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Kid-Friendly Attractions in Bridgeport, Conn.

by Barbara Rogers

Mar 28, 2018

© Ritu Jethani | Dreamstime.com

Age Specific / Kids

There’s a lot to make little kids smile in Bridgeport, Conn. The first is the Barnum World of Wonders, exhibits from the P.T. Barnum Museum recalling the great days of the circus. Barnum lived in Bridgeport for years (he was once its mayor) and his circus wintered here, as did his protégé Tom Thumb, who, for many years, was the star attraction of The Greatest Show on Earth.

The P.T. Barnum Museum’s building, an outstanding example of late Victorian brick extravagance worthy of the King of Showmen himself, is closed for repairs, but highlights are displayed in the adjacent bank building. These include a replica of famous Fejee Mermaid, one of Barnum’s most famous hoaxes, and a portion of a miniature three-ring circus made of 3,500 handcrafted pieces.

In late June, the whole city celebrates Bridgeport’s legacy as the home of The Greatest Show on Earth with the P.T. Barnum Festival, complete with parades and massive fireworks displays.

But there’s more for kids than the circus. They will want to see and explore the acclaimed Discovery Museum and Planetarium, with more than 100 hands-on exhibits. Dare to Discover helps children explore and test scientific principles; the highly-interactive Energy Network introduces energy and how it is produced and used; Nano gives hands-on experiences with nanoscale engineering and technology. At MoonBase Discovery kids can captain a lunar rover, and they can learn about the stars and planets in the DuPont Planetarium.

The Peacock Cafe at The Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport Connecticut

© Samystclair | Dreamstime.com

The Beardsley Zoo, the only accredited zoo in Connecticut, features a New England farmyard (city kids think that is really cool), an original carousel open all year, an indoor rain forest and many other attractions, all within its 36-acre park. The park is an active practitioner of current endangered species environmental strategies, which today’s environment-savvy kids will enjoy learning about, too.

In the summer there’s a public beach at Seaside Park, and kids can run off a little steam year-round in this large waterfront green space.

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