Saturday’s ‘Open House’ gives residents a chance to discover some ‘hidden gems’



The 14th annual Connecticut Open House Day will be on Saturday, June 9, and quite a few Bristol attractions will be hosting special deals to celebrate this year’s theme: “Let the Magic Happen.”

Sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Tourism, the one-day statewide event helps to showcase the diverse world of tourism, history, and art in Connecticut.

Bristol Development Authority marketing and public relations specialist, Mark Thomas, said there are six Bristol locations taking place: the American Clock and Watch Museum, Bristol Historical Society, The Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center, the Memorial Military Museum, and the New England Carousel Museum.

“Connecticut Open House Day really is a specialty going around the state,” said Thomas.

Travel through time with “The Magic of Watch Making”, held at the American Clock and Watch Museum, 100 Maple St., Bristol. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors will be able to watch talented clock and watch repairers as they work, allowing them an opportunity to see what it takes to keep a timepiece ticking.

Bristol Historical Society’s “The Magic of the Past” will highlight the history of Bristol spanning from the 1800s to today. Their new exhibit, The General Store, will be open for review, and tour guides will be available to answer questions. BHS is located at 98 Summer St., Bristol.

Enjoy “The Magic of Nature” with the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut and the Barnes Nature Center, 501 Wolcott Rd., Bristol. Admission will be free all day, and several activities have been planned, including a scavenger hunt, pond dipping and exploration, nature walks, crafts, and guided tours of the exhibit animals.

The first 100 guests to attend Imagine Nation’s “The Magic of Cooking” will receive free admission to witness local chefs demonstrate and host a tasting of special and healthy foods. “The Magic of Cooking” will also highlight one of Imagine Nation’s newest items, The Charlie Cart, a mobile and functional kitchen.

The Memorial Military Museum, located in the Bristol Historical Society, wants to take you back to World War I in “The Magic of Time Travel”. Attendees will be able to view photographs, uniforms, and weapons that tell the story of Bristol’s role in the war. Admission is free, and the museum will be open from 10am to 5pm.

The New England Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Ave., Bristol, wants you to “Let the Magic Touch the Child in You” as you explore their collection of antique, wooden, hand-carved carousel art. They also invite you to ride on their working carousel, and watch as their artists work to restore pieces to their original aesthetic. The museum is offering free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It’s history made fun, and it just doesn’t cost a lot of money, and, here it is right in our backyard,” said Thomas. “I hope people begin to understand what some of the, what I call ‘hidden gems’ of Bristol, are.”