With free admission for children under 12, a trip to the Lyman Allyn is a perfect family outing!

 Discover the Museum with fun and educational activities designed for children ages 5 and up all year round. Explore the galleries and our outdoor sculpture trail surrounded by 12 acres of gardens and lawn.

Before you visit

Thoughts for looking at art as a family

  • Find a work of art that interests you both. Ask questions such as: What do you see first? Was it an object or color that attracted your attention? Where did your eyes go next?
  • Discover the artwork by looking carefully. Ask your children to list the colors they see, and the materials the artist used.
  • Take a seat on the gallery benches and look at artwork together.
  • The Lyman Allyn is filled with beautiful architectural details! On the exterior of the building explore the columns and the three large medallions above the entrance. Once inside the museum lobby ask your children what they see. How many archways can you count? Can you find the acorns at the tops of the columns? Did you know the acorn is a symbol of prosperity? What’s decorating the ceiling, do the squares around it remind you of anything? That design is called dentil crown molding because it looks like teeth!
  • I Spy with my artistic eye! Upon your arrival, ask the Museum Attendant where you can locate I Spy material.
  • Inspire creativity! If this painting had a voice what sound would it make? What would it be like to be “inside” this painting? Can you tell me a story to go with this painting?
  • Read the wall label. What title would you give this artwork? Why do you think the artist chose this subject?

Multilingual Family Guides

Multilingual family guides are available in the Museum’s lobby. Visitors can use these guides while touring the Museum, or take them when leaving to extend their Museum visit at home. These guides provide a great introduction to the Lyman Allyn while highlighting objects on view, and connecting visitors of all ages to our exhibitions.

Strollers and coat check

Baby strollers are permitted in all museum galleries. Backpacks and large satchels must be left in the coat room.

Sensory Backpacks

Families love to visit the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, but sometimes a trip to the Museum can be an overwhelming or even stressful experience for individuals with sensory processing disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

To make the Lyman Allyn Art Museum experience more accessible and enjoyable for these families, we now offer sensory bags.

These sensory kits contain industry-approved tools that will help families navigate our museum. Each backpack includes noise-cancelling headphones, fidget tools, a pair of sunglasses, drawing materials, and a Social Story that uses photos and words to help families know what to expect throughout their visit.

Sensory backpacks are free resources available at the Admissions Desk. Guests who would like to check out a bag just need to leave their ID at the desk until they return the backpack.

Download a copy of the Social Story to preview before your visit here.

Sensory Bags are made possible by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.

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