The Oliver Wolcott Library has museum and park passes available for Litchfield residents and tax payers. All passes circulate for three days. We take reservations up to 24 hours in advance. Stop by or call the library at 860-567-8030 to reserve your pass!
There is a $25.00 replacement fee for all lost passes except for Mystic Marine Life Aquarium which has a $75.00 fee and the Connecticut State Parks and Forests which has a $40.00 replacement fee.
There is a $5.00 a day charge for an overdue pass. Passes may be returned in the book drop.
Please check each museum's website for hours, list of events, special closings and weather related closings.
Children's Museum and Roaring Brook Nature Center - The library's pass to admits up to four patrons for free with one free touring admission with each paid admission. Science Dome show tickets are an additional fee for those receiving free touring admission. The New Children's Museum and Roaring Brook are in two separate locations. The New Children's Museum in West Hartford, Connecticut offers hands-on fun with science and nature for younger children and families. Children engage in interactive labs, workshops, multi-sensory exhibits and demonstrations, a live wildlife sanctuary, state-of-the art digital science dome planetarium shows and movies, vacation camps, sleepovers, birthday parties, scout activities, and special events. Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton offers environmental exhibits, nature programs, concerts and acres of outdoor hiking, bird watching, and winter cross-country skiing.
Connecticut Historical Society Museum and Library - The library's pass admits two adults and up to four children into the galleries for free. The Connecticut Historical Society is a museum, library, research and educational center. Founded in 1825, the Connecticut Historical Society houses an extensive and comprehensive Connecticut-related collection of manuscripts, printed material, artifacts and images that document social, cultural, and family history with a mission to inspire and foster a life-long interest in history through exhibitions, programs, and Connecticut-related collections.
Connecticut's Old State House - The library's pass admits up to two adults and two children free. As Connecticut's original state capitol from 1797 to 1873, the Old State House is regarded as one of the oldest remaining state houses in the nation. At Connecticut's Old State House, you'll find many unique exhibits, historic rooms and over 22,000 square feet for people of all ages to explore. You can choose between guided and self-guided tours including hands-on activity areas for kids of all ages.
Connecticut State Parks and Forest Recreation Areas - The library's pass admits one private passenger vehicle carrying fewer than 12 passengers free into any Connecticut State Park. Also valid for two adults and four children at Dinosaur, Fort Trumbull and Gillette Castle State Parks. Enjoy a hot summer day at one of Connecticut's beaches, or spend a day with your family enjoying the natural and historical wonders of Connecticut. With sixty state parks to choose from regardless of your interests, Connecticut's parks and forests offer something for everyone. Activities include: hiking, swimming, camping, boating, letterboxing, mountain biking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, also cultural and historical experiences at Dinosaur State Park, Gilette's Castle and more.
Earthplace - Nature Discovery Center- The library's pass admits the pass holder and three guests free entry into the Natureplace, the live animal hall and the native plant courtyard. Founded in 1958 and accredited by The American Association of Museums, Earthplace maintains a 62 acre wildlife sanctuary with trails, exhibits an interactive natural history museum with wildlife dioramas, houses live wildlife for public viewing and hosts many public nature programs and events. Other activities include a state-licensed preschool and summer camp, and the Harbor Watch water quality testing program.
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art - The library's pass admits two adults and four children in for free. To inspire a love of art and reading through picture books, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is the only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States. The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.
Florence Griswold Museum - The library's pass admits up to two adults and two children (under 12) for free. Founded around the ca. 1817 Florence Griswold House that housed a summer artists’ colony at the turn of the 20th century, the collections of the Florence Griswold Museum span the history of American art from the 18th century to the present day with a focus on the art and culture of Connecticut. The house today is furnished with a selection of fine and decorative arts from the collections. In 2002, the Museum’s collections were transformed by a monumental gift of 190 paintings and sculptures from The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. This landmark donation included colonial paintings by Ralph Earl and Ammi Phillips, landscapes by Hudson River School masters Thomas Cole and Frederic E. Church, and beloved Impressionist views by Childe Hassam, Matilda Browne, Willard Metcalf, and John Henry Twachtman.
Hill-Stead Museum - The library's pass admits one adult and two children (under 18) into the museum for free. Hill-Stead is the first architectural project of Theodate Pope Riddle and is considered one of the finest Colonial Revival house and museum in the United States. Established in 1946 as a cultural resource for the public in perpetuity, the museum is one of the nation’s few remaining representations of early-20th-century Country Place Estates. It houses some of the most important Impressionist paintings in the world, including works by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and James McNeill Whistler and a print collection spanning 400 years and including pieces by Albrecht Dürer and Japanese woodblock artists Hokusai. Each year Hill-Stead Museum utilizes its historic home, landmark art exhibit, and 152-acre estate to offer over 4,000 tours and an array of programs in art, architecture, gardens, and natural science. In keeping with the Pope family’s tradition of bringing literary, musical, and educational opportunities to the community, the museum presents concerts, lectures, workshops, family festivals, and the nationally acclaimed Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.
KidsPlay Children's Museum - The library's pass admits a family of four for free. KidsPlay Children's Museum is designed for children ages 2-8, however, younger and older children find challenges and just plain fun once they enter! The children explore on their own with no need for directions as to how to work and play; their imaginations and creativity are their guides. The rich and playful color palette of the museum greets children and their caregivers as they enter the world of "Our Town" with an abundance of hands-on, multi-sensory, unique and appealing exhibits geared toward learning through play.
Litchfield Historical Society- The library's pass admits four people free. The museum gallery is open April – November, the library and program events are available year-round. Since 1856 the Litchfield Historical Society has been dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of Litchfield County, Connecticut, through its museum, research library, and historic house.
Mark Twain House and Museum - The library's pass admits one adult free or two children free with the purchase of one adult ticket. The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author's Hartford, Connecticut home, where the author and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works during the years he lived there, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In addition to providing tours of Twain's restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and educational programs that illuminate Twain's literary legacy and provide information about his life and times.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk - The library's pass offers $2 off the admission price for up to six people ONLY with the purchase of Aquarium & Classic IMAX. The Maritime Aquarium is different from most aquariums in that the focus is solely on one body of water: Long Island Sound, the "Estuary of National Significance" just outside our doors. As an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sound is an environment rich in aquatic life...even within sight of heavily urbanized New York City. The maritime population exhibited includes varieties of crabs, lobsters, mollusks (like delicious and economically important oysters and clams), game fish, jellies, sea turtles, sharks (big and small) and - in the winter - visiting seals.
Mattatuck Museum - The library's pass admits up to two adults and their children into the museum for free. This unique museum focuses on the work of painters and sculptors who were born or based in Connecticut. Its collection spans the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The artists represented in the museum's collection include Paolo Abbate, Abe Ajay, Alexander Calder, Frederic Church, Erastus Salisbury Field, Arshile Gorky, John Frederick Kensett, Peter Poskas, Kay Sage, Yves Tanguy and John Trumbull. The Mattatuck also highlights the commercial and cultural achievements related to the city of Waterbury. This includes a collection of 15,000 buttons, donated by the now closed Button Museum operated by the Waterbury Button Company. The museum also features a regional history exhibit that uses interactive displays, oral histories and historic movie clips to trace the past and present of Waterbury and the surrounding areas in New Haven County, Connecticut.
Mystic Marine Life Aquarium - The library's pass offers $5.00 off general admission into the aquarium for up to four people. This pass discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Pass cannot be used for special events and programs. At Mystic Aquarium close encounters of the incredible kind happen every day! Whether you're touching a ray, feeling the splash of a beluga whale, going beak-to-nose with a penguin or exploring the deep sea with the world's only exhibit on Dr. Robert Ballard's fascinating expeditions, you'll be closer to ocean life than you ever thought possible!
New Britain Museum of American Art - The library's pass admits four people. Valid for free general admission into museum. Additional fees may apply to special exhibitions, events, and programs. Library pass cannot be used for Docent-led tours. The New Britain Museum of American Art's founding in 1903 entitles the institution to be designated the first museum of strictly American art in the country. The museum features colonial portraiture, the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, the Ash Can School, and the important mural series The Arts of Life in America by Thomas Hart Benton. The museum has an extensive permanent collection for exhibitions and programming, yet also displays a significant number of borrowed shows and work by emerging artists.
Norman Rockwell Museum - The library's pass to admits two people into the museum at a discounted rate of $10 each. The Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell. The museum preserves studies and communicates with a worldwide audience the life, art and spirit of Norman Rockwell in the field of illustration. The museum is a gathering place for reflection, involvement, and discovery through the enjoyment of the artist's work. Norman Rockwell's unique contributions to art and society, popular culture and social commentary influence the museum's programs and interpretations.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art- The library's pass admits two adults and two children into the museum for free. Only for general admission. This is not valid for group tours or with other discounts. Additional fees apply during Fine Art & Flowers and Festival of Trees & Traditions, and some special exhibitions. The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the oldest public art museum in the United States, was founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth, one of the first important American patrons of the arts. Its collections of nearly 50,000 works of art span 5,000 years and feature the Morgan collection of Greek and Roman antiquities and European decorative arts, world-renowned baroque and surrealist paintings, an unsurpassed collection of Hudson River School landscapes, European and American Impressionist paintings, modernist masterpieces, the Serge Lifar collection of Ballets Russes drawings and costumes, the George A. Gay collection of prints, the Wallace Nutting collection of American colonial furniture and decorative arts, the Samuel Colt firearms collection; costumes and textiles, African American art and artifacts, and contemporary art. Daniel Wadsworth planned to establish "a Gallery of Fine Arts," but he was persuaded to establish an "atheneum," a term used in the nineteenth-century for a cultural institution with a library, works of art and artifacts, devoted to history, literature, art and science.
White Memorial Museum- The library's pass admits two adults and four children into the museum for free. The White Memorial Environmental Education Center and Nature Museum is located in the heart of the 4000-acre White Memorial Foundation in the hills of northwestern Connecticut. In 1964 the Center was established in the former home of Alain White and his sister, May. Their vision and generosity led to the formation of the White Memorial Foundation in 1913. The Conservation Center operates a Nature Museum with exhibits focusing on the interpretation of local natural history, conservation, and ecology, as well as a Museum Nature Store. The outdoor arena includes the wildlife sanctuary maintained by the White Memorial Foundation. The Foundation today comprises 4000 acres of fields, water, and woodlands, trails, campgrounds, boating facilities and special areas for large outdoor gatherings. Also at White Memorial: hiking trails, camping, nature studies, workshops and volunteer opportunities.
Museums & Centers offering free admission - no passes required
Barker Cartoon Museum - Cheshire, CT
Connecticut College Arboretum - New London, CT, Hiking Trails
Davison Art Center - Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
New Britain Youth Museum at Hungerford Park - Adults 4.00, Child 2.00
New England Civil War Museum - Vernon, CT
Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion - Stamford, CT
Yale Center for British Art - New Haven, CT