Stamford Museum And Nature Center: Everything You Need To Know | Stanton House Inn

sheepThe Stamford Museum & Nature Center is a fascinating art, history, nature, and agricultural sciences museum. The grounds offer an array of picturesque landscapes, wildlife, and exhibits.


The 118-acre property in Stamford, Connecticut, is home to:

  • A working farm
  • Museum and gallery
  • Interactive nature center
  • Planetarium
  • Observatory
  • Otter pond
  • Playground
  • And tons of outdoor trails


This Fairfield County museum offers seasonal exhibits and weekend festivals that showcase the natural history of New England. Visitors can take a walk around the hiking trails and take in the beauty of diverse natural habitats. Or spend the day wandering through lush gardens and get up close with a variety of plants from around the world. There is also a planetarium and observatory, as well as stargazing events throughout the year.


The museum is educational and fun and serves as a great way to connect with the outdoors. Be sure to visit soon for an unforgettable experience!


Explore the Stamford Museum and Nature Center

tree branches over water at the stamford museum and nature center


On your next trip to Connecticut, bring your loved ones to the Stamford Museum where you can:

  • Have a picnic in the meadow
  • Stroll the nature trails
  • Or visit the farm animals

Plus, when you stay at Stanton House Inn, you’ll be just a short 15-minute drive from all the fun! Here are some of the things you’ll see at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center.


History of the Stamford Museum and Nature Center


pumpkins at the stamford museum and nature centerThe museum and nature center sits on the 118-acre estate of former department store mogul, Henri Bendel. It still hosts his iconic half-timbered mansion, Bendel Mansion. This mock Tudor-style mansion is reminiscent of the 1920s architectural designs.


The property also boasts a hilltop garden with an awe-inspiring collection of marble statues overlooking Lake Laurel.


The center started out with a small collection of natural history specimens in 1936. In the 1970s, the center opened the Heckscher Farm, which is now home to live animals and a variety of educational programs.


The center has also expanded its facilities over the years, adding a planetarium and observatory. Nature trails, gardens, and other outdoor spaces were developed over time.


The Overbook Nature Center


waterfall in autumnAre you looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life? The Overbrook Nature Center is home to all the nature programs at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. Guests can:

  • Explore 80 acres of winding hiking trails, some universally accessible
  • Or attend informative educational programming with a naturalist

The beautiful walking trails allow guests to get up close and personal with a variety of wildlife including ducks, red fox, white-tail deer, turtles, and spotted salamanders. And all while traversing a forest of American beech, oaks, black birch, and other native plant species.


The permanent collection at the Museum


Donations have allowed the Museum’s collection to grow since its inception in 1936. The Stamford Museum currently has over 20,000 items in its Permanent Collection.


This permanent collection is divided into five categories:


  • Natural History


  • Native American artifacts and artwork


  • American History and Culture


  • European and American fine art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries


  • Agriculture Artifacts


Stamford Museum Observatory


This 4-story observatory is a research facility used by members of the Fairfield County Astronomical Society. That said, it is also open to the public. Each Friday, visitors can enjoy viewing the moon, planets, and deep space objects through the incredible 22-inch research telescope. You’ll love exploring the night sky and learning about stars, galaxies, and much more.


An evening here is a great date night idea, just sayin’.


Heckscher Farm


Heckscher Farmcows at the stamford museum and nature center has a picturesque backdrop dotted with:

  • Barns
  • A maple sugar house
  • An organic vegetable garden
  • And open pasture

The farm hosts dozens of adorable farm animals, mostly heritage breeds. Feel free to explore the chicken coop, pig pen, shelters, and creamery for a glimpse into life on a typical New England farm. Be sure to say hello to the animals – you might even get a kiss from a cow!


Nature’s Playground at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center


This exciting playground in the woods at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center is nestled into a rocky hillside. Kids can scale a spider web to a tree house with a lookout, then zoom down an otter slide. They can jump on a bouncing bug, wiggle like a worm across two huge maple leaves, or crawl through an ant’s nest. Your children will love discovering the world from an animal’s perspective, and you’ll love being able to rest and relax!


Places to stay near the Stamford Museum & Nature Center

The Stamford Museum and Nature Center is closer to the New York State border as it is to downtown Stamford.


That said, it’s so close to the Merritt Parkway that you could easily tack a visit here to a broader visit to the Connecticut Gold Coast.


So, depending on where else you’ll be visiting while you’re here, you can explore hotels in Greenwich, CT; or Stamford hotels.


Find even more things to do in Stamford, CT


daffodils along an old new england wallThe Stamford Museum & Nature Center offers a unique and educational experience for everyone. Whether you’re looking to explore nature, learn about the environment or see some of Connecticut’s local wildlife, this is the perfect place for your next outing!


Their address is: 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, CT 06903


And there are plenty of other nearby places worth visiting too, including some of the best hiking trails near Greenwich and Stamford:


Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens


Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens in Stamford, CT is a dazzling 91-acre oasis of lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and walking trails. You can wander among the trees and explore the diverse habitats teeming with wildlife.


Stamford History Center


The Stamford History Center is a unique destination for discovering the city’s past. Close to Scofield Road, this museum features a diverse collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that span over 300 years of history.


Fort Stamford


An important piece of American history, Fort Stamford is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the Revolutionary War.


Mianus River Park


Straddling Stamford and Greenwich, CT, Mianus River State Park is a beautiful nature reserve with over 600 acres of trails, wetlands, and forests. Enjoy a peaceful day of hiking, bird watching, fishing, or just taking in the sights and sounds of nature.


First Presbyterian Church

This monolithic structure on Bedford Street is hard to miss. The grounds offer a park atmosphere for Stamford residents.


But the Fish Church, as locals call First Presbyterian Church, is intriguing enough to warrant a visit in and of itself. This modern marvel incorporates Biblical stories into its design.


These historic and natural sites provide fascinating insights into our beautiful state. Make sure to add these destinations to your itinerary when planning your trip to Connecticut!


And for many more attractions, activities, and things to do in Stamford, CT, be sure to download your copy of the free Stamford, CT, visitor’s guide.

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