Mystic Seaport will return to being open to visitors year-round in 2016. From January 2 to February 12, 2016 the Museum will be open Thursday through Sunday, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This comes after several years being closed for the first six weeks of the calendar year.
“An important part of the strategic vision for Mystic Seaport is to be a museum that functions in all four seasons, and over the past year we have added a number of enhancements and changes to our physical plant and exhibits that enable us to offer a more robust visitor experience in the winter months,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport. “This will only get more compelling when we open the new Thompson Exhibition Building later in the year.”
The programs and exhibits that will be open have been chosen with cold weather in mind. This includes the buildings and exhibit galleries on the north end of the grounds, including the Planetarium, Children’s Museum, and the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan. Schaefer’s Spouter Tavern will be open for dining.
Highlights to a visit this winter are the award-winning exhibit “Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude” on temporary loan from the National Maritime Museum, London, the “Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers” exhibit, and the new Home Port children’s activity center in the P.R. Mallory Building. In addition, visitors may view the Figureheads Exhibit, the Benjamin F. Packard Ship’s Cabin, and the art exhibit by Dalvero Academy, “Journey of Transformation.”
The Planetarium will have two shows: “Winter Stars and the Mariner” and “Longitude: Proof in the Pacific.” The latter is a special 35-minute program that brings ships, clocks, and stars together to follow Captain James Cook as he tests longitude solutions in the Pacific Ocean during his voyages in the 18th century. The audience can see the night sky from the island of Tahiti as Cook and the astronomers in his company seek to view the rare astronomical phenomenon known as the Transit of Venus. Planetarium shows are free and included with general admission during this time.
The Membership Building will be open to assist members and provide a hot cup of cocoa, tea, or coffee for those in need of a warm up.
There will be several special programs this winter not to miss. The Stars of the Smithsonian Lecture Series continues with Carlene Stephens, a curator at the National Museum of American History, presenting “Connecting the World in Time” on January 14. This talk explores the changing ways humankind used to connect around the globe over the centuries and draws on treasured timekeepers and their stories.
The Mystic Seaport Adventure Series returns on January 21 with USCG CWO Randall J. Rice recounting his remarkable career in “Stories of a Rescue Swimmer.”
Winter Vessel Tours showcasing steamboat Sabino, Plimoth Plantation’s Mayflower II, schooner Amistad, and the Charles W. Morgan will be offered weekends from January 2 through February 7, 2016.
During this period, the 19th-Century Village and the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard will be closed to visitors. They will reopen on February 13, 2016 for Winter’s Aweigh.
As part of this new operating plan, Mystic Seaport will offer reduced admission: Adult $19; Senior (ages 65+) $17; Youth (ages 6-17) $12; and Children (5 and younger) Free. The reduced admission is effective January 2 through February 12, 2016. Regular admission rates will apply after that time.
The Museum is very excited to return to operating year round. It is great time to see Mystic Seaport in a different way–at a great price!