After an afternoon at this nature center, a 40 minute drive from Northern Manhattan, we felt like we spent the day in Vermont…or Connecticut 🙂 This not-so-little estate has a crazy range of offerings! Set on 118 acres, Stamford Museum & Nature Center has a pond, a working farm, sculptures, hiking paths and a museum with revolving exhibits. After a long week of sniffling, classrooms and slippery icy sidewalks in NYC, it was refreshing to spend some time in nature enjoying the crisp winter air.
We began our day at the museum, which is located in the Bendel Mansion (built for famous designer Henri Bendel). It’s a gorgeous British manor house that now serves as a charming museum. On the day we visited it’s special exhibit was A Billion Bricks 3: Galactic Travels, a Lego Exhibit featuring Star Wars.
We made this trip with a two year old, four year old and five year old. They all really enjoyed seeing these impressive creations, plus there were miniature trains zipping through the exhibits for extra awe. Somehow the kids knew more about the Star Wars icons than I did even though they haven’t seen the movie..how do they do that? Regardless we all really liked it.
It took about 15 minutes to walk through the exhibit. Before heading outside we made a stop at the Children’s Corner so the kids could tinker with Legos and make some creations of their own.
After some cajoling we finally got all three of the kids outside and explored the 10-acre working farm. This was my favorite part of our day. Clean white snow covered much of the farm but the asphalt paths were clear and easy to navigate throughout the grounds.
In the Overbrook Nature Center we learned about local wildlife, studied their tracks then headed back outside to investigate. I was pleasantly surprised at how enthralled the kids were in investigating tracks.
In the farm area saw geese, ducks, horses, llamas, rabbits, cows, sheep and rams. At one point the randy rams mounted each other…the kids asked if they were wresting. I’m still laughing about this. We continued exploring the farm and the older two ran their sillies out, alternating between frolicking in the snow and chasing each other on the sidewalks. We took a few breaks to admire nature’s beauty and study the animals. It was really a sweet afternoon.
This property is really special and the sun reflecting off the snow set an amazing backdrop for pictures. It was truly one of the more picturesque spots I’ve been to in a while. I image it’s gorgeous in all seasons but the serene snow made me really happy.
Also located on the farm is Heckscher WILD, a small indoor reptile house where the kids were able to get up close and even interact with wildlife. The employees were extremely nice and taught us interesting facts about what we were seeing. They even had names for lots of the reptiles. Wallace the tortoise was a big hit and was out walking around in the space.
We spent about two hours touring the grounds. It was a lovely afternoon and I wanted to stay longer but we had to head home. We didn’t have a chance to see the planetarium and the playground was closed due to the ice. The playground looked pretty awesome, it’s designed for children to experience animals’ perspective on nature. We’ll definitely be back though. They have a sheep shearing event and maple sugaring day coming up that sound really fun. This sweet little property has a zoo, a sculpture garden, hiking trails, and a museum. It’s rare to be able to experience so much in such a short visit.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
39 Scofield Town Rd; 203-322-1646, stamfordmuseum.org.
$10, children ages 4–17 $5, children 3 and under free
- Everything is stroller accessible.
- Bring a camera, this is a really gorgeous and photogenic property.
- You can easily spend 2+ hours here.
- Parking is free.
- This is a great place to bring a picnic lunch, I wish we had.
- There are interesting events coming up, check out their events page.