Share Print

event calendar

Get Email Updates

Receive the latest news and event updates in your inbox:

Stay Connected

Facebook Twitter Instagram Google+ YouTube Linked In

Open Arms

Children and families at Open Arms

This year Open Arms will help more than 70,000 children and families

enjoy the museum's award-winning interactive exhibits and educational programs regardless of any financial, language or special needs barriers.

Check out the many ways organizations, schools and families can participate in the Stepping Stones experience through Open Arms. Please email or call 203 899 0606, ext. 262 if you have any questions.

Share this page with others in the community!

Or download and print the Open Arms brochure in English or Spanish.

Open Arms for Families

Families can take advantage of the great exhibits, events and experiences Stepping Stones has to offer without worrying about the cost. To learn more about any of these programs please email or call 203 899 0606, ext. 262.

  • Accessibility Days

    Stepping Stones is committed to offering museum access to everyone, regardless of any financial, language or special needs barriers. On Accessibility Days, the museum offers FREE admission to families of children with special needs. This provides families with an opportunity to enjoy the museum’s exhibits, mingle with other families and learn with their child in a safe and welcoming environment.

    Join us for Accessibility Day from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on the second Saturday of every month. Accessibility Day visitors can take advantage of special, quieter access to the museum as doors open for program participants as early as 9:00 am, during an extended hour of play typically reserved for members only. New to Accessibility Day this year is "My Ability," a series of sensory-friendly workshops designed for families of children with special needs. The "My Ability" workshops, which explore a new topic of interest each month, will be held from 11:00 am – noon during each Accessibility Day.

      2017 Dates
    • January 14
      My Ability: Sensory Exploration
    • February 11
      My Ability: Fine Motor Skills
    • March 11
      My Ability: Gross Motor Skills
    • April 8
    • May 13
    • June 10 June 17
    • July 8
    • August 12
    • September 9
    • October 14
    • November 11
    • December 9
  • Angel Memberships

    Thanks to generous support of members and donors, Stepping Stones is able to offer a limited number of free memberships to families in need. For information, eligibility criteria and ways to apply, click here. or to download a pdf application in English and Spanish.

  • Community Admission Pass Program

    Many local organizations and agencies are Community Admission Pass Program member organizations. These organizations have free admission passes that allow families to visit the museum at no cost. Learn more about which organizations near you offer these passes.

  • Family Financial Assistance

    Families in need can request reduced rate or free admission to fee-based programs, such as classes and family events.

  • Get Into It! FREE Evenings

    Through sponsor generosity, Stepping Stones offers free admission evenings on the first Thursday of each month between 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Enjoy full access to exhibits, gallery activities and educational events. View our full calendar of events, including Get Into It! FREE Evenings.

  • Museums for All

    Stepping Stones offers visitors presenting an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and a valid form of photo ID admission at $3 per person. The discounted rate, which is only valid during normal operating hours, applies for up to eight (8) people per card, per visit. The special Museums for All rate does not apply for special events and fee-based activities.

    Stepping Stones cannot process EBT transactions. The EBT card is only used to identify the visitor(s) as qualifying for Museums for All.

    Parent Zones

    Adults enjoy a free series of discussions and presentations on relevant parenting issues designed to support parents as guides of children’s lifelong learning. Topics include child development, kindergarten readiness, health, media literacy, the environment and more. Childcare and a meal are included.

Open Arms for Schools

Stepping Stones offers many fun educational experiences for students and teachers. Qualifying schools can request financial assistance for museum tours and workshops. To learn more or determine your school’s eligibility please contact our Sales and Reservations Department at 203 899 0606, ext. 247.

  • School-based Financial Assistance

    Available to schools in priority districts or schools that meet Severe Needs criteria.

  • Travel Kits and Traveling Exhibits

    Underserved elementary schools can host exciting activities and games about subjects such as nutrition and energy at their school.

Open Arms for Organizations

Connecticut or New York area organizations serving children and families in need may be eligible to become Community Admission Pass Program members. This organizational membership provides the families you serve with direct access to museum exhibits and programs. To learn more or determine your organization’s eligibility please email or call 203 899 0606, ext. 262

Community Admission Pass Program – Member Benefits

  • Family Financial Assistance

    Organizations can request reduced rate or free admission for the families they serve to attend fee-based programs such as classes and family events.

  • Group Visits

    Each organization receives two group visits per year that allow up to 30 children to visit the museum at no cost.

  • Museum Admission for Families

    Partnering agencies and organizations receive two e-passes daily. Each e-pass admits up to six people to the museum at no cost.

Other Ways to Participate

  • Community Programs

    Does your organization have educational programs or workshops? Let us know if you’d like to partner with Stepping Stones to plan and deliver a free program for museum visitors.

  • Facility Rentals and Meeting Space

    Looking to host your next party or business meeting? We have the spaces for you!
    Call 203 899 0606, ext. 227 or email for availability and corporate and nonprofit pricing.

We invite you to make a donation and help support Open Arms.