Winter Fun and Activities at Mystic Seaport Museum

Figureheads & Shipcarvings

Mystic Seaport Museum will be open all winter with a robust offering of indoor exhibits, family and children educational activities, as well as virtual programming. If you haven’t visited Mystic Seaport Museum during winter, we hope you take the opportunity to do so this year and participate in our cold-weather activities!

The core of our winter experience are the indoor exhibits, exhibitions, and activities. All of our galleries are open to visitors with some new offerings that opened in the latter part of 2020.

  • Figureheads & Shipcarvings is a new exhibit in the Wendell Building.  This is a reimagination and new installation of part of our ship figureheads collection that presents the artifacts in a new light — literally and figuratively — with an emphasis on the purpose and artistry of figureheads set in the context of 19th-century wood carving.
  • Sailor Made: Folk Art of the Sea is an exhibition that opened last fall in the C.D. Mallory Building. Featuring more than 200 artifacts from our collections, the exhibition explores the art that emerged from the world of the working sailor, reflecting their connections to shipboard life, their thoughts about culture on shore, and the souvenirs they created to remember and share the experiences of their travels.
  • A Way with Wood: Celebrating Craft is open in the Thompson Building’s Collins Gallery. The show introduces visitors to the many ways people transform one of nature’s most malleable materials to objects of utility, art, and beauty. At its center, shipwrights are restoring Museum watercraft in a constant live demonstration.
  • Mary Mattingly’s Open Ocean is the work of one of Brooklyn’s leading contemporary artists, Mary Mattingly. For several months, Mattingly immersed herself in the Museum’s collections vault, poring over artworks, opening drawer after drawer of artifacts, in search of “evidence of how the sea has always challenged the rigidity of modern, terrestrial life; how its very nature permits a different tenor of creativity.” This exhibition shows what she found.
  • Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers in the Stillman Building is a comprehensive exploration of America’s historic and contemporary relationship with whales and whaling.
  • View the remarkable beauty and craftsmanship of the cabin from the 244-foot square-rigged sailing ship Benjamin F. Packard.

The Treworgy Planetarium will be offering two shows daily: “Winter Stars and the Mariner” and “Polar Night, Artic Light.” In addition, a “full-dome” movie will be projected on the Planetarium’s domed ceiling on weekends. Planetarium programs are free with admission.

The Greenmanville Meeting House will show two movies: the Irving Johnson classic “Around Cape Horn” and “Unfurling the Wind.”

The Home Port children’s activity center reopens for 2021. Set in a warm and inviting room that harkens back to the Victorian Era, Home Port invites families and children to come and spend quality time together with a variety of activities and arts and crafts. Home Port is limited to two families at a time, so please ask for tickets at the entrance gate.

For a look at 19th-century domestic life and open-hearth cooking, stop by the Buckingham-Hall house.

But not everything is indoors this winter. We also have exciting outdoor activities as well. The children’s playscape is open for the kids to work off some energy and the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan is open to board and learn about life at sea on a 19th-century whaler.

Please check our  calendar for our schedule of events. New this year are guided shipyard tours on select days and our Membership Department has a full schedule of exclusive member programs.

If you can’t make it to the Museum, don’t worry. We have an expanded offering of virtual programs this Winter to bring the Museum to you. Please visit our new Virtual Programs page to see the full schedule.

The Museum is open to the public 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursday-Sunday. Visitors are required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. For a complete list of our COVID-19 policies, please visit our COVID-19 page.

We look forward to seeing you this winter! And don’t forget to stop by Social, our new coffee shop, on your way in and enjoy a hot beverage to warm you up.