May 18 is Armed Forces Day and the attractions in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County are offering a host of discounts for veterans and active service people. We have gathered a selection of attractions with special offers on May 18.
The Westport Play House on 25 Powers Court in Westport (www.westportplayhouse.org) is offering a 50% off all tickets for performances on Saturday, May 18, (3 and 8 p.m.) of A. R. Gurney’s The Dining Room. In A.R. Gurney’s celebrated masterpiece, nearly a half-century passes in the course of a single day in the most singular of rooms — where people gather, meals are eaten, conversations begin, and generations converge. A witty and heartfelt work from a Playhouse favorite, The Dining Room chronicles the American family and its vanishing traditions.
The Seth Thomas Bradstreet House located on 237 Main Street in Thomaston (thomastonct.org) is offering free admission for all to this lovely historic house from the 1820s where the same family lived for five generations.
The Glebe House & Gertrude Jekyll Garden, www.theglebehouse.org on Hollow Rd. in Woodbury offers free admission to active service people year-round. This architecturally interesting farmhouse dates back to the 1750’s when it was a ministers farm house or glebe and was where the first Bishop for the American Episcopal Church was elected. Today, the only garden in the U.S. designed by Gertrude Jekyll surrounds the house.
The Bruce Museum in Greenwich on One Museum Dr. (brucemuseum.org) offers complimentary admission to all active military and their family throughout the year. Visitors to the museum can explore art and science collections of this stellar institution. Current exhibitions range from the art of Kathleen Gilge to the science and history of eggs and from paintings of big-game fish in their environments to avant-garde photographs of a commercial photographer in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. The Bruce Museum is a regionally based, world-class institution highlighting art, science and natural history in more than a dozen changing exhibitions annually. The permanent galleries feature the natural sciences that encompass regional to global perspectives.
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (www.aldrichart.org) on 258 Main St. in Ridgefield is offering free admission to all active-service military families and veterans on May 18 and on May 27 (Memorial Day). On May 18, visitors will enjoy the monthly Family Day and Panel discussion from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Memorial Day heralds the opening of the exhibition Allison Smith: Rudiments of Fife & Drum by The Aldrich’s first artist-in-residence. This exhibition explores the relationship between handcraft, national identity, and social and political activism in American history inspired by Connecticut’s roll in developing fife & drum music. The event takes place from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Litchfield’s Wisdom House, (www.wisdomhouse.org) located on 229 East Litchfield Rd is offering a contemplative way to celebrate Armed Services Day. They are offering veterans and their guests a free-guided labyrinth walk at 10:30 am on Saturday, May 18. The walk begins at 10:30 am and concludes by 11:15 am. Participants are asked to meet at the labyrinth on the campus of Wisdom House retreat and Conference Center. The Labyrinth, one of the few in New England, is a peaceful meditation walk, outdoors, on the 70 acres of Wisdom House retreat and Conference Center. The walk is designed to enhance peaceful reflection.
The Litchfield History Museum and the Tapping Reeve House and Law School located on 7 South Street (www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org) is offering free admission to service members and their families on May 18. The museum is open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The History museum explores the evolution of a small New England town. Furniture, historic clothing, household objects and paintings reveal Litchfield’s history from its earliest European settlement to the present day. Currently on exhibit: The Hour of Conflict, an exhibit about Litchfield and the Civil War; and The Art of Advertising: Signs Around Town, an exhibit about local businesses will please young and old alike. A short walk from the History Museum is The Tapping Reeve House & Law School that takes visitors on a journey through the life of a real student from the early 19th century. Through role-playing, hands-on areas, and interpretive exhibits, each visitor explores timeless issues of travel, communication, education, and community.
The Sloane Stanley Museum on Rte. 7 in Kent is a Blue Star Museum and will be offering free admission to active military personnel (ID required) and up to 5 family members from Memorial Day, May 27, to Labor Day, Sept. 3. This fascinating museum just outside the center of the village of Kent features works of art by noted artist and author Eric Sloane and houses a reconstruction of his studio as it was at the time of his death.
Situated on 720 acres of fields, forests, ponds and wetlands, Tarrywile Park and Mansion (www.tarrywile.com) on 70 Southern Blvd. in Danbury is offering our country’s active duty personnel a 5% discount on all Mansion rentals year-round. This is an ideal place for a variety of events and is available for rental weekdays from 8 a.m. – 12 a.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
For a fun-filled day, visit Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo (www.BeardsleyZoo.org) on 1875 Noble Ave. that is offering veterans and active service people free admission. The Zoo is extending a 15% discount to their family of up of six individuals. The Zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Including: Amur (Siberian) tigers, Brazilian ocelot, Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include a South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas and he New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more.
The Bush Holly House, www.greenwichhistory.org that sits on the harbor in Cos Cob Connecticut is offering free admission to this historic site to active military personel on May 18 from noon to 4 p.m. The house features two distinct time periods — the New Nation (1790-1825), when the house was owned by a wealthy, local merchant and its later life as a boarding house and home to the Cos Cob art colony (1890-1920). Eight evocative rooms feature art, furnishings and objects from these two periods including works by American Impressionist artists Childe Hassam, John Henry Twachtman and Elmer MacRae. The Storehouse Gallery features changing exhibitions, and the Vanderbilt Education Center hosts regular lectures and programs for adults and children. Bush-Holley Historic Site is a National Historic Landmark, a member of the Historic Artists Homes and Studios, a member of the Connecticut Art Trail and accredited by the American Association of Museums.
In Wilton, the Wilton Historical Society www.wiltonhistorical.org on 224 Danbury Road is celebrating Armed Forces Day with a Family Open House Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will offer free admission to veterans all day. This event will feature museum tours and activities that would have taken place in Colonial America. Demonstrations in our blacksmith shop, spinning, weaving, candle dipping, log sawing, spoke shaving, snow cone making, and quill writing and more will all be available.
Bridgeport’s Discovery Museum Planetarium located on 4450 Park Ave. (www.discoverymuseum.org) is offering veterans and active service members free admission with ID. Family members accompanied by service members will be offered a $4 admission fee on May 18. This museum and planetarium is a hands-on interactive museum that delivers transformative experiences for all ages and has 65 exhibit areas in addition to live auditorium and planetarium shows.