Animals for All
Free programs designed for neurodivergent participants who may benefit from non-traditional program formats

Programs and Events coming soon for July, August & September

Registration for Summer Programs opens Wednesday, June 26 @ 9 am

Several beginning-of-July programs open will sooner for advance registration.

In the meantime, check out everything happening this summer!

We are proud to offer this series of opportunities open and free of charge exclusively to neurodiverse students and their families. We strive to make our site and programs more accessible to all visitors. These free programs are designed for neurodivergent participants who may experience better success with non-traditional program formats.

Animals for All has been made possible through grant funding from the Abilis Community Foundation, the Dorr Foundation, and the New Canaan Community Foundation.

Questions?
Please contact Lisa Monachelli, Director of Education

Read our Program Announcement Press Release
Stamford Museum & Nature Center to Offer Free Program Series for Neurodiverse Students and Families

Social Story Guide

Explore the SM&NC with the assistance of our Visitors Social Story.

Upcoming Animals For All Programs

Animals for All: Caring for Critters

March 22, 2024
July 2 @ 3:30 pm4:15 pm
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Free

Tuesday, July 2 3:30 — 4:15 pm Ages 5+ This program provides an opportunity for hands-on work with our animals on Heckscher Farm for students with disabilities for whom our Junior Curator program environment may not be as successful. The small group size allows for…

Animals for All: Caring for Exotic Critters

June 19, 2024
July 13 @ 10:00 am10:45 am
Heckscher WILD!
Free

Saturday, July 13 10 — 10:45 am Ages 7+ A Heckscher WILD! based complement to our Caring for Critters program at Heckscher Farm. Work with our exotic animals, like tortoises and chinchillas, in small group-tailored settings in Heckscher WILD! Programs are approximately 45 minutes. Registration…

Animals for All: Heckscher Farm Open Evening

June 19, 2024
July 16 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Free

This free program is designed for neurodivergent participants who may experience better success with non-traditional program formats. Tuesday, July 16 6 — 7 pm All Ages Welcome Our Open Farm Evenings are designed for kids, adults and families who would benefit from the ability to…

Animals for All: Caring for Exotic Critters

June 19, 2024
July 18 @ 3:30 pm4:15 pm
Heckscher WILD!
Free

Thursday, July 18 3:30 — 4:15 pm Ages 7+ A Heckscher WILD! based complement to our Caring for Critters program at Heckscher Farm. Work with our exotic animals, like tortoises and chinchillas, in small group-tailored settings in Heckscher WILD! Programs are approximately 45 minutes. Registration…

Animals for All: Caring for Exotic Critters

June 19, 2024
August 3 @ 10:00 am10:45 am
Heckscher WILD!
Free

Saturday, August 3 10 — 10:45 am Ages 7+ A Heckscher WILD! based complement to our Caring for Critters program at Heckscher Farm. Work with our exotic animals, like tortoises and chinchillas, in small group-tailored settings in Heckscher WILD! Programs are approximately 45 minutes. Registration…

Animals for All: Heckscher Farm Open Evening

June 19, 2024
August 7 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Free

This free program is designed for neurodivergent participants who may experience better success with non-traditional program formats. Wednesday, August 7 6 — 7 pm All Ages Welcome Our Open Farm Evenings are designed for kids, adults and families who would benefit from the ability to…

Animals for All: Caring for Exotic Critters

June 19, 2024
August 18 @ 10:00 am10:45 am
Heckscher WILD!
Free

Sunday, August 18 10 — 10:45 am Ages 7+ A Heckscher WILD! based complement to our Caring for Critters program at Heckscher Farm. Work with our exotic animals, like tortoises and chinchillas, in small group-tailored settings in Heckscher WILD! Programs are approximately 45 minutes. Registration…

Animals for All: Caring for Critters

June 19, 2024
August 19 @ 3:30 pm4:15 pm
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Free

Monday, August 19 3:30 — 4:15 pm Ages 5+ This program provides an opportunity for hands-on work with our animals on Heckscher Farm for students with disabilities for whom our Junior Curator program environment may not be as successful. The small group size allows for…

Animals for All: Heckscher Farm Open Evening

June 19, 2024
September 5 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Free

This free program is designed for neurodivergent participants who may experience better success with non-traditional program formats. Thursday, September 5 6 — 7 pm All Ages Welcome Our Open Farm Evenings are designed for kids, adults and families who would benefit from the ability to…

Animals for All: Caring for Exotic Critters

June 19, 2024
September 7 @ 10:00 am10:45 am
Heckscher WILD!
Free

Saturday, September 7 10 — 10:45 am Ages 7+ A Heckscher WILD! based complement to our Caring for Critters program at Heckscher Farm. Work with our exotic animals, like tortoises and chinchillas, in small group-tailored settings in Heckscher WILD! Programs are approximately 45 minutes. Registration…

Animals for All: Caring for Critters

June 19, 2024
September 10 @ 3:30 pm4:15 pm
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Free

Tuesday, September 10 3:30 — 4:15 pm Ages 5+ This program provides an opportunity for hands-on work with our animals on Heckscher Farm for students with disabilities for whom our Junior Curator program environment may not be as successful. The small group size allows for…

Animals for All: Caring for Exotic Critters

June 19, 2024
September 11 @ 3:30 pm4:15 pm
Heckscher WILD!
Free

Wednesday, Septmber 11 3:30 — 4:15 pm Ages 7+ A Heckscher WILD! based complement to our Caring for Critters program at Heckscher Farm. Work with our exotic animals, like tortoises and chinchillas, in small group-tailored settings in Heckscher WILD! Programs are approximately 45 minutes. Registration…

Visitor Social Story: A Helpful Guide to the SM&NC

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is a great place to visit to learn and have fun!

There are two entrances to come in for a visit.

I can come in at the north entrance by the Knobloch Family Farmhouse or the front entrance.

Let’s go in through the front entrance today.

The person at the gate will greet me and help me get a ticket for my visit. It is nice when I say thank you to the person when they give me my ticket.

As I go explore, I will look, listen, and respect the person or people I am with. If I get separated from them, staying calm is good. I can ask the people who work here for help.

The grounds are pretty and have many places to explore!

I can start my adventure by going to Heckscher Farm to explore the farm and animal friends that call it home.

I will head towards the building called Overbrook Nature Center.

As I follow the path, on my left I can see the pond. Sometimes there are ducks and geese on it.

The Overbrook Nature Center has some animal friends to visit and a gift shop.

I can go into Overbrook Nature Center if it is open. I will look to see if there is a sign that says it is ok to go in.

If I don’t want to go into Overbrook Nature Center, that’s ok. I can come back later if I want to go inside to explore.

After I am done at Overbrook, I can look over to the white bridge.

I can cross the bridge to see and say hi to the animals at Heckscher Farm.

On the way into the farm, I will pass by the Otter Pond.

Sometimes the otters do not want to come to say hi and that is ok.

But sometimes they like to come out and relax in the sun.

Let’s check out the farm!

There are many buildings around the farm that I can explore and many animal friends I can visit.

When I go to see the animals, it is good to remember to be kind and respectful to them just as I would like someone to be kind and respectful to me.

The caretakers will let me know if it is ok to feed and to touch the animals I see. It is nice to ask the caretakers first.

It is ok if I am not able to feed and touch them. I can look at them and still say hi.

Heckscher WILD! is one of the buildings that I can explore. It is home to our exotic animals.

Sometimes it is not open. I will look for a sign that will let me know if I can go in.

It is ok if I am not allowed to go in at that time. It is also ok if I do not want to go in.

I can always come back when the animals are ready for me to visit, or if I change my mind and want to go say hi to them.

When I leave Heckscher WILD!, I can follow the path that runs by a red barn. This building is called Heckscher Barn.

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center often has classes that take place in this building.

I can follow the path and pass by the vegetable garden and greenhouse.

Look at all the animal friends!

Look at all the animal friends!

The Farmhouse is good for classes and events.

But there are also bathrooms inside if I need to use them.

I can take a look at the Maple Sugar and Cidery House next door to the Farmhouse.

If I am able to go inside this building, I must remember to follow the instructions from the Stamford Museum & Nature Center staff.

The machine inside is very hot! It is good that I do not touch it.

Doesn’t the building smell good? It smells like pancakes!

I can leave the Maple Sugar and Cidery House to go explore more of the farm.

I can follow the path around the farm to explore more of the animals.

The farm has hogs and a chicken coop.

They even have some bunnies.

I can follow the path around the farm to explore more of the animals.

The farm has hogs and a chicken coop.

They even have some bunnies.

I can follow the path around the farm to explore more of the animals.

The farm has hogs and a chicken coop.

They even have some bunnies.

After visiting the farm, I can walk back across the bridge and explore more of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center.

It is ok if I get tired after exploring for a while.

I can stop at one of the benches to rest and there are picnic tables where I can stop to eat some lunch or snacks.

It is ok if I get tired after exploring for a while.

I can stop at one of the benches to rest and there are picnic tables where I can stop to eat some lunch or snacks.

It is ok if I get tired after exploring for a while.

I can stop at one of the benches to rest and there are picnic tables where I can stop to eat some lunch or snacks.

I can go check out the area behind Overbrook Nature Center.

The Overbrook Nature Center has an owl named Willow. Let’s see if I can spot her. If I can’t that is ok. She is good at hiding.

Then I can go over to Nature's Playground.

If there are others on the playground, I will remember to be respectful to them. It is ok if I do not want to play or talk to them.

If I do not want to stay, it is ok to leave.

There is also a place where I can go explore the woods.

I can head to the place called Wheels in the Woods.

I can explore the forest trail as much as I like. But it is also ok if I want to turn around if I want to.

It’s ok if I want to take a break from the outdoors and go up to the Bendel Mansion at the top of the hill.

It is ok if I get tired climbing up. I can sit inside for a bit.

When I come into the mansion, there is an art exhibition I can explore.

I will keep my hands to myself unless I see a sign that says it’s ok to touch.

When I am done going around the mansion, I can go back down the hill. If I want to explore anything again, that is ok. If I am done for the day, that is also ok.

When it is time to go, I will leave out of the same entrance I came in.

I will say goodbye to the person who helped me when I first came in for my visit.

If I had a good time, I can always come back again!

Youth & Family Program Policies

    • Refunds may be available for a registered program up to 10 days before the program date. Within 10 days refunds are, unfortunately, not available. Please register carefully.
    • Contact registration at 203.977.6521 for refunds. Programs cancelled by SM&NC will be refunded in full.
    • Ticket transfers are not permitted. Only registered parties may attend in their program time/date.
    • Please note age requirements.  Registrations outside of the age minimums/maximums will be cancelled and may not be refunded.
    • Please note registration requirements.  Some programs are drop-off and some require adult attendance.
    • All participants age 3 and up who attend a program require a ticket for individually-ticketed events.
      *This policy does not apply to any Summer Camp, Summer Wonder Art, or other program that is covered under our Summer Camp refund policies. Please refer to our summer camp pages for more information on these policies.

For registration assistance or questions, please contact Visitor Services at 203.977.6521.