Fun for Kids at Mystic Seaport
Calling our youngest sailors. See, touch, explore, and climb aboard! Come take part in fun indoor and outdoor activities designed just for you at the nation's leading maritime museum.
Please note that some activities are seasonal. To find out if specific activities will be offered on the date of your intended visit, please check the Museum's online Activity Schedule. You will also receive an Activity Schedule at the Museum's main gate upon your arrival.
Equipped with artistic tools and imagination, artists young and old can set out on Museum grounds to paint their own maritime keepsake. Activities to choose from: Acrylic paint kit, sea shells glued to a small treasure box, create a stamp and decorate a notebook, make a rope mat, paint four postcards, and try your hand at scrimshaw. Supplies are picked up and returned to the Art Spot.
Seasonal activity. Cost: $5 per person. (Map # 57)
On the beach in front of the Ames Fish House, Museum educators help visitors learn about the marine environment during the warmer months. Among the specimens that can be seen are some the "blue immigrants" -- species that have hitched rides on the bottom of ships, or more recently in ballast water carried by large cargo ships. Local examples are the Green Crab, introduced in the 1700s, the European Common Periwinkle, introduced in the 1840s, Dead Man's Fingers (Codium) introduced in 1957, and the Asian Shore Crab, introduced in 1988. With few natural predators, these species have sometimes overpopulated, changing the balance of species in their new environments.
Don't forget to visit the Australia Coasting Schooner exhibit next door; your kids will love exploring this ship's skeleton!
Seasonal activity. (Map #12)
Kids seven and under have a place all their own - our Children's Museum. Here, young sailors can swab the deck, move cargo, cook in the galley, dress in sailors' garb, and even sleep in ships' bunks. And to think people used to complain about the sailor's life!
The Children's Museum also hosts free storytime throughout the year. Stories follow the cycle of the seasons and children are able to see different hands-on objects relating to each story. Families are welcome at this program! Especially for children ages 4 - 7. Storytime is a seasonal activity.
Open year-round. (Map #43)
It's all hands on deck at the Discovery Barn! Learn to tie knots, develop good teamwork by furling a sail, touch and smell baggywrinkle and see where it's found on ships, and learn two secret forms of communication between ships: signal flags and semaphore. See how steady your hands can be while playing the old-fashioned game, Skittles.
Seasonal activity. Especially for children ages eight and older. (Map #37)
Attached to the Barn is the carriage shed from the Baptist Church in Winthrop, Connecticut, which was built before 1866 and moved to the Museum in 1954. It is used to house the draft horses used for horse and carriage rides.
Pastimes & Playthings
An activity center for all ages! Step back in time and try your luck at an old-fashioned game of skittles or checkers. Test your skills with tavern puzzles and toys of long ago or put on a show at the puppet stage. Entertain your crew with a variety of parlor games such as charades or spend a few relaxing moments revisiting classic children's books.
Open year-round. (Map #46, 3rd floor)
Climb aboard the newest additions to our fleet - a sailing ship, tug boat, and fishing dragger. Don't worry, none of these boats float in the water. They're all playscapes, designed just for kids to explore. The playscape area is surrounded by mulch for safety and is located just across from the Planetarium. Relax on a bench while watching your children play and enjoy lunch at the picnic table.
Open year-round. (Map #53)
Tale of a Whaler
This half-hour interactive children's show performed outdoors by the Mystic Seaport TaleMakers teaches both kids and adults the basics of 19th-century whaling. Meet Julie, a young lady spurned by her fiancé, Pete. Pete decides that rather than marry Julie, he wants a life at sea on a whaling ship. Not one to take rejection sitting down, Julie decides to follow him out to sea. She disguises herself as a boy, signs aboard a whaling ship and proceeds to learn all about the whaling life...the hard way.
Kids are invited onstage to participate in the action as Julie discovers the wild world of whaling! Written by Susan Gassett and Larry Coen of the City Stage Company in Boston.
Seasonal activity. (Map #42)
Toy Boat Building
Build your own toy boat keepsake! Take home your toy boat as a souvenir of your visit to Mystic Seaport. For ages four and older.
Seasonal activity. Cost: $5 per person. (Map #10)