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Beardsley Zoo

5 Must-Do Things to Do in Bridgeport (2022)

If you are in Connecticut and you happen to have some extra time to spare, you should take the time to visit Bridgeport in Connecticut. Located just one hour and 12 minutes east of New York City, you can easily take Metro-North to reach the bustling city of Bridgeport. Bridgeport is the fifth largest city in Connecticut, and it can make for a fun day trip to check out some of the beautiful places and exciting things to do in Bridgeport.

For example, located along the waterfront, visitors to this stunning city can visit the beach at Seaside Park or decide to grab a bite of fresh seafood after spending a few hours shopping or window shopping along the boardwalk at Captain’s Cove Seaport. As you head further inland, visitors can indulge in exciting activities like climbing and zip lining through the trees in Adventure Park, or you can even get up close to schedule a visit with a sloth at the only zoo in Bridgeport.

Or, for those who want to unleash their inner scientist, a trip to the Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport can be a great idea. Or, for history buffs, a visit to the Housatonic Museum of Art is a great option. There is no end to things to do in Bridgeport. So before you get ready for your visit to this eclectic city, here are some of the top-rated things to do in Bridgeport.

5 Must-Do Things to Do in Bridgeport

Bring Out Your Inner Scientist At The Discovery Museum and Planetarium

One of the most popular attractions of Bridgeport is the Discovery Museum and Planetarium. This is a family-friendly destination that provides many intriguing and interactive exhibits for families, especially for younger children. In fact, it is such a popular destination that it usually is all booked. So it is a good idea to book your tickets in advance.

Some of the most exciting exhibits to check out here include the Apollo Redux section, which features a control room console, as well as the Dare to Discover area, where visitors can turn into scientists by taking part in various interactive experiments. Meanwhile, the Adventure Science room lets the little ones take part in zip lining and climbing up and around numerous obstacles.

There’s also the MoonBase play space for the young ones, where they can don a replica of the Apollo 11 spacesuit. The impressive Henry B. duPont III Planetarium is another hit exhibit with both adults and children. The shows here last for half an hour and will transport you to a galaxy far, far away in no time.

So before seeing any other place in Bridgeport, head to the Discovery Museum and Planetarium.

Check out the Giant Anteater at the Beardsley Zoo

Sloths, spider monkeys, and tigers are just some of the animals in the exotic Beardsley Zoo. This is a small-sized tourist attraction where you can easily spend two to three hours getting enchanted by the exotic and local animals. There are over 300 animals here, and since this is the only zoo in the state of Connecticut, Beardsley is a very popular destination. Beardsley offers visitors the best walkable experience of a zoo divided into five main sections – the Alligator Alley, the Walk-Through Aviary, Rainforest Building, New England Farmyard, and the Pampas Plains.

Visitors to the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport can get up close and personal with the prairie dogs here as you crawl through tubes that lead into their homestead. You can watch a bald eagle take a walk through a stream as it enjoys its open-air enclosure and watch a friendly playing session between an Amur leopard and black panther.

And if you feel hungry, there’s the Peacock Cafe inside the zoo that offers many child-friendly attraction fares. There are also special children’s meals that include a toy animal to take home with you. And before leaving, don’t forget to take a ride on the carousel and make a stop at the Greenhouse to take a look at the giant koi.

Enjoy Zip Lining Through The Trees In The Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum

The largest aerial adventure park in Connecticut is located just outside the complex of the Discovery Museum and Planetarium. Known as The Adventure Park, this is an exciting venue and one of the top-rated things to do in Bridgeport for families and children.

You can select from 13 treetop trails and 180 challenges, where you get to navigate through bridges, moving steps, and ladders that are divided by skill level. All are located within five leafy acres that are filled with trees. Each course provides multiple opportunities to zip line from one part to another, adding more fun and excitement to the entire experience.

For those who are beginners and never climbed before, that’s not a problem. There is an instructional video that shows you the way to go about it. There’s also helpful staff that is there to guide you through a practice session on a separate mini-course before you head off into the trees.

Once you finish climbing, you can head over to the outdoor ax-throwing area for more fun and a test of your ax-throwing skills. Or you can even visit the ropes courses at night to take part in the Glow in the Park. There are LED lights that line the zip lines and trails, and there is music blaring through the area to boost your energy level.

An excellent tip to bear in mind is to bring a pair of gloves or buy a pair at the on-site shop to keep your hands safe from blisters.

Check out the Beach at Seaside Park

Come summer, you will find thousands of Bridgeport residents flocking to the Seaside Park. This is the best waterfront destination in Bridgeport and the perfect place to enjoy a dip in the Long Island Sound, enjoy a picnic on the grass, try your hand at kayaking or sailing, or indulge in a game of beach volleyball.

The Seaside Park is spread out over 325 acres and boasts of lush lawn, walking and biking trails, sports fields, clean beaches, and lots of shaded glens where you can just sit and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze. Covering almost three miles of the coastline, the park has plenty of space for visitors to stretch out.

Located in the western part of the park is Fayerweather Island, which is a natural wildlife preserve that can be easily reached by taking a walk across the rocks on the breakwater. There is also a picturesque lighthouse here that dates back all the way to the early 1820s. This beautiful lighthouse sits near the entrance of Black Rock Harbor.

You need to have a park sticker in your car when you visit the park. These stickers can be bought at the Seaside Park Arches, the Beardsley Park, Seaside Park West Beach, and even the Parks and Recreation Department. Walking or biking in the park is free.

Enrich Your Knowledge at the Housatonic Museum of Art

The Housatonic Community College is home to the magnificent Housatonic Museum of Art, which is a huge 33,000 square foot space that is home to a diverse selection of international works right from the 18th to the 21st century. It is also home to the incredible Burt Chernow Galleries.

Established in 1967 by Director Emeritus and art professor Bert Chernow, the crisp walls of the galleries are lined with over 6000 masterpieces. Located on the first floor of the Lafayette Hall, the galleries are home to many exhibits that keep changing throughout the year. Some of the works here include paintings made by members of the Connecticut Silvermine Guild and Westport Arts Center, along with masterpieces made by Sylvia Stone, Alex Katz, and Jeff Koons.

The museum covers the first, second, and third floors of the Beacon Hill, which is where you will find the student art gallery, the Native American Gallery, multiple areas featuring various thematic installations, and the Conservation Hall.

Entry to the museum is free and open to the public all year round. However, the gallery is closed on the weekends in the summer months and on Sundays for the rest of the year. Also, both the galley and museum operate on the Housatonic Community College calendar, and if the school is closed, then so is the gallery. This is why it is necessary to check the schedule online before you plan your visit.

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