Getting Outside More with The Kids

Now that the weather is cooler and the schedules for school and other activities are fairly stable, it is a great time to get out and more active with the kids. Whether this means hiking and exploring our state parks (don’t forget to check out the pass for free parking!) or just enjoying your own yard is not important.

getout1My son loves playing I Spy as we take a walk, my daughter loves to have nature scavenger hunts, and they both love to make a mess in the dirt or by crafting with bits of nature that they discovered. I like just enjoying a walk on one of the linear trails, which often also includes chasing after the kids on their bikes. Whatever outdoor activities you like most, sometimes we all need some ideas for new activities that we just haven’t thought of yet.

Here are some books that might offer just the thing that will make your whole family happy.getout2

Get Out!: Outdoor Activities Kids Can Enjoy Everywhere (Except Indoors) by Hallie Warshaw with Jake Miller

Go Outside!: Over 130 Activities for Outdoor Adventures by Nancy Blakeygetout4

Nature for the Very Young: a Handbook of Indoor and Outdoor Activities by Marcia Bowden

Outdoor Games! by Lisa Regan

Go Out and Play!: Favorite Outdoor Games from Kaboomgetout3

How to Raise a Wild Child: the Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott D. Sampson

The Adventurous Book of Outdoor Games: Classic Fun for Daring Boys and Girls by Scott Strother

Follow the Trail: a Young Person’s Guide to the Great Outdoors by Jessica Loygetout6

And for the soon to be colder days:
The Kids’ Winter Fun Book: Homespun Adventures for Family Fun by Claire Gillman and Sam Martin

Museum Passes at CPL – Shoreline Trolley Museum

Cheshire Library has a collection of museum & state park passes that are available on a first come, first served basis for Cheshire residents to check out. CPL Staff member Lisa continues our series about the museum passes we offer, along with related reading material. This month, Shoreline Trolley Museum!

Featured Museum Pass:                                           Shoreline Trolley Museum

This month’s featured museum pass is for the Shoreline Trolley Museum. This pass is good for half-price admission for up to 6 people. All museum passes are available to Cheshire Residents on a first-come, first-served basis and must be returned by the close of business the next day.

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A National Historic District – The oldest continuously running suburban trolley line in the USA.Come and enjoy a living, breathing experience riding historic, restored trolleys through scenic surroundings!The Shore Line Trolley Museum has been an important part of the community since its incorporation in 1945 as the Branford Electric Railway Association.  It was founded to preserve the unique heritage of an endangered species — the trolley car — and today boasts a collection of nearly 100 vintage vehicles as well as artifacts and documents from the trolley era.

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During your visit, enjoy a three mile leisurely round trip onboard a restored historic trolley car through the scenic Branford salt marshes near Long Island Sound. Learn about the history of trolley development and trolleys in Connecticut and beyond from our expert trolley operators/tour guides. Tour our trolley storage buildings and our indoor exhibit room to understand how trolleys played a role in the development of America as we know it today. For additional information, please contact the Museum at 203-467-6927 or check out their website at http://shorelinetrolley.org/.

If you are interested in visting the Shoreline Trolley Museum, you might be interested in reading:

Western Connecticut Trolleys by Connecticut Motor Coach Museum.

Throughout history, Americans have embraced technology with a special enthusiasm, and the innovation of the trolley car is no exception. This industry fueled the growth of many towns and cities in Connecticut, and Western Connecticut was able to keep pace with other parts of the state because of it. Although short lived, the trolley changed the landscape of the state and spurred progress in ways never imagined just a few years before. Marking an important milestone in the documentation of Connecticut’s street railway heritage, Western Connecticut Trolleys is the sixth Arcadia Publishing book chronicling the history of all the streetcar lines and companies in the state.

 

 

 

Museum Passes at CPL – New Britain Museum of American Art and Wadsworth Atheneum

Cheshire Library has a collection of museum & state park passes that are available on a first come, first served basis for Cheshire residents to check out. CPL Staff member Lisa continues our series about the museum passes we offer, along with related reading material. This month we will feature two of the Art Museums in C0nnecticut, The New Britain Museum of Art and The Wadsworth Atheneum.

Featured Museum Pass:                                   New Britain Museum of American Art

This pass is good for free general admission for four people.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 5.23.44 PMThe New Britain Museum of American Art’s founding in 1903 entitles the institution to be designated the first museum of strictly American art in the country. With particular strengths in colonial portraiture, the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and the Ash Can School, not to mention the important mural series The Arts of Life in America by Thomas Hart Benton, the museum relies heavily on its permanent collection for exhibitions and programming, yet also displays a significant number of borrowed shows and work by emerging artists. Located at 56 Lexington Street in New Britain, CT, the museum is open 7 day a week.

Featured Museum Pass:                                   Wadsworth Atheneum

This pass is good for free general admission for two adults and two children.

wadsworthThe Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the oldest public art museum in the United States, was founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth, one of the first important American patrons of the arts.  Its collections of nearly 50,000 works of art span 5,000 years. The museum was  the first  in America to begin collecting contemporary American art – resulting in their world renowned Hudson River School collection. Some other featured collections include the Morgan collection of Greek and Roman antiquities and European decorative arts; world-renowned baroque and surrealist paintings, the Wallace Nutting collection of American colonial furniture and decorative arts; the Samuel Colt firearms collection, and much more. Located at 600 Main Street, Hartford, CT, see their website for hours and directions.

If you are interested in visiting the Wadsworth Atheneum and the New Britain Museum of American Art, you might also be interested in:

wadbookArt Museums Plus : Cultural Excursions in New England by Traute M. Marshall. Traute M. Marshall has written this smart and engagingly personal guidebook for curious travelers, bringing to light the wealth of small and large art museums in the six New England states, ranging from world-class encyclopedic collections to more modest and specialized venues. While providing the information found in a traditional guidebook—addresses, websites, opening times, directions, and so forth—Marshall also offers readers informed and intimate introductions to the museums and their histories, holdings, traditions, and architecture. This guide also explains exhibition practices, the presentation of the permanent collection versus the attraction of temporary shows, the different educational activities offered, and the special relationship between a town or city and its art museum.

 

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New Britain Museum of American Art : Highlights of the Collection, introduction by Laurene Buckley ; editor, Pamela T. Barr. The finest paintings and sculpture from the museum’s  collection are featured in full-color reproductions in this illustrated volume. Included are many outstanding paintings by the foremost representatives of American Impressionism such as Mary Cassatt and Childe Hassam, and the famous mural series Arts of Life in America by Thomas Hart Benton.  Color reproductions of the artworks are accompanied by biographical sketches on the artists and comprehensive essays on each of the works.

Museum Passes at CPL – New England Air Museum

Cheshire Library has a collection of museum & state park passes that are available on a first come, first served basis for Cheshire residents to check out. CPL Staff member Lisa continues our series about the museum passes we offer, along with related reading material. This month, The New England Air Museum!

Featured Museum Pass:                    New England Air Museum

This month’s featured museum pass is for the New England Air Museum. This pass is valid for 2 adults or seniors at $6.00 each and 2 free children (ages 4-11); ages 3 and under free. Passes are day specific (Weekday, Saturday and Sunday) so be sure you borrow the correct pass for the day you plan on visiting the museum. All museum passes are available to Cheshire Residents on a first-come, first-served basis and must be returned by the close of business the next day.neam

The New England Air Museum is committed to presenting the story of aviation, the human genius that made it possible and the profound effects that it has had on the way in which we live. They achieve this by:

  • Preserving and presenting historically significant aircraft and related artifacts
  • Engaging our visitors through high-quality exhibits that help them understand aviation technology, history and the stories of the men and women who built, flew and made history with these famous machines
  • Inspiring students through our innovative and hands-on education programs delivered on-site and in schools that allow them to discover and reflect on aviation technology and history and its ties to social studies, science, geography and technical advancements.

The New England Air Museum offers a variety of activities, multimedia & drop-in programs for visitors. Programs offered change daily depending on the time of the year. Some things you might see include:

  • Flight Science Demonstrations: Flight really takes off in our interactive demonstrations about the science and history of flight.  From balloons to the Wright Brothers to the Space Shuttle, you can feel the pressure of air, see a balloon launch, explore the Bernoulli Principle and more.  Demonstrations are located in the Civilian Aviation Exhibit Hangar.
  • Build & Fly Activities: Hands-on “build & fly” activities that will spark the imagination and challenge the inquisitive mind.  You even get to take your new creations home with you for future flying fun. Located at the Build & Fly Station in the Military Exhibit Hangar.
  • America Takes To The Air: Explore the early days of commercial aviation from the Ford Tri-Motor, to the famous DC-3, to the Boeing 747, through hands-on, interactive demonstrations.  The demonstrations look at the marketing efforts of the early airlines, stewardess requirements, and the technology that was developed that has become the foundation of modern air travel. Visitors will get to see and touch some unique artifacts that tell this amazing story of travel and adventure.
  • Cockpit Tours: Gain a pilot’s eye perspective from the cockpit exploring the controls and flight instruments of select aircraft within our collection.
  • Flight SIM Spot: The Flight Sim Spot, puts you in the cockpit. With real cockpit controls, three large screens, great stereo sound and the best available graphics, you can fly virtually any aircraft, anywhere – even aircraft in the Museum’s collection. Trained Educators (many of them are active pilots) provide training, instruction and personal attention not only in how to use the simulators but in the many aspects of flight.

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The museum is located at 36 Perimeter Road, Windsor Locks, CT. Hours of operation: Open 7 days a week, year round, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The Museum will close at 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and 4:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. For additional information, please contact the Museum at 860-623-3305 or check out their website at https://www.neam.org.

Museum Passes at CPL – CT State Parks and Forests Pass

Cheshire Library has a collection of museum & state park passes that are available on a first come, first served basis for Cheshire residents to check out. CPL Staff member Lisa continues our series about the museum passes we offer, along with related reading material. This month, CT State Parks and Forests Pass!

Featured Museum Pass:           CT State Parks & Forests Pass

This month’s featured museum pass is for the CT State Parks & Forests. This pass can be used to cover the cost of parking at state parks and forests where there is an established parking charge.  Parking fees are charged at all four state park beaches on Long Island Sound as well as several inland parks.  The pass can also be used to cover the admission fee for two adults and four children at state historical sites and exhibit centers at Dinosaur, Fort Trumbull and Gillette Castle State Parks.  It is not valid for groups or vehicles carrying more than 12 passengers. All museum passes are available to Cheshire Residents on a first-come, first-served basis and must be returned by the close of business the next day.

parkThe State Park Pass is part of the No Child Left Inside program established by the CT DEEP. The Connecticut Library Consortium and the CT DEEP have partnered to provide Connecticut State Park Day Passes to public libraries across the state. Launched in 2006, No Child Left Inside® is a promise to introduce children to the wonder of nature – for their own health and well-being, for the future of environmental conservation, and for the preservation of the beauty, character and communities of the great State of Connecticut.  For more information on No Child Left Inside, check out their website at: http://www.ct.gov/ncli/site/default.asp

To celebrate the past, present and future of Connecticut State Parks, the Connecticut State Parks Division, in partnership with the Friends of Connecticut State Parks (FCSP) and the Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA), is planning a year-long Centennial Celebration. Connecticut State Parks have much to offer: hiking, fishing, swimming, camping and picnicking are just some of the things that you can do at the various parks. To locate a park, find out what amenities are offered or learn more about the Centennial Celebration check out the CT DEEP website at http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325086&deepNav_GID=1650

For a list of state parks and forests and information on parking fees, check out: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325082&deepNav_GID=1650

To find out more about camping at Connecticut State Parks and Forests, including fees, amenities, site availability and to reserve a site go to www.reserveamerica.com

If you are interested in visiting Connecticut State Parks, you might be interested in:

Hidden in Plain Sight: A Deep Traveler Explores Connecticut by David K. Leff. In the course of the mundane routines of life, we encounter a variety of landscapes and objects, either ignoring them or looking without interest at what appears to be just a tree, stone, anonymous building, or dirt road. But the “deep traveler,” according to Hartford Courant essayist David K. Leff, doesn’t make this mistake. Instead, the commonplace elements become the most important. By learning to see the magic in the mundane, we not only enrich daily life with a sense of place, we are more likely to protect and make those places better. Over his many years working at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and writing about the state’s landscape, Leff gained unparalleled intimacy while traveling its byways and back roads. In Hidden in Plain Sight, Leff’s essays and photographs take us on a point-by-point journey, revealing the rich stories behind many of Connecticut’s overlooked landmarks.