10 Galleries Kids Will Love at the Cloisters in New York City

The term “cloister” refers to an open courtyard, usually found in the center of a religious monastery or convent. Located in Fort Tryon Park in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, the Met Cloisters are an extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that showcases European medieval art and architecture. There are a dozen distinct areas that include 20 galleries and gardens spread throughout the four acre space. The museum was built by architect Charles Collens and opened in 1938. Many of the artifacts and structures, which date back to the 12th through 15th centuries, were saved from various churches, monasteries, and abbeys throughout Europe and recreated throughout the museum complex. There are several stone and wood sculptures, panel paintings and tapestries on display throughout galleries that are meant to recreate the feeling of being in a medieval European monastery. The four cloisters were originally created in France, bought by art dealer and sculpture George Barnard in the early 1900s, and later bought by John D. Rockefeller and donated to the museum.

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10 Ways to Explore Coastal Connecticut during the Summer

Coastal Connecticut is the title often given to the area spanning from Branford to Old Lyme, which includes the towns of Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Killingsworth, Essex, Deep River, Old Saybrook, Lyme, and Old Lyme. The area is beautiful all times of year, but especially comes to life during warmer summer months. Conveniently located along Interstate 95 (which runs from the New York to Rhode Island state lines), many of the towns border the Connecticut River or Long Island Sound and offer plenty of riverfront and beachfront activities and open spaces. The area is also known for its numerous contributions to the arts and many museums and educational institutions honor the legacy of famous residents.

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13 Living History Museums on the East Coast Kids Will Love

While traditional museums have priceless artifacts and works of art that are important to see (read why here), kids tend to be more engaged when they can get up close to history. One of the best opportunities for kids to engage with live interpreters and engage with tangible artifacts is a living history museum. Living history museums have indoor and outdoor exhibits, interactive displays, and daily programs and informative demonstrations. Many museums even offer summer camps for children. Most museums do close during winter hours (some spots keep indoor exhibits open), so we’re sharing this list now, as everything prepares to open for the 2021 season. Here are 13 of our favorite spots on the East Coast and two more that are on our 2021 list:

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The Wadsworth Atheneum Art Museum in Hartford, CT

The longest, continuously open public art museum in America (yes, it beats even the MET in New York City!), the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art was founded by Daniel Wadsworth in 1842 and opened to the public in 1844. The term “atheneum” refers to a “cultural institution that includes a library, works of art and artifact, which is devoted to learning history, literature, art, and science.” Today, the museum has a collection of over 50,000 pieces of art, ranging from paintings and sculptures to furniture, installations, and china.

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10 Ways to Explore the Florence Griswold Museum in Lyme, Connecticut

We enjoy visiting art museums with our children. Some people may think art museums are not an ideal spot to bring children, but there are a whole variety of reasons why you should- read them in this post. We’ve recently been researching local museums in Connecticut and were pleased to see that the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is open and taking very good steps to honor pandemic restrictions and keep everyone safe and healthy.

Home to military sea captain Robert Griswold and his family in the middle 1800s until Florence Griswold’s death in 1937, the 12 acre estate includes art galleries, the main mansion, three additional structures with exhibits, an artist trail, gift shop, and seasonal cafe. The Griswold family harvested a large collection of gardens, producing much of the food the family ate, and later served to guests. Griswold inherited the home from her family and began welcoming boarders in 1899 as a way of making money. Up to 18 artists, who became known as the Lyme Art Colony, would stay in the home at one time,. Famous guests include President Woodrow Wilson and his first wife, an aspiring artist. Old Lyme became known as one of the biggest Impressionist art colonies in America, in large part to the Griswold campus. Today, it is open to visitors and welcomes families to explore what life was like for the artists in the early 20th century.

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10 Ways to Have Fun in the Berkshires in Massachusetts

The Berkshires, compromised of over 30 towns and villages, is located in the most western part of Massachusetts. It includes towns ranging from Sheffield and Great Barrington in the southern part of the state, bordering Connecticut, to the towns of Wiliamstown and North Adams in the northern part of the state, bordering Vermont. The region is popular year round for outdoor activities, performing arts venues, galleries, museums, and historic homes and landmarks. The Berkshires have been home well known figures such as authors Edith Wharton, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and activist W.E.B. DuBois. Dubbed the “Inland Newport” during the Gilded Age of the 20th century, the area became well known for its over 75 estates, in addition to its thriving farming industry. Today, there are many spots to learn about the important history of the area and many preserved outdoor spaces to enjoy nature all year long.

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