The Best History Museums in Fairfield County (& Beyond)

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Admittedly there’s a bit of “bleed” in the arts and history category - so if we didn’t list one of your favorite history museums - they may be in our WhatsupFairfield “arts” round up: HERE

Keeler Tavern

The Keller Tavern Museum in Ridgefield, CT derives from a home built in 1713 by Benjamin Hoyt who raised his family there until the mid-century. His grandson Timothy purchased the property in 1772 and established the property as an Inn and in later years it became a post office.

The Keller Tavern Museum & History Center is dedicated to providing history enrichment to visitors around the site’s 300-year history from its legacy in the Revolutionary War to its modern day gardens. It's also makes a great wedding location. On site, enjoy Museum tours, walled gardens, rose arbors and educational programs. Check out their upcoming IRL and virtual events here.

WhatsupFairfield Keeler Tavern Museum

Lockwood-Matthews Mansion Museum

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum was built by a railroad tycoon in 1864 and features unparalleled architecture and interiors. The family built and lived in it during the Civil War and Great Depression and it much looks like the awesome Victorian mansion in Netflix’s Locke and Key.

In 1941 the estate was sold to the city of Norwalk and has since become a public park. Behind the mansion in fact is a small play area for kids and Stepping Stones Museum.

Today the estate offers tours of the property and is available for weddings and private events. The mansion features beautiful period rooms including a library and conservatory, music room and drawing and card room. When you’re done visiting head over to the SONO Collection minutes nearby.

WhatsUpFairfield Lockwood Matthews Museum

The Mark Twain House & Museum

One of the most famous locations in Connecticut, the Mark Twain House is located about an hour + 20 minutes away in Hartford, CT. The house and grounds (along with the man) are quite iconic where the home measures 11,500 square feet and has 25 rooms across three floors.

When visiting sign up for a tour online (some are in a limited capacity) and check out their IRL and virtual events here. The Nook farm café on site offers space to have a bite before or after your tour.

The Mark Twain House WhatsupFairfield

The Barnum Museum

In downtown Bridgeport the Barnum Museum features the legendary entertainer and entrepreneur P.T. Barnum. A man who loved entertainment and education Phineas Taylor founded the Barnum Institute of Science and History to celebrate American cultural and scientific achievement.

Currently the museum is closed and readying for major construction to begin summer 2021.

PT Barnum Museum WhatsupFairfield

The Danbury Museum and Historical Society

The Danbury Museum and Historical Society is a private museum that focuses on preserving and promoting the heritage of the Danbury area. The campus is home to five building including: Huntington Hall, the 1785 Rider House, the 1790 John Dodd Hat Shop, the Little Red Schoolhouse, and the Marian Anderson Studio.

While not currently open due to the pandemic, the facility encourages visitors to #MuseumFromHome with online puzzles, cocktail recipes, street name search games and cryptograms.

The Danbury Museum WhatsupFairfield

Putnam Cottage

Located in Greenwich, CT - Putnam Cottage is a bright red cottage selectively open for tours. The home is associated with General Israel Putnam’s heroic escape from the British during the Revolutionary War. Putnam Cottage features relics from the colonial era and from time-to-time offers events sponsored by the Putnam Hill Chapter DAR.

Putnam Cottage WhatsupFairfield

Stepping Stones Museum

While currently closed due to the pandemic, Stepping Stones is a great location to bring your kids to explore special exhibits and serious play. Featuring "Built It!" that allows kids to explore construction from the ground up to a Celebration Courtyard - Stepping Stones will tire out your little ones while letting them be as imaginative as possible.

Stepping Stones Museum WhatsupFairfield