millstone Nuclear Power Station, nuclear energy, and other energy sources. Among the exhibits and activities are computer-simulated energy games, an exhibit on marine life, and a multimedia show. Although the nuclear power plant is not open to visitors, children can learn what goes on inside a nuclear plant and can see the plant from the outside. Hours:

Accessibility

There is on-site handicapped parking, and a ramp leads to the side door of the center. Inside, the facility is wheelchair accessible throughout. The bathroom is accessible. There are outside trails on the grounds, but these trails are not recommended for wheelchair users. Children with visual impairments: The facility has few hands-on exhibits that would interest a child with a visual impairment, so it is not recommended. General: As an educational exhibit on nuclear power, this science center may not be of much interest to children who have di≈culty following complex explanations of why and how things happen. But the sheer size of the nuclear power plant is impressive, and for many children, a short visit will allow them to understand better what people are talking about when nuclear power is discussed. Wheelchair users:

Places of Historic Interest

Amistad Long Wharf, New Haven From I-95 North or South, take Exit 46 to Long Wharf Drive. Long Wharf Drive parallels the interstate along New Haven harbor. The entrance to the Amistad lot is immediately beyond the New Haven visitor’s information booth. If the ship is in port, you will clearly see the tall masts. Phone: 203–499–3894 Internet: www.amistad.org Hours: Monday through Friday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Note: the ship regularly sails to other ports both within Connecticut and beyond. Call or check the Amistad ’s Web site before heading to the pier to be sure the vessel is in port. Admission: Free (donation requested). Description: This site features a replica of the nineteenth-century slave ship Amistad, built at Mystic Seaport and commissioned in 2000. When, in 1839, Cuban slave runners tried to bring a group of kidnapped Africans into the United States to sell, the captives revolted, taking over the ship and attempting to sail it home to Africa. The ship ran around o√ Long Island, and the Africans were captured by U.S. government ships and imprisoned in Connecticut. The subsequent trial in which these determined Africans won their freedom became a rallying point for the growing American antislavery movement. The Amistad is faithful to the original vessel down to the smallest detail. Intended as a floating classroom to teach about both the Amistad incident in particular and the issues of slavery, racism, and intolerance in general, the ship is a welcome addition to the state. Onboard the ship, the crew members inform Directions:

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visitors about the re-created ship, the Amistad incident, and the North American slave trade. The talks are relatively short (15– 20 minutes) and very informative—even younger children will be interested. Very young children will probably be entertained just by boarding a ship of this size. For school-age children studying American history, a visit here will make history come alive. For older children, if parents think it is appropriate, a visit to this ship could be followed by a trip to the video store to rent the Steven Spielberg movie Amistad, a fairly accurate retelling of the incident. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Amistad America, Inc., the nonprofit foundation that has re-created this important piece of American history, is to be commended for making the Amistad handicapped accessible. Responding to concerns raised immediately after its launching in summer 2000 that wheelchair users and others who were not sure-footed could not get onboard, the foundation quickly put in a straightforward double lift system that allows visitors to be brought up and over to the deck with minimal hassle. (Note that no visitors are allowed below.) The day of our visit, we watched as crew members helped a woman using a walker on and o√ the lift. Not only did the system work well, but the workers were quick and extremely polite in assisting her. (We did not announce that we were there to survey their accessibility as this was being done.) Visitors can park in the handicapped parking spaces in the flat lot next to the pier, roll down the pier and up to the side of the ship. If assistance is needed, the crew will help chair users or others in need of the lift onboard. Note: The lift system is used at the ship’s home port of New Haven. The Amistad will be sailing to a number of di√erent ports in coming years, and many places will not have lift sys-

Places of Historic Interest

tems. If you plan on visiting the vessel with a chair user or with someone else who will need the lift, do so while the ship is docked in New Haven. Captain’s Cove 1 Bostwick Avenue, Bridgeport From I-95 North or South, take Exit 26 and follow the signs to HMS Rose. Captain’s Cove is 5 minutes from I-95. Phone: 203–335–1433 Internet: http://access.bridgenet.org/sites/captain/captain.html Hours: Shops and restaurant, April 1 through October 1. Boardwalk, year-round. Admission: Boardwalk, free. HMS Rose and Nantucket lightship, $2.00 donation suggested. Description: A boardwalk with a series of small craft and souvenir shops and a restaurant (open in summer) along the harbor. A reproduction of the Revolutionary War–era HMS Rose is often in port, and the Nantucket lightship is on permanent exhibit. Guided tours (about 20 minutes) are held around the lightship and the Rose when it is in port. Dozens of charter fishing boats, dive boats, and private craft line the water. Special events: Weekend concert series in summer. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: The boardwalk is handicapped accessible. Park immediately next to it and roll on. The restaurant is fully accessible and has accessible bathrooms. The kiosk-style shops display most of their goods out front, where chair users can easily shop. The HMS Rose and the Nantucket lightship are unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. General: A busy, interesting boardwalk, where children can watch boats go in and out, window-shop, or hear a concert. To

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get onto the lightship and the Rose, visitors must walk across a narrow gangplank. This will be fine for many, but it might pose a problem for those who are not very steady on their feet. Dudley Farm 2351 Durham Road, Guilford Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 58. Turn left onto Route

77 and follow it to the corner of Routes 77 and 80. Continue on Route 77. The farm is just beyond the intersection on the right. From I-95 South, take Exit 58 and turn right onto Route 77. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 203–457–0770 Internet: www.dudleyfarm.org Hours: April 15 through November 15, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Closed Sundays and in winter. Grounds, year-round, sunrise to sunset. Farmers’ market, June through October, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m. Admission: $3.00 donation suggested. Description: The Dudley Farm is a nineteenth-century farmhouse with barns, gardens, and animals and 95 acres of woods and trails. This small museum, now undergoing restoration, seeks to re-create life on a Connecticut family farm. Special events: There is a small Saturday farmers’ market in summer and special programming throughout the year. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The farmhouse is partially accessible. It can be

reached from the packed-earth parking area by a driveway with a fairly steep incline. (Chairs that are motorized or being pushed will make this climb more easily.) The house itself can be entered through the rear door, and the first floor (but not the

Places of Historic Interest

second) is accessible. The old farm wagon paths around the property are packed earth and negotiable, but again, the incline can be hard for many chair users. The pens for the various animals are easily approached by chair users. Other: This farmstead can be a particularly good outing for very small children. There are a small number of animals on the grounds, an old house to see inside, and a series of educational programs throughout the year. If you live nearby, this makes a nice, short outing. Harriet Beecher Stowe House 77 Forest Street, Hartford Directions: From I-91 North or South, take I-84 West to Exit 46

(Sisson Avenue). At the end of the ramp, turn right onto Sisson Avenue and then turn right again onto Farmington Avenue. Go 1⁄3 mile on Farmington Avenue, keeping to the right. Pass the parking lot for the Mark Twain House, and immediately after the stoplight at Woodland Avenue, turn right onto Forest Street. The parking lot for the Harriet Beecher Stowe House is on the right. Phone: 860–525–9317 Internet: www.hartnet.org/stowe Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, tours 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Sunday, tours 12:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m. Open Mondays during summer and December. Closed on major holidays. Admission: Adults, $6.50. Senior citizens, $6.00. Students 16– 21, $4.50. Children 6–16, $2.75. Children under 6, free. Description: This is the house of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The Stowes were next-door neighbors of the Clemenses, and their house, though not as fancy as Mark Twain’s, is nevertheless a fine example of Victorian life and furnishings. This museum will be of particular interest to those

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older children and adults who are familiar with Harriet Beecher Stowe’s work. Accessibility Wheelchair users: We list this house because of its historical interest, even though it is not fully accessible to chair users. There is an accessible parking lot and an accessible walkway to the visitor’s center. The house can be seen by guided tour only. Inside the house, only the first floor of this 2-story house is accessible. However, as with the Mark Twain House next door (see the next entry), the first floor contains the most interesting rooms, and guides make sure to tell the most interesting stories while the entire group is on the first floor when a wheelchair user is on the tour. Children with visual impairments: Because of the historical nature of almost all that is on display, there is little that a child with a visual impairment can explore by touch. Children with hearing impairments: There is much to see in this home, but no Sign Language interpreters are currently on sta√. Children with mental retardation: The house is seen through guided tours that move along at a good clip. This may make it less appropriate for children who need to take a bit more time. General: Children who are history bu√s or are interested in the Civil War era, slavery, or African-American history may find this house of interest.

Mark Twain House 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford Directions: From I-91 North or South, take I-84 West to Exit 46

(Sisson Avenue). At the end of the ramp, turn right onto Sisson Avenue, and then turn right again onto Farmington Avenue. Go 1⁄3 mile on Farmington Avenue, keeping to the right. Pass the

Places of Historic Interest

first parking lot sign for the Mark Twain House (which is less accessible for chair users than the parking lot next door at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House), and immediately after the stoplight at Woodland Avenue, turn right onto Forest Street. The parking lot for the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and the Mark Twain House is on the right. Phone: 860–247–0998, ext. 26 Internet: www.marktwainhouse.org Hours: January through April and November, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–4 p.m. May through October and December, Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–4 p.m. The last tour begins at 4:00 p.m. daily. Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission: Adults, $9.00. Senior citizens 65 and up, $8.00. Youth 13–18, $7.00. Children 6–12, $5.00. Children 5 and under, free. Description: Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) is one of Hartford’s most famous residents. The author of such American classics as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Twain was not only a great writer but a colorful and often eccentric character. This is nowhere better demonstrated than in this National Historic Landmark house, built in 1874 and extensively remodeled in 1881 under Twain’s direction to the most flamboyant of Victorian tastes. Many of the possessions of the author and his family remain in the house and will be of interest to children who have read Twain or seen his stories on television or at the movies. The house itself is also a real treat to go through. Guided tours begin at the visitor’s center and take about 45 minutes. Special events: A series of events is held throughout the year. Call for information.

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Accessibility Wheelchair users: A historic building, the Twain House is only partially accessible, but because of the interest in Twain’s work and in the house, a visit to this house may be worthwhile for some. There is on-site parking, but we recommend parking in the more accessible lot for the Harriet Beecher Stowe House next door. One of the 2 parking lots is very accessible (see directions above). An accessible walkway leads to the visitor’s center, where guided tours begin every few minutes. A driveway leads up to the house, and 2 ramps lead to the front porch and the first floor. Only the first floor of this 3-story house is accessible for wheelchair users. Fortunately, it is by far the most interesting of the floors, with the dining room, living room, atrium, hallway, and other formal rooms decorated in the most lavish of high Victorian tastes and containing many items once owned by the Twain family. As a matter of policy, when a chair user is on the tour, guides make sure to tell all the stories about Twain, the family, and the house while they are on the first floor, so that the chair user will miss as little as possible. While the guide takes the rest of the group upstairs, a chair user and whoever may be accompanying him or her, is directed to the visitor’s center, where sta√ are happy to answer additional questions. The full tour takes about 45 minutes. Unfortunately, there are no accessible bathrooms on site or in the visitor’s center. Children with visual impairments: There is very little here for visitors with visual impairments. The house itself is quite spectacular, but there is little that can be touched and much that would need to be described. If the visitor is a real Twain fan, however, he or she might enjoy listening to the stories the guides tell. As always, parents are the best judge of these matters.

Places of Historic Interest

Children with hearing impairments: There is much to see in this gracious old home, but no tours in Sign Language are o√ered. Children with mental retardation: As is always the case, parents will be the best judge here. Fans of Twain’s work may enjoy seeing where he lived. Others may just be impressed by the opulence of late Victorian upper-class life in Hartford. These guided tours move along at a fairly fast pace, and they may be too much for some to handle or fail to hold the interest of others.

Massacoh Plantation 800 Hopmeadow Street (Route 10), Simsbury From Hartford, take Route 44 through West Hartford to Avon Center. Turn right on Route 10, which becomes Hopmeadow Street. Phone: 860–658–2500 Hours: May through October, Sunday through Friday, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on Saturdays and major holidays. Note: Tours are provided by a volunteer sta√, and it’s best to call ahead to make sure someone is there. Admission: Adults, $6.00. Senior citizens and students, $5.00. Children 2–17, $3.50. Children under 2, free. Description: This complex of buildings takes visitors through 3 centuries of local history and gives children a good idea of how people lived long ago. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: This facility is not wheelchair accessible and is not recommended for wheelchair users. The narrow stairways in some of the buildings also make this a di≈cult trek for visitors who use canes, walkers, or other walking aids. All other disabilities: Volunteers guide visitors through the build-

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ings, explaining about how people once lived and the objects used in their daily lives. This is a popular site for school groups, so the volunteers are used to children, and there are all sorts of items from daily life to keep children interested. The volunteers are pleased to let children who may be visually impaired explore many of the objects by touch and are very willing to go at a slower pace if a child will better enjoy the visit by doing so. The guides ask that you let them know if your child has special needs at the outset of the tour (you can also call ahead), so that they can make sure to meet your needs from the tour’s start. Old Lighthouse Museum 7 Water Street, Stonington From I-95 North or South, take Exit 91 and follow the signs for Stonington. At the stop sign over the viaduct, bear left into Stonington Borough and follow Water Street through town all the way to the water. Phone: 860–535–1440 Internet: www.stoningtonhistsoc.org/light.htm Hours: July and August, daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. May, June, and September through November, Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Children 6–12, $2.00. Children under 6, free. Description: This is the first government-operated lighthouse in Connecticut (1823) and was once the beacon for sailing vessels approaching Stonington’s harbor from Long Island Sound. It is filled with portraits and whaling and fishing gear. A trip to the lighthouse can be part of an expedition to Stonington, a beautiful village with a working commercial fishing fleet. Directions:

Places of Historic Interest

Accessibility Wheelchair users: This facility is not accessible for wheelchair users or for people (children or parents) who are unsteady on their feet. All other disabilities: For those who are more mobile and anxious to try climbing a lighthouse, this relatively small lighthouse is a fun expedition. This is a small museum, but the day can be extended by exploring Stonington. The main part of the town, with lots of antique shops and little places to eat, is right down the street from the lighthouse. Note: Many of Stonington’s shops and restaurants are located in older buildings with stairs and there are few curb cuts on the sidewalks—a barrier for chair users interested in poking around.

Olde Mistick Village Coogan Boulevard, Mystic From I-95 North or South, take Exit 90. Follow the signs at the end of the ramp. (The shops are immediately across the street). Phone: 860–536–4941 Internet: www.visitmystic.com/oldemistickvillage/village.htm Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Description: Although it bills itself as a colonial village, in fact, Olde Mistick Village is a group of some 45 shops and restaurants that have been designed to give one the impression of a small New England village, with a church, a little duck pond, a mill, and other old New England features. Although it is a commercial area, we list it here because it is completely accessible and a good, centrally located stopping place in a busy tourist area. Arts and crafts shows and live music events are often held here. After a day of visiting area museums or the Mystic AquarDirections:

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ium, hiking around the shoreline, or otherwise taking the family out, this place allows families to do a bit of poking through shops or strolling before getting back in the car. Notable is the number of chair users regularly seen here—an indication of its relative accessibility. Old Newgate Prison Newgate Road (Route 20), East Granby Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 40 (Bradley Air-

port). Follow the signs to Old Newgate Prison on Route 20 West. Phone: 860–653–3563 Hours: Open mid-May through October, Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Admission: Adults, $4.00. Senior citizens, $3.00. Children 6– 17, $2.00. Children under 6, free. Description: A National Historic Landmark, this early eighteenth-century copper mine was turned into a prison during the Revolutionary War and was also used to hold prisoners during the Civil War before eventually being abandoned. The site features a series of stone prison buildings, a small museum describing the history of the site, and a small colonial copper mine. Although the museum and prison buildings (in various states of preservation) will be of limited interest to most children, the copper mine may be worth a trip for those children who can walk down into it (see below). A pleasant small picnic area by the parking lot overlooks fields and the hills beyond. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The one group for whom a visit here will be frustrating is wheelchair users, for the most interesting part of this site for children is the copper mine—and a child in a wheelchair can only look down at the steep stairs that lead into the

Places of Historic Interest

mouth of the mine. The museum, though very nice, is small and unlikely to hold the attention of most children. There is handicapped parking, and a nice ramp leads through a large gate (which chair users may need some help opening) into the prison area. All the aboveground buildings are wheelchair accessible. The museum is ramped, as is the entry building. The bathrooms are accessible. All other disabilities: The copper mine is not large—a full tour takes only about 20 minutes. However, if your child has never been in a mine, which is dark and cool even on the hottest day, this is the place to go. A broad concrete staircase leads down into the mine. Although the staircase is not accessible to chair users, other children should have no problem. Even children who may be a bit unsteady on their feet can go down into the mine with a little help. (The staircase is similar to a standard set of stairs that would take someone between floors in a modern building.) This mine tends to be a big hit with many children. Old State House 800 Main Street, Hartford Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 31.

From I-84 East or West, take Exit 52 and follow the signs. Phone: 860–522–6766 Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Saturday,

11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on Sundays and the last 2 weeks in August. Admission: Free Description: This National Historic Landmark, designed by the famous colonial architect Charles Bulfinch and built in 1796, is the oldest state house in the nation. The building houses all sorts of artifacts from Connecticut’s history and culture and is an interesting place to take both elementary school children

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and older children as they study the state’s history and politics in school. Special events: Special children’s events, workshops, and programs are held throughout the year. Performances of traditional American tales by the American Puppet Theater’s array of giant puppets may particularly hold children’s attention. Accessibility All disabilities: The Old State House has undergone major reno-

vations and is now fully accessible. Ramps, elevators, and parking spaces are available for wheelchair users. The bathrooms are accessible. Signs are in place for the partially sighted and for those who read Braille. Old Sturbridge Village Route 20, Sturbridge, Massachusetts From I-91 North, enter the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90). Take the turnpike toward Sturbridge. Take Exit 9 (Sturbridge) and follow the signs to the entrance. From I-84 East, take Massachusetts Exit 3B to Route 20 West. Continue 1⁄2 mile and turn right at the entrance. Phone: 1–800–SEE–1830, 508–347–3362, ext. 282 (access coordinator), 508–347–5383 (TTY) Internet: www.osv.org Hours: Early April through late October, daily, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. February through March and November through December, daily, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. January 2 to mid-February, Saturday and Sunday only, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on Christmas Day. Admission: Adults, $18.00. Senior citizens 65 and up, $17.00. Children 6–15, $9.00. Children under 6, free. All admissions are good for 2 consecutive days. Directions:

Places of Historic Interest

This is a major regional attraction, and although it lies slightly outside our state, we include it here because it is both interesting and fairly accessible. Old Sturbridge Village is a faithful re-creation of an entire 1830s New England village with more than 40 sta√ed exhibits, including actual houses and public buildings, workshops, farms, gardens, mills, and craft shops on more than 200 acres of rolling hills. Trained interpreters in period costume answer visitors’ questions and demonstrate crafts and skills from long ago. A visit here is a full-day expedition that many children and adults will find fascinating and entertaining. Special events: Many special events are held throughout the year, and village activities change seasonally. Check the Web site for upcoming events. Description:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site handicapped parking. Pick up

a free access guide at the entrance and proceed to the accessible visitor’s center. The paths throughout the village are packed dirt, and most are easily traveled in a wheelchair. Almost half of the houses and buildings are ramped and accessible to wheelchairs, at least on the first floor, as are many other buildings, such as the blacksmith’s shop. The accessible rambling walks around the village, through wooded areas, over the wooden bridge, and around the pond are very pleasant. All of the bathrooms, eating facilities, and picnic areas are accessible. Children with visual impairments: A number of things can be explored by touch throughout the village, and interpreters in many of the houses will allow visitors with visual impairments access to items that are o√-limits to sighted visitors. Many other objects and activities can be described. The village sta√ has recently incorporated a number of exhibits that stress exploration by smell and touch, allowing visitors to use all their senses

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to explore life in early New England. This should add considerably to a day at Sturbridge for the visually impaired visitor. Guide dogs are welcome in all exhibits. Children with hearing impairments: In addition to all the things that a child (or adult) with a hearing impairment can see and learn when coming with the family, a Sign Language interpreter is available on the third Saturday of each month from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to answer questions and be of help. Call the TTY (508–347–5383) or the main number (1–800–SEE–1830) for more information. The orientation film at the visitor’s center is captioned and can also be followed through an assistive listening system for the hard of hearing (a personal receiver is available at the ticket desk). Children with mental retardation: This is very much a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ experience. Just watching interpreters in costume walk through the village with a team of oxen or a woman in a long dress preparing dinner in an open fireplace is interesting to many children. Even if your child is not interested in long explanations of why or how, he or she might well enjoy the general ambiance. Old Tolland Jail Museum Tolland Green, Tolland From I-84 East or West, take Exit 68 and follow the signs to Tolland. The museum is located at the junction of Routes 74 and 195. Phone: 860–870–9599 Hours: Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Mid-May through mid-October, also open Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Admission: Adults and children 12 and up, $2.00. Children under 12, free. Description: This small, local museum can be a short, fun outing Directions:

Places of Historic Interest

for families who live nearby. The iron and stone building served as a jail until 1968 and now houses the Tolland Historical Society’s collection of early furniture, locally used farm tools, Indian artifacts, and other objects of local significance. Most children particularly enjoy the jail aspect of the building. Accessibility

There is parking on-site, and a ramp leads to the main entrance. The bathroom is accessible. The jail portion of the building is not accessible because there are 4 steps down into the cell area. Chair users can peer into the jail area, and this usually makes quite an impression. All other disabilities: Children can walk down the short set of steps into the cell area. If your child is interested in local history in general (or jails in particular) this can be a good, short field trip. Wheelchair users:

Old Wethersfield Cove Downtown Wethersfield From I-91 North, take Exit 25/26. Once on the exit ramp, bear to the right to Exit 26. At the end of this exit ramp, follow the signs to Old Wethersfield. From I-91 South, take Exit 26 and turn left onto Marsh Street. At the next stop sign, turn right and then bear left at the small island in the middle of the road. Turn left onto Main Street and then turn left into the parking lot in back of the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center at 200 Main Street. Admission: Free Description: The Cove section of Old Wethersfield is a lovely area, filled with gracious old homes and possessing the feel of a town from long ago. Take a look through the Wethersfield Historical Society, ramble down Main Street, and enjoy the quiet atmosphere and less hurried pace of life. The Keeney Memorial Directions:

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Cultural Center at 200 Main Street is a handsome Victorian-era school that now serves as a local museum and cultural center. Accessibility Wheelchair users: As a community, Wethersfield has made a real

commitment to accessibility, and it shows. Curb cuts, flat sidewalks, and many accessible shops along Main Street make this a pleasant morning or afternoon outing for families who may have a chair-using child (or parent). There is handicapped parking behind the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center (200 Main Street), which is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m., and is wheelchair accessible. Home of the historical society, the center has an elevator that takes visitors to the accessible bathrooms in the basement. The society o√ers helpful brochures on points of local interest. All other disabilities: A pleasant and accessible place with enough to see to provide a quiet and interesting stroll. Prudence Crandall Museum Junction of Routes 14 and 169, Canterbury Directions: From Route 395 North or South, take Exit 88 (Plain-

field) and turn onto Route 12 South. Follow Route 12 South to Route 14 West. Turn onto Route 14 West and stay on it as it eventually becomes Route 14, running into Canterbury Center. The museum is at the intersection of Routes 14 and 169 in Canterbury Center. From the Hartford area, take I-84 East to the Route 384 East exit. Once on Route 384 East, continue to Willimantic and look for signs to Route 66 East. Take Route 66 East to Route 14 East and continue into Canterbury Center. The museum is at the intersection of Routes 14 and 169 in Canterbury Center. Phone: 860–546–9916

Places of Historic Interest

Internet: http://amistad.mysticseaport.org/forum/links/others/ prudence.crandall.html Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed December 15 through January 31. Admission: Adults, $2.00. Senior citizens and children 6–17, $1.00. Children under 6, free. Description: The Connecticut Historical Commission operates this National Historic Landmark, which once served as New England’s first school for African-American girls (1834). The school was in existence only a short time before being forced to close by the state legislature and a mob of angry townspeople. The Crandall House is an important piece of local and national history. Although it is not entirely accessible (see below), plans are under way to change this. Special events: A variety of exhibits featuring traditional New England crafts and customs, as well as special exhibits and events on the history of the house and school, are held throughout the year.

Accessibility Wheelchair users: We consider this museum semi-accessible at present but include it here because of its importance in AfricanAmerican history. There is on-site handicapped parking and a ramp to the front door. The first floor of this building is accessible, but a number of the permanent exhibits are located in the 3 period rooms on the second floor, which is not accessible. The bathroom is accessible. Children with visual impairments: Several exhibits are hands-on, and the sta√ is flexible, letting children with visual impairments touch items that are ordinarily o√-limits. The rest will have to be described by accompanying family or friends. Children with mental retardation: The period rooms and special craft events, such as spinning and weaving demonstrations, will

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interest some children. This house will be of particular interest to those children who can understand the story of Crandall’s school and its historical significance. Parents will be the best judges of their child’s interest levels. Sheffield Island Lighthouse Light House Landing, South Norwalk From I-95 North, take Exit 14, turn onto Fairfield Avenue, and follow the signs to the Maritime Aquarium. Park in the Maritime Aquarium lot. Ferry service is from Light House Landing, on the corner of Washington and North Water Streets, at the Maritime Aquarium. From I-95 South, take Exit 15 onto West Avenue and follow the signs to the Maritime Aquarium. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 203–838–9444 Internet: www.seaport.org/mainpages/she≈eld.html Hours: Memorial Day through September, Monday through Friday, 2 trips daily. Saturday and Sunday, 3 trips daily. Call for times. Admission: Adults, $15.00. Children 3–12, $12.00. Children under 3, free. Description: A scenic 30-minute boat ride brings visitors to the She≈eld Island Light, a building on the National Registry of Historic Places. The 10-room lighthouse, built in 1868, is open to the public, and adventurous souls can climb to the top. The light is located on a 3-acre park immediately adjacent part of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, so the island remains quite pristine. There is a picnic area. The crew points out other islands and spots of interest along the way. Directions:

Accessibility

Places of Historic Interest

Although the dock now allows easier access onto and o√ the 44-passenger vessel, this is not an easily negotiable trip for chair users. For those who would like to try, call ahead, because getting on and o√ the boat is much harder at low tide. Once on the island, there is a dock with a ramp and a long, negotiable walkway up to the gazebo. All other disabilities: This excursion makes a nice day trip. The ride is fairly short and interesting, and visiting the island and the lighthouse is an adventure for many children. For example, describing what a lighthouse is to a child with a vision impairment is one thing; letting them climb up the stairs to the top is another. One note of caution—children need to be fairly steady on their feet to reach the top of the lighthouse, and many children may enjoy exploring the living quarters and the island without climbing to the top. Also in our experience, most children, disabled and able-bodied alike, will come down the stairs of a lighthouse very slowly, so allow enough time. And bring a sweater; even on a hot day on the mainland, it can be a good deal cooler on the island. Wheelchair users:

State Capitol Building 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford Directions: From I-84 East, take Exit 48 (Capitol Avenue).

From I-84 West, take Exit 48 (Asylum Street). Turn left onto Asylum Street at the stoplight. After passing the overpass, bear right onto Trinity Street, and then bear right onto Capitol Avenue. From I-91 North or South, take Exit 29A (Capitol area). Follow the Whitehead Highway and go halfway around the rotary onto Elm Street, turn left onto Trinity Street, and then bear right onto Capitol Avenue. Phone: 860–240–0222

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Internet: www.state.ct.us/emblems/capitol.htm Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Free guided

tours, Monday through Friday, 9:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. April through October, tours on Saturday, 9:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Tours start at the main entrance of the Legislative O≈ce Building and last about 1 hour. A self-guided tour brochure is available in the lobby. Admission: Free Description: The massive, gold-domed State Capitol building dominates downtown Hartford and is an interesting place to take older children and teenagers to give them a sense of politics and history. The state legislature is open to the public and can be watched when it is in session. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is a free parking garage next to the Legislative O≈ce Building (follow signs) that is fully handicapped accessible. Even if there is a sign posted saying that the garage is full, there are almost always handicapped parking spaces available for those with plates. Important note: if you have a wheelchair-adapted van with a raised roof, don’t go in the parking garage. Report has it that the ceilings in the garage are too low. There is also some parking in spaces around the Capitol building. Once inside the Legislative O≈ce Building or the Capitol building, hallways and a tunnel take visitors between the buildings, with large elevators taking visitors between the floors. All parts of the building are accessible, including the bathrooms. Children with visual impairments: Although the walking tour focuses a good deal on visual features, the guides present a great deal of information and relate a number of stories that will be of interest. Children with hearing impairments: Interpreters can be provided only for groups of those with hearing impairments and only if

Places of Historic Interest

the tour sta√ at the State House is informed in advance. If interested, first contact the Commission on the Deaf (see page 237). Parents should expect to interpret the tour for children instead. General: This tour is probably of more interest to older elementary school children and above than to very young children. Seeing the legislature in session is very interesting to many high school students. University of Connecticut Campus Storrs Directions: From I-84 East or West, take Exit 68 and travel south

on Route 195 for about 6 miles, following the signs to the campus. Phone: 860–486–2000 Internet: www.uconn.edu Hours: Year-round Admission: Free Description: Many children enjoy seeing what a college campus looks like. Much of the University of Connecticut campus is wheelchair accessible and open to the public. In fact, UConn has been named one of the top 10 ‘‘disability-friendly’’ campuses in the nation. The Agricultural Sciences Department (home to the animal barns and Dairy Bar), Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, and William Benton Museum of Art are discussed in separate entries on pages 14, 31, and 58, respectively. Also worth a visit are the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology greenhouses, which feature one of the largest collections of living plants in New England, and Gampel Pavilion, the sports center. (School teams, including the UConn Huskies men’s and women’s basketball teams, are often practicing, and there are regular

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games throughout the season.) The Jorgensen Auditorium often features special programs and events for children and families. The UConn Co-op, which calls itself ‘‘Connecticut’s Book Store,’’ is a great place for book lovers to browse and has an excellent children’s section. Simply strolling the campus and watching the students and faculty come and go is fun. Accessibility All disabilities: The Center for Students with Disabilities not only provides services for the many disabled students who attend UConn but also has information for visitors. For a free copy of an accessibility map and information packet, write to the Center for Students with Disabilities, Wilbur Cross 161, Box U-174, Storrs, CT 06269, call 860–486–2020 (voice/TTY), or visit the center’s Web site: www.csd.uconn.edu.

U.S. Coast Guard Academy 15 Mohegan Avenue, New London From I-95 North or South, take Exit 83 and follow the signs to the academy. From I-395 North or South, take Exit 78 and follow the signs to the academy. Phone: 860–444–8270 Internet: www.cga.edu Hours: May through October, daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. USS Eagle, Friday through Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m., when in port. Admission: Free Description: This campus of one of the nation’s 4 military academies is open to visitors in spring, summer, and early fall. Printed visitor’s guides, available free at the main gate and visitor’s pavilion, allow families to take a self-guided tour of the grounds. The Directions:

Places of Historic Interest

visitor’s pavilion features a multimedia show on cadet life. Special events: Military dress reviews are held in spring and fall, and concerts featuring the U.S Coast Guard Band are held in summer (usually on Sunday evenings). When the academy’s training tall ship, the USS Eagle, is in port, visitors can go onboard (see the hours listed above) as long as the cadets are not busy (call ahead to make sure). Accessibility Wheelchair users: The parking lot is accessible. The visitor’s pavilion is on one floor, as is the museum, and there are entry ramps. There is an accessible bathroom in the museum and others elsewhere on the campus. Note that the academy is built on the side of a very steep hill, so this might not be the best place to visit on an icy or rainy day. Yet much of the campus, including the area along the Thames River and docks, is flat and easy to negotiate. Note: The Eagle is not accessible to wheelchairs, and children using walkers or crutches may have di≈culty getting up the gangplank. However, even walking or rolling up on the dock beside this enormous boat and looking 100 feet up into the rigging is enough to impress children (and adults). Children with visual impairments: Much on campus and in the museum will have to be described. There is little for a child with a visual impairment to explore by touch except the tall ship, but the Eagle is a wonderful place to take such children. Special care is needed when going up the gangplank, and climbing up and down the various levels of the ship is hard and not recommended for very young children or those who are not surefooted. All children, however, can touch the ship’s wheel as well as all sorts of things around the ship. Just walking from stem to stern of this immense vessel will impress many. Children with mental retardation: Watching the cadets as they go

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back and forth to classes and seeing how a military academy operates may interest many children. Even if your child is not physically agile enough to go onboard the Eagle, he or she may enjoy going down to the dock to look at the immense sailing ship. USS Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum U.S. Naval Submarine Base, 1 Crystal Lake Road, Groton From I-95 North or South, take Exit 86 and follow the signs to the museum. Phone: 1–800–343–0079, 860–694–3174 Internet: http://ussnautilus.org Hours: May 15 through October 31, Wednesday through Monday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Tuesday, 1 p.m.–5 p.m. November 1 through May 1, Wednesday through Monday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed first full week of May and last full week of October for maintenance and on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission: Free Description: The featured attraction here for children is the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine and the first boat to sail to the North Pole. The submarine is now kept fast at the dock, and visitors can take self-guided tours through it with hand-held audio devices. A museum on the grounds features many exhibits on the history of the U.S. submarine force. Also on the grounds are several World War II–era submarines and the conning tower of a modern submarine. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Although the USS Nautilus is not accessible for chair users, the museum is accessible and interesting. And even though chair users cannot go onboard, they can go down on the

Places of Historic Interest

dock and get right up next to the vessel. They can also see and go up to the other submarines on display. Handicapped parking is immediately next to the museum, and the bathrooms are accessible. Children with visual impairments: Although some exhibits in the museum and some portions of the Nautilus are behind glass (such as the mess room), there is enough here to allow children with a visual impairment to get a good idea of what a submarine is like. Parents should be prepared to describe some things, but the visit itself should be worthwhile. Children with hearing impairments: Exhibits in the museum are well labeled. On the submarine tour, however, much of the information is conveyed by a listening device that visitors are handed as they come onboard. Those accompanying visitors with a hearing impairment should be prepared to do some interpreting. The experience of actually being on a submarine will probably make this well worth the e√ort. General: The Nautilus is a historic vessel, and although e√orts have been made to accommodate visitors, keep in mind that the stairways are very steep, the passages are narrow, and there is much that kids can bump into or trip over. Children with mobility problems may have trouble negotiating the submarine. Also, because the passages are narrow and can become crowded, we recommend that trips be planned for less crowded times, such as earlier in the day. Yale University Visitor Information Center, 149 Elm Street, New Haven Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 3. At the end of

the exit ramp, turn right onto Trumbull Street and continue to through 3 stoplights. At the fourth stoplight, turn left onto Prospect Street. After 1 block, Prospect Street becomes Col-

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lege Street. Continue for 2 blocks on College until you reach Elm Street. Turn left at the stoplight onto Elm Street (the New Haven Green will be on your right). The visitor’s center is on the left-hand side of the street, in the middle of the block. Phone: 203–432–2300 Internet: www.yale.edu/visitor Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Campus walking tours, Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 p.m. For special tours, call 203–432–2302. Closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission: Free Description: Yale University is a world-famous institution of higher learning and has been an important part of Connecticut’s history since 1701. The one-hour tour takes visitors through several of Yale’s most significant buildings and courtyards on the central campus. Many of these places are not open to the general public, so this tour gives visitors an inside look at both the campus and its history. Because Yale undergraduate students lead the tours, visitors also get a chance to chat with Yale students and hear not only an o≈cial version of university history but also what it is like to be a student on campus today. Parents will be the best judges of their children’s level of interest, but the tour is generally fast-paced and interesting enough to keep most children engaged. Children may find the campus particularly interesting from September to April, when the full university is in session, as the buildings and walkways are teaming with students—however, there is generally activity throughout the year. Special: See also pages 50, 59, and 61 for information on the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale Center for British Art, and Yale University Art Gallery. In addition, note that Yale is a very active campus and many events, such as concerts and lectures, are open to the public. Visit the Yale University website

Places of Historic Interest

or pick up a copy of the Yale Bulletin at the visitor’s center to learn about upcoming events. Accessibility Wheelchair accessibility: The campus tours are wheelchair accessible. Tours begin at the Visitor Information Center. There is onstreet parking on the street immediately in front of the center and although wheelchair spaces are limited, accessible curb cuts should allow access. (Bring quarters for the New Haven parking meters.) The center itself is accessible, as are the bathrooms. A brief film about the university precedes the tour, and chair users will have to watch the film from the balcony at the top of the small staircase. Gaining accessibility to the room where the film is shown is possible but involves going around through the back of the building and will not be worth the e√ort. Once the tour begins, however, everything is wheelchair accessible, and tour guides will pace themselves and the tour to ensure that they do not go too fast for chair users. Note that if visitors call ahead, the visitor’s center will arrange to have a wheelchair brought to the center for use during the tour. Children with hearing impairments: Unfortunately, at this time, tours are not Sign Language interpreted.

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Throughout Connecticut, playgrounds in communities are increasingly being either planned specifically with disabled children in mind or designed to be universally accessible. In either case, children with disabilities benefit. The Connecticut-based nonprofit organization Boundless Playgrounds deserves special note. Dedicated to fostering the development of accessible playgrounds throughout the nation, Boundless Playground’s home base is Bloomfield. Connecticut has already benefited greatly by its local presence. Jonathan’s Dream, the Family Center, Acorn, and Andy’s Place are all projected a≈liated with Boundless Playgrounds. To contact Boundless Playgrounds, write to One Regency Drive, Bloomfield, CT 06002–2310, call 860–243–8315, or visit its Web site, www.boundlessplaygrounds.org. The playgrounds we list here are designed to include disabled children. (As this book goes to press, several accessible playgrounds are being developed, among them, Friendship Place in Berlin, Easter Seals Camp Hemlocks in Hebron, Kangaroo’s Korner in Watertown, the Annie Fisher School Playground in Hartford, the St. Joseph’s School for Young Children Playground in West Hartford, and Mikey’s Place in Wethersfield. Watch for these to open in the next few years.) Another tip: if a new playground has been built near you lately, take a look. It may be surprisingly accessible. All the playgrounds listed here are free and open from dawn to dusk unless otherwise specified.

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Acorn Playground Roaring Brook School, 30 Old Wheeler Lane, Avon Directions: From I-84 East or West, take the Farmington (Route

4) exit and turn west onto Route 4, toward Farmington. Continue 6 miles on Route 4, until you reach the intersection with Route 177. Turn right onto Route 177 and go 21⁄2 miles to Country Club Road. Turn right on Country Club Road and left almost immediately thereafter on Old Wheeler Lane. Turn into the first driveway, just before the school, to drive right to the playground. Phone: 860–404–4810 Description: At this good, medium-sized playground, more than half of the equipment is wheelchair accessible. This is a regular destination for Hartford-area parents who have children who are chair users. Because it is located on school grounds, this playground is open to other children only when school is not in session, such as after school, on weekends, and during the summer. Cheshire Playscape 520 South Main Street, Cheshire From I-91 North, take Exit 10 onto the Route 10 Connector. Stay on the Route 10 Connector to the end and turn right onto Route 10. You will be heading north into Cheshire. The playground is on the right across the street from Cheshire High School (525 South Main Street). From I-91 South, take Exit 18 onto the Route 10 Connector. Take Exit 3 from the Route 10 Connector, and at the end of the ramp turn left onto Route 10. Follow Route 10 South into Cheshire. The playground is on Route 10 right across the street from Cheshire High School (525 South Main Street). Description: This playground is open to all children but has been Directions:

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designed with disabled children in mind. Ramps make most parts of this large playground accessible to chair users, siblings, and friends. Family Center Playground Bristol Family Center, 47 Upson Street, Bristol From I-84, take Exit 31 (West Street). Follow West Street into Bristol, passing the ESPN building on the right. At the 4-way intersection, turn left onto Mountain Road and go straight. Mountain Road becomes South Street as it enters Bristol. Look for these landmarks: a pond, a school, and then a car dealership at the corner of West Street. At West Street, turn right at the stoplight and continue to the stoplight at the intersection of Upson Street. Turn right onto Upson Street. The playground is in front of the Family Center. Phone: 860–583–1679 Description: Open whenever the Bristol Family Center is open (Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; closed on Sunday), this big playground has lots to o√er. Children who are mobile or use walkers or crutches have full access, but note that only about a third of the playscape is accessible to those who are wheelchair users. This is a fine playground for children living nearby, but if you live in the greater Hartford area, there are several newer playgrounds, such as Jonathan’s Dream (see page 106), that are more fully accessible. Directions:

Fun Place William J. Pitkin Community Center, 30 Greenfield Street, Wethersfield From I-91 North, take Exit 24. At the end of the ramp, turn right onto the Silas Deane Highway (Route 99). Go

Directions:

Playgrounds

23⁄4 miles and turn left onto Nott Street. After the stop sign on Nott Street, take the second right onto Folly Brook Road. Once on Folly Brook Road, take the first right onto Greenfield Street. The Pitkin Center is on the right. From I-91 South, take Exit 28 onto the Burlington Turnpike toward Wethersfield-Millington (Route 515). Take Exit 85 onto Route 99 South toward Wethersfield–Rocky Hill. At the second stoplight, turn right onto Nott Street. After the second stop sign, turn right onto Folly Brook Road. At the first intersection, turn right onto Greenfield Street. The Pitkin Center is on your right. Phone: 860–721–2950 Description: At this nice, small playground, about half the equipment is wheelchair accessible. Plans are under way to upgrade this playground soon to make it fully accessible. Note: In addition to the Fun Place, Wethersfield has allocated funds for a major new playground in Standish Park to be called Mikey’s Place. Designed with the disabled child in mind, this new playground will be a place where disabled and able-bodied children can play together. Hannah’s Dream East Shore Park, New Haven From I-95 North, take Exit 50, the second exit after the Quinnipiac Bridge, onto Woodward Avenue. Turn right onto Woodward Avenue and continue straight 1 mile. The playground is on your right in East Shore Park. Turn right at the flashing yellow light to enter the playground parking area. From I-95 South, take Exit 51 (Frontage Rd). Follow signs to Fort Nathan Hale/Lighthouse Point. After following signs that will take you up the I-95 overpass, continue straight on Townsend Avenue (Route 337 East) for 1 mile. At the first stop-

Directions:

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light, turn right onto Fort Nathan Hale Road. After 2 blocks, the road dead-ends onto Woodward Avenue. Turn left on Woodward Avenue. The entrance to the playground parking area is 1 block further,on the right, indicated by a yellow flashing light. Description: This major new playground is a project inspired by Hannah Kristan, a local girl who is a chair user. Hannah united her friends and community and has given the New Haven area an important new accessible playground that should serve all children, able-bodied and disabled alike, well for years to come. Jonathan’s Dream Playground Greater Jewish Community Center, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford From I-84 East, take Exit 44 (Prospect Avenue) and turn left at the stoplight at the end of the ramp onto Prospect Avenue. Follow Prospect Avenue north until it dead-ends onto Albany Avenue (Route 44) and turn right. Go 1 block, staying in the left lane, and turn left at the next stoplight onto Bloomfield Avenue (Route 189 North). You will pass the University of Hartford on your right. Continue through the double lights onto Route 185. The center is 1⁄8 mile further on, on the left. Continue past the Holocaust Memorial and the Jewish Community Center building, and turn left at the stoplight onto Abrahams Boulevard. The parking lot is right around the corner. From I-84 West, take Exit 44 (Prospect Avenue) and turn right at the end of the ramp onto Prospect. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 860–236–4571 Description: An outstanding 25,000-square-foot, fully accessible playground. Built behind the Greater Jewish Community Center in West Hartford, this exceptional playground was the first project undertaken by Boundless Playgrounds (see page 102). Directions:

Playgrounds

Owen Fish Playground Owen Fish Park, Stratfield Road, Fairfield From the Merritt Parkway Northbound or Southbound, take Exit 46. At the end of the exit ramp, turn onto Route 59 South (Easton Turnpike) and follow it as it turns into Stratfield Road. Stay on Stratfield Road as it crosses Argonne Street. The entrance to the parking lot for Owen Fish Park will be on the right immediately before the park itself. Description: This playground, maintained by the Fairfield Recreation Department, is unfortunately open only to Fairfield residents. About three-fourths of the equipment in this fairly new, medium-sized playground is accessible for children who use chairs and walkers. Directions:

Stillmeadow Elementary School Playground 800 Stillwater Road, Stamford From the Merritt Parkway Northbound or Southbound, take Exit 35 (Longridge). Turn south at the end of the exit ramp and continue on. Follow the hospital signs to the school and playground. From I-95 North, take Exit 6 (Harvard Avenue) and turn east on Baxter Avenue. Turn left on West Avenue and continue 3⁄4 mile until you reach Stillwater Avenue. Turn left on Stillwater Avenue and go 1⁄3 mile, turning left on Stillwater Road. Continue 1 mile until you reach the elementary school. From I-95 South, take Exit 7 (Elm Street) and turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto Elm Street. Bear right at Grove Street, and take an almost immediate left onto Broad Street. Continue on Broad Street for 11⁄3 miles until you reach Stillwater Avenue. Turn left on Stillwater Avenue and then turn left again on Stillwater Road. Continue 1 mile until you reach the elementary school. Directions:

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Phone: 203–977–4507 Description: This is a well-designed,

accessible playground intended to be used by both disabled and nondisabled children together. Plans to expand the playground and add more accessible playground equipment are under way. Because it is located on school grounds, this playground is open to other children only when school is not in session, such as after school, on weekends, and during the summer.

Nature Centers and Walks

Appalachian Trail Falls Village Phone:

860–657–4743 (Connecticut Appalachian Mountain

Club) Hours: Year-round, 24 hours a day. Admission: Free Directions: Go north on Route 7 toward

Falls Village. Immediately after Route 7 crosses the Housatonic River, turn left onto Warren Turnpike. Follow Warren Turnpike about 11⁄2 miles to its intersection with Water Street. Turn left onto Water Street. A parking lot for the Appalachian Trail is immediately on the left. Description: This mile-long section of the Appalachian Trail is being redesigned to be handicapped accessible. It is the only section along the entire 2,160-mile national footpath between Georgia and Maine being made accessible. This part of the Appalachian Trail ties into a long-abandoned racetrack, which allows hikers to make a full-mile loop along a wide, flat packedstone trail before returning them to the parking area. (For those a little less ambitious, a cut-o√ allows the hiker to wheel only 1⁄2 mile, ending up back at the parking lot.) The trail follows the Housatonic River going out and loops back through woods, making this a pleasant and scenic expedition. Being able to say you’ve hiked part of the Appalachian Trail has more status in many circles than just a walk through the woods—your kids can return to school with ‘‘bragging rights.’’ You might also get a map out and show your child where the trail continues to, allowing a bit of an introduction to geography as well as an outdoor experience.

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Accessibility All disabilities: This trail is specifically designed to be handicapped accessible. There is a handicapped accessible parking area right at the trailhead with several designated parking spaces. Note, however, that because the parking lot surface is crushed gravel, some chair wheels may have some di≈culty (not insurmountable) getting through. Park as close to the trailhead as possible. The trail itself is fine. Note: There are no toilets on-site for anyone. There is an accessible toilet in the Falls Village town hall, about 1⁄4 mile down the road, but bear in mind that the town hall closes by midafternoon on most days.

Connecticut Audubon Center at Fairfield 2325 Burr Street, Fairfield From the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) Southbound, take Exit 44. Turn left at the end of the ramp and left again at the next light. Go under the bridge and turn right onto Congress Street. At the first stop sign, turn right on Burr Street and go almost 1 mile to reach the center. From the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) Northbound, take Exit 44 and turn right on Congress Street at the bottom of the ramp. Follow Congress to the next stop sign, and turn right on Burr Street. Phone: 203–259–6305 Internet: www.ctaudubon.org Hours: Trails, sunrise to sunset. Nature center, Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Admission: Adults, $2.00. Children, $1.00. Free to Connecticut Audubon members and Fairfield residents. Description: This small nature center adjoins a 152-acre sanctuary with 6 miles of walking trails and boardwalks through Directions:

Nature Centers and Walks

woodlands, fields, and marshes. The trails are well marked with signs that explain many things about the environment. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Of particular note is the Edna Strube Chibou-

cas Special Use Trail, especially designed for wheelchair users. This 1-mile-long level sandstone-surfaced portion of the center’s 6-mile trail system takes visitors who use chairs (or come with strollers) into the depths of the sanctuary. Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury 1361 Main Street, Glastonbury Directions: From Route 2 East, take Exit 7 (on the left-hand side

of Route 2) onto Route 17. Stay on Route 17 for 21⁄2 miles. The center, a yellow building with a tan sign, is on the right-hand side of Main Street. Phone: 860–633–8402 Hours: Year-round, Tuesday through Friday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays, as well as some Sundays in January. Admission: Adults and children, $1.00. Description: This educational facility of the Connecticut Audubon Society is next to Earle Park, an unspoiled 38-acre preserve along the Connecticut River. The center itself is a small building with some live animals, nature exhibits, and a Discovery Room that provides a low-key, interactive learning experience for children. It is particularly recommended for younger children. According to the director, many young children are happy to spend several hours exploring in the Discovery Room with other children. Special events: A number of classes and special events particularly for children are held throughout the year.

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Accessibility Wheelchair users: The building is handicapped accessible. There

is on-site handicapped parking, and a path leads to the door. All visitors enter the small, single-level facility by a ramp. The bathroom is accessible. The trails are not posted as being wheelchair accessible, but according to the sta√, they are fairly wide, flat trails, worn down by the continuous flow of hikers. Parents with strollers regularly walk here, so they may be accessible for parents with smaller children in chairs. In muddy weather or for heavier children or heavier chairs, exploring this trail may be more hassle than it is worth. Children with visual impairments: The newly updated Discovery Room in particular is recommended for children with visual impairments. There are a number of things to explore by touch, and it is a very low-key place, where children can take all the time they need. Children with hearing impairments: Although there is much to see here, programs are not Sign Language interpreted. Children with mental retardation: The Discovery Room is good for children who enjoy going at their own pace and who like to learn in a low-key environment. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Marine Headquarters Ferry Road, Old Lyme From I-95 North, take Exit 70 immediately after crossing the Connecticut River. Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Route 1. Go 1⁄4 mile and turn right on Ferry Road. Follow Ferry Road into the parking lot immediately beyond the Marine Headquarters building. From I-95 South, take Exit 70. Go straight at the end of the

Directions:

Nature Centers and Walks

ramp and continue on 1⁄4 mile until the road dead-ends onto Route 1. Turn left onto Route 1 and follow the directions above. Phone: 860–434–6043 Hours: Year-round, sunrise to sunset. Admission: Free Description: The Marine Headquarters, at the mouth of the Connecticut River, has a boardwalk that starts across from the building and runs for about 1⁄4 mile out into the beautiful marshes at the river’s edge. A stroll on this well-maintained boardwalk allows children to see an array of passing boats, birds, and sometimes animals. Fishermen regularly line the boardwalk, and visitors can stop and peer into their buckets (or take their own poles and try their luck). In addition, the boardwalk passes directly under the railroad bridge. Come either in the morning (before about 9:30 a.m.) or in the afternoon (4:00–6:00 p.m.) and see trains race overhead. The experience should be even more exciting with Amtrak’s new highspeed rail service, Acela, running between Boston and New York. (Call Amtrak, 1–800–872– 7245, to find out when trains are due in Old Saybrook—about 5 minutes beyond the bridge.) Accessibility

This site is completely wheelchair accessible, and handicapped bathrooms are located in the Marine Headquarters building. The picnic area on-site is accessible. A solid railing extends along the length of the boardwalk, making it safe not only to go along but also to fish from. An elevated platform at the end of the boardwalk is not accessible, but chair users should be able to see enough without the increased elevation. General: Not only is this an interesting spot, but it is only about 5 minutes away from busy I-95. On a nice summer day, plan to pack a picnic lunch and stop here for a rest rather than at a fastfood place on the highway. Wheelchair users:

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Elizabeth Park 915 Prospect Avenue, Hartford From I-84 East or West, take Exit 44. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left on Prospect Street. Go straight for 3⁄4 mile. The entrance to the park is on the left. Phone: 860–242–0017 Internet: www.elizabethpark.org Hours: Year-round, sunrise to sunset. Rose garden and greenhouses, daily, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Greenhouses closed on major holidays. Admission: Free Description: Paved main paths and other flat, packed-dirt paths ramble through the woods and cut across open spaces, around ponds, and over a bridge. Of special note is the rose garden, which through the summer features a spectacular display of more than 10,000 rose plants of 50 varieties along the walks and in garden beds radiating out from a central gazebo. There are places for picnics and kite flying, as well as ice cream vendors and food stands. Special events: A variety of music and arts events are held throughout the summer, almost all free, open to the public and geared for families. A rose festival is held annually in late June. Directions:

Accessibility

A main road encircles Elizabeth Park with parking spaces along almost its entire length. The parking spaces are wide enough to accommodate a van or other handicapped accessible vehicle, and there are curb cuts to the numerous paths that crisscross the park. The rose garden has wellpacked, wide, dirt paths that are easy to travel by chair. The pond house o√ers an accessible snack bar. Wheelchair users:

Nature Centers and Walks

General: Just about everyone should find this urban park an accessible place—great for picnics, kite flying, and quiet walks. Many of the programs held at the park are specifically geared for families. Elizabeth Park is especially worth a trip when the roses are in bloom; they generally peak from the last week in June through mid-July.

Filley Park and Scott Trail Filley Park, Route 189, Bloomfield Directions: From I-91 North, take Exit 35b, and turn left the end

of the ramp. Follow the road 3 miles until you reach the intersection with Bloomfield Avenue (Route 189). Turn right onto Bloomfield Avenue. The park is 2 miles further on the left. From I-91 South, take Exit 35b. Turn right at the end of the ramp, and then follow the directions above. Phone: 860–243–2923 Hours: Year-round, sunrise to sunset. Admission: Free Description: Filley Park in downtown Bloomfield is a great picnic place with lots of open grassy areas. A hub of local activity, this park is an excellent place to people-watch, with fishing in summer, skating in winter, and lots of coming and going on nice, sunny days. Scott Trail is a winding walk through the woods and is fairly flat and accessible on nice, dry days. Accessibility Wheelchair users: An on-site parking lot has handicapped places, and although a blacktop curb encircles most of the lot, at the farthest end you can roll from the pavement directly onto the grass. Filley Trail is flat and is a nice walk for chair users in dry weather, but it tends to become something of a quagmire after

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rains and should be traveled with caution and a companion because of this. Lighthouse Point Park 2 Lighthouse Point Road, New Haven From I-95 North, take Exit 50. Follow the signs to Lighthouse Point. From I-95 South, take Exit 51. Follow the signs to Lighthouse Point. Phone: 203–946–8005 Hours: Year-round, sunrise to sunset. Carousel, Memorial Day through Labor Day, Tuesday through Friday, 3:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Admission: Free in winter. In summer, free for New Haven residents with parking sticker. All others, $6.00 per car. Carousel rides, 50 cents. Description: This 82-acre city park features open fields, beaches and swimming, an antique carousel and concession stand, and picnic grounds right on Long Island Sound at the mouth of New Haven harbor. It is also an excellent place for observing birds on their spring and fall migrations. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: This park features wide walkways, a paved walk

to the lighthouse, open fields, and a play area. Chair users can follow a walkway to the beach, but to get onto the beach itself and into the water, children will have to be carried. The antique carousel does not have a ramp to get on for those who cannot get out of their chairs, but children who can be carried often enjoy being transferred to the ‘‘Dragon benches’’ for a ride. Bathrooms at either end of the part (at the brick building near the carousel and in the bathhouses) are fully accessible.

Nature Centers and Walks

Special note: This park is within a mile of Hannah’s Dream playground in East Shore Park (see page 105), and families out for the day might take in both places.

Lock 12 Historic Park 487 North Brooksvale Road (Route 42), Cheshire From I-91 North or South, take Exit 10 (Chester/ Route 10) and continue to the end of the connector, turning right onto Route 10 North. Continue on Route 10 North into Chester, and turn left at North Brooksvale Road (Route 42). Continue 1 mile and you will come to a large parking lot for Lock 12 on the left. Phone: 203–272–2743 Hours: Museum, March through November, daily, 10:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. Trails, year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Admission: Free Description: This restored section of the old Farmington Canal includes a museum and the lock keeper’s house. Three miles of linked open, flat trails in Cheshire tie into 3 additional miles of trails in Hamden, making this centrally located park an excellent place to explore. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Although this park is good for people with all types of disabilities, we specifically recommend it for wheelchair users. As you enter the grounds there is a parking lot, but head for the additional parking spaces closer to the pavilion where chair users can park. The 6 miles of trails permit a good, long stroll through the woods along the former canal bed.

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McLean Game Refuge Route 10, Granby Directions: Take I-91 North to Exit 40 (Route 20). Continue on

Route 20 until it intersects with Route 10. Take a left onto Route 10. The entrance to the refuge is o√ Route 10 on the right immediately after Pendleton Road. Follow the entrance road to a packed dirt parking lot. Phone: 860–653–7869 Hours: Year-round. Admission: Free Description: A variety of walks, from fairly short to real hikes, are possible here. You can go around the lake and over a waterfall, pass a small cottage, and explore woods filled with all sorts of animals, birds, trees, and flowering plants. Because this is a wildlife refuge, no hunting or fishing, no motorized vehicles (except motorized wheelchairs), and no bicycles are permitted. Visitors are asked not to disturb plants or pick flowers. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The packed dirt parking lot allows easy maneuverability. There is a pole at the entrance to ensure that no bicycles, motorcycles, or all-terrain vehicles enter, but wheelchair users can apparently easily negotiate the entrance. The trails are flat and easily traveled. A wheelchair accessible outhouse is located near the small cottage. General: Highly recommended for those who love to get their children (or themselves) out into the woods.

Nature Centers and Walks

Mill Woods Pond and Picnic Area Mill Woods Park, Wethersfield Directions: Follow the Silas Deane Highway (Route 99) south to

Maple Street. Turn right on Maple Street, and then right at the stoplight onto Prospect Street. After the next stoplight, turn left into the entrance. Follow the park road into the picnic area and turn right to find handicapped parking for the swimming pool. Phone: 860–721–2890 (Wethersfield Recreation Department) Hours: Summer only. Call for current hours. Admission: Admission is restricted to Wethersfield residents and their guests. Adults, $3.00. Children, $1.00. Family season pass, $35.00. Description: The Mill Woods pool is a former pond that is now chlorinated and well maintained. A picnic area and a playscape are nearby. Accessibility Wheelchair users: A paved walkway leads from the handicapped places in the parking lot to the bathhouse and then to the paved area at the water’s edge. In fact, the pool’s bottom has been paved out to a distance of 30 feet, so one can roll well out into the water. This paving is also helpful for mobility-impaired children and adults who use walkers or crutches. Visitors are welcome to use the nearby picnic area, which is reachable by a paved walk. One chair user describes the picnic area itself as ‘‘lumpy but relatively flat.’’ A nearby playscape has some equipment for children who use walkers or crutches but is not accessible for the wheelchair user. Children with visual impairments: The relatively gentle slope and smooth bottom of the pool should allow visually impaired children some measure of independence here. General: Because this park is restricted to Wethersfield residents and their guests, it is usually not crowded, except on the hottest

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of days. This makes it a pleasant place for parents to bring children who might enjoy going at a slower pace. Mohegan Park and Memorial Rose Garden Judd Road, Norwich From I-395 North or South, take Exit 81 East and follow the signs to the park. Phone: 860–823–3759 Internet: www.norwich.org/npariss.html Hours: Daily, 9:00 a.m. to sunset. Admission: Free Description: This park features a picnic area, swimming and fishing, a playground, and (in season) 1,000 roses to stroll among. Special events: The roses bloom from June through October but are particularly spectacular in June and July. Directions:

Accessibility

This is a very accessible place for wheelchair users. There is handicapped parking, and paved walks with curb cuts lead to the flat grassy paths among the rose beds. The paved walkways also lead to Spaulding Pond Beach swimming area, which has a sand beach and a lifeguard on duty. A chair user can roll to the edge of the sand, but parents should plan on carrying the child to the beach blanket and into the water. The picnic area is accessible, as are the bathrooms. The playgrounds are not specifically designed for wheelchair users, but some of the equipment might be fine for some children with mobility impairments. Also, a wheelchair accessible fishing ramp is located at the pond.

Wheelchair users:

Nature Centers and Walks

Nature Center for Environmental Activities 10 Woodshed Lane, Westport Directions: From I-95 North or South, take Exit 17 and go north

on Route 33. After 11⁄3 miles, turn left onto Route 1. Go right at the second stoplight to King’s Highway northbound. Take the first left onto Woodside Avenue. Phone: 203–227–7253 Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays. Admission: Donation suggested. Adults, $2.00. Children 2–12, $1.00. Children under 2, free. Description: This 62-acre wildlife sanctuary includes a small children’s museum focusing on natural science with an aquarium and live animal exhibits. There is a discovery room and a handson tank, open special hours (call for hours). New exhibits are regularly featured. Special events: A number of special events, talks, and workshops for children are held throughout the year. Call for specific information. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site handicapped parking and a ramp to the front door. Once inside, a lift allows chair users to get to all levels of the building. The bathrooms are accessible. Plans are under way to install a universally accessible path, but outside trails are not accessible at present. Children with visual impairments: A number—though not all—of the exhibits can be explored by touch, and the facilitators, when present, are pleased to help a child with a visual impairment gain access to some additional exhibits that are otherwise o√limits. Call ahead to see if there will be a facilitator in the Discovery Room when you plan to visit. Children with mental retardation: This is a ‘‘go at your own pace’’

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place, and there is much that a child with mental retardation will enjoy. For those children who are mobile, the trails are also fun for family expeditions. New Britain Youth Museum at Hungerford Park 191 Farmington Avenue, Kensington Directions: From I-84 East, take Exit 72 East (New Britain) to the

Corbin Avenue exit. Turn right at the end of the ramp and go straight through 4 stoplights. At the fourth stoplight, you will see Martha Hart Park on your left. Continue for another 1⁄3 mile and bear right at the fork following the green ‘‘Outdoor Education Center’’ sign. Go straight through the next stoplight. The Youth Museum at Hungerford Park is the third driveway on the left. A sign for the New Britain Youth Museum is clearly evident. From I-84 West, take the exit for Route 9 South (the Stacks). From Route 9, take Exit 28 to Route 72 in New Britain and from there, take the Corbin Avenue exit, turning left at the end of the ramp. Go straight through 5 stoplights. At the fifth light, you will see Martha Hart Park on your left. From here, follow the directions above. Phone: 860–827–9064 Internet: www.newbritainyouthmuseum.org Hours: Winter, Tuesday through Friday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Summer, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Admission: Adults, $2.00. Senior citizens, $1.50. Children 2– 17, $1.00. Children under 2, free. Description: A≈liated with (and just minutes down the road from) the New Britain Youth Museum, the Hungerford Park center encourages children to learn about nature and wildlife. There are trails and exhibits, a picnic area, a gazebo, and gardens

Nature Centers and Walks

of flowers, herbs, and vegetables in season. Native wildlife rehabilitation takes place at the park, and there is a farmyard where children can see animals up close. Special events: Many special programs, new and changing exhibits, walks, and talks are o√ered throughout the year, and the center has special summer and vacation programming for children. Programs are held for younger children as well as for older elementary school children. Call for specific information. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site parking with enough room for

wheelchair users to get in and out of their vehicles easily and a sidewalk with curb cuts that leads to the ramp at the main entryway. The center building is on one level and has an accessible toilet. Classes and exhibits at the center are recommended, but outdoor paths may prove to be a problem. Note that getting to the building involves some downhill going—those in heavier chairs may have a bit of a struggle. The outdoor path to the pond is covered with gravel and may be a problem for some chairs, although part of the trail around the pond is said to be designed with wheelchair users in mind. Children with visual impairments: There are a limited number of exhibits that a child with a visual impairment can touch, although the herb garden may intrigue some children. Of greater interest may be the Saturday afternoon animal programs (11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.), where children can pet animals while listening to someone give a talk about them. Children with hearing impairments: Unfortunately, no Sign Language interpreter is on sta√ for programs or for after-school and vacation sessions. Special note: The sta√ members at Hungerford stress that many of the center’s after-school, vacation, and summer programs are

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suitable for children with disabilities. Call to discuss the specific programs and the interests and needs of your child. New Canaan Nature Center 144 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan From the Merritt Parkway Northbound or Southbound, take Exit 37 north onto Route 124 toward downtown New Canaan. The center is 1⁄2 block beyond St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. The lower parking lot on the left side of the building permits easy access to the discovery center. Phone: 203–966–9577 Internet: www.newcanaannature.org Hours: Discovery center, Monday to Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on Sundays and major holidays. Grounds, daily, sunrise to sunset. Admission: Free (donations appreciated) Description: This 40-acre nature center features a discovery center and walking trails. The discovery center has hands-on exhibits on natural science and the environment along with some live animals. There is a solar greenhouse and there are exhibits on suburban ecology and how to practice environmentally sound horticulture. A garden, an arboretum, a cider house, and a maple sugar shed are other features to explore. Special events: Special demonstrations and exhibits are held throughout the year. Each weekend there is a live animal talk. Call for information. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: The center’s new building is completely wheelchair accessible from the parking lot to the building itself to the bathrooms. A boardwalk path allows chair users to go out into the wildlife garden for a short but pleasant stroll.

Nature Centers and Walks

Children with visual impairments: Although some exhibits are behind glass, other items can be explored by touch. Of special interest might be the weekend live animal demonstrations, where children are allowed to gently touch an animal while a sta√ member talks about it. Whenever possible, sta√ will try to make special arrangements for a child with a visual impairment to have hands-on experiences. Children with mental retardation: This is a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ facility, and many of the exhibits, objects, live animals, and walks will certainly entertain and educate children no matter what their level or area of interest.

Northwest Park and Nature Center Braille Trail 145 Lang Road, Windsor Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 38. Go right and

continue north on Poquonock Avenue. Turn left onto Prospect Hill Road and then right onto Lang Road. Hours: Nature center, Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Park and trails, daily, sunrise to sunset. Phone: 860–285–1886 Internet: www.townofwindsor.com Admission: Free Special events: There are programs throughout the year for children and adults, as well as special seasonal events, such as maple sugaring and, in September, a country fair. Call for more information. Description: The town of Windsor maintains this 400-acre park. It features a nature center with a variety of exhibits and activities throughout the year. There are hiking trails, picnic areas, a playground, playing fields, an animal barn, a maple sugar house (with sugaring in season), and more. In the late 1980s, volun-

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teers from the American Youth Hostels built the 3⁄4-mile-long Braille Trail through the woods and around a bog at the park. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The nature center and some of the surrounding

outdoor areas are very accessible. There is on-site handicapped parking, and the facility is all on one level and can be entered directly through the main entrance. The bathrooms are accessible. The outside buildings and animal barn are also wheelchair accessible. The Braille Trail, however, is not wheelchair accessible. Children with visual impairments: The Braille Trail, a 3⁄4-mile long walk through the woods and a bog ecosystem, is designed for individuals with visual impairments. This is perhaps the longest rope-guided interpretive footpath in New England. There are ropes (set low to accommodate younger children), and the signs are both in braille for those who are blind and in large type for those who are partially sighted. Within the nature center itself, about half of the exhibits can be explored by touch. All other disabilities: This is a ‘‘go at your own pace’’ place, with lots to do and see. Roaring Brook Nature Center 70 Gracey Road, Canton From Hartford, go west on Route 44 to the Canton town line, then continue on 1 mile to the stoplight. Turn right on Lawton Road. Go 1 mile down Lawton Road to a stop sign, then turn right. Immediately afterward, turn left onto Gracey Road. The center is 1⁄2 mile further on the left. Phone: 860–693–0263 Internet: www.sciencecenterct.org/roaring.htm Hours: September through June, Tuesday through Saturday, Directions:

Nature Centers and Walks

10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00–5:00 p.m. July and August, also Monday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Admission: Adults, $3.00. Senior citizens and children 2–12, $2.00. Children under 2, free. Description: The center features an interpretive building with dioramas of native plants and animals, seasonal exhibits, an Indian longhouse, and special exhibits. Special events: The center holds many special programs, workshops, lectures, and concerts after school, evenings and on weekends. A number of nice music events are held here. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The center has so many activities to recommend it that we have decided to include it here, although it is in an older building that is still not fully wheelchair accessible. There is on-site parking in an easily maneuverable lot, and a ramp leads to the back entrance. (There is one small step into the front entrance that should be negotiable by those in lighter chairs.) All the exhibits and classroom areas are accessible in this 1-level facility, but the bathrooms are not accessible. None of the outside paths or trails are easily accessible for chair users. Children with visual impairments: There are some exhibits that a child with a visual impairment can touch, but many will not be accessible. Some of the special exhibits and many of the events are accessible, but parents should call ahead to see what is on exhibit when they plan to visit. Children with hearing impairments: None of the lectures and workshops feature Sign Language interpreters. Children with mental retardation: There are a number of things to see here and outdoor trails that will provide a pleasant short outing.

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Science Center of Eastern Connecticut Gallows Lane, New London Directions: From I-95 North or South, take Exit 83. At the end of

the ramp, turn onto Route 32 (Williams Street) and follow the signs for Connecticut College and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Continue on Williams Street up the hill past Connecticut College. The next left is Gallows Lane. Phone: 860–442–0391 Internet: www.scec.conncoll.edu Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Admission: Adults, $6.00. Senior citizens and children 2–12, $4.00. Children under 2, free. Description: This center, located within the 750-acre arboretum at Connecticut College, features exhibits on science and nature. Geared to both children and adults, there are displays, live animals, and frequent workshops throughout the year. Accessibility

There is on-site parking with handicapped parking spaces. A ramp leads to the main entrance of this singlelevel facility. All parts of the center are accessible, including the bathrooms. The trails in the surrounding woods, however, are not accessible to chair users. Children with visual impairments: About half of the exhibits in this center are designed for hands-on experiences, including a small touch tank and a table with bones and shells. The other exhibits, however, will have to be described. Children with mental retardation: The science center allows children and parents to go at their own pace. For many children, this relatively small facility may be a good place to introduce children to science without overwhelming them with it. Wheelchair users:

Nature Centers and Walks

Stamford Museum and Nature Center See the entry on page 53. West Hartford Reservoir Farmington Avenue, West Hartford Directions: From Hartford, take I-84 West to Exit 46. At the end

of the exit ramp, turn right onto Sisson Avenue. Turn left onto Farmington Avenue and continue on Farmington Avenue several miles. The West Hartford Reservoir is on the right. From I-84 East, take Exit 39. At the end of the ramp, turn right at the light onto Route 4 East. Go 21⁄2 miles, and at the sixth stoplight, turn left at the reservoir. Phone: 860–278–7850 Hours: Daily, sunrise to sunset. Admission: Free Description: This park provides some wonderful trails that wind through woods and around ponds. There are picnic tables, and one can enjoy this park in relative solitude. Trails are well marked, and maps are available to guide hikers. Accessibility

Several major trails—red, green, and yellow— encircle di√erent bodies of water. The recommended trail for wheelchair users is the red trail. It is fairly long, but it covers easy terrain, loops back to the beginning, and is fully paved. The yellow trail is somewhat shorter, is only partially paved, and can be rough going at times. The green trail is apparently very rough going, is not fully paved, and is not a complete loop back to the starting point.

Wheelchair users:

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Westmore Park: Farmyard and Hiking Trail 119 Flagg Road, West Hartford From I-84 West, take Exit 43 (West Hartford Center). Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Park Road. At the first stoplight, turn left onto Trout Brook Road and continue to Albany Avenue. Turn left onto Albany Avenue, and shift to the left-hand lane. At the fourth stoplight, turn left and then make an immediate right onto Flagg Road. From I-84 East, take Exit 41 (South Main Street). At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto South Main Street. Follow South Main Street 11⁄2 miles into the center of West Hartford. Cross Farmington Avenue and continue on Main Street as it turns into North Main Street, going another 11⁄3 miles until you reach Albany Avenue. Turn left on Albany Avenue and make an immediate right onto Flagg Road. Westmore Park is 1⁄2 mile further on the left. Phone: 860–232–1134 Hours: Farmyard, daily, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Trail, daily, sunrise to sunset. Admission: Free Description: Westmore Park features 2 special accessible activities for children. A barn houses a variety of animals, among them a horse, a donkey, sheep, and goats. In addition, a 1⁄2-mile wheelchair accessible nature discovery trail takes hikers through woods and fields. Although the park is located near Hartford, the farmyard and the nature trail o√er visitors the feeling of a country experience. Special events: The park o√ers a variety of special events, classes, and children’s events throughout the year. ‘‘Farm Day,’’ in early May, features hayrides, baby animals, sheepshearing, crafts, and music. Call for details. A free quarterly newsletter with program registration and park information deserves mention because it clearly notes Directions:

Nature Centers and Walks

which programs and events are wheelchair accessible (and most are). Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is a parking lot with accessible parking spaces near the demonstration farm area. The barn area, including the barn itself, is wheelchair accessible, and children can get close to the animals. There is also a parking lot about 1⁄4 mile from the start of the trail, which can be reached by following a hard-packed dirt and stone dust road. For the less athletic visitor, sta√ members are available from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday (12:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. on Sunday), to unlock a gate that will allow visitors with disabilities to drive right up and park at the trailhead. Call 860–232–1134 to request that the gate be opened. Children with visual impairments: The barnyard can be a particularly nice place to take a child who is visually impaired. Children can get close to many of the animals, which are for the most part quite used to children. Children with mental retardation: This is a great ‘‘go at your own pace’’ place for children who enjoy taking a bit of extra time to see and do things.

White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center 80 Whitehall Road, Litchfield From the west, take I-84 West to the Route 7 exit, then follow Route 7 to Route 202 in New Milford. Turn east onto Route 202. From the east, take Route 8 to Exit 42, then follow Route 118 to Route 202 in Litchfield and turn west. The center is located approximately 2 miles west of Litchfield o√ Route 202 on Whitehall Road.

Directions:

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Phone: 860–567–0857 (general information); 860–567–0089 (campground) Internet: www.whitememorialcc.org Hours: Museum, spring through fall, Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Winter, Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Grounds, year-round, 24 hours a day. Some overnight camping is allowed—call for specific information. Admission: Museum: Adults, $4.00. Children 6–12, $2.00. Access to grounds, free. A guide to the trails is available for $2.50 at the museum shop and may be worth the investment if you are planning to spend the day. Call for camping fees. Description: This is the state’s largest private nature center with more than 4,000 acres of fields, woods, and water and 35 miles of trails. There is a nature museum and campgrounds, with areas for picnicking, boating, fishing, horseback riding, and bird watching. Special events: The foundation o√ers an ever-changing series of special programs and meetings, including children’s programs. Call for information.

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Handicapped parking is located across from the nature museum, and the museum is fully accessible. Although many trails are not accessible, a 1-mile packed-dirt walking path begins at the parking lot and loops around through woods, along the pond, and back to the parking lot. The trail is accessible for all but those in very heavy chairs, although it should be avoided if it is muddy. The picnic areas are accessible, as are the bathrooms. The Trail of the Senses is not wheelchair accessible. Children with visual impairments: About a quarter of the exhibits in the museum are hands-on. Outside, visit the 1⁄4-mile Trail of the Senses. Although braille signs originally marked the trail, these

Nature Centers and Walks

have fallen into disrepair—walkers will have to rely on sighted people who accompany them to read the signs. Nonetheless, this trail is specifically designed to encourage children to appreciate the outdoors. Plaques exhort hikers to ‘‘smell the pines’’ and ‘‘feel the moss,’’ for example. If your child is young or hasn’t spent much time outdoors, this could be a good place to start. Although the trail was designed for individuals with visual impairments, many others will appreciate this relatively short hike. Children with hearing impairments: Children will get a lot out of the museum and the outdoor experience, but the center does not have Sign Language interpreters during lectures and programs. General: The nature museum and the surrounding trails and woods are a wonderful resource for many in this part of the state. A visit here can be a great adventure for a day or even overnight for many children.

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See the note on high school and college sports on page 235.

Baseball In recent years, Connecticut has become home to 5 minor league teams. All the teams play in accessible stadiums (although some of the older stadiums are less fully accessible than the newer ones), and all charge modest prices for tickets. (Many seats are $2.00 to $9.00, with reduced rates for children.) Most of the teams play 70 or more games a year, April through September, including night games. Bridgeport Bluefish Harbor Stadium, 500 Main Street, Bridgeport Phone: 203–345–4800 Internet: www.bridgeportbluefish.org Directions: From I-95 North or South,

take Exit 27 and follow the signs to Harbor Stadium. Description: This team is a member of the Independent League. New Britain Rock Cats Beehive Field, Willowbrook Park, New Britain Phone: 860–224–8383 Internet: www.rockcats.com Directions: From Route 9 North

or South, take the Ellis Street exit. At the end of the ramp, follow signs to Beehive Field.

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From I-84 East or West, take Exit 35 and follow the signs to Beehive Field. Description: This team is an AA a≈liate of the Minnesota Twins. New Haven Ravens Yale Field, New Haven Phone: 203–782–1666, ext. 14 Internet: www.ravens.com Directions: From I-95 North or South,

take Exit 47 (downtown New Haven) and follow the exit ramp directly onto Route 34. Follow the signs to Yale Field. Description: This team is an AA a≈liate of the Seattle Mariners. Norwich Navigators Dodd Stadium, 14 Stott Avenue, Norwich Phone: 860–887–7962; 800–64–GATOR Internet: www.gators.com Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 76 onto I-395 (left-hand

exit). Once on I-395 North, take Exit 81 West onto Route 2. Bear right onto Route 32. At the first stoplight, turn right onto New Park Avenue, which brings you to Norwich Industrial Park. Follow the green-and-white signs to Dodd Stadium. Description: This team is an AA a≈liate of the New York Yankees. Waterbury Spirits Municipal Stadium, 1200 Watertown Avenue, Waterbury Phone: 203–419–0393 Internet: www.waterburyspirit.com

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Directions: From Route 8 North, take Exit 35 (Route 73) toward

Watertown. Follow Watertown Avenue for 3⁄4 mile. Description: This team is a nona≈liate member of the Northeast League.

Basketball Connecticut Pride Hartford Armory Phone: 1–888–88–PRIDE, 860–678–8156 Internet: www.cbahoops.com/pride Directions: From I-84 East, take Exit 4B and turn right at end of

the ramp onto Capitol Avenue. Follow Capitol Avenue to the Armory, which is on the right, at the corner of Capitol Avenue and Broad Street. From I-84 West, take the Asylum Avenue exit. Follow Asylum Avenue to Broad Street and turn left. Follow Broad Street to the Armory, which is on the left, at the corner of Broad Street and Capitol Avenue. Description: This is an International Basketball Association (IBA) franchise. The season runs from November through March. Tickets range in price from $10.00 to $36.00. The Hartford Armory is fully accessible.

Hockey Hartford Wolf Pack Hockey Club Hartford Civic Center Phone: 860–246–PUCK

Spectator Sports

Internet: www.hartfordwolfpack.com Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 32B (Trumbull

Street), which is on the left. At the end of the ramp, go straight and continue on through 5 stoplights. The Civic Center is on the right. From I-84 West, take Exit 50 (Main Street). Bear right past the Holiday Inn and at the stoplight turn left onto Main Street. Go to the second stoplight and turn right onto Church Street. The Civic Center is at the intersection. From I-84 East, take Exit 49 (Ann/High Street). At the end of the ramp, turn right onto High Street. At the first stoplight, turn left onto Church Street. The Civic Center is at the next intersection. Description: This team is an American Hockey League a≈liate of the New York Rangers. The season runs from October through April. Ticket prices range from $10.00 for children to $18.50 for adults. New Haven Knights New Haven Coliseum, 275 South Orange Street Phone: 203–498–7825 Internet: www.newhavenknights.com Directions: From I-91, take Exit 1 and

follow the signs to the coliseum, which is visible from the highway. From I-95, take Exit 47 (downtown New Haven) and follow the signs to the coliseum, which is visible from the highway. Description: This team is a member of the Independent League. Forty home games are played between October and April. Ticket prices range from $7.00 (children and senior citizens) to $12.00 (adults). There is a special rate for adults with a disability of $8.00. The coliseum has a handicapped seating section with companion seats and additional seating directly in front of the

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handicapped section so a family or group of friends can sit together.

Soccer Connecticut Wolves Veterans Memorial Stadium, Willow Brook Park, South Main Street, New Britain Phone: 860–223–0710 Internet: www.ct-wolves.com Directions: From I-84 East or

West, take Exit 35 and follow the signs to the stadium. From Route 9 North or South, take Exit 25 and follow the signs to the stadium. Description: This professional team is a member of the United Soccer League (USL) and is an a≈liate of 2 major league soccer teams, the New England Revolution and the New York–New Jersey Metrostars. The season runs from April through September. Tickets are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 2–12. Children under 2 are free. The stadium is handicapped accessible.

Family Sports

Dozens of local spots around the state are available for many of the following activities. Featured here are places with unique or specifically designed features for individuals with disabilities.

Miniature Golf, Basketball, and Arcades Only Game in Town 275 Valley Service Road, North Haven Directions: From I-91 North, take Exit 11 and turn left at the end

of the ramp. After this, take the first right onto Valley Service Road. From I-91 South, take Exit 12. Turn left at end of the ramp onto Route 5. Take the first right onto Route 22 and then the next right onto Valley Service Road. From the Merritt Parkway southbound, take Exit 63. At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Route 22. Go through 2 stoplights and turn left onto Valley Service Road. From the Merritt Parkway northbound, take Exit 63 and turn right at the end of the ramp onto Route 22. Go through 1 stoplight and turn left onto Valley Service Road. Phone: 203–239–4653 Hours: April 1 through mid-October. Call for hours. (If rain looks likely, call ahead.) Admission: Entrance to the grounds is free. The fees for specific activities range from $1.00 for the batting cages up—but all sports are reasonably priced ($2.00–$6.00, depending on the activity). Description: This is a 20-acre, open-air sports complex featuring 139

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2 miniature golf courses, batting cages, bankshot basketball, gocarts, and a variety of sports-oriented skill and video games. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Many of the activities in this sports complex have been designed with the wheelchair user in mind. There is handicapped parking in the paved lot next to the entrance. There are curb cuts and a ramp to the main entrance, and the complex itself is at ground level. Even the 9-hole miniature golf course is fully ramped. The bathrooms are accessible. All walks and paths inside the complex are paved. Although the batting cages and several other activities might not be wheelchair accessible, the miniature golf course is accessible. The bankshot basketball was designed especially for wheelchair users. All disabilities: There is a wide range of activities for children, teenagers, and adults at this sports complex. Many of the activities are ‘‘go at your own pace,’’ which parents trying to introduce their child to a new sport or skill may particularly appreciate. The management of the facility seems to have made a special e√ort to make things accessible, and the sta√ members appear to welcome patrons who have a disability.

Bicycling Tandem Bicycling Program for the Blind Yankee Council, Hosteling International— American Youth Hostels PO Box 87, Windsor, CT 06095 Phone: 860–683–2847 Directions: Call for directions. Hours: April through September, twice monthly.

Family Sports

Admission: Free Description: American

Youth Hostels runs a bicycling program through the summer months for blind bicyclists using tandem (2-person) bikes. The sighted rider takes the front seat, and the blind partner peddles the rear. Other riders are welcome to accompany tandem riders on their own bikes. Organized in groups of 10 to 15 couples, the routes vary from several to 15 miles or more in and around the Hartford area, with bicycling teams assigned to di√erent weekends depending on their degree of experience and interests. The tandem bicycles and helmets are provided free by volunteers from American Youth Hostels, and people who have not ridden tandem bikes before are asked to come half an hour early to receive some instruction and practice before taking o√. Spaces are open on a first-come, first-serve basis, and interested individuals must call ahead to reserve a place and find out where and when trips are planned. Riders can come for a onetime only experience or can plan on doing this more often. This can be an excellent parent-child adventure. The Youth Hostel volunteers will work with parent-child biking teams. Other family members can accompany the tandem riders on their own bikes. There is no age limit, but there is a minimum height requirement. Children must be about 5 feet tall for their feet to reach the pedals on these tandem bikes.

Sailing Sail Connecticut Access Program Pilot’s Point Marina, Westbrook Phone: 203–239–7263 (evenings: Mike Miller)

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Summer only, Saturdays and Sundays. Call ahead to reserve a place. Admission: Summer season individual membership, $15.00. Summer season family membership, $25.00. Fees are waived if participants cannot a√ord them. Description: Sail Connecticut is a volunteer organization founded in 1989 that provides sailing experience for individuals who have a disability. Individuals with any type of disabling condition are welcome. The organization has 2 specially adapted sloops (one 19 feet in length, the other 24 feet) that sail from the Pilot’s Point Marina in Westbrook. Volunteers, both disabled and ablebodied, are available to take members out on the water in small sailboats that hold up to 6 individuals each. Disabled members and their guests are encouraged to learn to sail and to help sail. A child with a disability can bring other family members as guests. Rides generally last 2 hours (wind permitting), and the boats sail around Westbrook harbor and out into Long Island Sound. Hours:

Accessibility

There is on-site parking, and the ramp and dock are designed to be as accommodating to chair users as possible. Volunteers will ‘‘do anything it takes’’ to get any person with a disability from the dock to the boat. A hoyer lift—a sling that allows safe transfer from the chair to the boat’s cockpit and back—is regularly used. Many of the individuals involved with Sail Connecticut are themselves chair users (as well as committed sailors). Parents with specific questions about getting their child (or themselves) from wheelchair to boat should call Mike Miller, who will be happy to discuss specific concerns and possibilities for individuals with all types of disabilities.

Wheelchair users:

Family Sports

Schooner Long Wharf, New Haven From I-95 North or South, take Exit 46 to Long Wharf Drive. Long Wharf is within sight of the highway, next to the New Haven Information Center. Phone: 203–865–1737 Internet: http://schoonersoundlearning.org Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day. Wednesday and Friday, 6:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Admission: Adults, $20.00. Children under 12, $10.00. No infants. Rules require that an adult accompany each toddler or younger child brought on-board. All children are advised to wear life jackets, which are provided for passengers. Advance reservations are required. Description: Take a ride on the Quinnipiack, a historic 91-foot, 2-masted schooner in and around New Haven harbor and out into Long Island Sound. The sail lasts for 3 hours on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday afternoons with a marine biologist onboard to discuss the history, biology and ecology of New Haven harbor and Long Island Sound. On Sunday evenings, the 3-hour Sunset Sail is done more for the simple joy of sailing, and there is no educational lecture. The Quinnipiack can carry up to 40 passengers. Directions:

Accessibility

No historic sailing ship is going to be entirely handicapped accessible, and this one is not. However, the crew is committed to welcoming wheelchair users among the passengers and will go the extra distance to get someone up the gangway and onto the deck. Heavier individuals or individuals with heavy electric chairs should probably not attempt this, but lighter individuals or individuals in lighter chairs may want to

Wheelchair users:

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give it a try. (If in doubt, call ahead—among other things, accessibility may vary with the tides.) There is handicapped parking on-site, and the Schooner building on the wharf has an accessible bathroom. All other disabilities: If you or your child is interested in taking a sail on an authentic sailing vessel, the Quinnipiack will be a treat. Parents are, as always, the best judge of their children’s interests and attention spans, but this may well be a longremembered adventure. The crew members of this boat have made a commitment to welcoming wheelchair users and seem to be just as enthusiastic about welcoming individuals with other types of disabilities and their families.

Skating International Skating Center of Connecticut 1375 Hopmeadow Street (Route 10), Simsbury Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 40 and turn west

onto Route 20. Go to the intersection with Route 10 South; the center is on the right. From I-84 East or West, take Exit 39 to Route 4 (toward Farmington). Turn onto Route 10 North and then left onto Route 44. Then turn right immediately, back onto Route 10 North; the center is on your left. Phone: 860–651–5400 Internet: www.isccskate.com Hours: Call ahead or visit the center’s Web site for times, which vary daily. Admission: Skating, $6.00. Skate rental, $3.00. Ticket prices for shows vary. Description: Watching ice-skating events has become increasingly popular, and this world-class ice-skating rink is home to a num-

Family Sports

ber of professional skaters who are in training for the Olympics and other competitions. Visitors are welcome to watch Olympic figure skating workout sessions (call ahead for times), and shows are held throughout the year. The rink is also open to the public throughout the year when it is not in use by the professionals. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is plenty of handicapped parking, and visitors in chairs can roll right through the front door. A handicapped section has an area for wheelchair seating, with those accompanying the chair user sitting immediately in front or behind them. When ordering tickets, be sure to specify that you are coming with a chair user and wish to 222 together. Other disabilities: Skating at the rink: For many children, iceskating is a fun way to exercise. If your child is a bit unsteady on his or her feet or is a cautious soul, ask when the rink is likely to be less crowded.

Swimming, Freshwater Chatfield Hollow State Park. See the entry on page 164. Hopeville Pond State Park See the entry on page 174. Indian Well State Park See the entry on page 176. Lake Compounce See the entry on page 196.

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Lake Waramaug State Park See the entry on page 179. Mashamoquet Brook State Park See the entry on page 181. Mill Woods Pond See the entry on page 121. Mohegan Park See the entry on page 122. Pachaug State Forest See the entry on page 184. Quassy Amusement Park See the entry on page 198. Squantz Pond State Park See the entry on page 192. Stratton Brook State Park See the entry on page 193. (Stratton Brook is not wheelchair accessible.) Wadsworth Falls State Park See the entry on page 194. Wharton Brook State Park See the entry on page 195.

Family Sports

Swimming, Pools Ocean Beach Park See the entry on page 197.

Swimming, Saltwater Hammonasset Beach State Park See the entry on page 170. Harkness Memorial State Park See the entry on page 222. Ocean Beach Park See the entry on page 197. Rocky Neck State Park See the entry on page 188. Sherwood Island State Park See the entry on page 189. Silver Sands State Park See the entry on page 190.

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The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection offers a brochure, ‘‘Connecticut Angler’s Guide,’’ with good information, updated annually, on fishing in and around the state. For a copy of this brochure, write to: Department of Environmental Protection, State O≈ce Building, 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106, or call 860–424–3474. A free copy of the brochure in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf ) format can be downloaded at the DEP’s Web site: http://dep.state.ct.us/burnatr/fishing/fish info/angler.htm. The Web site also allows blind and visually impaired users to download the file in Access.Adobe format. Fishing licenses are required for anyone who is 16 years of age or older and can be obtained from any town clerk. Resident fishing licenses are $15.00 per adult, but they are free to all residents who have a disability. The ‘‘Connecticut Angler’s Guide’’ lists a number of fishing areas that are wheelchair accessible. Those sites listed below are especially recommended for individuals with mobility impairments, including chair users, because they are both easily accessible and have handicapped parking available nearby. Note, however, that the ‘‘Connecticut Angler’s Guide’’ lists a number of other sites as handicapped accessible that may also be worth checking out. Barn Island Launch Stonington Directions: Turn southeast o√ Route 1 at Greenhaven Road, then

south on Palmer Neck Road. Go approximately 11⁄2 miles to the end of the point.

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Fishing

Description: Located at the mouth of the Mystic River, this scenic

location is a good tidal fishing spot. This area is very crowded on weekends and parking may be limited. Note:

Bladens Brook Seymour Directions: From Route 8 North or South, take Exit 62 to Route

67. The fishing area is between Chatfield Street and the footbridge. Look for signs. Description: Trout and char. Connecticut River Charter Oak Landing, Hartford From I-91 North or South, take Exit 27. Go east o√ the exit and take the first left onto Brainard Road. Turn left onto Reserve Road. Charter Oak Landing is on the right. Description: Variety of river fish. Directions:

Connecticut River East Haddam, Salmon River Cove Directions: From Route 82 North or South, turn onto Route 149

North and go 11⁄2 miles to the mouth of the Salmon River. Description: Variety of river and tidal fish. Note: This area is prone to flooding in spring

rains.

and after heavy

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Connecticut River Haddam Meadows State Park See the entry for Haddam Meadows State Park on page 170 for directions. Once in the park, look for the designated fishing spot. Description: A variety of river and tidal fish. Directions:

Connecticut River Ferry Road, Old Lyme See the entry for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Marine Headquarters on page 112 for directions. Description: Located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, this boardwalk between the river and a salt marsh allows anglers to fish for a variety of tidal fish. Although there are many good fishing spots, this one o√ers notably easy access. Because children can also watch trains overhead (see Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, page 112) and keep track of boats coming up and down the Connecticut, this spot is especially recommended for children who may be fishing for the first time or for children with shorter attention spans. Directions:

Connecticut River Baldwin Bridge, Old Saybrook This fishing area is located on the west side of the Connecticut River, under the new Baldwin Bridge, which spans the river between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme. From I-95 North or South, take Exit 69 onto Route 9 North. Take either Exit 1 or 2 o√ Route 9. At the end of the exit ramp, turn

Directions:

Fishing

right onto Ferry Road and follow the road to the state boatlaunch area. Description: Located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, this site allows anglers to fish for a variety of coastal and river fish. Note: This is a nice fishing spot, but for those making the trip, fishing on the boardwalk on Ferry Road at the Old Lyme Department of Environmental Protection Marine Headquarters (see the entry just above) may be even nicer for young children. It is 5 minutes away, slightly downriver on the opposite shore. East Haven Pier Fort Nathan Hale Park, East Haven Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 50. Turn right on Wood-

ward Avenue and follow the signs. From I-95 South, take Exit 51. Turn left on Woodward Avenue and follow the signs. The fishing area is located next to Fort Hale. A paved path leads to a large pier at the mouth of New Haven harbor. Description: Tidal fish, including flounder and bluefish. Eight Mile River Devil’s Hopyard State Park, East Haddam See the entry for Devil’s Hopyard State Park on page 167 for directions. Once in the park, follow the signs to the fishing area, which is about 200 feet north of the covered bridge and below Chapman Falls. Description: Variety of pond fish. Directions:

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Fishing

Farmington River Barkhamsted Directions: The fishing area is just downstream of the Route 318

bridge on the east side of the river. Description: Trout and a variety of other river fish.

Gardner Lake Bozrah Located east of Route 354 in Bozrah, just north of Route 82. The fishing area is located o√ Lake Road at the dam. Description: Brown bullheads, largemouth bass, and trout. Directions:

Housatonic River Milford Directions: From I-95 North or South, take Exit 39A in Milford.

Turn west onto U.S. 1, then north on Naugatuck Avenue. The fishing area is on the left, under the I-95 bridge spanning the Housatonic. Description: Brown bullheads, largemouth bass, and trout. Lake Saltonstall Branford From I-95 North or South, take Exit 54. Turn left (from I-95 North) or right (from I-95 South) at the end of the ramp. Go 11⁄2 miles until you see a sign for Lake Saltonstall. Turn left onto Hosley Avenue. The fishing area is 1 mile farther on, on the right. Description: Trout and a variety of pond and stream fish. Directions:

Fishing

Note: The fishing area at Lake Saltonstall is on property owned by the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, and a permit from the water authority is needed to gain access to the well-maintained handicap accessible fishing dock. The annual fee (valid for all Regional Water Authority recreation areas) is $35.00 for adults, which covers an additional adult family member or guest and children under 21. For senior citizens and individuals with a disability, the annual fee is $20.00. For information or to obtain a recreation permit, write to the Regional Water Authority, 90 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT 06511– 5966, phone 203–562–4020, or register on-line at the water authority’s Web site: http://www.rwater.com/recreation/index/ shtml.

Lighthouse Point Park New Haven See the entry on Lighthouse Point Park on page 116 for directions. Once in the park, follow the signs to the fishing area. Description: Good tidal fishing at the mouth of the Quinnipiac River as it meets Long Island Sound. Directions:

Mansfield Training Center Pond Mansfield Located on Route 44, 1⁄4 mile east of the junction of Routes 44 and 32. Park in the lot reserved for fishermen. The path to the access is opposite the parking lot. Description: Trout. Directions:

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Niantic River Launch Niantic From I-95 North, take Exit 73 and turn left onto Route 161. Go 3 miles and turn right onto Main Street (Route 156) in Niantic. The boat launch is located on the Niantic River at the end of Grand Street, which runs 1 block north of and parallel to Main Street. From I-95 South, take Exit 74 and turn right onto Route 161. Then follow the directions above. Description: Variety of tidal and river fish. Directions:

Pachaug River Voluntown Directions: Located on Route 49, 1 mile north of the junction of

Routes 138 and 165. The fishing area is at the Beachdale Pond Boat Launching Area on the east side of the road. A wooden ramp leads to a 6-foot-by-12-foot fishing deck. Description: Brown bullheads, largemouth bass, and yellow perch. Pataconk Lake Chester From Route 148 North or South, turn north onto Cedar Lake Road. Take the first right and follow the signs. The fishing area is next to the south abutment of the dam. Follow the path from the handicapped parking lot located o√ Cedar Lake Route. Description: Trout. Directions:

Fishing

Quinebaug Public Fishing Ponds Central Village, Wauregan Directions: See the entry on the Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatch-

ery on page 11 for directions. Description: Trout.

Rocky Neck State Park East Lyme Directions: See the entry on Rocky Neck State Park on page 188

for directions. A crabbing and fishing dock is located on the main entrance road over Bridge Brook. Description: Alewives, blue crabs, and bluefish. Salmon River Fly Area Colchester Directions: The fishing area is on River Road, upstream from the

Route 16 bridge, on the west side of the river. Description: Trout.

Saugatuck Reservoir Easton From Fairfield, take Routh 58 northbound. The reservoir is visible almost immediately after crossing the Easton town line. Look for the signs for the fishing area. From Route 58 southbound, go through Redding and cross the Easton town line. Go approximately 1 mile to reach the reservoir. Description: Trout and a variety of pond fish. Directions:

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Schreeder Pond Chatfield Hollow State Park, Killingworth Directions: See the entry on Chatfield Hollow State Park on page

164 for directions. The fishing area is located on the east side of the dam. Description: Trout. Scovill Reservoir Wolcott From Route 69, turn east onto Nichols Road. Bear left onto Woodtick Road and then turn left onto Scovill Road. Description: Trout and a variety of lake fish. Directions:

Southford Falls Pond Southford Falls State Park, Southford See the entry on South Falls State Park on page 192 for directions. The fishing area is located on the bridge over the pond. Follow the wheelchair-accessible path from the parking lot. Description: Trout. Directions:

Squantz Pond Squantz Pond State Park, New Fairfield Directions: See the entry on Squantz Pond State Park on page 192

for directions. Once in the park, follow the signs to the fishing area. Description: Trout and other lake fish.

Fishing

Stratton Brook Pond Park Stratton Brook Pond Park, Simsbury See the entry on Stratton Brook State Park on page 193 for directions. Description: Trout. Directions:

Thames River Groton There is fishing at the Groton Boat Launching Area under the I-95 bridge o√ Bridge Street. From I-95 North, take Exit 85 (Thames Street). Bear right o√ the exit ramp onto Bridge Street. Take the next right onto Fairview Avenue. The fishing area and boat launch are on the left. From I-95 South, take Exit 86 straight onto Kings Highway and bar right onto Bridge Street. Turn right on Fairview Avenue and look for the sign. Description: Flounder, bluefish, and other tidal species. Directions:

Thames River Ledyard Directions: Located in Stoddard Hill State Park, on the west side

of Route 12. The fishing area is at the Stoddard Hill Boat Launching Area. Description: Bluefish and white perch.

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Thames River New London Directions: The fishing area is at the New London Boat Launch-

ing Area under the I-95 bridge north of the state pier. Description: Flounder and bluefish.

Walkers Reservoir Vernon From I-4 North or South, take Exit 67 and follow signs to the reservoir. The fishing area is on the west side of the pond. Description: Trout. Directions:

Camping and Hiking in State Parks and Forests

A free brochure with information on all the state parks is available from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Wheelchair accessible sites are clearly marked. Much of the information we provide here is taken from this guide, but many park sta√ members we spoke to also noted that they are actively improving accessibility with more ramps, more paved picnic areas, additional accessible toilets, and other amenities. For this reason, we advise parents to write for a copy of the most recent edition of the brochure or visit the state’s Web site for upto-date information about the increasing accessibility of the state’s parks. To request the brochure ‘‘Connecticut State Parks and Recreation Areas,’’ write to: Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, State Parks Division, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106–5127. Or visit the DEP’s Web site: http://dep.state.ct.us/rec/parks.htm. For information on the state parks, call the O≈ce of the Director at 860–424–3200 (voice and TTY). In discussing the accessibility of parks, the state parks specifically mean wheelchair accessibility. How ‘‘accessibility’’ is determined may vary, and we have tried to identify features that should help parents decide where to go. Be aware that some parks that are listed as accessible, including having accessible camping areas, lack accessible bathrooms. Many of the state parks and forests are much more accessible to those who are not mobility impaired, and hiking on a short (or long) trail or exploring the shores of a lake or Long Island Sound can be a wonderful outing for children with many di√erent disabilities. If you are planning a family camping trip, be sure to call 159

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ahead to reserve a spot. Camping places go very quickly, especially in summer. Most Connecticut state parks now use the same service, Reserve America, to handle all reservations (1– 888–668–2267; www.reserveamerica.com/camping). State Park and Forest Recreation Areas are open to the public year round, as conditions permit, from 8:00 a.m. until sunset. Parking fees are charged at major developed areas from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with several of the largest parks charging parking fees earlier in the spring as well. If you are planning to visit one or more parks or forests regularly during summer, consider buying a state park season pass for $35.00. Hunting is permitted in some state forests during the season (late fall) and should be avoided at that time. Surf chairs are available free on a first-come, first-serve basis at Hammonasset, Rocky Neck, Sherwood Island, and Harkness State Parks on Long Island Sound. Made of PVC tubing with large tires to travel through sand, surf chairs are specifically designed for wheelchair users. They even have a place in the rear in which to slide beach umbrellas. Surf chairs are big enough for adults but come with special cushions to adapt them for use by a child. They can be rolled right into the water. Ask about surf chairs at the entrance to the parks. American Legion State Forest Barkhamsted Directions: From the Hartford area, take Route 44 West to Route

318 East to Barkhamsted. Once in Barkhamsted, turn left onto West River Road. Phone: 860–379–2469 Admission: Free for day visitors. Camping, $10.00 per campsite per night.

Camping and Hiking

This 782-acre state forest features rugged terrain along the Farmington River.

Description:

Accessibility

Although this forest o√ers camping, hiking, and picnicking, only the picnic area and sports field are wheelchair accessible. There is on-site handicapped parking in a gravel lot. The bathrooms are accessible.

Wheelchair users:

Appalachian Trail See the entry on page 109. Bigelow Hollow State Park Union Directions: On Route 197, 2 miles east of Union. Phone: 860–684–3430 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: This 512-acre state park features a large picnic area in a scenic setting. The park provides access to 2 trout ponds: Bigelow Pond and Lake Mashapaug. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site handicapped parking, and the picnic area is wheelchair accessible. There is no accessible bathroom. The trout ponds are not accessible.

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Black Rock State Park Watertown Directions: On Route 6, 2 miles west of Thomaston. Phone: 860–677–1819 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, out-ofstate plates, $5.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Camping, $10.00 per campsite per night. Description: This 443-acre reserve in the scenic western highlands of the state features swimming, camping, and picnicking. Accessibility Wheelchair users: In recent years, this accessible facility has been made even more accessible. A large area right by the beach has been reasphalted, and a car can now drive up to the top of the beach, allowing a chair user to take a ramp out on to the sand. An accessible toilet, large enough for a chair user with a parent or attendant, is in place, and there are plans to improve accessibility for all 5 on-site toilets in the next few years. There are accessible picnicking and camping sites and an accessible sports field. The parking area, drinking fountains, telephone, and concession stand are all accessible.

Bluff Point Coastal Reserve Groton Directions: From U.S. 1 in Groton, turn right onto Depot Street

at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Depot Street (by the Groton Town Hall). Follow the road under an underpass to the parking area at the entrance to the reserve. Admission: Free

Camping and Hiking

Description: This 800-acre coastal reserve is on a peninsula abut-

ting a tidal salt marsh. It features trails for hiking and mountain biking, a picnic area, open areas for kite flying, and a beach on Long Island Sound. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site parking at the trail head near the picnic area. Parking spots are easily found along Depot Street in front of the entrance to the reserve. The picnic area and open grassy spaces are accessible. A particularly nice feature of this reserve is the long walk (11⁄2 miles down and the same back) to the end of the peninsula, where there is a beach on Long Island Sound. The walking path is broad, flat, and very wheelchair accessible. (Families can make the full 3-mile trek or turn around and head back at any point.) There is no accessible bathroom.

Burr Pond State Park Torrington Directions: On Route 8, 5 miles north of Torrington. Phone: 860–482–1817 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, out-ofstate plates, $5.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Camping, $10.00 per campsite per night. Description: This 436-acre park in the northern Connecticut hills features swimming, picnicking, hiking, and camping at the Taylor Brook Campground.

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Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is a handicapped parking area relatively near the beach. The picnic area, concession stand, and a telephone are accessible. A paved walkway leads to the beach, though not out on to the sand. Plans are under way for accessibility improvements for the toilets. Currently, no camping lots are wheelchair accessible.

Chatfield Hollow State Park Killingworth Directions: On Route 80, 11⁄2 miles west of Killingworth Center. Phone: 860–663–2030 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through Labor

Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, out-ofstate plates, $5.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: This 355-acre park in a heavily wooded hollow features a stream, natural caves, rocky ledges, a covered bridge, and a waterwheel. The park’s two ponds, one featuring a water wheel and picnic areas, and the other, larger pond featuring a sandy shore and swimming, are the park’s most prominent features. Accessibility

At the front gate, pick up a park map, which clearly marks accessible areas. The beach is accessible, with 3 handicapped parking spaces adjacent to the sand. The beach itself is relatively narrow and is easily crossed to reach the water. The swimming pond has a gentle slope, and because the pond is relatively shallow, the water is usually fairly warm.

Wheelchair users:

Camping and Hiking

In addition to the many hiking trails that wind through the forests, the park has 2 miles of paved roads that wind through the woods along a brook to the upper pond. Although some cars drive slowly down these roads in summer, when cars are admitted into the park, they are used primarily by pedestrians and are good for chair users. Best used on weekdays or earlier in the morning on weekends, the roads are accessible year-round, which makes this a fine place for an autumn or spring stroll. Finally, an accessible fishing spot with railings allows visitors to fish for trout and bass. (See page 148 for information about fishing licenses.) There is an accessible picnic area, and the sports field, concession stand, bathroom, and telephone are accessible. Cockaponset State Forest Haddam Directions: On Route 148, 3 miles west of Chester. Phone: 860–345–8521 Admission: Free Description: This state forest of 15,692 acres has been developed

for recreational purposes such as picnicking and hiking. Avoid this forest during hunting season. Accessibility

The on-site parking, though not classified as accessible, can be used by a chair user. The picnic area is listed as being accessible, but because it is on a slope, it may be di≈cult for individuals in heavier chairs or adults in chairs to use. There are accessible bathrooms.

Wheelchair users:

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Day Pond State Park Colchester Directions: O√ Route 149, 51⁄2 miles west of Colchester. Phone: 860–295–9523 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, out-ofstate plates, $5.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: Day Pond, originally built to power a sawmill during the colonial era, is the centerpiece of this 180-acre state park that features trout fishing. Accessibility

There is handicapped parking in a gravel lot. The picnic area, fishing pond, and field sports area are accessible, as are the picnic shelter, telephone, and water fountains. There is no accessible bathroom.

Wheelchair users:

Dennis Hill State Park Norfolk Directions: On Route 272, 2 miles south of Norfolk. Phone: 860–482–1817 Admission: Free Description: This 240-acre estate features a summit

pavilion, once a summer residence, at an elevation of 1,627 feet. From an overlook, visitors can see the Green Mountains and, on a clear day, New Haven harbor.

Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is handicapped parking, and an accessible walkway takes visitors to the accessible picnic area and overlook.

Camping and Hiking

Devil’s Hopyard State Park East Haddam Directions: From Route 9 North or South, take exit 7 toward East

Haddam/Colchester. At the end of the connector, turn left onto Route 154, then right onto Bridge Road (Route 82). Continue on Route 82 (which becomes Norwich Road) for 21⁄2 miles, and then turn right onto Town Street. Turn left onto Mt. Parnassus Road and look for the park signs. Phone: 860–873–8566 Admission: Free for day visitors. Camping, $9.00 per campsite per night. Description: The best-known feature of this 860-acre park is 60foot-high Chapman Falls. The water from the falls continues on as Eight Mile River and flows through the forested picnic area and quiet surrounding forest. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The park has handicapped parking spaces, and there are accessible camping sites and picnic shelters.

Dinosaur State Park See the entry on page 32. Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park Groton Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 85 and continue through

the stoplight at the end of the exit ramp onto North Street. Once on North Street, continue through 3 stoplights (Washington Park is to the left). After the third stoplight, take the second right onto Park Avenue and continue straight into the park.

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From I-95 South, take Exit 87 (Clarence B. Sharp Highway). At the first stoplight, turn right onto Meridian Street. At the second stoplight, turn right onto Park Avenue. Continue straight on Park Avenue until you reach the monument. The parking area is on the road in front of the monument. There is 1 specifically designated handicapped parking space. Phone: 860–445–1729 Hours: Grounds, daily, sunrise to sunset. Museum, Memorial Day through Labor Day, daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Labor Day to Columbus Day, weekends, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Admission: Free Description: This 17-acre grassy park is the site of a Revolutionary War fort destroyed in 1781 by the British. The fort’s earthworks remain, and a small stone building houses a museum containing artifacts from the revolutionary era. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is limited on-site parking, and the fort’s

earthworks and museum are accessible, although chair users will need to go outside the museum and around the back of the building to get to the second floor. The tower is not accessible to chair users. The area of the park that slopes down to the river is quite steep and should not be tackled by a chair user without assistance. Fort Shantok State Park Montville Directions: On Fort Shantok Road, o√ Route 32, 4 miles south of

Norwich. Phone: 860–848–9876 Admission: Free

Camping and Hiking

This 170-acre park, a National Historic Landmark, is the site of a former Mohegan village, the forest of Chief Uncas, and an Indian burial ground.

Description:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: On-site parking is easily used by wheelchair users. The picnic area and the historic site are accessible, and there are a number of flat, open grassy areas to enjoy. The village and burial ground are next to the parking areas. The building with an accessible toilet is open only in summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day). Accessible drinking fountains, telephones, and a fishing area are also on-site.

Gay City State Park Hebron Directions: On Route 85, 3 miles south of Bolton. Phone: 860–295–9523 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: This 1,569-acre park features the remains of an eighteenth-century mill village. Stone foundations of mills and house can still be seen along the wooded roads. Accessibility

From the accessible parking area, paths lead visitors to an accessible picnic area and sports field. There is an accessible bathroom. Wheelchair users:

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Gillette Castle State Park See the entry on page 37. Haddam Meadows State Park Haddam Directions: O√ Route 9A, 3 miles south of Higganum. Phone: 860–345–8521 Admission: Free Description: This large, open meadow of 175 acres on the banks

of the Connecticut River is a great place for picnics and sports. Accessibility Wheelchair users: With the exception of a small area along the river, the park is accessible. (A very rough trail lead down to the river’s edge, and there is a steep 1-foot drop for walkers to negotiate.) A road loops around the meadow, allowing visitors access to both the area along the river and the meadow itself. There is an accessible water fountain but no accessible bathroom. Team sports are often played on the sports field, but the field is ideal for such other activities as flying a kite.

Haley Farm State Park Groton Directions: From I-95 North or South, take Exit 88. At the end of

the exit ramp, continue on to Route 117. Follow Route 117 to the stoplight at the intersection with U.S. 1 and turn left. Go 1 mile on U.S. 1. Turn right at the intersection with Route 215. Follow Route 215 past Groton High School and take the first right onto Brook Street. At the first corner, turn right onto Haley Farm Lane. The lane leads into the Haley Farm parking lot.

Camping and Hiking

Phone: 860–445–1729 Admission: Free Description: This former

pastureland of almost 200 acres has been preserved as an open space for recreation. A main attraction is the bike trail that winds its way through the scenic old shoreline farm.

Accessibility Wheelchair users: The parking area has handicapped spaces and is next to the bike trail. (The lot is quite small and can be crowded on hot days in summer.) The trail runs about 8 miles between Groton and Mystic, but much of it is along public roads, and these sections are not recommended for chair users. The bike trail does loop through the park for about a mile, however, and makes a great, scenic place for a 2-mile round-trip stroll. Several other trails of packed earth or grass are good for chair users, although they are not designated as handicapped accessible. Maps are available on-site to direct hikers.

Hammonasset Beach State Park Madison From Route I-95 North or South, take Exit 62 and follow the signs to the park, 1 mile south. Phone: 203–245–2785; 1–877–668–2267 (reservations) Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $5.00, out-ofstate plates, $8.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $7.00, out-of-state plates, $12.00. Camping, $12.00 per campsite per night. Description: Connecticut’s largest public beach features 2 miles of white, sandy beaches on Long Island Sound. At more than 900 acres, the park also features a large campground, picnic areas Directions:

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and shelters, a pavilion, sports fields, and trails. The boardwalk has undergone renovation and expansion, and new ramps replacing stairs have been added, making the boardwalk longer and more handicapped accessible. Accessibility Wheelchair users: In the campground portion of the park there are 541 camping sites, and many of them are level and usable by those with wheelchairs. Three sites are specifically designed with hard surfaces and electric hookups to allow campers to recharge their electric chairs. There are accessible toilets with accessible changing rooms and roll-under sinks and showers. When contacting the park to reserve a camping site, mention that you are coming with a wheelchair user to ensure a very accessible spot. Although this campground is busy on summer weekends, it has many amenities and is very much a familyoriented camping facility. The grounds are always clean and well maintained. The park’s other picnic areas are accessible, and there are accessible bathrooms and drinking fountains elsewhere in the park. The beach itself, a major attraction of the park, is accessible for chair users, but they will need some help. You can drive to the beach, but be sure to park in the West Beach area. There you will find a long boardwalk (10 feet wide) that will allow chair users to go for quite some distance along the beach. The bathrooms in this area are ramped, and there are ramps that take visitors from the boardwalk to the beach. On the sand, chair users will need help getting to their beach blanket and the water. However, surf chairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis (see page 160). The beach ranges from 60 feet to 100 feet wide. For smaller children and users of lighter chairs, assistance over this distance should not

Camping and Hiking

be a problem. For heavier individuals or people with heavy chairs, this may prove to be a greater undertaking. As always, parents are the best judges of how easy or hard crossing the sand might be. Harkness Memorial State Park See the entry on page 222. Haystack Mountain State Park Norfolk Directions: On Route 272, 1 mile north of Norfolk. Phone: 860–483–1817 Admission: Free Description: From the summit of Haystack Mountain,

visitors can see Long Island South, the Berkshire Mountains, and the peaks and valleys of New York and Connecticut. The mountain itself reaches a height of 1,677 feet, and the tower that surmounts it is about 50 feet high, allowing hikers to see above the trees and take in a good part of central New England. Visitors can see wonderful displays of foliage in fall and mountain laurel blooms in June. The surrounding park comprises several hundred acres and a small pond with fishing. The main attraction, however, is the 1⁄2-mile trail leading to the viewing tower.

Accessibility

The attractions at this park, including the 1⁄2mile trail and the viewing tower, are inaccessible to chair users. Although there is a nice view of surrounding mountains from the parking lot, it is not enough to warrant a special trip. Others: The 1⁄2-mile trail is rocky and is not an easy hike, particularly for small children or those who are not in great shape. Wheelchair users:

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The climb up the viewing tower could be intimidating for younger children or children who are not comfortable with heights. For somewhat older children (grade school and up), however, this outing might be a very nice adventure. The hike is of a manageable length, and kids will feel a thrill of accomplishment when they reach the top of the tower. Hopeville Pond State Park Griswold Phone: 860–376–2920 Directions: From Route 52, take Exit 86. The park is 3 miles east

of Jewett City on Route 201. Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Camping, $10.00 per campsite per night. Reserve camping spaces in advance (see page 160). Description: The site of a former mill, this 544-acre park is noted for its forest roads, camping, and glacial geologic features. Admission:

Accessibility

The picnic area and sports field are accessible, and there are accessible camping spots. Parking areas are paved and easily negotiated by chair users, and there are accessible bathrooms. A swimming beach with lifeguards is located at the pond, and a paved road leads right to the area. Although the swimming area is not designated as handicapped accessible, the water is within reach for children who can be carried. At the campground, there is a small, sandy beach (without lifeguards) and a shallow swimming area for young children.

Wheelchair users:

Camping and Hiking

Housatonic Meadows State Park Sharon Directions: From the intersection of Routes 4 and 7, travel 2 miles

north of the Cornwall Bridge on Route 7. Phone: 860–927–3238 Admission: Trails and picnic area, free. Camping, $10.00 per site,

per night. Try to reserve a camping space (see page 160) at least 10 days in advance. Be sure to request an accessible site. (Although this park is often crowded on summer weekends, at other times places are generally available.) Description: This 451-acre park in the northwestern uplands is a wonderful place for those who love the outdoors. Campsites are located under tall pines on the riverbank. The clear, cold water of the Housatonic River attracts fly fishermen seeking trout and bass. Accessibility Wheelchair users: This park features accessible campsites and a picnic area. There are accessible toilets, drinking fountains, and telephones. The fishing area is reachable by chair users.

Hurd State Park East Hampton Directions: From Route 9 North or South, take Exit 7. At the end

of the exit ramp, turn left and then right at the first stoplight onto Route 82. Follow Route 82 over the Connecticut River and through East Haddam, continuing on to Route 151. Turn left (north) onto Route 151 and continue for 7 miles. Look for the park entrance sign, which is on the left. Phone: Admission: Free

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Description: High on the east bank of the Connecticut River, this

884-acre park features scenic views of the river, particularly nice in the warmer months and, of course, during fall foliage season. Accessibility Wheelchair users: On-site handicapped parking allows visitors access to the accessible picnic shelter. The sports field is also accessible. The park has accessible bathrooms.

Indian Well State Park Shelton Directions: On Route 110, 2 miles north of Shelton. Phone: 203–735–4311 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, out-ofstate plates, $8.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: The main attraction at this 153-acre park is the shaded picnic grove on the western bank of the Housatonic River. Families tend to come here for the day. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Handicapped parking spots allow access to the accessible picnic area and sports field. The swimming area by the river is accessible with some assistance. There is a sand beach, and cars can drive up to the railing of the swimming area. The roped-o√ section of the river for swimming ranges from fairly shallow to quite deep further out. The rest of the park is grassy and all right—but not great—for chair users. The concession stand, water fountains, and telephone are accessible. The bathrooms have narrow stalls and lack grab bars. They will

Camping and Hiking

su≈ce for individuals who have limited mobility and can get themselves from chair to toilet fairly easily, but they should be considered inaccessible without assistance for those with more restricted mobility. James L. Goodwin State Forest Hampton Directions: On Route 6, 3 miles east of South Chaplin. Phone: 860–455–9534 Admission: Free Description: This rustic park features 4 miles of roads through

a quiet forest. Boating and fishing are permitted on the large pond.

Accessibility

There is on-site handicapped parking in a lot. The hard-packed dirt and gravel roads through the forest are very firm, and chair users can use them for hiking. (Cars are few, and many visitors use the roads for walking through the woods.) The roads can be rough in spots, especially after heavy rains, so chair users should not try to travel on them alone. The large lawn overlooking the pond is usable by those in wheelchairs, and the picnic areas are accessible. Cars can be driven down to the pond’s edge, and fishing is permitted.

Wheelchair users:

John A. Minetto State Park Torrington Directions: On Route 272, 6 miles north of Torrington. Phone: 860–489–2274 (Torrington Parks Department) Admission: Free

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This 678-acre park of open, rolling farmland was formerly known as Hall Meadow. It is a good place for picnicking, kite flying, and other family activities.

Description:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site handicapped parking and an accessible picnic area and picnic shelter. There are accessible toilets.

Kent Falls State Park Kent Directions: On Route 7, 3 miles north of Kent. Phone: 860–927–3238 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day

through Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: The main feature of this 295-acre park is the cascading waterfall, which draws thousands of visitors each year. The park is particularly crowded in spring and fall and is favored for picnics and fishing. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There are handicapped spaces in the parking lot and an accessible telephone and picnic areas. A trail allows chair users to wheel up to the lower portion of the falls, although the steep trail makes the upper falls inaccessible. Chair users might, with help, reach some of the fishing spots along the riverbanks but can also easily fish on their own from the pedestrian bridge.

Camping and Hiking

Kettletown State Park Southbury Directions: From I-84 East or West, take Exit 15 and continue 4

miles south of Southbury, following the signs to the park. Phone: 203–264–5678 Admission: Parking fee per

car, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Camping, $10.00 per campsite per night. Description: This 492-acre park extends for some 2 miles along the eastern shore of Lake Zoar and features camping and picnicking areas, a sports field, and nature trails. Accessibility

This is a good park for chair users (parents or kids) and their families. Many of the approximately 75 camping sites are wheelchair accessible. The nature trail is designed for visitors with disabilities, and the picnic areas, bathrooms, and sports field are accessible. An older nature trail, built before the Americans with Disabilities Act, was intended to be handicapped accessible. A chair user can go part of the way down the trail, but it has a very steep rise, and chair users must be prepared to have someone help. It is not accessible by ADA standards.

Wheelchair users:

Lake Waramaug State Park Kent Directions: On Route 478, 5 miles north of New Preston. Phone: 860–868–2592 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Camping, $10.00 per campsite per night. Description: This 95-acre park set on the banks of Lake War-

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amaug is both quiet and scenic, especially during the fall foliage season. Accessibility

There is on-site handicapped parking, and a half-dozen of the 78 camping spaces are especially good for wheelchair users, with picnic tables and fireplaces on-site. A flat, wooded area and pavilion are also at the campground. Drivers can park along the road near the beach before crossing the narrow grassy area to the water’s edge. Be advised, however, that the bank down to the lake is fairly steep, and chair users will need assistance. Although the beach is fairly narrow, chair users will need help to get to their beach blanket or the water. The bathrooms are accessible.

Wheelchair users:

Macedonia Brook State Park Kent From the center of Kent (Route 7), travel west on Route 341 for 2 miles. The park entrance is on the right. Phone: 860–927–3238 Admission: Grounds and picnicking, free. Camping, $9.00 per site, per night. Description: This 2,300-acre park features 2 mountains with spectacular views. Although the mountains are not wheelchair accessible, the nice camping, picnic, and sports areas at the foot of the mountains are accessible. The campground is crowded on summer holiday weekends, but campsites are usually available at other times. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Some of the 84 camping sites are wheelchair accessible. There are no accessible bathrooms on-site. All toilets

Camping and Hiking

are outhouse facilities, which is fine for individuals who can get to the toilet and back with a bit of help but is far more di≈cult for those who need more assistance. A sports field and the picnic area and shelter are accessible, as is the telephone. If you plan to camp with someone who is mobility impaired, check with a sta√ member, who will be glad to help you find the most accessible sites. Mansfield Hollow State Park Mansfield Directions: O√ Route 89, 1 mile east of Mansfield Center. Admission: Free Phone: 860–928–6121 Description: This 500-acre lake, used for boating and fishing, was

created the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ damming of the Natchaug River. The park along the banks of the lake is a good place for picnics. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There are handicapped parking spaces in the lot and accessible picnic areas and bathrooms. The sports field is accessible, as is the fishing area near the boat-launching ramp.

Mashamoquet Brook State Park Pomfret Directions: On Route 44, 5 miles southwest of Putnam. Phone: 860–928–6121 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00.

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Description: This 860-acre park features camping and picnicking

areas. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Some of the 20 camping spots in the Mashamoquet Brook section of this park are wheelchair accessible. This area is strictly for campers. The picnic area, drinking fountains, and a bathroom are accessible. The swimming area at the pond is accessible, though chair users may need help to get from the beach into the water. Chair users will find the swimming pavilion convenient. Families coming to the pond with a chair user can ask sta√ to open the gate to the pond and drive right to the pavilion to drop passengers o√. The nature trails that wind through the park are not accessible.

Mohawk Mountain State Park Cornwall Directions: On Route 4, 6 miles from Goshen. Phone: 860–927–3238 Admission: Free Description: From Mohawk Mountain, visitors can get a wonder-

ful view of the western highlands of the state. This is a great place to enjoy the fall foliage. A road leads up to an abandoned fire tower with numerous vista cuts along the way. You don’t need to leave the car to enjoy the view. If you plan to picnic, bring your own blanket. Because of budget constraints, the state has reduced services to this park, among other things, taking the picnic tables elsewhere.

Camping and Hiking

Accessibility

There are handicapped parking spots at the picnic area, and scenic vistas can be seen both from the picnic area and by car along the road up and down the mountain. This park is known for its steep and challenging hiking trails. None of the trails are wheelchair accessible.

Wheelchair users:

Mount Tom State Park Litchfield Directions: O√ Route 202, 31⁄2 miles west of Bantam. Phone: 860–868–2592 (winter), 860–567–8870 (summer) Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through Labor

Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, out-ofstate plates, $5.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: This 232-acre park is one of the oldest in the state and is named for the mountain within its boundaries. It features hiking, swimming, fishing, and ice-skating. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is an accessible picnic area, and the con-

cession stand, bathrooms, and telephone are accessible. Natchaug State Forest Eastford Directions: On Route 198, 4 miles south of Phoenixville. Phone: 860–974–1562 Admission: Free Description: This 12,935-acre forest at the junction of the

Bige-

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low and Still Rivers is popular for its riverfront picnic sites and fishing. Avoid this forest during fall hunting season. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site handicapped parking and a nice accessible picnic area with flat grassy spots. Accessible fishing is found on the dam at Hampton Reservoir within the forest grounds. There are no accessible bathrooms.

Osbornedale State Park Derby Directions: O√ Route 34, 1 mile east of Derby. Phone: 203–735–4311 Admission: Free Description: This lovely wooded park in the Naugatuck

Valley, just east of the Housatonic River, features a shaded picnic area and a fishing pond that is used for ice-skating in winter.

Accessibility

There are handicapped spaces in the parking lot. The picnic area, sports field, a bathroom, and a telephone are accessible. The packed-dirt and gravel walkway surrounding the pond is also accessible for chair users. No trails are accessible. Wheelchair users:

Pachaug State Forest Voluntown Directions: On Route 49, 1 mile north from Voluntown Center. Phone: 860–376–4075 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through Labor

Day. In-state plates, $4.00, out-of-state plates, $5.00. Camping,

Camping and Hiking

Green Falls, $10.00 per site, per night, Mount Misery, $8.00 per site, per night. Description: This almost 23,000-acre forest o√ers a variety of activities, including hiking, camping, and fishing. Reservations are not needed for the camping area, which is done on a firstcome, first-served basis. Avoid this forest during hunting season. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The parking lot is accessible and right next to the campground area. Camping spots (gravel and dirt base) are accessible, and a ramp makes the fishing area accessible to chair users. To get to the accessible fishing spot, you have to cross over a rough trail that is scheduled to be upgraded. More accessible than the pond is the boardwalk platform at Beach Dale Pond, immediately outside the park entrance (ask for directions). Trails are not very accessible for chair users, but the swimming area (next to the Green Falls campground) can be used with some assistance. There are no accessible bathrooms.

Penwood State Park Bloomfield Directions: On Route 185, 4 miles west of Bloomfield. Admission: Free Phone: 860–242–1158 Description: This 787-acre park features picnicking, hiking,

and

cross-country skiing areas as well as a sports field. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is accessible parking, and the picnic area, sports field, and bathrooms are accessible.

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Peoples State Forest Barkhamsted From I-91 North or South, take Exit 40. The exit ramp leads directly onto Route 20. Follow Route 20 through Granby and turn south on Route 219 when the road forks beyond West Granby. Continue on Route 219 until the intersection with Route 318. Turn left on Route 318 and continue 2 miles. Look for signs for the park entrance, which is on the right. From Route 8, follow Route 8 north until it becomes Route 20 North and continue on through Winsted. Look for signs for the park entrance, which is on the right. Phone: 860–379–2469 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: This 2,935-acre forest located on the banks of the Farmington River has a small nature museum and hiking trails. The Mathies Grove of 200-year-old white pines makes an ideal picnic site. Avoid this forest during fall hunting season. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site parking and wheelchair access to the picnic area and sports field.

Putnam Memorial State Park Redding Directions: On Route 58, 3 miles south of Bethel. Phone: 203–938–2285 Admission: Free Description: This was the site of the Continental Army’s

winter

Camping and Hiking

encampment under the command of General Israel Putnam in 1779. The site features the remains of the encampment, reconstructed log buildings, and a museum. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Route 58 divides the park, and the recreation area is far less accessible than the museum area across the road. The museum parking lot has handicapped parking, and there is a ramp into the building. An accessible toilet is available seasonally. The log cabin is not easily accessible, as it involves a roll down a dirt path. The picnic area is accessible. Children with visual impairments: Note that most of the exhibits in the museum are behind glass or in rooms that are roped o√. The museum is not recommended for those with visual impairments.

Quaddick State Park Thompson Directions: From Route 44, take East Putnam Road toward Put-

nam. The park is 7 miles northeast of Putnam. Phone: 860–928–9200 Admission: Parking fee per

car, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: This 116-acre park surrounding a quiet reservoir features a sandy beach and draws crowds in the summer. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is handicapped parking, and the picnic area, sports field, bathroom, and telephone are accessible.

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Rocky Neck State Park East Lyme From I-95 North or South, take Exit 72. Follow the signs to the park, which is 3 miles west of Niantic. Phone: 860–739–5471 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $5.00, out-ofstate plates, $8.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $7.00, out-of-state plates, $12.00. Camping, $12.00 per site, per night. Description: A mile of white sand beach along Long Island Sound makes this one of the most popular of Connecticut’s saltwater beaches and camping areas. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: The beach, particularly the west side, is very accessible for chair users. There is handicapped parking in a large lot right next to the accessible bath houses for changing and showering. The beach is reached by boardwalk, and surf chairs (see page 160) are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If the surf chairs are all spoken for, chair users will need help to cross the soft sand. The concession stand, toilets, drinking fountains, and picnic area are accessible. The park features 169 camping sites, many of them accessible, as well as an accessible sports field. Also on-site is an accessible first-aid station.

Salmon River State Forest Colchester Directions: From Route 149 in Colchester, take River Road to the

park entrance.

Camping and Hiking

Phone: 860–295–9523 Admission: Free Description: This forest is

adjacent to Day Pond State Park and has a number of year-round recreation activities. The Salmon River, which flows through the forest, is particularly noted for its trout fishing and its designated fly-fishing area, as well as its covered bridge. Avoid this forest during fall hunting season.

Accessibility

Handicapped spots in the parking lot allow access to the covered bridge (which can be crossed by chair users) and picnic area.

Wheelchair users:

Sherwood Island State Park Westport From I-95 North or South, take Exit 18. Follow the signs to the park, which is near the exit. Phone: 203–226–6983 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $5.00, out-ofstate plates, $7.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $8.00, out-of-state plates, $12.00. Description: This 234-acre park features 11⁄2 miles of sandy beach on Long Island Sound as well as large, open fields for sports, kite flying, and other activities. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site, paved handicapped parking. Chair users will need help getting onto the beach, but a car or van can get quite close to the beach before letting o√ passengers. Surf chairs (see page 160) are available. Call ahead to reserve a

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chair. The picnic areas, sports and baseball fields, pavilion, concession stands, and bathrooms are accessible. Also of note, the island is encircled by a 2-mile paved road. In summer, the road is closed to all but state vehicles, so a chair user and friends can travel the entire loop along the water. Silver Sands State Park Silver Sands Parkway, Milford Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 39A in Milford and turn

right at the end of the exit ramp onto U.S. 1. Continue on U.S. 1 for 23⁄4 miles. Immediately after the junction with Route 169 look for a small brown sign for Silver Sands State Park. Turn left as indicated onto Silver Sands Park Way and continue straight 3⁄4 mile. Turn left and continue to the end of the handicapped accessible parking lot at the end of the road. From I-95 South, take Exit 39B and turn left at the end of the exit ramp onto U.S. 1. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 203–735–4311 Admission: Free. Description: This state park features a wide, sandy beach and saltwater meadows. Special attention has been paid to making this park handicapped accessible (see below), and it is a wonderful place for a family trip to the beach. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Special attention has been paid to making much of this beach wheelchair accessible. Although the first parking lot is accessible, a better choice is to drive past the first lot into the second lot, which has a number of handicapped parking places. There are fully accessible bathrooms. A broad boardwalk takes beachgoers out to the beach. The boardwalk

Camping and Hiking

continues along the length of the beach and then turns into a bridge that spans a salt marsh, taking visitors across to the adjoining beach. Because of this, the entire beach and salt marsh are accessible. The sand itself is rather soft, so visitors in chairs will have to be helped onto their blankets and into the water, but this should be manageable for most. The beach is big enough to be an adventure, but not so large that it will become overwhelmingly crowded on hot days. The surf is gentle and the water relatively shallow, so children can do some wading at low tide. Silver Sands has been mentioned by a number of parents of children with disabilities as a good and accessible beach park—which always ranks as the best of recommendations in our opinion. Sleeping Giant State Park Hamden Directions: O√ Route 10, 2 miles north of Hamden. Phone: 203–789–7498 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: This quiet park features many miles of hiking trails but is listed here primarily for its 10-acre picnic grove and sports fields. Accessibility Wheelchair users: A road surrounds the picnic grove, making many of the picnic areas easily accessible. There are also accessible toilets and drinking fountains, but the trails themselves are di≈cult going for chair users and are not recommended.

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Southford Falls State Park Oxford Directions: On Route 188, 4 miles southwest of Southbury. Admission: Free Phone: 203–264–5169 Description: This park features scenic waterfalls at its southeast

end on Eight Mile River, along with picnicking, fishing, and hiking. Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is handicapped parking on site. An accessible fishing pier is about 40 yards from the parking area. The picnic area and bathroom are accessible, and although it is slightly rough going, chair users can follow the stone dust walk over the covered bridge to view the waterfall. The trails and outhouses are not wheelchair accessible.

Squantz Pond State Park New Fairfield Directions: On Route 39, 4 miles north of New Fairfield. Phone: 203–797–4165 Admission: Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $6.00, out-ofstate plates, $8.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $8.00, out-of-state plates, $12.00. Description: This 172-acre park features a mountainlike setting, with a blue pond surrounded by steep wooded slopes. This park is particularly spectacular during the fall foliage season but is pleasant year-round.

Camping and Hiking

Accessibility

There is on-site handicapped parking. The bathrooms, drinking fountains, telephones and first-aid station are accessible. There is an accessible picnic area, and at the far side of the picnic area is the swimming beach. Chair users can negotiate the beach with a bit of help from family or friends. The hiking trails are not accessible.

Wheelchair users:

Stoddard Hill State Park Ledyard Directions: On Route 12, 5 miles south of Norwich. Phone: 860–445–1729 Admission: Free Description: This 55-acre park is on a rocky and wooded knoll on

the banks of the Thames River. Accessibility Wheelchair users: From a paved parking area with handicapped spots chair users can easily reach the fishing access platform designed for the wheelchair user.

Stratton Brook State Park Simsbury Directions: On Route 39, 2 miles west of Simsbury. Phone: 860–658–5593 Admission: Parking fee per car Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, out-ofstate plates, $5.00. Saturday and Sunday, in-state plates, $6.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00.

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This 148-acre park is a popular place for many Hartford-area residents. It features a wonderful bike trail and swimming, fishing, and picnic areas.

Description:

Accessibility

In recent years, Stratton Brook has undergone major renovations designed to make it a model of accessibility. The swimming area is accessible, with nearby parking and ramps that lead to the water. There are mats that roll out, which allow chair users to wheel themselves right to edge of the water; however, those with heavier chairs will find these mats somewhat di≈cult to maneuver. There is a large system of trails, with bike and wheelchair trails using parts of an abandoned railroad bed. These trails, made of packed earth and stone dust, have been upgraded and are fully accessible. There is an accessible fishing area. There are also accessible bathrooms. Not only is the picnic area accessible, but picnic tables and pedestal grills allow chair users full use.

Wheelchair users:

Wadsworth Falls State Park Middlefield Directions: On Route 157, 2 miles southwest of Middletown. Phone: 860–344–2950 Admission: Parking fee per car Memorial Day through Labor

Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, out-ofstate plates, $5.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $6.00. Description: This 285-acre park features a beautiful waterfall with an overlook, swimming, picnicking, and hiking.

Camping and Hiking

Accessibility

There is on-site handicapped parking in a gravel lot. This park has swimming, and the beach area can be reached by chair users following the trail from the parking lot over the small covered bridge to the sand beach. The beach itself is fairly narrow. Chair users by themselves will find maneuvering on the sand di≈cult, but most children and many adults with an attendant can easily be pushed across the narrow sand beach to the blanket or water. The picnic area is chair accessible, and this park also has accessible bathrooms and an accessible telephone for the chair user. The trails are not accessible.

Wheelchair users:

Wharton Brook State Park Wallingford Directions: On Route 5, 2 miles south of Wallingford. Phone: 203–789–7498 Admission: Parking fee per car Memorial Day through

Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, out-ofstate plates, $5.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Description: Located on wooded, sandy knolls, Wharton Brook is a great place for a quiet, peaceful picnic and a swim. Accessibility

This is quite an accessible park for the chair user. There is on-site handicapped parking in a gravel lot. The swimming area is accessible (although the changing houses for swimmers are not), and the picnic shelters, concession stand, and bathrooms are accessible.

Wheelchair users:

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Lake Compounce 822 Lake Avenue, Bristol From I-84 East or West, take Exit 31. Go north on Route 229 and follow the signs to the park. Phone: 860–583–3300 Internet: www.lakecompounce.com Hours: Memorial Day to early September, weekdays 11:00 a.m.– 8:00 p.m.; weekends 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Admission: General admission, $7.95. All-day ride pass: Adults, $25.95. Juniors under 52 inches tall and senior citizens 60 and up, $17.95. Children under 3, free. Parking, $5.00. Description: One of the oldest of America’s family amusement parks (1846), this recently renovated park features 30 rides, a classic roller coaster and carousel, and new rides for the adventurous (a high-tech roller coaster and white-water rafting). There is swimming both at the beach and in the wave pool. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Because some of the rides date to the turn of the twentieth century or earlier, not everything is fully accessible. Nevertheless, there is enough to allow most families to make a full day of it. The park tries to be as accessible as possible and invites people to call ahead if they have specific concerns about accessibility. Stop by the Guest Relations O≈ce if you have questions. There is handicapped parking by the front entrance, and you can roll right into the park. Rides vary in their amount of accessibility; the requirement is that the rider be able to transfer on to the ride without help from attendants (for insurance rea-

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sons), but help from family members is apparently all right. The rider must also be able to use an arm or leg to balance with or hang on once on the ride. For some children, this will be no problem, though for others it will be more di≈cult. Two rides, the children’s merry-go-round and a train ride, are designed to allow chair users to roll on and have the chair strapped down. Bathrooms and concession stands are accessible, as are the changing areas for the swimming at the beach and wave pool. Chair users can roll to the edge of the beach but will have to be helped once on the beach or into the water if they cannot walk. All other disabilities: Accessibility will depend on the child, but many rides are accessible to children with other types of disabilities. Note, however, that no assistive devices, such as walkers or hearing aids, are allowed in the wave pool, which may place the pool o√-limits for some. Despite some restrictions, there is a lot to enjoy at Lake Compounce. Ocean Beach Park Foot of Ocean Avenue, New London Directions: From I-95 North, take Exit 75. Follow the blue-and-

white hospital signs to Ocean Avenue. The park is at the far end of Ocean Avenue. From I-95 South, take Exit 83. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 860–447–3031, 1–800–510–SAND Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day, daily, 9:00 a.m.– 10:00 p.m. Admission: Admission to beach, free. Pool: Adults, Monday through Friday, $2.00. Saturday and Sunday, $3.00. Children, Monday through Friday, $1.00. Saturday and Sunday, $2.00. Miniature golf, $3.00 per person. Parking fee, Monday through Friday, $5.00. Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, $10.00.

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This major recreation area o√ers saltwater and pool swimming, a children’s playground, miniature golf, a picnic area, a long boardwalk, arcades, and restaurants and concession stands. Special events: Special events, including fireworks displays, take place throughout the summer. Check local newspaper listings or call for information. Description:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site handicapped parking, and there are accessible bathrooms. The boardwalk allows chair users extensive access to most of the concession stands, the arcade, and other attractions, which are all on the same level as the boardwalk. Ramps lead from the boardwalk down to the beach. Because the beach is fairly narrow, it should be relatively easy to move a chair to the spot on the beach where you want to settle. (Once on the beach, chair users will have great di≈culty getting through the sand and will need assistance.) The miniature golf course is not accessible. The Olympic-size swimming pool has no lift. For those who have some mobility, there are steps with strong railings into the pool. A lifeguard is on duty at all times. General: This can be a full-day’s outing, especially if your family is made up of enthusiastic beachgoers. On extremely hot days, particularly on weekends, there can be quite a crowd here. An emergency medical technician is always on duty.

Quassy Amusement Park Route 64, Middlebury Directions: From I-84 East or West, take Exit 17. Follow the signs

at bottom of the ramp to the park. Phone: 203–758–2913, 1–800–FOR–PARK Internet: www.quassy.com

Amusement Parks

Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. April to May and September to October, weekends only. Closed November through March. Admission: Admission to the grounds and petting zoo, free. Allday ride pass: Adults over 42 inches tall, $12.95. Children under 42 inches tall, $8.95. Visitors with a disability, $5.00. Admission to the beach only, $2.00 per person. Parking, $3.00 per car. Description: This is a 20-acre family amusement park on Lake Quassapaug with more than 30 rides and lots of games. The park also features a swimming area, picnic tables, a petting zoo, and boat rides. Hours:

Accessibility

About three-fourths of the rides are accessible for those who can transfer from their chair to sit in the ride. Ride attendants are happy to help with transferring, and some rides have ramps leading up to the ride. Individuals in wheelchairs are often brought to the front of the line. The arcade, bathrooms, and dressing room for the beach are fully accessible. The beach area is part grass and part sand. Wheelchair users are regularly seen at the park, indicating its accessibility. General: Quassy is an old-fashioned park that is family-oriented. It has a lot to o√er children and adults with a variety of disabilities. Wheelchair users:

Six Flags New England Route 159, Agawam, Massachusetts From Route 91 North, take Exit 47 West. Follow Route 47 West to Route 190, and then take Route 190 to Route 159 North. Follow Route 159 for 3 miles. The entrance to the

Directions:

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park is on the right. (Signs to the park are clearly posted from I-91.) Phone: 1–877–4–SIXFLAGS, 413–786–9300 Internet: www.sixflags.com/newengland Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day, Sunday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. Waterpark, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. April, September, and October, Saturday and Sunday; call or visit the Web site for hours. Admission: Adults, over 48 inches, $36.99. Children, 36 inches to 48 inches, $18.49. Children under 36 inches, free. Senior citizens, 55 and up, $26.99. Visitors with a disability, $26.99. Admission to the water park is included. Admission after 4:00 p.m., $21.99. Parking, $8.00 per car. Description: Formerly Riverside Amusement Park, this large amusement park has added a wide variety of new rides, including a water park, to the already extensive group of rides and attractions. There is a large midway with carnival games, video games, and souvenir stands. Admission to the park includes unlimited access to all rides, the water park, and on-site entertainment. There is an additional charge for admission to the adjacent speedway. Special events: A number of events are scheduled throughout the summer. Call or visit the Web site for specific information. Accessibility

Six Flags has made a major commitment to wheelchair accessibility throughout the park. There’s plenty of handicapped parking right by the front gate. Bathrooms throughout the park are accessible, and one in the central area is specifically designed for chair users who need help from an attendant. According to park o≈cials, all rides are accessible to anyone who can transfer from a wheelchair to the ride. (One,

Wheelchair users:

Amusement Parks

the smaller carousel, is designed to include children who cannot get out of their chair. A ramp leads up to it, and there is a spot where a chair can be strapped down for the ride.) Most rides are designed with wheelchair entries (some going through the regular exit areas) that allow easy access to the ride so that visitors can easily transfer from their chair to the ride. On those rides where the individual transferring needs help, a park employee overseeing the ride will assist with the transfer. When we visited Six Flags, we were impressed with the courtesy and speed with which help was made available. It did not surprise us that a number of children in chairs were there. We also noticed a large number of parents who were chair users with their able-bodied children. There are dozens of rides, gentle ones for small children, more challenging ones for teenagers who enjoy the risk, and an enormous roller coaster and Ferris wheel for those who dare. (A smaller roller coaster will tempt those who are a bit less adventurous.) General: Children of all ages with a variety of levels of ability will probably enjoy a visit to this large amusement park. Not all children will enjoy every ride, but with the variety of attractions to choose from, almost any child will find something to enjoy. In addition, because there is no limit to the number of times a visitor can go on a ride, a child can spend a great deal of time on a single ride if he or she so chooses. The water park is generally accessible, but note that individuals cannot go into the water with glasses (and presumably other types of assistive devices) because they could be knocked o√. Six Flags can be crowded on weekends and holidays during the peak summer season, which means longer waits for rides and more noise. In the evening, increasing numbers of teenagers and young adults show up, and the family atmosphere is replaced by a somewhat rowdier crowd. Families with children will probably enjoy this park best if they go in the morning and early afternoon. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends.

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Stew Leonard’s 99 Federal Road, Danbury 100 Westport Avenue, Norwalk From Bridgeport and New Haven, take Route 25 to I-84 West. From I-84 West, take Exit 7 (Federal Road) and turn left at the bottom of the ramp. At the second stoplight, turn left on Federal Road. The store is 1⁄4 mile on the left. From Hartford, take I-91 South to I-84 West. Then follow the directions above. Directions (Norwalk): From I-95 North, take Exit 16 and turn left at the end of the ramp onto East Avenue. Follow East Avenue through 6 stoplights to Route 1 (Westport Avenue). Turn right on Route 1. The store is at the top of the hill on the right. From I-95 South, take Exit 16 and turn right onto East Avenue. Follow East Avenue through 5 stoplights to Route 1. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 203–790–8030 (Danbury), 203–847–7214 (Norwalk) Internet: www.stew-leonards.com Hours: Danbury, daily, 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Norwalk, daily, 7:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. Admission: Free Description: We must admit that we were unsure where to list these two very unusual dairy stores. Because of many animatronic displays at Stew Leonard’s and its circuslike atmosphere, combining grocery store with petting zoo and tourist spot, the amusement park section seems as good a place as any. Stew Leonard’s stores are actually enormous grocery stores, with aisles of unusual goods, a butcher shop, bakeshop, and farm market, and other grocery sections. You can satisfy your appetite simply by walking through the store and trying free samples. Dozens of moving displays throughout the store and Directions (Danbury):

Amusement Parks

a petting zoo outside add to the fun. Children love it—so do most adults. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Parking lots are handicapped accessible, there are brick or tile floors throughout the buildings (which most chairs can go over without trouble), and there are handicapped bathrooms on-site.

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Rides Boat Rides Bridgeport to Port Jefferson, Long Island, Ferry Union Square Dock, Bridgeport From I-95 North or South, take Exit 27 and follow the signs for the ferry at the foot of State Street. Phone: 1–888–443–3779 Internet: www.bpjferry.com Hours: Regular schedule of sailings daily from early morning to evening. Schedule changes by season. Call or visit the Web site for specific times. Admission: Round-trip ‘‘Mariner’s Delight’’: Adults, $16.25. Senior citizens 60 and up, $12.50. Children 6–11, $7.50. Children under 6, free. Fares vary by season and time of day. Taking a car over and back is much more expensive and is not necessary unless you plan to spend some time on Long Island. Call or visit the Web site for specific information. Description: This is a great trip for a hot summer’s day. Although many passengers use the ferry to get to Long Island, staying on the ferry as it goes over and back makes for a great expedition. Ferries leaving from Union Square Dock at the foot of State Street cross Long Island Sound in about 80 minutes, take some time to load and unload, and then return in another 80 minutes or so. This is a major expedition and a chance to take a long trip by water, follow the many kinds of boats sailing up and down the sound, and watch as the captain noses the boat into and out of the harbor. There is a snack bar on board, but parents may wish to pack a picnic lunch. On an extremely hot day, this is a great way to spend a full morning or afternoon. Even on the Directions:

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hottest days on land, it can be a good deal cooler on the water, so bring sweaters just in case. Take along a pair of binoculars if you own them. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Two of the three ferries, the Park City and P.T.

Barnum, are handicapped accessible, with elevators up to the passenger deck and accessible bathrooms onboard. Call ahead to ensure that one of these boats will be making the run at the time you plan to go. Note: There is parking for the ferry in the Imperial Parking Garage across the street. Parking costs about $2.00 an hour, and the garage is wheelchair accessible. General: A number of children will enjoy this experience. This is a long ride, however, and children with shorter attention spans may get bored. Parents may want to bring along a few toys or books to amuse the fidgety child. For other children, this ride may be simply too long. Parents will know best. Cross-Sound Ferry (New London to Orient Point, Long Island) Ferry Street, New London From I-95 North, take Exit 83 (Exit 84 if southbound) to Ferry Street and follow the signs for the ferry. From I-95 South, take Exit 84. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 860–443–7394 Internet: www.longislandferry.com Hours: April through November. Call or visit the Web site for specific information. Admission: Round-trip voyage, returning on the same boat: Adults, $22.00. Children 2–12, $11.00. Children under 2, free. Directions:

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This ferry crosses Long Island Sound, and the round-trip voyage takes about 3 hours. It makes a great morning or afternoon adventure for children. Pack snacks and a picnic lunch or visit the snack bar onboard. Remember, even on the hottest days, it is often much cooler on the water, so bring sweaters along just in case. Many children will also enjoy taking along binoculars so they can watch other boats and the shoreline from the ferry.

Description:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Only one of the three boats on this run, the Sea

Jet, is wheelchair accessible. The Sea Jet has a ramp right up into the boat, and the interior of the boat is accessible, as are the bathrooms. There is on-site handicapped parking. Be sure to call ahead to see which runs the Sea Jet will be on that day. All other disabilities: This might be a great trip, especially for school-age children. For younger children or those with shorter attention spans, the trip could be a bit boring after a while, so make sure to bring along a few toys or coloring books to please fidgety children. Although non-wheelchair users can travel on any of the three boats, we recommend the Sea Jet for anyone who is not very sure on their feet. Getting to the passenger deck on both the North Star and the Caribbean requires climbing up a fairly steep and narrow stairway. Deep River Navigation Company Charter Oak Landing, Hartford Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook Directions (Hartford): From I-91 North or South, take Exit 27. Turn left on Brainard Road and follow the signs to Charter Oak Landing. Directions (Old Saybrook): From I-95 North, take Exit 67. At the

Rides

second stoplight, turn left onto Main Street (Route 154 South) and follow the road out to Saybrook Point. From I-95 South, take Exit 68. Follow the signs to Saybrook Point on Route 154 South. Phone: 860–526–4954 Internet: www.deeprivernavigation.com Hours: Call or visit the Web site for a schedule of times. Admission: Prices vary depending on the boat and where it is going, but all rides tend to be reasonable—adult tickets are $8.00 to $12.00, with children (3–11) half-price. Children under 3, free. Special half-day cruises such as the foliage and eaglewatching excursions are more ($18.00–$25.00). Description: These boats sail up and down the Connecticut River from the spring through the fall. Most trips are 1 or 2 hours in length. Trips at 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. are especially recommended for children because they are a bit shorter (1 hour). Longer cruises are available for foliage watching in the fall and eagle watching in the winter. Bring a picnic lunch or buy something from the snack bar on board. These boats are a good ‘‘getaway’’ on hot summer days and a wonderful way to see the autumn foliage. Accessibility

Unfortunately, the Old Saybrook boat is not wheelchair accessible. The gangway is too narrow to allow chair users onto the boat. The Lady Fenwick out of Hartford, however, is partially accessible to most chair users. One can roll on to the dock and, with assistance, get up the gangway, which is wide enough to accommodate chairs. Once onboard, this boat is fine, although there is no accessible bathroom. Those who have heavy wheelchairs or are heavier themselves will probably find the Hartford boat to be inaccessible. But for children or those in lighter chairs, the trip may well be worth a try. The sta√

Wheelchair users:

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reports that they see wheelchair users on their Hartford boat ‘‘all the time’’ and are willing to help in whatever way they can to get chair users onboard. General: These trips are something that children with many types of disabilities (and their families) may well enjoy. For little more than the price of many movies these days, children can see familiar sights from the water, such as the city of Hartford, and experience the motion of a boat underfoot. A cruise on the Connecticut River gives many children a new perspective on where they live and the nature that surrounds them. Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride See the entry on page 212. Sail Connecticut Access Program See the entry on page 141. Schooner See the entry on page 143. Sheffield Island Lighthouse See the entry on page 92. Thimble Island Cruises 34 Sachem Avenue (town dock), Stony Creek From I-95 North or South, take Exit 56. Follow the road east 2.3 miles to the Stony Creek town dock. Phone: 203–397–3921 (Islander), 203–488–8905 (Sea Mist II ), 203–488–9978 (Volsunga IV ) Internet: www.seamistcruises.com (Sea Mist II ), www.thimbleislands.com (Volsunga IV ) Directions:

Rides

May through October, mid-morning to late afternoon. In season, boats leave hourly. Admission: Adults, $8.00. Senior citizens, $7.00. Children under 12, $4.00. Description: There are three boats in the Thimbles Island trade, as listed above. The Thimbles are a group of small islands scattered immediately o√ the shore of the Stony Creek section of Branford. These attractive little islands are famous for their association with Captain Kidd and other early New England pirates. The boats leave from the Stony Creek dock and weave in and out of the islands as they deliver mail and goods to local residents, with the captains entertaining passengers throughout by recounting local tales of pirates, pirate treasure (still not found), accounts of local ship wreck and storm, and anecdotes about local people and birds, animals, and marine life that can be spotted from the boats. All the islands are privately held, so passengers cannot get o√ and explore, but this cruise is a pleasant excursion of an hour or so. The boats are always in sight of shore, so even those who are generally leery of the water should find this to be an enjoyable trip. Hours:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: These boats are not accessible to chair users who must remain in their chairs. For those chair users who can transfer from chair to a seat on the boat, a trip is possible. All the boats lie low in the water, and passengers must step down into the seating area. The gangplanks are short, and once onboard, there are no steps or ladders. Transferring from dock to boat and back is best done at or near high tide (call ahead to find out when the tide will be high), so that the gangplank is less steep. The chair user needs to be able to transfer from the chair to the boat; this makes this trip accessible for some users but will put it

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o√-limits for many others. Smaller children who can be picked up and transferred easily are probably the best candidates for this ride. Others may want to call ahead to find out whether the trip is worth a try. There are no bathrooms for anyone onboard. All other disabilities: Because this tour lasts a little over an hour, it is a particularly good outing for young children or children with shorter attention spans. Take binoculars along so that children can look at boats on Long Island Sound or watch birds, seals, or the shoreline and islands more closely.

Train and Trolley Rides Connecticut Trolley Museum 58 North Road (Route 140), East Windsor Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 45. Turn east on

Route 140 and go 3⁄4 mile. Phone: 860–627–6540 Internet: www.ceraonline.org Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Labor Day through Columbus Day and April through Memorial Day, Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m. Admission: Adults, $6.00. Senior citizens, $5.00. Children 2– 12, $3.00. Children under 2, free. Price includes admission to the Connecticut Fire Museum next door (see page 69). Description: This museum has more than 30 reconditioned trolleys dating from the late nineteenth century on. Trolleys take passengers on a 3-mile ride. (Visitors can take the ride as many times as they like.) Other equipment and memorabilia from the heyday of trolley travel are also on display.

Rides

Special events: There are special trolley rides during the Christmas season through a ‘‘tunnel’’ of Christmas lights and featuring appearances by Santa. Also, during Halloween week, ‘‘Rails to the Dark Side’’ is held for braver children aged 13 and older.

Accessibility Wheelchair users: There is on-site handicapped parking, and the visitor’s center is fully accessible. The trolleys themselves require climbing a set of steps. The sta√ and trolley conductors are willing to take extra time to help a child who may be mobility impaired onboard, but this may be too much of a task for a child who cannot be moved out of his or her chair. If a child is more mobile and can comfortably be seated in the seats onboard the trolley, he or she will probably enjoy the ride. General: The Connecticut Trolley Museum hosts a large number of children with disabilities and their families and is frequently visited by children from special programs and adults from group homes, so it seems to be a fun and interesting excursion for a wide variety of children and adults.

Danbury Railway Museum 120 White Street, Danbury From I-84 East, take Exit 5. At the end of the ramp, follow signs for the Metro North station. The Museum is before the train station on the opposite side of the tracks. From I-84 West, take Exit 6. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 203–778–8337 Internet: www.danbury.org/org/drm Hours: April 1 through October 31, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. November Directions:

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1 to March 31, Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Sunday 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays. Admission: Adults, $3.00. Children 5–15, $2.00. Children under 5, free. Description: This nice, small museum is good for a short outing to introduce children to trains. It is located in a restored 1903 railway station and features vintage locomotives and cars, model trains, and memorabilia. Special events: 20-minute rides are held in restored rail cars several times a month. Longer train rides using the Metro North rail system are also held on occasion. Call for more information. Accessibility Wheelchair users: This museum has limited accessibility. There is

handicapped parking and the station itself is accessible. However, chair users will not be able to get on and o√ the old cars. They can look at the train cars in the yard and will be able to see the exhibits in the station, but unless they are rail bu√s, this may not be of much interest. Children with visual impairments: Most of the exhibits in the station are behind glass. Children with visual impairments will probably get the most out of walking through or riding on the rail cars. Essex Stream Train and Riverboat Ride Railroad Avenue, Essex From I-95 North or South, take Exit 69 (Route 9). From Route 9, take Exit 3 and turn left at the end of the ramp. The railroad is just after the highway underpass on the left. Phone: 860–767–0103, 1–800–ESSEX–TRAIN Internet: www.valleyrr.com Hours: May through December. Call or visit the Web site for the daily schedule. Directions:

Rides

Admission: Train and boat: Adults, $15.00. Children 3–11, $7.50. Train alone: Adults, $10.00. Children 3–11, $5.00. Children under 3, free. Description: This wonderful old-fashioned steam train carries passengers on a trip along the Connecticut River between Essex and Chester. Many passengers choose to make a full morning or afternoon of it by getting o√ the train at Deep River and taking a riverboat excursion up the river as far as the Goodspeed Opera House at East Haddam and then returning to the Deep River Landing to take the waiting train back to Essex. The full train and boat trip takes about 21⁄2 hours. For a shorter expedition, you can ride up and back on the same train, for a trip of about 45 minutes. This is an excellent excursion for all ages, even very young children, that is nice in good weather, great on hot summer days, and spectacular during the fall foliage season. Special events: There are special events during holiday seasons. Recent appearances by a full-sized Thomas the Tank Engine have drawn large crowds.

Accessibility

The one group we cannot recommend the trains for are wheelchair users. Although there are places out of the flow of tra≈c at the front and rear of almost all the coaches that a wheelchair would fit into nicely, the steps are extremely steep. Train conductors will try to help you aboard if you show up with a wheelchair user, but the steps are so steep and narrow that they are very di≈cult to get up and even harder to get down, particularly if you have other small children in tow. Children who use walkers, crutches, and other assistive devices will need to be helped up and down the steps, but parents might want to give this a try, because once aboard, there is a long, delightful ride through the forest and along the Connecti-

Wheelchair users:

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cut River. The bathroom and gift shop in the station are accessible. There are no bathrooms on the train. All other disabilities: This is recommended for children with all other types of disability. The ride is fun, with the jostling and rumbling of the train and the trail whistle screeching at each intersection. Naugatuck Railroad Company and Railroad Museum of New England 242 Main Street, Thomaston From I-95, take Exit 27A. Turn onto Route 8 North and take Exit 38. At the end of the ramp, turn left, and go to the sixth stoplight. Continue for 3 blocks past this light, watching for signs. A ramp leading down into station is on the right. From I-84 East or West, take Exit 20. Then follow the directions above. From the Merritt Parkway, take Exit 52. Then follow the directions above. Phone: 860–283–RAIL Internet: www.rmne.org Hours: Memorial Day through early November, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 3 trains a day. Closed Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Open on summer holidays and on Columbus Day. Call for departure times. Admission: Adults, $9.95. Senior citizens, $8.95. Children 3– 12, $5.95. Children under 3, free. Description: This is a 11⁄2-hour ride on a restored historic (1920s) railway car through a state forest and along the Naugatuck River. Directions:

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Although the parking lot and station are accessible, getting a chair user up into the old train cars is very di≈-

Rides

cult. For a lighter child with a foldable chair or someone who can use the regular seats, this excursion may be possible. But for heavier chair users or those with a heavy chair, this would be dangerous. Once aboard, however, chairs can be set up in a vestibule in each car, and the ride is pleasant. If you want to give it a try, sta√ and conductors are very helpful. There are no bathrooms on the train. Children with visual impairments: The displays in the museum area are all behind glass. The real feature here, however, is the ride itself, which many children will enjoy. General: This is a nice outing for families, but keep in mind that the ride is rather long. If you have children with short attention spans, they could become fidgety. Point out the mills and dam, the forests and the river. There’s plenty to keep young children interested. Shore Line Trolley Museum 17 River Street, East Haven Northbound on I-95, take Exit 51 and turn right at end of ramp. Turn left onto Main Street and then right onto Hemingway Avenue. Next block, turn left onto River Street, Museum will be on your left. From I-95 southbound, take Exit 52 and turn left at the end of the ramp. Follow road under I-95 and then turn left onto Main Street. From there, see above. Phone: 203–467–6927 Internet: www.bera.org Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day, Daily, 10:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. (trolleys every 30 minutes). May, September, October, and December, Saturday and Sunday, only. April and November, Sunday only. Admission: Adults, $5.00. Senior citizens, $4.00. Children 2– 15, $2.00. Children under 2, free. Directions:

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Description: This small museum preserves the history and lore of

the trolley. It features a 3-mile trolley ride and memorabilia. Much of the pleasure here is in the scenic ride and getting on and o√ the slow-moving trolley to walk or picnic along the route. Also interesting is the collection of trolleys in the car barns at the end of the run, where many old trolleys are stored. Accessibility Wheelchair users: Although there are handicapped parking spaces, accessible bathrooms, and a small indoor museum exhibition area, most of this museum will not be accessible for a chair user. Getting up and down the steps of the trolley will be a challenge for many wheelchair users. Only individuals light enough to be carried up into the cars and seated on the regular seats will be able to get on board. The old trolleys stored in the car barns are at the end of the route, so they are o√-limits to those who cannot ride the trolley. Children with visual impairments: The ride may be fun for some children, although much of the fun of the ride is the scenery along the way. Children with significant visual impairments may soon tire of the ride. The video and slide show in the museum is narrated, and a visually impaired child could follow along. Most of the exhibits in the museum cannot be touched. Children with hearing impairments: The ride itself and the museum may be of interest for hearing impaired children, but be aware that the video and slide presentations are not captioned. Children with mental retardation: Many children will enjoy the novelty of this low-key ride through the countryside. As always, parents are the best judges of what will interest their child, but this ride may be a good summertime excursion. Only 5 minutes from New Haven, it might be a good short expedition for area families.

Theaters and the Performing Arts

Accessibility Wheelchair users: Most theaters around the state are now wheelchair accessible. Many newer theaters, including all new movie theaters, have no steps at all and usually have accessible bathrooms as well. If you have not checked out your local movie house or theater (or have not done so for some time), it is worth a call. The Connecticut Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired publishes a monthly newsletter, available free to anyone on request, that lists a number of upcoming events around the state, including theater and dance performances, lectures, and other events. To request CDH INFO, write to: Connecticut Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, 40 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105; or call: 860–566–7414 (voice/TTY) or 1–800–708–6796; or visit the commission’s Web site: www.state.ct.us/cdhi/index.htm. Children with hearing impairments: Many theaters have installed assistive listening devices, also known as infrared hearing systems. Worn as wireless earphones, the system greatly amplifies the sounds that are coming from the stage or screen while remaining inaudible to the individual sitting in the next chair. They are lightweight and practically unnoticeable, especially in a dark theater. The system can be used with or without hearing aids. Infrared hearing systems are usually available free, but it is advisable to call ahead and reserve them when purchasing your tickets. Theaters in Connecticut with infrared listening devices are listed below.

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Theaters and Performing Arts

Hartford Stage Company 50 Church Street, Hartford Phone: 860–527–5151 (voice/TTY) Internet: www.hartfordstage.org

Hartman Theater 307 Atlantic Street, Stamford Phone: 203–323–2131 (Voice)

IMAX Theater at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk 10 North Water Street, Norwalk Phone: 203–852–0700 (Voice) Internet: www.martimeaquarium.org

Lincoln Theater University of Hartford 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford Phone: 860–768–4228, 860–768–4536 (Voice)

Long Wharf Theater 222 Sergeant Drive, New Haven Phone: 203–787–4282 (Voice) Internet: www.longwharf.org

Theaters and Performing Arts

Oakdale Theater 95 South Hartford Turnpike, Wallingford Phone: 203–265–1501 (Voice) Internet: www.oakdale.com

Shubert Theater 247 College Street, New Haven Phone: 203–228–6622 (Voice) Internet: www.shubert.com

Stamford Center for the Arts 307 Atlantic Street, Stamford Phone: 203–323–2131 (Voice) Internet: www.onlyatsca.com

Westport Country Playhouse 25 Powers Street, Westport Phone: 203–226–0153 (Voice) Internet: www.westportplayhouse.org Note: Listening devices are available

only during the summer

season. Yale Repertory Theater 222 York Street, New Haven Phone: 203–432–1234 (voice), 1–800–842–1501 (TTY) Internet: www.yale.edu/yalerep

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Signed Performances The Hartford Stage Company, Long Wharf Theater, and Yale Repertory Theater generally feature Sign Language interpretation for one performance of each production. Call the theater for its schedule. The theatrical companies listed below give performances in Sign specifically for the hearing-impaired community. Most of these productions can also be followed and enjoyed by hearing family members. Cridders c/o Keith Vinei, PO Box 945 Middletown, CT 06457 Phone: 860–346–7206 (Voice, evenings) Description: This troupe is made up of performers

who are also Sign Language interpreters. They specialize in musical productions, with Sign Language, mime, and dance. The troupe also appears as the group COSIGN introducing Sign Performing at workshops, educational seminars, and school and civic organization events. National Theater of the Deaf 55 Van Dyke Avenue, Hartford

Phone: 860–724–5179 or 1–800–550–7974 (voice/TTY) Internet: www.ntd.org Description: This world-renowned professional ensemble is based

in Connecticut, but it is in such demand that it is usually on the road. There are occasional local performances, however, and the company also gives dress rehearsals that are open to the public. Luckily, the NTD’s troupe for young people, the Little The-

Theaters and Performing Arts

ater for the Deaf, does Signed-Spoken performances in schools, parks, museums, theaters, and libraries throughout the state. Contact it for an upcoming schedule of performances. When this troupe performs at a local school, deaf children who are not yet in school or are in another school district are usually welcome to attend the performance. Call the school administrators in advance.

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Family Weekends Away

Camp Harkness at Harkness Memorial State Park 301 Great Neck Road, Waterford From I-95 North or South, take Exit 75 (Waterford) and follow the signs to Harkness Memorial State Park. Phone: 860–443–7818 Internet: www.harkness.org Hours: Year-round, 8:00 a.m. to sunset. Admission: Overnight guests at Camp Harkness Family Weekend Program, free. Parking fee per car, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Monday through Friday, in-state plates, $4.00, outof-state plates, $5.00. Weekends and holidays, in-state plates, $5.00, out-of-state plates, $8.00. Note: There are two ways to enjoy Harkness Memorial State Park. One is to come for the day to use the park and the beach. The other is to come for a Family Weekend at Camp Harkness. The information below is for both day visitors and campers, but note that the special rules of how to obtain a cabin are directed at those who wish to take advantage of the weekend program. Admission is free for the Family Weekend. Because this is a popular weekend getaway spot for many families, especially in the summer, reserve as far in advance as possible. To make a reservation, a completed Admission Pass Application, certified by a physician who works with the individual with a disability, must be sent to: Bob Ulkas, Camp Director, 301 Great Neck Road, Waterford, CT 06385. Description: Camp Harkness is a state park specifically designed for use by persons with disabilities and their families and friends. The park’s definition of disability is ‘‘a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one’s major life activity.’’ Any Connecticut resident who has a disability is eligible to take Directions:

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advantage of the Family Weekend program. Parents with a disabled toddler, families with a visually impaired grandparent, or siblings with their brother or sister with mental retardation—all are welcome. The entire facility is designed to be fully accessible according to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Families participating in the weekend program generally come for full weekends, with a limited number of cabins available for use—one cabin per family. (Five cabins are winterized, and a winter visit may appeal to hardier souls.) This is a real camping experience, and the cabins have been described as ‘‘rugged,’’ ‘‘rustic,’’ and ‘‘primitive.’’ Children may be more enthusiastic about the basic camplike nature of the lodging than some parents. Everything is clean and well maintained, however, and children and adults who would like to watch TV, use the VCR, or play pool can do so at the central lodge. There are cooking facilities on-site, or families can have cookouts or travel outside the camp for some meals. Located just north of New London, Harkness is a good vacation base from which to explore the nearby area of Mystic, Long Island Sound, and the Connecticut River valley. Families can also make a full weekend of it just by relaxing at the beach. Accessibility Wheelchair users: The entire facility is fully accessible. A walkway leads to the beach, which is accessible and supervised by lifeguards. (There’s great sand for building sand castles, too.) A deck gives chair users access to the waterfront, and a portable ramp allows chair users to roll to the water’s edge. Surf chairs are available free on a first-come-first-serve basis (for a description of surf chairs, see page 160). Activities such as volleyball, horseshoes, an exercise trail, and a long, wheelchair-accessible boardwalk out onto the

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Family Weekends Away

marshes provide lots of things to do, see, and explore. The enormous open grassy lawns will be easily accessible for most wheelchair users, and make a perfect location for serious kite flying, picnicking, or just gazing out over Long Island Sound. Note: Several groups and schools for children and adults with disabilities regularly use Harkness, so there is often a picnic or a volleyball game going on in which family visitors are welcome to join. Summer residential camping programs for children with disabilities are also located at Harkness. Because our book is intended specifically for use by families, we do not list these here, but interested parents should inquire, for there are some excellent programs that children might enjoy. Camp Hemlocks Family Weekend 85 Jones Street, Hebron From the Hartford area, take Route 2 to Exit 16. At the end of the ramp, turn left on Jones Street. Continue straight on Jones Street after passing a stop sign. Camp Hemlocks is 2 miles further on the right. Look for the camp sign. Phone: 860–228–9496 Internet: www.eastersealsofct.org Hours: Two weekends a year, fall and spring. Admission: Couples, $56.00 per person. Each additional individual, $49.00. Description: Run by Easter Seals, Camp Hemlocks provides a wonderful series of recreational activities for individuals of all ages with disabilities year-round. Each year, for two weekends, once in the spring and again in the fall, the camp is open for a family weekend, with food, lots of sports and activities, and plenty of fun. Families with any member who has a disability are eligible to attend these weekends. Families arrive Friday night and spend all day Saturday Directions:

Family Weekends Away

participating in a series of outdoor and indoor recreational activities. (Specific activities vary; the sta√ tailors the experience to the individuals who are attending.) Departure takes place after lunch on Sunday. The fee covers lodging for Friday and Saturday nights as well as all food and activities. Private rooms with baths are fully accessible and available for use by families. Adjoining rooms with connecting door are available for larger families. Rooms are pleasant and rustic. A large commons room houses a TV and VCR. Accessibility

Camp Hemlocks is a fully accessible facility. Respitality Contact: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Hartford 80 Whitney Street, Hartford, CT 06105 Phone: 860–236–6201 Internet: www.ucp.org Description: United Cerebral

Palsy of Greater Hartford o√ers a wonderful family weekend program called Respitality. Recognizing that all families need to get away from daily routines and the demands of caregiving, UCP, in conjunction with area hotels, o√ers families the opportunity to take a break. According to the UCP, ‘‘Through Respitality, families can put aside the demands of daily caregiving and spend a weekend together just having fun.’’ Twenty-nine hotels in Connecticut, in collaboration with UCP, welcome families at greatly reduced rates for special ‘‘weekend getaways.’’ Families are eligible for four weekends a year, three of which allow parents to get away by themselves (with UCP providing respite care at home for the children) and one that is open to the whole family. The reduced rate also includes

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an entertainment package, with UPC supplying families with free passes to places such as nearby museums and local restaurants so that they can fully enjoy their weekend away. Two outof-state hotels—one in the Berkshires (North Adams, Massachusetts) and another in the Lake District of Upstate New York (Lockport) also participate in this program. Respitality is available to all families with children with any type of disability from throughout Connecticut. Families with children up to the age of 21 (as long as the dependents are still in special education) are eligible. The only requirement for participation, according to UCP, is that you feel you need a break. Fees are charged for the program on a sliding-scale basis and tend to be very reasonable. Brain Injury Association of Connecticut Recreation Weekend Camp Hemlocks, Hebron From the Hartford area, take Route 2 to Exit 16. At the end of the ramp, turn left on Jones Street. Continue straight on Jones Street after passing a stop sign. Hemlocks is 2 miles further on the right. Look for the camp sign. Phone: 860–721–8111, 1–800–278–8242 Hours: Held annually in the fall. Call for specific dates. Families are admitted for one full day of activities. Admission: A very reasonable fee is charged per person for the entire weekend, which includes all lodging, food, and activities. Scholarships are available for families and individuals who cannot a√ord the fee. A reduced rate is charged for those who come just for the day of activities. Description: This special weekend is open to all persons with brain injury and their families. The Brain Injury Association in Rocky Hill rents the entire camp for the weekend, and there are Directions:

Family Weekends Away

usually about 150 participants. There is swimming and fishing, music and dancing, hiking, crafts, and more—specific activities vary from year to year, but the days are always full. There are also workshops and breakout groups for those who would like to talk about issues of concern. Many of the participants are teenagers or adults, but the weekend is open to everyone, and nondisabled younger siblings or children of persons with brain injury also find this a very enjoyable weekend. For more information, write to: Program Director, 1800 Silas Deane Highway, Suite 224, Rocky Hill, CT 06067. Accessibility

Camp Hemlocks is fully accessible. For additional information on Camp Hemlocks, see page 222.

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Accessible Places in and Around Your Community

Fire Stations Fire stations are frequently very good about letting children have a look at their engines when all is quiet in the station. (Even when the station doors are not open, children can often see the big engines by peering through the windows.) Because fire engines are kept in garages at street level, they are easily accessible for children in wheelchairs. A walk to the local fire station might be a good short adventure for your children. (When possible, call ahead to make sure the engines are in.) Libraries A public library card is free to all residents of the community. Not only are there books, audiotapes, compact discs, and video tapes that will interest many, but many libraries have special programs for children throughout the year and during school holidays. An increasing number of local libraries are buying family passes to area museums, parks, and other attractions that charge admission. These family passes can be taken out for the day with your library card and allow you and your family free admission to local attractions. Ask your local librarian about this. Many libraries can now be contacted by email as well as by phone. The Connecticut State Library, located at 198 West Street in Rocky Hill, maintains the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. This facility makes Talking Books available free of charge to any person who cannot read conventional print. It has a lot of children’s material. For people who are hard 228

Accessible Places

of hearing, amplified headsets are also available at no cost, to be lent (and returned) with the book. To participate in this program, a certification of eligibility is needed. For more information, write to: Connecticut State Library, 198 West Street, Rocky Hill, CT 06067, or call 860–566–2151 (Hartford area) or 1–800–842–4516, or e-mail: [email protected], or visit the library’s Web site: www.cslib.org/lbph.htm. Wheelchair users: Public libraries around the state are, by law, required to be wheelchair accessible, and almost all libraries have already made significant changes in their facilities, putting in ramps, bathrooms, and water fountains in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Children with visual impairments: Many libraries have set up whole sections of books on tape (and more recently on compact disc) that have become increasingly popular. Many children’s stories and books, classic stories, popular novels, and how-to books on tape are ideal for the child (or teenager or adult) with a visual impairment. Generally, these books on tape are free. Children with hearing impairments: Most libraries o√er a wide selection of videos (usually free), many of which are now closedcaptioned. If your local library does not carry the closedcaptioned videos, they can be ordered free through interlibrary loan, and there is a regional computer system that will let your local librarian know which captioned feature films are available and where. Airports Connecticut is home to several major airports and a number of smaller ones. Often you don’t even need to get out of your car to watch planes take o√ and land, and at some of the very small airports, you can actually walk or roll right up to the smaller parked planes and peek inside.

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Accessible Places

Hot-Air Balloons The Farmington Valley in particular has a thriving cottage warm-weather industry in hot-air ballooning. Taking a ride in a hot-air balloon is prohibitively expensive—most companies charge about $200 to $300 per person for a ride. But watching a balloon take o√ is almost as much fun and is free. Balloons generally go up at dawn or dusk. Where they take o√ from varies from day to day. Often it is a very accessible place, such as a parking lot, open park meadow, or large lawn. (Sometimes you can see the whole thing without getting out of your car or van.) Check your local yellow pages for ballooning companies and call—they can tell you where and when they will next be taking o√. Most companies are happy to have people come and watch. Airvertising and Airventures of West Simsbury (860–651– 4441) is one of the most active companies in the area, with flights almost daily in warm weather in the Hartford and Farmington Valley area. This company features the only wheelchair-accessible balloon in New England. A specially designed basket with a drop gate allows up to two chair users to come onboard and ascend for a flight. This is not cheap—prices range from $200 to $250 per person per flight. For those who want to try, call. This company deserves special credit for making the sport of ballooning accessible. A growing number of festivals feature hot-air balloons. Examples include the Spring Da√odil Festival in Meriden (late April), Balloons Over Bristol (late May), the South County Balloon Festival ( July) in Kingstown, Rhode Island, and the Plainville Balloon Fest (late August). Parades Because most towns and cities have adapted their sidewalks for wheelchair users, parades are more easily accessible these

Accessible Places

days and make great outings. In many cases, if you come early enough, you can actually park your car along the parade route, sit inside, and watch it all march by. The state’s vacation guide, updated annually, gives listings and exact dates of the parades scheduled during the upcoming calendar year (see page 238). Fireworks Many towns and cities throughout the state feature fireworks on or around the Fourth of July. A number of these can be seen from town parks, beaches, and, in some cases, from strategically parked vans. (If you are unsure where to catch the best view, call the local town hall and ask where they would recommend parking. Come early enough to get a prime spot.) Of special note is the annual Mashantucket Pequot Thames River Fireworks on the Thames River. One of the largest fireworks displays in the country, it is sponsored by the tribal council around (but not always on) July 4. Call 860–599–2214 for the date and time and accessible viewing spots. Historic Houses Almost every city, town, and village in Connecticut features at least one historic house, usually run by the local historical society. These houses are often significant because of their age or because a famous local individual lived there (often both), and are furnished with antiques. More and more of these homesteads are trying to make themselves increasingly handicapped accessible, although because of narrow doorways and very steep stairs, most are wheelchair accessible only on the first floor, if at all. At many historic houses, the sta√ will allow a visually impaired child to explore objects—old-fashioned kitchen utensils, antique toys, feather beds, and so forth—by hand. A visit to a

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Accessible Places

nearby house makes a great short field trip and may be worth an inquiry about its accessibility. Summer Concerts on the Green Throughout the summer, towns around the state from Litchfield to Essex and Trumbull to West Haven to Manchester feature free concerts on the town green, usually in the early evening. Check local papers or watch for posters in the town library or post o≈ce. Bring a picnic dinner and a blanket (and bug spray). County Fairs A number of local fairs are held around the state, most of them taking place in August, September, and October. Many are wonderful places for family outings—and great for children at many di√erent ages and abilities. There are often lots of animals, horse and tractor pulls, crafts and baking, and rides and games. These fairs tend to be best earlier in the day, especially if one is going with younger children—they can get quite crowded in the later afternoons and evenings. Wheelchair accessibility will vary from one fair to another depending on the fairgrounds themselves and on the various activities scheduled. The Chester Fair, for example, is held in a flat, open field, with on-site parking, and almost all the craft and animal halls are at ground level and easily accessible (although many of the rides may not be). Parking for the Hamburg Fair, by contrast, involves parking on the side of a busy, narrow road, and the fair itself is held on the side of a steep hill. It is not easily accessible. For a booklet of agricultural fairs (which includes wheelchair accessibility information) send $1.00 and a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Associa-

Accessible Places

tion of Connecticut Fairs, PO Box 563, Sommers, CT 06071, or visit the association’s Web site: www.ctfairs.org. ‘‘Pick Your Own’’ Farms Farms all over the state allow people to come ‘‘pick their own’’ fruits and vegetables. The season generally starts in early June with strawberries and continues on until October, when children can go with their parents to pick apples and select a pumpkin for Halloween. Not all farms (or all types of crops) will be accessible for all children, but there are often things to do. For children with no mobility impairments, families can venture far out into the fields and orchards. With a bit of help, even a very young child can reach apples and peaches on the branches that are low to the ground. Children with visual impairments may enjoy finding fruit such as apples, pears, and blueberries. For the child with a hearing impairment or a child with mental retardation who is mobile, almost any crop is accessible. Strawberry fields, often located close to parking areas, may be accessible to children in wheelchairs. (Indeed, some orchards are close enough to a paved road or packed-dirt path and flat enough to allow chair users to get to at least their outer edges with a bit of help.) Have your children help you cook or bake what they’ve brought in from the fields. Check out the local farm in your area. Remember to take insect repellent, a hat, and sunblock on sunny days. A small brochure listing ‘‘Pick Your Own Places’’ is available from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. Send a stamped self-addressed envelope to: Marketing Division, 765 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105, or call 860–713– 2503, or visit the department’s Web site: www.state.ct.us/doag. Special note: The Jones Family Farm in Shelton (203– 929–6237, www.JonesFamilyFarm.com) comes highly recom-

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mended by a reader. At Halloween and Christmas time, elaborate decorations, music, and events make this a great family outing. If families call ahead, a cart with a wheelchair ramp will be available to take a child in a chair to the pumpkin fields or Christmas tree areas (as long as there is snow cover). The farm’s bathrooms are accessible as well. Christmas Tree Farms In addition to picking crops during the spring, summer, and fall, a growing number of commercial farms now feature fields where you can cut your own Christmas trees. Some farms have trees planted fairly close to their parking areas and paths out to the fields that are broad enough for wheelchair users. Other farms take people out to the fields on horse- or tractor- drawn hay-rides. If your child is a chair user who can be transferred onto a hay bale and sit in the wagon, this might be a great experience. For children who are not mobility impaired, this would also be a great family outing. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture has a small bulletin that lists Christmas tree farms around the state. Request the Christmas Tree Farms publication as listed above under ‘‘Pick Your Own’’ Farms. Plan to call the farm before your visit to ask about accessibility. (See the list of questions on accessibility on page 239.) Outdoor Art Shows and Festivals An increasing number of outdoor arts and crafts shows and festivals are held throughout the year. Many of these, from the Shad Derby in Windsor to the juried Guilford Handicraft Exposition—are great places to go with the family and tend to be accessible. In Mystic, for example, a street is closed o√ for the afternoon while visitors come to look at art and sample food. In

Accessible Places

Old Saybrook, a park (flat and wheelchair accessible) in the center of town is turned into a large arts and crafts fair for several days. A number of ethnic festivals ranging from Indian powwows to Scottish Highland games are held around the state as well, usually in accessible places. Also of special note is the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas, held annually in June. Look for listings in local newspapers or check the state’s vacation guide (see page 238) for details. High School and College Sports Almost every high school, community college, and four-year college in the state, from the high school just up the street to the University of Connecticut Huskies, now has a wheelchairaccessible sports facility. Check your local schools for their schedule of sports games throughout the year. Many are free or have very low admission rates. Some may require advance purchase of tickets, but all can make for a fun family outing. Also note that student athletes tend to be very accessible to their young fans in high schools and smaller colleges. Other Ideas Bowling alleys, ice and roller skating rinks, community and YMCA/YWCA swimming pools and sports facilities, and theater events held in high schools and elementary schools, colleges, and universities—increasingly these and other venues are putting in ramps and bathrooms, allowing children and adults with disabilities to skate, swim, and romp. TTYs are also being installed for deaf patrons, and the Internet makes many things much easier to find out about. If you have not checked into local facilities in some time, give them a call or e-mail them. (See our checklist on determining accessibility on page 239.)

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Recommended Publications and Additional Resources Disability-Related Materials Summer Directory of Camps and Programs for Exceptional Children in Connecticut The Special Education Resource Center in Connecticut o√ers this outstanding free publication. The directory is updated annually and lists dozens of day programs and overnight camps for children with disabilities. Many of the programs and camps that are listed mainstream children with disabilities with ablebodied children. Others are specifically for children with certain types of disabilities. This directory is an important resource, and we urge all parents to obtain a copy. Write to: The Special Education Resource Center, 25 Industrial Park Road, Middletown, CT 06457–1520, or call 860–632–1485. A Guide to Services for the Deaf in Connecticut The State of Connecticut Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired is currently revising its very helpful guide. The guide is designed for use by people with hearing impairments, their families and friends, and organizations and agencies that serve the deaf and hearing-impaired community. Topics include legal and financial issues, educational programs, state and national agencies, services for mental health, religious organizations, and recreational programs. It is an invaluable resource and should be on the shelf of every individual with a hearing impairment. Although the print version is due out in the near future, 236

Recommended Publications

materials are now available and regularly being updated on the Internet. For a free print version, write to: Susan Pedersen, State of Connecticut Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, 1245 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06107, or visit the Web site: www.state.ct.us/cdhi/index.htm. Connecticut Resource Directory: National Spinal Cord Injury Association, Connecticut Chapter Much of the information in this excellent free guide is intended for adults, but it contains a wealth of information about resources, literature, and organizations around the state and beyond that apply to all. It belongs on the bookshelf of any family with a member who has a spinal cord injury or is a wheelchair user. For a free copy, write to: National Spinal Cord Association, Connecticut Chapter c/o Gaylord Hospital, Gaylord Farms Road, Wallingford, CT 06492, or call 203–284–1045, visit the association’s Web site: www.iconn.net/nsciact, or send an e-mail to: [email protected]. General Guides to Connecticut In addition to publications intended for those with a disability, several other resources might prove helpful to families. The Connecticut Vacation Guide, an excellent free publication issued annually by the State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development, gives helpful information on spots of local interest as well as on hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas. Those places that are wheelchair accessible are marked. In the back of the guide is a great listing of special events held throughout the year. The guide is available at tourist information booths throughout the state. For a free copy, write to: Tourism Division, Connecticut Depart-

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Recommended Publications

ment of Economic and Community Development, 210 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106 or call 1–800–282–6863. The tourism division is also happy to send along a free state map. Visit the tourism o≈ce’s Web site: www.ctbound.org. Several very good guides to Connecticut are available, but among these, Suzanne Staubach’s Connecticut: Driving Through History (North Attleborough, Mass.: Covered Bridge Press, 1998) deserves special mention. Intended for history bu√s, it is a guided tour of the state along various back roads. With this guide you can discover points of historic interest and scenic places without having to get out of the car. For a parent with impaired mobility or a family whose child has a mobility impairment, this book can be a wonderful resource. If your kids find historic locations and scenic town greens boring, this may not be the book for you—but if your family is given to Sunday drives and you enjoy pointing out Revolutionary War sites and haunted houses, you might really find this book a great resource.

Making Your Own Inquiries

Here is a list of questions we asked when putting together this book. We o√er them in the hope that they may prove useful to you in planning your own outings. We feel strongly that the more often people call and ask these questions, the more likely it will be that a facility—be it a restaurant, a museum, or a park— will try to become accessible to everyone. Although many places believe that they are accessible, these questions will help you determine whether they are, in fact, accessible for you.

Wheelchair Users ≤ Is there on-site handicapped parking? (If not, where is parking located?) Is the parking area paved, gravel, or packed dirt? ≤ To get from the parking area to the building (playground, trail, etc.) is there a path or sidewalk? If there is a sidewalk, does it have curb cuts? Is the walkway paved, gravel, or packed dirt? ≤ Can a wheelchair user use the front entrance, or must a chair user go to the side or back of a building? Is there a ramp into the facility, or can a chair user roll right in? If there is a door, can a chair user easily open it, or will he or she require help? Can a chair user enter a facility without assistance, or is someone needed to help get him or her over a doorstep, up a small flight of stairs, or through a heavy door? ≤ Is all of your facility on one level? If not, how would a chair user get from one level to the next? Are the corridors or spaces between exhibits or around objects wide

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enough for someone who is a chair user to go through easily? (Ask for specific widths if in doubt.) If there are exhibits in cases, etc., are they low enough for a chair user to see without straining? (If the respondent is unsure, ask if an older child can see without standing on tiptoe—an eight-year-old is a good measure.) Are there accessible bathrooms (special stalls, grab bars, etc.)? If there is an outside area, ask if this is accessible as well. Are paths paved or of packed earth or gravel? Are paths, lawns, etc., flat or nearly flat? ≤ Have they ever seen anyone in a wheelchair using their facility? This is often a good clue of actual accessibility. ≤ If you are going to an amusement park, or somewhere else with rides, ask whether the rides themselves are accessible. Too many amusement parks and fairs are now listed as ‘‘accessible’’ even though the rides themselves are not, a heartbreaking situation for a child with a disability who must look on while others have fun. Also, make sure to ask how many rides out of the total number are accessible. If only 2 rides are accessible out of 10 or 15, this might be a frustrating experience for your child. Even if the operator of an amusement park or fair does not know exactly how many rides are accessible, see if you can get a rough estimate—ask whether ‘‘only a few rides’’ are accessible or ‘‘about half ’’ or ‘‘more than half.’’

Children with Visual Impairments ≤ Does your facility have objects or exhibits that a child with a visual impairment can explore by touch? ≤ Do you allow all children to explore by touch, or is this something only a child with a visual impairment is al-

Making Your Own Inquiries

lowed to do? If only children with visual impairments are allowed to do this, must you call ahead to make special arrangements? If so, whom should you call and how far ahead? ≤ Are any of your signs, brochures, etc., in braille or large type? ≤ For a film or play, is there any visual description or narration that allows those with a visual impairment to listen with assistive devices to better follow the action on the screen or on stage?

Children with Hearing Impairments ≤ Are any of your lectures, tours, or performances o√ered with Sign Language interpretation? ≤ Are there special amplification devices available for visitors with hearing impairments? ≤ If a lecture, tour, or performance is not interpreted, is there enough light in the room or auditorium to allow Sign Language speakers to follow a family member or friend who may be interpreting for them? ≤ Does your facility have a TTY number? ≤ Does your facility have an Internet or e-mail address?

Children with Mental Retardation ≤ Does your facility have guided tours, or can children and families go at their own pace? Is there any time limit on how long a child can stay or a limit to how many times a child can try something? ≤ Can children touch some or all of the objects on display? ≤ Can children ask questions about the exhibits? Are peo-

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ple who work at your facility used to answering questions from children? ≤ How crowded does your facility get? Are there some times of day or days of the week that are better to come to avoid crowds?

Subject Index

Acorn Playground, 103 Airplanes, 64–67 Airports, 229 Airvertising and Airventures, 230 American Clock and Watch Museum, 67–68 American Legion State Forest, 160–161 Amistad, 73–75 Amusement parks, 196 Amy’s Udder Joy Exotic Animal Park, 1–2 Animal Sciences Department, University of Connecticut, 14–15 Appalachian Trail, 109–110 Arcades, 139–140 Art shows and festivals, 234– 235 Barn Island Launch, 148 Barnum Museum, 27–28 Baseball, 134–136 Basketball, 65–67, 136 Basketball Hall of Fame, 65–67 Beardsley Zoo, 3–4 Bicycling, 140–141 Bigelow Hollow State Park, 161 Black Rock State Park, 162 Bladens Brook, 149 Blu√ Point Coastal Reserve, 162–163

Boat rides, 204–210 Boundless Playground, 102 Braille Trail, Northwest Park and Nature Center, 125–126 Brain Injury Association of Connecticut Recreation Weekend, 226 Bridgeport Bluefish, 134 Bridgeport–Port Je√erson Ferry, 204–205 Bruce Museum, 28–29 Burlington Trout Hatchery, 4–6 Burr Pond State Park, 163–164 Camp Harkness, 222–224 Camp Hemlocks Family Weekend, 224–225 Captain’s Cove, 75–76 Carousel Museum, 49 Chatfield Hollow State Park, 164–165 Cheshire Playscape, 103–104 Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, 16–17 Christmas tree farms, 234 Clocks, 67–68 Coast Guard Academy, U.S., 96 Cockaponset State Forest, 165 Connecticut Audubon Center at Fairfield, 110–111 Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury, 111–112

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244

Subject Index

Connecticut Children’s Museum, 18–20 Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Marine Headquarters, 112–113 Connecticut Fire Museum, 69– 70 Connecticut Pride, 136 Connecticut River, 149–151 Connecticut River Museum, 29–30 Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, 31–32 Connecticut Trolley Museum, 210 Connecticut Wolves, 138 County fairs, 232–233 Creamery Brook Bison Farm, 6– 7 Cridders, 220 Cross-Sound Ferry, 205–206 Danbury Railway Museum, 211–212 Day Pond State Park, 166 Deep River Navigation Company, 206–208 Dennis Hill State Park, 166 Devil’s Hopyard State Park, 167 Dinosaur State Park, 32–33 Discovery Museum, 34–35 Dudley Farm, 76–77 East Haven Pier, 151 Edna Strube Chiboucas Special Use Trail, 110 Eight Mile River, 151

Eli Whitney Museum, 35–37 Elizabeth Park, 114–115 Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride, 212–214 Family Center Playground, 104 Farmington River, 152 Farms, ‘‘pick your own,’’ 233– 234 Ferries, 204–206 Filley Park and Scott Trail, 115– 116 Fire Museum, 70–71 Fire stations, 228 Firefighting, 69–71 Fireworks, 231 Fishing, 148–158 Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, 167–168 Fort Nathan Hale Park, 151 Fort Shantok State Park, 168 Fun Place, 104–105 Gardner Lake, 152 Gay City State Park, 169 Gillette Castle, 37–38 Goodwin State Forest, James L., 177 Haddam Meadows State Park, 170 Haley Farm State Park, 170–171 Hammonasset Beach State Park, 171–173 Hannah’s Dream, 105–106 Harkness Memorial State Park, 222–224

Subject Index

Harriet Beecher Stowe House, 77–78 Hartford Stage Company, 218 Hartford Wolf Pack Hockey Club, 136–137 Hartman Theater, 218 Haystack Mountain State Park, 173–174 High school sports, 235 Historic houses, 231–232 Hockey, 136–138 Hopeville Pond State Park, 174 Hot-air balloons, 230 Housatonic Meadows State Park, 175 Housatonic River, 152 Hurd State Park, 175–176 Ice-skating, 144–145 IMAX Theater, 42–44, 218 Indian Well State Park, 176– 177 Institute for American Indian Studies, 38–40 International Skating Center of Connecticut, 144–145 James L. Goodwin State Forest, 177 John A. Minetto State Park, 177–178 Jonathan’s Dream Playground, 106 Jones Family Farm, 233–234 Kent Falls State Park, 178 Kettletown State Park, 179

Kidcity Children’s Museum, 20– 22 Lake Compounce, 196–197 Lake Saltonstall, 152–153 Lake Waramaug State Park, 179–180 Libraries, 228–229 Lighthouse Point Park, 116– 117, 153 Lincoln Theater, 218 Lock 12 Historic Park, 117 Long Wharf Theater, 218 Lutz Children’s Museum, 22– 23 Lyman Allyn Dolls and Toys, 40–41 Lyman Allyn Museum, 41–42 Macedonia Brook State Park, 180–181 Mansfield Hollow State Park, 181 Mansfield Training Center Pond, 153 Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, 42–44 Mark Twain House, 78–81 Mashamoquet Brook State Park, 181–182 Mashantucket Pequot Museum, 44–46 Massacoh Plantation, 81–82 McCulloch Farm, 7–8 McLean Game Refuge, 118 Mill Woods Pond and Picnic Area, 119–120

245

246

Subject Index

Millstone Discovery Center, 71– 72 Minetto State Park, John A., 177 Miniature golf, 139–140, 197 Mohawk Mountain State Park, 182–183 Mohegan Park and Memorial Rose Garden, 120 Mount Tom State Park, 183 Mystic Aquarium/Institute for Exploration, 8–10 Mystic Seaport Museum, 46–48 Natchaug State Forest, 183–184 National Theater of the Deaf, 220–221 Nature Center for Environmental Activities, 121–122 Naugatuck Railroad Company, 214–215 New Britain Museum of American Art, 55–56 New Britain Rock Cats, 134 New Britain Youth Museum, 23–25 New Britain Youth Museum at Hungerford Park, 122–123 New Canaan Nature Center, 124–125 New England Air Museum, 64– 65 New England Carousel Museum, 49–50 New Haven Knights, 137–138 New Haven Ravens, 135 Niantic River Launch, 154

Northwest Park and Nature Center Braille Trail, 125– 126 Norwich Navigators, 135 Nuclear power plants, 71–72 Oakdale Theater, 219 Ocean Beach Park, 197–198 Old Lighthouse Museum, 82– 83 Old Newgate Prison, 84–85 Old State House, 85–86 Old Sturbridge Village, 86–88 Old Tolland Jail Museum, 88– 89 Old Wethersfield Cove, 89–90 Olde Mistick Village, 83–84 Only Game in Town, 139 Osbornedale State Park, 184 Owen Fish Playground, 107 Pachaug River, 154 Pachaug State Forest, 184– 185 Parades, 230–231 Pataconk Lake, 154 Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 50– 51 Penwood State Park, 185 Peoples State Forest, 186 ‘‘Pick your own’’ farms, 233– 234 Prudence Crandall Museum, 90–92 Putnam Memorial State Park, 186–187

Subject Index

Quaddick State Park, 187 Quassy Amusement Park, 198– 199 Quinebaug Public Fishing Ponds, 155 Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery, 11–12 Railroad Museum of New England, 214–215 Respitality, 225–226 Roaring Brook Nature Center, 126–128 Rocky Neck State Park, 155, 188 Roger Williams Park and Zoo, 12–14 Sail Connecticut Access Program, 141–143 Sailing, 141–144 Salmon River Fly Area, 155 Salmon River State Forest, 188– 189 Saugatuck Reservoir, 155 Schooner, 143–144 Schreeder Pond, 156 Science Center of Connecticut, 52–53 Science Center of Eastern Connecticut, 128 Scovill Reservoir, 156 She≈eld Island Lighthouse, 92– 93 Sherwood Island State Park, 189–190 Shore Line Trolley Museum, 215–216

Shubert Theater, 219 Silver Sands State Park, 190– 191 Six Flags New England, 199– 201 Sleeping Giant State Park, 191 Soccer, 138 Southford Falls Pond, 156 Southford Falls State Park, 192 Squantz Pond, 156 Squantz Pond State Park, 192 Stamford Center for the Arts, 219 Stamford Museum and Nature Center, 53–54 State Capitol Building, 93–95 Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 25–26 Stew Leonard’s, 202–203 Stillmeadow Elementary School Playground, 107–108 Stoddard Hill State Park, 193 Stratton Brook Park Pond, 157 Stratton Brook State Park, 193– 194 Submarines, 98–99 Summer camps, 236 Summer concerts on the green, 232 Swimming, 145–147 Tandem Bicycling Program for the Blind, 140–141 Thames River, 157–158 Thimble Island Cruises, 208– 210 Train and trolley rides, 210–216

247

248

Subject Index

Twain House. See Mark Twain House U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 96– 98 USS Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum, 98–99 University of Connecticut: Animal Sciences Department, 14–15; Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, 31–32; Storrs campus, 95– 96; William Benton Museum of Art, 58–59 Valley Railroad. See Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride Wadsworth Atheneum, 56–58 Wadsworth Falls State Park, 194–195

Walkers Reservoir, 158 Waterbury Spirits, 135–136 West Hartford Reservoir, 129– 130 Westmore Park: Farmyard and Hiking Trail, 130–131 Westport Country Playhouse, 219 Wharton Brook State Park, 195 White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center, 131–133 William Benton Museum of Art, 58–59 Yale Center for British Art, 59– 61 Yale Repertory Theater, 219 Yale University, 99–101 Yale University Art Gallery, 61– 63

Disability Index

The following lists places with special programs of interest to individuals with specific disabilities. Readers are urged to read the entries for details, for even when listed here, parts of the facility, or specific programs o√ered by the facility, may not be accessible.

Wheelchair Users Accessible places in and around your community, 228–235: airports, 229; Christmas tree farms (partially accessible), 234; county fairs, 232–233; fire stations, 228; fireworks, 231; high school and college sports, 235; historic houses (partially accessible), 231– 232; hot-air balloons, 230; libraries, 228–229; outdoor art shows and festivals, 235; parades, 230–231; ‘‘pick your own’’ farms (partially accessible), 233–234; summer concerts on the green, 232–233 Amusement parks: Lake Compounce, 196–197; Ocean Beach Park, 197–198; Quassy Amusement Park, 198–199; Six Flags New England, 199– 201; Stew Leonard’s, 202– 203 Animals, including farms, hatcheries, and zoos: Amy’s Udder Joy Exotic Animal Park, 1–2;

Beardsley Zoo, 3–4; Burlington Trout Hatchery, 4–6; Creamery Brook Bison Farm (partially accessible), 6–7; McCulloch Farm, 7–8; Mystic Aquarium/Institute for Exploration, 8–10; Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery, 11–12; Roger Williams Park and Zoo, 12–14; University of Connecticut Animal Sciences Department, 14–15; Westmore Park: Farmyard, 130–131 Baseball, 134–136; high school and college, 235 Basketball: Basketball Hall of Fame, 65–67; Connecticut Pride, 136; high school and college, 235; Only Game in Town (participant), 139 Boat rides: Bridgeport–Port Jefferson Ferry (partially accessible), 204–205; Cross-Sound Ferry (partially accessible),

249

250

Disability Index

Boat rides (continued ) 205–206; Deep River Navigation Company, 206–208; Sail Connecticut Access Program, 141–143; Schooner (partially accessible), 143–144; Sheffield Island Lighthouse (partially accessible/di≈cult), 92– 93; Thimble Island Cruises (partially accessible), 208– 210 Camping: Black Rock State Park, 162; Devil’s Hopyard State Park, 167; Hammonasset Beach State Park, 171– 173; Harkness Memorial State Park, 222–224; Hopeville Pond State Park, 174; Housatonic Meadows State Park, 175; Kettletown State Park, 179; Lake Waramaug State Park, 179–180; Macedonia Brook State Park, 180– 181; Mashamoquet Brook State Park, 181–182; Pachaug State Forest, 184–185; Rocky Neck State Park, 188; White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center, 131– 133 Children’s museums: Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, 16–17; Connecticut Children’s Museum, 18–20; Kidcity Children’s Museum (partially accessible),

20–22; Lutz Children’s Museum, 22–23; New Britain Youth Museum, 23–25; Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 25–26 Family weekends: Camp Harkness, 222–224; Camp Hemlocks, 224–225; Respitality, 225–226 Fishing, 148–158; Mohegan Park and Memorial Rose Garden, 120 Hiking: Appalachian Trail (accessible section), 109–110; Connecticut Audubon Center at Fairfield, Edna Chiboucas Special Use Trail, 110–111; Lock 12 Historic Park, 117; Stratton Brook State Park, 193–194. See also Camping; Nature centers (accessible buildings and hiking trails) Hockey: Hartford Wolf Pack Hockey Club, 136–137; high school and college, 235; New Haven Knights, 137–138 Ice-skating: International Skating Center of Connecticut, 144–145 Miniature golf: Only Game in Town, 139; Ocean Beach Park, 198 Museums of nature, history, sci-

Disability Index

ence, and art: Barnum Museum, 27–28; Bruce Museum, 28–29; Connecticut River Museum, 29–30; Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, 31–32; Dinosaur State Park, 32–33; Discovery Museum, 34–35; Eli Whitney Museum, 35–37; Gillette Castle (partially accessible), 37–38; Institute for American Indian Studies, 38–40; Lyman Allyn Dolls and Toys (partially accessible), 40–41; Lyman Allyn Museum, 41– 42; Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk and IMAX Theater, 42–44; Mashantucket Pequot Museum, 44–46; Mystic Seaport Museum (partially accessible), 46–48; New Britain Museum of American Art, 55–56; New England Carousel Museum, 49–50; Peabody Museum of Natural History, 50–51; Science Center of Connecticut (partially accessible), 52–53; Science Center of Eastern Connecticut, 128; Stamford Museum and Nature Center, 53–54; Wadsworth Atheneum, 56–58; William Benton Museum of Art, 58–59; Yale Center for British Art, 59–61; Yale University Art Gallery, 61–63 Museums of special interest:

American Clock and Watch Museum, 67–68; Basketball Hall of Fame, 65–67; Connecticut Fire Museum, 69– 70; Fire Museum, 70–71; Millstone Discovery Center, 71–72; New England Air Museum, 64–65 Nature centers (accessible buildings but inaccessible trails): Nature Center for Environmental Activities, 121–122; New Canaan Nature Center, 124–125; Roaring Brook Nature Center, 126–128; Science Center of Eastern Connecticut, 128 Nature centers (accessible buildings and hiking trails; note: some but not all trails are accessible; check specific listings): Connecticut Audubon Society at Fairfield, Edna Strube Chiboucas Special Use Trail, 110–111; Connecticut Audubon Society at Glastonbury, 111–112; Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Marine Headquarters, 112–113; Elizabeth Park, 114–115; Filley Park and Scott Trail, 115–116; Lighthouse Point Park, 116– 117; Lock 12 Historic Park, 117; McLean Game Reserve, 118; Mill Woods Pond and

251

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Disability Index

Nature centers (continued ) Picnic Area, 119–120; Mohegan Park and Memorial Rose Garden, 120; New Britain Youth Museum at Hungerford Park, 112–123; Northwest Park and Nature Center, 125– 126; Stamford Museum and Nature Center, 53–54; West Hartford Reservoir, 158; Westmore Park, 130–131; White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center, 131–133 Picnic areas, 159–195 (all state parks and forests); Elizabeth Park, 114–115; Mill Woods Pond and Picnic Area, 119– 120; Mohegan Park and Memorial Rose Garden, 120 Places of historic interest: Amistad, 73–75; Captain’s Cove (partially accessible), 75–76; Dudley Farm (partially accessible), 76–77; Fort Nathan Hale Park (partially accessible), 151; Harriet Beecher Stowe House (partially accessible), 77–78; Mark Twain House (partially accessible), 78–81; Mystic Seaport Museum (partially accessible), 46–48; Olde Mistick Village, 83–84; Old State House, 85–86; Old Sturbridge Village, 86–88; Old

Tolland Jail Museum (partially accessible), 88–89; Old Wethersfield Cove, 89–90; Prudence Crandall Museum (partially accessible), 90–92; She≈eld Island Lighthouse (partially accessible/di≈cult), 92–93; State Capitol Building, 93–95; U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 96–98; USS Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum (partially accessible), 98–99; University of Connecticut campus, 95–96; Yale University, 99–101 Playgrounds: Acorn Playground, 103; Cheshire Playscape, 103–104; Family Center Playground, 104; Fun Place, 104–105; Hannah’s Dream, 105–106; Jonathan’s Dream Playground, 106; Owen Fish Playground, 107; Stillmeadow Elementary School Playground, 107–108 Sailing: Sail Connecticut Access Program, 141–143; Schooner, 143–144 Soccer: Connecticut Wolves, 138 Sports. See Baseball; Basketball; Hockey; Ice-skating; Minigolf; Sailing; Soccer; Swimming, freshwater; Swimming, pools; Swimming, saltwater Swimming, freshwater (note:

Disability Index

most wheelchair users will need some assistance on sand and gravel beaches): Black Rock State Park, 162; Burr Pond State Park (partially accessible), 163–164; Chatfield Hollow State Park, 164– 165; Hopeville Pond State Park, 174; Indian Well State Park (partially accessible), 176–177; Lake Compounce, 196–197; Lake Waramaug State Park (partially accessible), 179–180; Mashamoquet Brook State Park, 181–182; Mill Woods Pond and Picnic Area, 119–120; Mohegan Park and Memorial Rose Garden, 120; Pachaug State Forest, 184–185; Quassy Amusement Park, 198–199; Squantz Pond State Park, 192; Stratton Brook State Park, 193–194;

Wharton Brook State Park, 195 Swimming, pools: Lake Compounce, 196–197; Ocean Beach Park, 197–198; Six Flags New England, 199– 201 Swimming, saltwater (note: most wheelchair users will need some assistance on sand and gravel beaches): Hammonasset Beach State Park, 171– 173; Harkness Memorial State Park, 222–224; Ocean Beach Park, 197–198; Rocky Neck State Park, 188; Sherwood Island State Park, 189– 190; Silver Sands State Park, 190–191 Theaters, 217–221 Train and trolley rides, 210–216 (see individual entries for accessibility, which varies)

Visual Impairments Accessible places in and around your community, 228–235: airports, 229; Christmas tree farms (partially accessible), 234; county fairs, 232–233; fire stations, 228; fireworks, 231; high school and college sports, 235; historic houses (partially accessible), 231– 232; hot-air balloons, 230; libraries, 228–229; outdoor

art shows and festivals, 235; parades, 230–231; ‘‘pick your own’’ farms (partially accessible), 233–234; summer concerts on the green, 232– 233 Amusement parks: Lake Compounce, 196–197; Ocean Beach Park, 197–198; Quassy Amusement Park, 198–199; Six Flags New England,

253

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Disability Index

199–201; Stew Leonard’s, 202–203 Animals, including farms, hatcheries, and zoos: Amy’s Udder Joy Exotic Animal Park, 1–2; Beardsley Zoo, 3–4; Burlington Trout Hatchery, 4–6; Creamery Brook Bison Farm (note: no seeing-eye dogs on farm grounds), 6–7; McCulloch Farm, 7–8; Mystic Aquarium/Institute for Exploration, 8–10; Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery, 11–12; Roger Williams Park and Zoo, 12–14; University of Connecticut Animal Sciences Department, 14–15; Westmore Park: Farmyard, 130–131 Boat rides: Bridgeport–Port Je√erson Ferry, 204–205; Cross-Sound Ferry, 205–206; Deep River Navigation Company, 206–208; Sail Connecticut Access Program, 141– 143; Schooner, 143–144; She≈eld Island Lighthouse, 92–93; Thimble Island Cruises, 208–210 Camping, 159–195 (all); Camp Harkness, 222–224; Camp Hemlocks Family Weekend, 224–225; Respitality, 225– 226

Children’s museums: Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, 16–17; Connecticut Children’s Museum, 18–20; Kidcity Children’s Museum, 20–22; Lutz Children’s Museum, 22–23; Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 25–26 Family weekends: Camp Harkness, 222–224; Camp Hemlocks, 224–225; Respitality, 225–226 Hiking (specifically for the visually impaired): Northwest Park and Nature Center Braille Trail, 125–126; White Memorial Foundation Trail of the Senses, 131–133. See also Camping Museums of nature, history, science, and art: Bruce Museum (limited accessibility), 28–29; Dinosaur State Park (partially accessible, see casting area), 32–33; Discovery Museum, 34–35; Eli Whitney Museum (partially accessible), 35–37; Institute for American Indian Studies (partially accessible), 38–40; Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk (partially accessible), 42–44; Mashantucket Pequot Museum (‘‘special

Disability Index

narration guide’’), 44–46; Massacoh Plantation, 81–82; Mystic Seaport Museum, 46– 48; New Britain Museum of American Art (‘‘sightimpaired guide’’), 55–56; New England Carousel Museum, 49–50; Old Sturbridge Village, 86–88 Museums of special interest: Connecticut Fire Museum (partially accessible), 69–70; Fire Museum (partially accessible), 70–71; New England Air Museum, 64–65 Nature centers, 109–133 (check individual entries and call ahead for details) Places of historic interest: Amistad, 73–75; Captain’s Cove, 75–76; Dudley Farm, 76–77; Old Lighthouse Museum, 82–83; Old Newgate Prison, 84–85; Old State House, 85–86; Old Tolland Jail Museum, 88–89; Pru-

255

dence Crandall Museum (partially accessible), 90–92; She≈eld Island Lighthouse, 92–93; State Capitol Building (partially accessible), 93–95; U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 96–98; USS Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum (partially accessible), 98– 99 Playgrounds: Acorn Playground, 103; Cheshire Playscape, 103–104; Family Center Playground, 104; Fun Place, 104–105; Hannah’s Dream, 105–106; Jonathan’s Dream Playground, 106; Owen Fish Playground, 107; Stillmeadow Elementary School Playground, 107–108 Sports (specifically for the visually impaired): Sail Connecticut Access Program, 141– 143; Tandem Bicycling Program for the Blind, 140–141 Train and trolley rides, 210–216

Hearing Impairments Children who are hearing impaired or deaf but are physically mobile can enjoy a wide range of activities and adventures. When they go to places with their families, parents and siblings can provide some of the Signed interpretation they will need. At present, few local facilities have Sign Language interpreters, and even those with Signers on sta√ generally make them available only to groups. It is to be hoped that this

256

Disability Index

situation will soon improve. In the meantime, the following lists places and activities that hearing-impaired and deaf children and their families might particularly enjoy. Entries preceded by ‘‘see especially’’ indicate facilities with special accommodation for hearing-impaired or deaf visitors. See individual entries for details. Accessible places in and around your community, 228–235: airports, 229; Christmas tree farms (partially accessible), 234; county fairs, 232–233; fire stations, 228; fireworks, 231; high school and college sports, 235; historic houses (partially accessible), 231– 232; hot-air balloons, 230; libraries, 228–229; outdoor art shows and festivals, 235; parades, 230–231; ‘‘pick your own’’ farms (partially accessible), 233–234; summer concerts on the green, 232–233 Amusement parks: Lake Compounce, 196–197; Ocean Beach Park, 197–198; Quassy Amusement Park, 198–199; Six Flags New England, 199– 201; Stew Leonard’s, 202– 203 Animals, including farms, hatcheries, and zoos: Amy’s Udder Joy Exotic Animal Park, 1–2; Burlington Trout Hatchery, 4–6; Creamery Brook Bison Farm, 6–7; McCulloch Farm, 7–8; Mystic Aquarium/Insti-

tute for Exploration, 8–10; Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery, 11–12; Roger Williams Park and Zoo, 12– 14; University of Connecticut Animal Sciences Department, 14–15; Westmore Park: Farmyard, 130–131. See especially: Beardsley Zoo, 3–4 Boat rides: Bridgeport–Port Je√erson Ferry, 204–205; Cross-Sound Ferry, 205–206; Deep River Navigation Company, 206–208; Sail Connecticut Access Program, 141– 143; Schooner, 143–144; She≈eld Island Lighthouse, 92–93; Thimble Island Cruises, 208– 210 Camping, 159–195; Camp Harkness, 222–224; Camp Hemlocks Family Weekend, 224–225; Respitality, 225– 226 Children’s museums, 16–26. See especially: Connecticut Children’s Museum, 18–20

Disability Index

Family weekends: Camp Harkness, 222–224; Camp Hemlocks Family Weekend, 224– 225; Respitality, 225–226 Fishing, 148–158

port Museum, 46–48; Old Sturbridge Village, 86–88; Peabody Museum of Natural History, 50–51; Wadsworth Atheneum, 56–58

Hiking, 109–134, 159–198

Nature centers, 109–133

Libraries, 228–229

Places of historic interest, 73– 101. See especially: State Capitol Building, 93–95

Museums of nature, history, science, and arts, 27–54. See especially: Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, 31–32; Mashantucket Pequot Museum, 44–46; Mystic Sea-

Sports, 134–147 Theaters, 217–221 Train and trolley rides, 210–216

Brain Injuries Because the interests and ability levels of children who have had a traumatic brain injury are so varied, parents should look through the book and match their child’s and family’s interests with the places and events described. Two excellent programs are worth special note: Camp Hemlocks (Brain Injury Association Personal Enrichment Weekend), 226; Respitality, 225.

Mental Retardation The interests and abilities of children with mental retardation vary from child to child and from one family to another. Parents should look through the book for places they and their child will find interesting and enjoyable. We make special note of places that let children take a bit more time or concentrate on something that might strike their fancy. With few exceptions, we feel that all the places listed will appeal to children who have mental retardation. Please read the general descriptions as well as the specific notes in each entry.

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Disability Index

Multiple Handicaps Because of the diversity of interests and abilities of children with multiple handicaps, we have chosen not to compile a separate category for such children. Parents should look at the general description and ‘‘accessibility’’ sections in each entry to match their child’s physical and intellectual strengths, limits, and interests with the places and events described. More than half the entries should be appropriate for the child with multiple handicaps. As always, parents are the best judge of what they and their children will enjoy.

Location Index

Connecticut Avon: Acorn Playground, 103 Barkhamstead: American Legion State Forest, 160–161; Farmington River, 152; Peoples State Forest, 186 Bloomfield: Filley Park and Scott Trail, 115–116; Penwood State Park, 185 Bozrah: Gardner Lake, 152 Branford: Lake Saltonstall, 152– 153 Bridgeport: Barnum Museum, 27–28; Beardsley Zoo, 3–4; Bridgeport Bluefish, 134; Bridgeport–Port Je√erson Ferry, 204–205; Captain’s Cove, 75–76; Discovery Museum, 34–35 Bristol: American Clock and Watch Museum, 67–68; Family Center Playground, 104; Lake Compounce, 196–197; New England Carousel Museum, 49–50 Brooklyn: Creamery Farm Bison Farm, 6–7 Burlington: Burlington Trout Hatchery, 4–6 Canterbury: Prudence Crandall Museum, 90–92

Canton: Roaring Brook Nature Center, 126–128 Central Village: Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery, 11–12 Cheshire: Cheshire Playscape, 103–104; Lock 12 Historic Park, 117 Chester: Pataconk Lake, 154 Colchester: Day Pond State Park, 166; Salmon River Fly Area, 155; Salmon River State Forest, 188–189 Cornwall: Mohawk Mountain State Park, 182–183 Cromwell: Amy’s Udder Joy Exotic Animal Park, 1–2 Danbury: Danbury Railway Museum, 211–212; Stew Leonard’s, 202–203 Derby: Osbornedale State Park, 184 East Granby: Old Newgate Prison, 84–85 East Haddam: Connecticut River, 149; Devil’s Hopyard State Park, 167; Gillette Castle, 37–38 East Hampton: Hurd State Park, 175–176 East Haven: East Haven Pier, 259

260

Location Index

East Haven (continued ) 151; Fort Nathan Hale, 151; Hannah’s Dream, 105–106; Lighthouse Point Park, 116– 117, 153; Shore Line Trolley Museum, 215–216 Eastford: Natchaug State Forest, 183–184 Easton: Saugatuck Reservoir, 155 Essex: Connecticut River Museum, 29–30; Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride, 212–214 Fairfield: Connecticut Audubon Center at Fairfield, 110–111; Owen Fish Playground, 107 Falls Village: Appalachian Trail, 109–110 Glastonbury: Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury, 111–112 Granby: McLean Game Refuge, 118 Greenwich: Bruce Museum, 28– 29 Griswold: Hopeville Pond State Park, 174 Groton: Blu√ Point Coastal Reserve, 162–163; Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, 167–168; Haley Farm State Park, 170–171; Thames River, 157; USS Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum, 98–99

Guilford: Dudley Farm, 76– 77 Haddam: Cockaponset State Forest, 165; Connecticut River, 150; Haddam Meadows State Park, 170 Hamden: Eli Whitney Museum, 35–37; Sleeping Giant State Park, 191 Hampton: James L. Goodwin State Forest, 177 Hartford: Connecticut Pride, 136; Deep River Navigation Company, 206–208; Elizabeth Park, 114–115; Harriet Beecher Stowe House, 77–78; Hartford Stage Company, 218; Hartford Wolf Pack Hockey Club, 136–137; Mark Twain House, 78–81; Old State House, 85–86; State Capital Building, 93– 95; Wadsworth Atheneum, 56–58 Hebron: Camp Hemlocks, 224– 225; Gay City State Park, 169 Kensington: New Britain Youth Museum at Hungerford Park, 122–123 Kent: Kent Falls State Park, 178; Lake Waramaug State Park, 179–180; Macedonia Brook State Park, 180–181 Killingworth: Chatfield Hol-

Location Index

low State Park, 161; Schreeder Pond, 156 Ledyard: Stoddard Hill State Park, 193; Thames River, 157 Litchfield: Mount Tom State Park, 183; White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center, 131–133 Madison: Hammonasset Beach State Park, 171–173 Manchester: Fire Museum, 70– 71; Lutz Children’s Museum, 22–23 Mansfield: Mansfield Hollow State Park, 181; Mansfield Training Center Pond, 153 Mashantucket: Mashantucket Pequot Museum, 44–46 Middlebury: Quassy Amusement Park, 198–199 Middlefield: Wadsworth Falls State Park, 194–195 Middletown: Kidcity Children’s Museum, 20–22 Milford: Housatonic River, 152; Silver Sands State Park, 190– 191 Montville: Fort Shantok State Park, 168 Mystic: Mystic Aquarium/Institute for Exploration, 8–10; Mystic Seaport Museum, 46– 48; Olde Mistick Village, 83– 84

New Britain: Connecticut Wolves, 134; New Britain Museum of American Art, 55–56; New Britain Museum at Hungerford Park, 122– 123; New Britain Rock Cats, 134; New Britain Youth Museum, 23–25 New Canaan: New Canaan Nature Center, 124–125 New Fairfield: Squantz Pond, 156; Squantz Pond State Park, 192 New Haven: Amistad, 73–75; Connecticut Children’s Museum, 18–20; Hannah’s Dream, 105–106; Lighthouse Point Park, 116–117; Long Wharf Theater, 218; New Haven Knights, 137–138; New Haven Ravens, 135; Peabody Museum of Natural History, 50–51; Schooner, 143– 144; Shubert Theater, 219; Yale Center for British Art, 59–61; Yale Repertory Theater, 219; Yale University, 99– 101; Yale University Art Gallery, 61–63 New London: Cross-Sound Ferry, 205–206; Lyman Allyn Dolls and Toys, 40–41; Lyman Allyn Museum, 41– 42; Ocean Beach Park, 197– 198; Science Center of Southeastern Connecticut, 128; Thames River, 157–158; U.S.

261

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Location Index

New London (continued ) Coast Guard Academy, 96– 98 Niantic: Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, 16–17; Millstone Discovery Center, 71–72; Niantic River Launch, 154 Norfolk: Dennis Hill State Park, 166; Haystack Mountain State Park, 173–174 North Haven: Only Game in Town, 139 Norwalk: Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk and IMAX Theater, 42–44; She≈eld Island Lighthouse, 92–93; Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 25–26; Stew Leonard’s, 202– 203 Norwich: Mohegan Park and Memorial Rose Garden, 120; Norwich Navigators, 135 Old Lyme: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Marine Headquarters, 112–113; Connecticut River, 150; McCulloch Farm, 7–8 Old Saybrook: Connecticut River, 150; Deep River Navigation Company, 206– 208 Oxford: Southford Falls Pond, 156; Southford Falls State Park, 192

Pomfret: Mashamoquet Brook State Park, 181–182 Redding: Putnam Memorial State Park, 186–187 Rocky Hill: Dinosaur State Park, 32–33 Seymour: Bladens Brook, 149 Sharon: Housatonic Meadows State Park, 175 Shelton: Indian Well State Park, 176–177; Jones Family Farm, 233–234 Simsbury: International Skating Center of Connecticut, 144– 145; Massacoh Plantation, 81–82; Stratton Brook Park Pond, 157; Stratton Brook State Park, 193–194 South Norwalk: She≈eld Island Lighthouse, 92–93 Southbury: Kettletown State Park, 179 Southford: Southford Falls Pond, 156; Southford Falls State Park, 192 Stamford: Hartman Theater, 218; Stamford Center for the Arts, 219; Stamford Museum and Nature Center, 53–54; Stillmeadow Elementary School Playground, 107–108 Stonington: Barn Island Launch, 148; Old Lighthouse Museum, 82–83

Location Index

Stony Creek: Thimble Island Cruises, 208–210 Storrs: Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, 31–32; University of Connecticut Animal Sciences Department, 14–15; University of Connecticut campus, 95–96; William Benton Museum of Art, 58–59 Thomaston: Naugatuck Railroad Company, 214–215 Thompson: Quaddick State Park, 187 Tolland: Old Tolland Jail Museum, 88–89 Torrington: Burr Pond State Park, 163–164; John A. Minnetto State Park, 177–178 Union: Bigelow Hollow State Park, 161 Vernon: Walkers Reservoir, 158 Voluntown: Pachaug River, 154; Pachaug State Forest, 184– 185 Wallingford: Oakdale Theater, 219; Wharton Brook State Park, 195 Washington: Institute for American Indian Studies, 38–40 Waterbury: Waterbury Spirits, 135–136

Waterford: Camp Harkness, 222–224 Watertown: Black Rock State Park, 162 Wauregan: Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery, 11–12 West Hartford: Jonathan’s Dream Playground, 106; Lincoln Theater, 218; Science Center of Connecticut, 52– 53; West Hartford Reservoir, 129–130; Westmore Park: Farm and Hiking Trail, 130– 131 Westbrook: Sail Connecticut Access Program, 141–143 Westport: Nature Center for Environmental Activities, 121–122; Sherwood Island State Park, 189–190; Westport Country Playhouse, 219 Wethersfield: Fun Place, 104– 105; Mill Woods Pond and Picnic Area, 119–120; Old Wethersfield Cove, 89– 90 Windsor: Northwest Park and Nature Center Braille Trail, 125–126; Tandem Bicycling Program for the Blind, 140– 141 Windsor Locks: New England Air Museum, 64–65 Wolcott: Scovill Reservoir, 156

263

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Location Index

Massachusetts Agawam: Six Flags New England, 199–201 Springfield: Basketball Hall of Fame, 65–67

Sturbridge: Old Sturbridge Village, 86–88

Rhode Island Providence: Roger Williams Park and Zoo, 12–14

Additional Suggestions and Corrections

We would greatly appreciate any corrections, additions, or suggestions for places and events not included in this book. Name: Address: Phone/TTY E-mail/Internet This is a (please check one): Correction (Note page or entry below) Addition Suggestion

Send to: Dr. Nora Groce and Dr. Lawrence Kaplan, c/o Yale University Press, PO Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520– 9040 Thank you.

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