If you don’t have a child under 8, grab one quick to check out the “wicked cool” exhibits at Kidcity Children’s Museum (119 Washington St., Middletown, 860/347-0495, www.kidcitymuseum.com , 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.–Tue.; 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed.–Sat., $7 adults and children, free children under 1). Just a decade old, the museum incorporates high-tech equipment into hands-on exhibits, including a theater where kids can use props to act out their own video fantasies.
The Connecticut River Museum (67 Main St., 860/767-8269, www.ctrivermuseum.org , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tue.–Sun., $8 adults, $7 seniors, $5 children 6–12) is literally on the Connecticut River, sitting on stilts overlooking the water. Inside, the museum explores the history of early America’s most important waterways, including the shipbuilding history of the little town of Essex. A special exhibit on the “American Turtle” looks at one of the more fascinating experiments of the Revolutionary War, in which an underwater submarine nearly succeeded in planting a bomb to blow up a British ship.