Postcards from Stamford Museum & Nature Center

Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta, Luxury

Searching for something fun to do? The Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Stamford, Connecticut has it all! We spent a fantastic morning visiting the 118-acre museum and nature center, exploring the hiking trails, experiencing the grandeur of the Bendel Mansion once the home of fashion icon Henri Willis Bendel, and of course, spending time with the animal residents at the Heckscher Farm. The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is a perfect experience for all age groups.

Lisa Monachelli making maple syrup

After a long, cold winter staying indoors, we needed a long walk, and a cultural and nature fix, which we happily found at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. We visited on Sunday, February 28, 2021, which serendipitously coincided with their Maple Sugar Fest (February 21 – March 7, 2021) where we learned about making maple syrup in their Sugarshack & Cidery from Lisa Monachelli, and by watching the demos held throughout the property. They have 200+ mature maple trees on their property that they use to harvest maple sap and learned that maple sap consists of 98 parts water and 2 parts sugar, which is cooked to evaporate the water and concentrate the sugar to create maple syrup. Interesting to note is that it takes about 60 buckets of sap to create 1 bucket of maple syrup. (Read more about maple syrup in our Adventures section, The Art and Science of Maple Syrup in Connecticut.) 

Edward  F. Nesta checking a sap bucket

We also loved exploring the extensive grounds, hiking a few of the trails, and visiting the Bendel Mansion, once the home of Henri Willis Bendel (1868 – 1936), an American designer, philanthropist, and owner of the eponymous luxurious Fifth Avenue store in New York City where fashionable fashionistas once flocked. The architecture is stunning with its slate roof, lead-framed glass windows, gargoyles, and sculptures on the manicured grounds. Inside the Bendel Mansion, there was a wonderful solo exhibition of Orchid Paintings by local Connecticut artist Patricia Laspino (the exhibition runs until April 25, 2021). There were also a few “residents” of Heckscher WILD! mini exhibition at the Bendel Mansion for visitors to meet including an engaging 48-year-old Red-footed tortoise named “Wallace.” 

Bendel Mansion

VIDEO – Luxury Experience visits the  Stamford Museum & Nature Center –  

Always children at heart, we especially enjoyed “meeting” the residents of the Heckscher Farm including the alpacas, llamas, rare Jacob sheep, horses, cows, pigs, and many more fascinating and engaging animals. Interesting notes: alpacas and llamas are related to camels, and the Jacob sheep typically have 4 horns (sometimes 2 – 6 horns) and both sexes are horned. We also visited the Edith & Robert Graham Otter Pond to watch the adorable river otters in action.

HI!- Come Visit the Nature Center

 We spent 2.5-hours at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center and cannot wait to return to hike more of the trails, visit the animals, and see the next exhibition. Do allow a minimum of 1.5-hours for your visit to experience all they have to offer. There are picnic tables placed throughout, so take time to sit back, relax, and perhaps enjoy a bite to eat.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center truly has something for all with its children’s play area, crafts in the Overbrook Nature Center, and The Wheels in the Woods Trail #7, a universally accessible nature trail. If you visit on a Sunday, be sure to check out their Sunday Farm Market, where you can purchase local products in the parking lot. 

Jacob Ram

There is always something interesting happening at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center so please visit their website for more information: 

We sign our postcard, With Love from Luxury Experience! Located in Stamford, Connecticut approximately 1-hour from Manhattan, 1-hour from New Haven, and 1.5-hours from Hartford, the Stamford Museum & Nature Center is a perfect day trip for groups of all ages! Get out and enjoy nature!  

Until next time, keep enjoying travel with Luxury Experience!  

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is open every day except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. They close at 1:00 pm on Christmas Eve (12/24) and New Year’s Eve (1/31).  

Stamford Museum Galleries & Bendel Mansion Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, and Sunday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.  

Heckscher Farm: April through October: Daily from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. November through March from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.  

Nature’s Playground: Daily, weather permitting, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.  

Admission: Adults: $14, Seniors (65+): $12, Students (18+): $10 with valid ID, Children: (4-17): $8, Children (3 and under): free, Members: free. Those arriving on the city bus and holding bus passes or bus transfer tickets are admitted free. There is free onsite parking.

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