You may have survived Thanksgiving vacation unscathed. But that’s a short one — you still have winter break looming in front of you, and February vacation after that, and spring break after that, and so on until the longest one of them all, summer.
This is why, if you have kids, you need to put the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Connecticut in your GPS right away (about a half hour from the New York-Connecticut border, give or take a few). Finally open after a three-month renovation, here’s what the museum has to offer if you’re looking to take a little day trip with the fam:
- The brand-new Energy Lab’s “wet and windy” environment teaches mad scientists — er, kids — about the science behind energy sources. This is fitting, because the museum has now qualified for LEED Gold Certification, using solar panels, a wind turbine, and recycled materials throughout.
- Everyone likes to stay plugged in! The museum’s cutting-edge Multimedia Gallery is “simultaneously a theater, technology lab, and broadcast-ready environment. [It] includes a 43-by-11-feet immersive high-definition screen, interactive floor projection, video-conferencing technology, and a state-of-the-art camera, lighting and sound system.” Sounds better than a Wii, if you ask me.
- In addition to the recent Celebration Courtyard, there’s an enchanted community garden surrounded by musical sculptures. Yes, you can make your kids go outside — and they’ll like it!
- Other improvements include an area for toddlers, a parent/teacher resource center, a new art studio, an expanded café, and an expanded gift shop.
Think it’ll be helpful in getting your family through the next month? Here are some events the Museum has going on in December:
Thurs., Dec. 2, 5-8 p.m.
Courtyard Lighting Celebration: The Celebration Courtyard is decorated and lit for the holiday season, offering free museum admission
Fri., Dec. 10, 11 a.m.
Once Upon an Author: Patricia Hubbell, featured in the “Local Author Showcase,” hosts a special Tot Town storytime.
Sat., Dec. 18, 2 p.m.
The Nutcracker Fable: In this comical reader’s theater presentation, children will learn about Princess Pirlipat, the Queen of the Mice, and the story that explains how Nutcrackers came to be and why they look the way they do.
Sun.-Fri., Dec. 26-31, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Celebrate Poland — Around the World
Sun., Dec. 26
City of Zamosc: Kids can discover the beauty of this historical city in Poland and construct their own models.
Mon., Dec. 27
Ligawka: Children become Polish musicians by crafting traditional longhorns.
Tues., Dec. 28
Cooking Corner — Pierogis: Families fill fresh dough with cheese and potatoes, and enjoy the savory, staple food of Poland.
Weds., Dec. 29
“The Three Princesses of Whiteland”: Storytellers recount a classic Polish fairy tale
Thurs., Dec. 30
Wycinanki: Participants design their own decorative paper cut-outs—often regarded as the most beautiful in the world.
Fri., Dec. 31
Marie Curie: Kids learn about famous scientist Curie, who was born in Poland.
And, if that doesn’t tire them out, take them to the Maritime Aquarium, also in Norwalk.