DOGS: More Than Pets Exhibit at Stepping Stones Museum for Children

DOGS: More Than Pets, a limited-time, hands-on exhibit that immerses visitors in the incredible world of one of the noblest animals on Earth, the Dog, will debut at the award-winning children’s museum. From April 6 – July 7, museum visitors will get to bone up on man’s best friend with this new traveling exhibit that takes visitors inside the science, history, DNA, folklore and pop culture of dogs.

DOGS: More Than Pets is interactive, hands-on and filled with photo opportunities and hundreds of fascinating facts. Did you know a dog named Marjorie helped scientists discover insulin? Or that dogs were the first animals to orbit Earth in space? During its 3-month run at Stepping Stones, you’ll uncover these facts and so many more that will make you say “bow-wowzers.” You’ll explore human-canine cultural connections through hands-on activities like domestication, dog adoption, sensory activities, service dogs, and more. Find out what kind of dog is right for you based on friendliness, size, grooming, independence, barking and exercise. Meet some real, live dogs during at select presentations at scheduled times. And during a few special events during the exhibit’s run at Stepping Stones, meet some real, live dogs… SOME THAT YOU CAN ADOPT!

“Kids dig dogs,” said Brian Morrissey, Director of Exhibits at Stepping Stones Museum for Children. “Animals can teach children important social and emotional skills such as effective communication, empathy and how to manage emotions. DOGS: More Than Pets will help the museum showcase the importance of pet-friendly play and the learning opportunities provided by our pets.”

“We’re so thrilled here at Stepping Stones to be among the first to host DOGS: More Than Pets,” Morrissey continued. This limited-time exhibit offers something for every dog lover, from fun activities like “Be a Bloodhound” to Dog or Not a Dog, adults and children are going to have loads of hands-on, minds-on fun in this exhibit. Beyond the exhibit, we’re looking forward to the special, dog-related ‘treats’ that we’ve planned with our sponsors and community partners to coincide with its three-month run here. Whether you are a youngster or simply young-at-heart, this is certainly something that you don’t want to miss.”

Here are just a few of the many special programs the museum is hosting as part of the DOGS: More Than Pets exhibit experience at Stepping Stones. Be sure to visit us often!

Check in often because Stepping Stones have more “doggie treats” in store! For the most up-to-date information on program schedules and times, go to www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/dogs.

Treasure Hunt @ Mathews Park June 2

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will launch a Treasure Hunters’ Adventure in collaboration with the Center for Contemporary Printmaking and Stepping Stones Museum for Children on Sunday, June 2, 2-4 p.m. at Mathews Park, Norwalk, CT.

In this park-wide, family-fun adventure, participants are tasked with solving the mystery of a long lost treasure. Using an old faded map as a guide, treasure hunters will need to complete activities, answer questions, and solve puzzles to unlock the escalating levels of the game outside of all three buildings, leading participants to the endgame inside the Mansion.

“While hunting for the hidden bounty, participants will discover history, science, and the arts and become part of an exciting learning adventure with LMMM and its terrific neighbors, CCP and Stepping Stones Museum for Children,” said Executive Director Susan Gilgore. Treasure hunters will be able to play alone or as a team, while all contestants will need to bring their skills, power of observation, talent, and A-Game to find the treasure.

“Stepping Stones is excited to partner with the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum and the Center for Contemporary Printmaking for this fun, park-wide treasure hunt,” said Rhonda Kiest, President and CEO of Stepping Stones Museum for Children. “This is a great way to get people into Mathews Park to explore and learn more about its history and the park tenants.”

In addition to being part of great exploration, the top participants who complete this important mission will be awarded a few exciting prizes. “We’re thrilled to again be part of this fun, family activity bringing together our neighbors in both Mathews Park and the Norwalk community. This event provides a unique adventure for curious mystery solvers looking for an exciting challenge,” said Kimberly Henrikson, Executive Director of CCP.
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Stepping Stones Museum for Children and Center for Contemporary Printmaking are all located in Mathews Park in Norwalk, CT. LMMM’s school tours are offered February through December. For more information on the Treasure Hunters’ Adventure and tours and programs please visit http://www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.

Bird Cruises to Sheffield Island Experience a Safari through your Binoculars

Although Connecticut is a small state, it is rich in birdlife with more than 430 different bird species to spot. If you are a bird lover with a checklist of bird species that you have seen in Connecticut, and want to add seabirds to your list, hop on board the CJ Toth Quest, a 49 passenger ferryboat with the Seaport Association on Sunday, June 9, June 16 or June 23 for the annual Bird Watching Cruise that runs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. only in June.

Each cruise is exciting and different because you can never anticipate what will fly your way. The final destination of this three-hour cruise is Sheffield Island, a noted birding hotspot. The Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge that is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is on part of Sheffield Island and offers a crucial waterbird and nesting ground. It is an excellent place to spot birds because it offers many different habitats in a relatively small area from woods and grasslands to the beach. The trees on Sheffield Island attract herons and egrets, making the island an invaluable place to view and learn about wildlife and birds. There is also a small population of herring and great black-backed gulls that nest along Sheffield’s rocky shoreline.

Vacanze in USA, Florida

This cruise is ideal for novice and experienced birders so whether you are looking through your binoculars for the first time or for the hundred thousandth time this excursion never disappoints. Best of all, these three birding cruises are guided by an experienced and avid birder, Preston Lust who will help participants spot and identify seabirds. Preston is an officer in the Connecticut Young Birders Club who has a special interest in nocturnal migration and has conducted research on nocturnal flight calls for the last three years. He has also participated in bird-watching competitions such as the World Series of Birding and the Megabowl of Birding (the latter of which placed first place for three years straight!).

Among the types of birds, you may see on these National Geographic styled cruises are nest sites and nesting colonies of ospreys and long-legged egrets with their graceful S-curved necks and long dagger-like bills. On this three-hour cruise, passengers may also spot American oystercatchers, herons, terns, gulls, cormorants, and many others.

The importance of Sheffield Island to wildlife, especially migratory birds is enormous, and these special bird cruises give passengers the chance to spot these magnificent creatures on and off the water at an awe-inspiring and safe distance with a knowledgeable guide.

The bird watching cruise will depart at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 9, 16 and 23. Passengers are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to departure. The boat leaves from the Seaport Dock at 4 North Water Street adjacent to the Stroffolino Bridge at the corner of Washington and Water Streets in South Norwalk. Parking is available at the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium Parking Lot. Tickets are Adult: $28, Members and seniors: $23, Children 4-12 years old: $16 and Children 3 and under are $7. For Reservations contact 203-838-9444. On the day of the cruise contact the dock phone at 203-838-2898. For Tickets click here.

New Exhibit Bullets, Bonds, and Butter: Wilton Responds to War, 1776 – 2006

The Wilton Historical Society has a new exhibit that is running through September 14, 2019, called Bullets, Bonds and Butter: Wilton Responds to War, 1776-2006.

This new exhibition at the Wilton Historical Society, located on 224 Danbury Road in Wilton commemorates the contributions of both the soldiers and the townsfolk who have answered the call of war. While troops fought on the front lines, back at home, Wilton residents of all ages were engaged in supporting the war effort in ways both large and small. Rationing, writing letters to the troops, knitting socks and making bandages, buying war bonds, manufacturing diverse supplies, spotting airplanes from observation towers, collecting scrap, sending soccer balls to underprivileged children around the world, and in some cases, protesting against war were all part of the response.

Bullets, Bonds, and Butter: Wilton Responds to War, 1776 – 2006 includes material from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Viet Nam War, and the war in Iraq.

To mark the anniversary of the birth of the American Legion in March of 1919, the Wilton Historical Society worked with Adjutant Tom Moore of Wilton’s James B. Whipple Post 86 to develop a special section on the history of the organization, which includes some of their artifacts.

The Wilton Historical Society is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm.

Cruise to Sheffield Island this Memorial Day Weekend May 25, 26, 27, 2019 and Start a Family Tradition

The Sheffield Island Lighthouse is an iconic symbol of Connecticut’s maritime history. This historic lighthouse and light keeper’s cottage is located at the southern end of Norwalk’s necklace of islands on the west entrance of the Norwalk River in Long Island Sound. One of the best ways to kick of the season is to take a cruise on the C.J. Toth on Saturday, May 25, Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27. at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on all three days. Tickets for this exciting excursion can be purchased in advance by clicking here or at the dock, space permitting.

Activated in 1868, Sheffield Island Lighthouse, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places was in service for thirty- four years before it was retired in 1902. Today a visit to this historic Connecticut landmark gives visitors a first-hand experience on how important this lighthouse was to coastal and oceangoing shipping as these vessels plied their way on Long Island Sound, a major artery of communication and transportation. A bonus is that once on the island visitors get to explore the 151- year old lighthouse.

A highlight of this journey is the cruise itself. The cruise allows passengers to experience the beauty of Norwalk from the water with wonderful views of the shoreline, islands and the harbor. The fresh sea breeze and birdlife are enjoyed in the comfort of the Seaport’s modern vessel on the way to and from the island.

Reaching the Island, passengers take a tour of the ten-room light keeper’s cottage and the lighthouse that is furnished in period furniture giving visitors a glimpse of what life was like as a lighthouse keeper. If the day is clear, the New York City Skyline can be seen. Make sure to save time to look for shells, play on the lawns, and unwind with a picnic lunch on your own private island before heading back. A new telescope that is free to use affords spectacular views all the way to New York! Visitors to the island this spring will also get a sneak peek at a Pavilion that is being built on the Island that will be available for parties and special events. The Pavilion is expected to be completed July, 2019.

If you love nature and birdlife, don’t miss the chance to explore the Nature Trail through the Steward B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge that is also located on Sheffield Island. There is a wide array of bird and wildlife to be seen here including nesting herons, wading birds, shorebirds, terns and many others. A special viewing platform enhances the viewing experience. Don’t forget to charge your cell phone up and to bring your camera and binoculars.

Round trip ferry tickets are $28 for adults, $16 for children 4-12, and, children 3 and under are $7. The boat leaves from the Sheffield Island Dock located at the corner of North Water Street and Washington Street in historic South Norwalk. Parking is available in the adjacent Norwalk Maritime Center Garage. Be sure to wear comfortable, closed toe shoes. For safety reasons, flip-flops are not allowed. The capacity of the boat is limited to 49 passengers, so purchasing tickets in advance is recommended by visiting the website or visit ticketing.

About the Seaport Association

The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 by a group of local citizens who had the vision to revitalize South Norwalk and preserve Norwalk’s maritime heritage.

The Norwalk Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provide a unique historical and educational venue, which strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration for our environment and how the preservation of historic buildings and nature contribute to our quality of life.

It is our belief that preservation strengthens the perpetual partnership between the past, the present and the future. The combination of the Lighthouse and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge offers an unparalleled opportunity to educate children of all ages and adults about the importance of preserving Long Island Sound, our environment and maritime heritage.

Red Panda Webcam Live @ Beardsley Zoo

The Beardsley Zoo has just announced that its red panda viewing area has a live webcam that allows zoo lovers to take a peek at how these beautiful and rare red pandas live. The camera hours will feature a live feed from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. The red panda cam may be reached by clicking here.

Red pandas have a taste for bamboo, but unlike their larger relatives, they eat many other foods as well: fruit, acorns, roots, and eggs. Similar to giant pandas, they have a modified wrist bone that acts as a sixth digit or thumb.

While the red panda’s scientific names mean ‘fire-coloured cat,’ they actually have more in common with bears and raccoons. Their soft, dense fur covers their entire body, including the soles of their feet. They use their long, bushy tails to balance when they’re in trees – and also to cover themselves in winter.

This mild-mannered animal can defend its territory by standing on its hind legs and using its sharp claws to strike out if threatened. The red panda can also release a strong odor from scent glands at the base of the tail that may make a predator think twice about a red panda meal.

The Zoo is located on 1875 Noble Ave. in Bridgeport and is open from 10 am to 4 pm.