Bruce Museum

Bruce Museum.jpg
1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT, United States

Sitting high on a hill overlooking Greenwich Harbor, the Bruce Museum offers a changing array of exhibitions and educational programs that promote the understanding and appreciation of art and science.

The Bruce Museum has been voted the best museum in Fairfield County for the past five years, a recognition of its growing popularity and efforts to consistently address new subjects of remarkable beauty or great interest with new insights, The Bruce plays an integral role in the cultural life of area residents and attracts approximately 100,000 visitors annually, reaching out to families, seniors, students, the handicapped, at-risk children, and community organizations. The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, presents more than a dozen new exhibitions in art and science every year.

Consistently voted the “Best Museum” by area media, the Bruce Museum is a regionally based, world-class institution highlighting art, science and natural history in more than a dozen changing exhibitions annually. The permanent galleries feature the natural sciences that encompass regional to global perspectives.

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Museum-Based School Programs

Consider the Bruce Museum an annex to your classroom. Our collections and inquiry-based STEAM programs are the perfect way to complement and enrich your day-to-day practice. The hands –on interaction of “touching” objects and “exploring” collections can enhance a child’s understanding of scientific phenomena and artistic creation while also allowing them to make important connections between the sciences and humanities. Our workshops are thematic and designed to give children maximum exposure to both scientific and artistic concepts and processes.

Museum-based programs are available for school and after-school groups. To learn how to schedule a visit, click here.

For more information about Museum-Based Programs please contact Kathleen D’Aquila, Manager of School and Tour Services, or (203) 413-6741.

Woodland Indian Life (PreK – 6th grade)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Connecticut or New York when only the Native Americans lived here? What did the land look like? How did people eat, sleep and survive? Travel back in time with us to explore the natural environment of our region over 600 years ago. Students will explore: natural history, ecology, Native culture and early engineering.

Animal Adaptations (PreK – 5th grade)

Animals are amazing! They have evolved over time to use their covering, color and physical structure to adapt, camouflage, survive, and escape danger. Through a study of animal pelts and animal mounts, students will explore the different ways that vertebrates (mammals, reptiles, fish and birds) use their adaptations to survive in various environments. The workshop also introduces students to the concepts of patterns and classification.

I Am an Archaeologist (2nd – 5th grade)

How do archaeologists work? What kinds of artifacts do they collect and why? How do they interpret artifacts? Students take part in an archeological “dig” of a Woodland Indian site and use critical thinking and communication skills as they work in teams, recording and interpreting artifacts. This program complements “Woodland Indian Life.” A discount is offered when both are requested for the same school group.

Coastal Ecology (PreK – middle school)

The Long Island Sound is home to numerous remarkable creatures. This marine ecosystem right outside our door teaches us not only about natural history and biology, but also aquatic ecology and invertebrate structure and function. Dive into a comparative study of the invertebrates that populate the Sound by exploring our marine tank. The workshop also increases student familiarity with categorization, animal classification, and interdependence through the study of food chains and webs.

Mineral Marvels (3rd – 5th grade)

What is a mineral? Where are they found and what can we learn from them? Our expansive collection of minerals and rocks invites children into a deep exploration of these important abiotic members of our environment. Students will utilize the scientific process to examine properties of minerals and how they are classified.

Butterflies (PreK – 2nd grade)

Who hasn’t stopped to watch butterflies fly by? These beautiful creatures are a wonderful way to explore insect structure and function. In this workshop, we use games and art to invite students into the world of butterflies, examining their body structure, life cycle, and symmetrical decorative patterns.


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A tour or interactive art program may be developed to focus on any of the Museum’s changing exhibitions. All Museum-based programs feature inquiry-based learning, hands-on activities, and connections to school curricula. All programs are 60 minutes in length.

September 28, 2013 to January 26, 2014

Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close

With a body of work composed almost entirely of portraits, Chuck Close has been investigating the mechanics of vision for more than four decades. The fluidity of his approach, and the intensity of his engagement with each of his print forays makes Close an exemplary figure of the post-war New York art world. Organized with the participation of the artist himself and supplemented with loans from local collectors and Bruce Museum supporters, Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close will present the finest and most intriguing examples of this great modern master’s oeuvre.

November 2, 2013 to March 23, 2014

Oysters, Pearls of Long Island Sound

Found in estuaries around the world, oysters are a favored delicacy for humans and play a valuable role in ecosystems and economies. These unassuming mollusks have sustained Native Americans, cleaned polluted harbors, provided critical habitat, and created waterside cultures. The exhibition will feature hands-on interactive displays, videos, and historical objects that appeal to all ages.

December 14, 2013 to March 9, 2014

Inside the Artist’s Studio: Small-scale Views 

This exhibition celebrates a three-decade long Bruce Museum holiday tradition of exhibiting “small scale” constructions, with a focus on artists looking at artists. Exhibited are Richard Haas (b. 1939), Joe Fig (b. 1968), and Lori Nix’s (b. 1969) own individual investigations and analyses of the creative process in three-dimensional miniature constructions as well as in painting, printmaking, and photography.

January 25, 2014 to April 13, 2014

In the Dark: Animal Survival Strategies

In this immersive, entertaining, and family-friendly exhibition, people of all ages will discover how animals adapt to living in the dark. The show features natural dioramas of caves, deep soil, nighttime forest and desert, along with mechanical, electronic and digital interactives. This exhibition is organized by the Cincinnati Museum Center.

February 1, 2014 to June 1, 2014

Ed Clark: American Photojournalist

Ed Clark (1911-2000) was the quintessential American news photographer who covered the personalities and events that shaped the Golden Age of print media. Lauded during his lifetime for the telling details and emotional drama of his imagery, this exhibition revisits the life and work of this legendary cameraman.

March 22, 2014 to June 21, 2014

Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism

At the turn of the twentieth century there was a concentration of artists working in Connecticut in the newly imported style of the French Impressionists. These artists, who came of age in a rapidly industrializing world, sought a more intimate, bucolic and orderly landscape. This exhibition speaks to the quality and beauty of this perennially popular art.

April 5, 2014 to November 2, 2014

Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea

The exhibition explores the vast and extraordinary deep sea habitats by examining both the highly adapted survival strategies utilized by creatures of the deep and the technology that enables researchers to record ground-breaking observations.


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The Brucemobile is an educational outreach program that travels to classrooms, like a field trip in reverse! Programs are available during and after school.

Brucemobile Programs are:

  • Developmentally appropriate
  • Interactive
  • Hands-on/minds-on
  • Inquiry-based

All Brucemobile Programs feature Museum objects.

Programs are offered to schools within a 25-mile radius of the Museum.

To learn how to schedule a visitclick here.

For more information on the following Brucemobile Programs, please see ourActivities and Lesson Plans. There you will find background information, curriculum connections, classroom activities, and further resources for each of these programs.

For further questions about Brucemobile programs, please contact Peter Linderoth, Manager of Outreach Education, or 203-413-6742.

Click to view programs for

Grades Pre-K through 5th
Middle and High School
After School Brucemobile

School Programs for Pre-K through 5th grade:

Pre-school Programs are 30 minutes.

Class size is limited to:

  • 15 children for 3 year olds
  • 20 children for 4 year olds

Kindergarten through 5th-grade Programs are 1 hour.

  • Class size is limited to 25 students.
Program Grades
Pre-K K – 2 3 – 5
 Woodland Indian Life X X X
 Crusty Crabs/ Coastal
 Shapes and Patterns X
 Animals in My Backyard/
Animal Adaptations
 Butterflies X X
 Dinosaurs X
 Desert Ecology X
 Rock Detectives X
 Skeletons X

Program Descriptions

Woodland Indian Life 
Native American artifacts and reproductions are used to help recreate the life of a Woodland Indian family before colonial contact.

Crusty Crabs/ Coastal Ecology 
Through careful, hands-on observation of live crabs and other small seashore animals, children learn about the structure and characteristics of crabs and other crustaceans, and their place in the seashore community and the food web.

Shapes and Patterns
Children will define 5 basic shapes, find shapes in natural objects from museum collections, and create patterns and symmetry. Pattern activity included

Animals in my Backyard/ Animal Adaptations
Different body coverings, colors and physical structures help vertebrates adapt to their environment, find food and escape from predators. Students learn these concepts while handling fur pelts and mounted mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish.

Students explore symmetry in nature while learning about the structure of butterflies and insects. The life cycle, adaptations, habitats, and camouflage patterns of butterflies and insects are also introduced. Museum specimens and photographs create a visually comprehensive classroom experience

Fossilized dinosaur bones, teeth, footprints, and other parts are used by students to reconstruct the size, food preferences, and movement of these ‘terrible lizards’. Comparison is made between dinosaurs and modern animals. Through observation and comparison, students become paleontologists, conducting their own fossil dig.

Desert Ecology
Students investigate the properties of a desert ecosystem and discuss special adaptations of the animals and plants that inhabit these areas. Experimentation and handling Museum specimens provide hands-on activities for the students

Rock Detectives
This program allows students to observe demonstrations of the geologic processes that cause the rock cycle, and even become a part of the rock cycle themselves! Rock samples, demonstrations of Pangaea and plate tectonics, and interactive activities encourage students to use their hands and minds to explore earth’s dynamic processes. As their final element of detective work, students will act as geologists working in teams to deduce where their rock came from in the earth, how it formed, and what type of rock it is.

Students will identify the location and purpose of major bones in humans and animals and develop related vocabulary. Through discussion, demonstration and hands-on activities, students will distinguish between endoskeletons and exoskeletons and describe the functions of a skeleton. Students will dissect owl pellets to uncover and identify rodent bones.

Middle School and High School

Classroom Programs are one hour in length.

Prehistoric Peoples 
Award-winning, traveling exhibition presented by instructors from the Archaeological Associates of Greenwich (AAG) enables students to handle authentic prehistoric tools while learning about the progress of humankind from 4 million to 5,000 years ago. Slides and artifacts stress ancient peoples’ adaptations to their changing environment. Slide projector and world map required.

Instructors from the Archaeological Associates of Greenwich (AAG) offer stories behind the fabled pyramids, kings and queens of ancient Egypt’s Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Sites and artifacts are shown with emphasis on the life of young people. Adaptation to the harsh desert environment is stressed.

Assembly Programs are one hour in length, and can accommodate up to a full auditorium.
Fee: $195 per program.
Slide projector required

Note: Subjects can be customized to fit curriculum needs.

After-School Brucemobile Series

Students will be led through hands-on and conceptual lesson plans by an experienced Bruce Museum Instructor. Afterschool Series incorporate more activities and crafts than traditional classroom programs, as is appropriate to the afterschool setting. After-School Brucemobile Programs are available in a series of 4, 6, or 8 sessions.

Habitats: the World Around Us (Grades 2-5)
Habitats: The World Around Us introduces students to the earth’s diverse habitats. They will compare and contrast the regional Long Island Sound and Woodland habitats, examining how animals and humans live and survive in these environments as well as exploring the consequences of acts of nature and humans on these ecosystems. Students will have the opportunity to model life in the intertidal zone, simulate the impacts and clean up efforts of an oil spill, perform skits of animal’s behaviors in all seasons, and act as archaeologists to examine Native American artifacts. In culmination of their work, each student will create a snow globe diorama of his or her favorite habitat, incorporating the themes discussed throughout the program.

Artist’s Workshop (Grades 2-5)
The Artist’s Workshop exposes students to a wide range of artistic styles and techniques. Each of the sessions is directly related to exhibitions currently or previously on view at the Bruce Museum (sessions are subject to change based on the Museum’s exhibition schedule). Students will have the opportunity to closely examine reproductions of famous works of art, learn about different artistic styles and historical periods, and experiment with relevant artistic techniques.

Nature Adventure Series (Grades K-5)
The Nature Adventure Series offers an exciting series of programs with a central focus of exploring the many concepts of the natural world! This series covers the broadest range of topics of our afterschool selections. Children will step into the shoes of a paleontologist and study dinosaurs; get hands-on experiences with live animals from the Long Island Sound; discover the different skeletal structures animals have adapted; learn about local bird species and what they eat through an always popular owl pellet dissection; and many more fascinating sessions. This series can be tailored to the center’s needs.
For more information on Brucemobile Outreach Programs, please contact Peter Linderoth, Manager of Outreach Education, at 203-413-6742, or

To make a reservation for a Brucemobile Outreach Program, please contact Julia Harrington, Museum Educator and Reservations Manager, at or 203-413-6744 or click on How to Schedule.


Additional Information

Activities and Lesson Plans

Click on the link below and title of the exhibition or program to open a PDF copy of the Educator’s Guide.

Location Images
Admisson and Location Hours

Museum Hours

Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm

Last admission 4:30 pm

Closed Mondays and major holidays:

  New Years Day


  Independence Day

  Labor Day



Early closing  at 3 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and  New Year’s Eve

Open on Mondays for:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

  President’s Day

  Columbus Day


Adults $7.00

Students (5-22 w/ valid ID) $6.00

Seniors (65 & up) $6.00

Museum members and children under 5 Free

Free individual admission on Tuesday.

Groups of 8 or more require advance reservations.

The Bruce Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities.


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