BRISTOL – Bristol and Burlington residents will be able to enjoy free admission to the New England Carousel Museum and Museum of Fire History all year thanks to grants.
The Farmington Bank Community Foundation has provided free admission to the museums at 95 Riverside Ave. through Dec. 31 for Bristol residents, and the Burlington Community Fund has provided free admission to Burlington residents. Residents should be prepared to show and ID or proof or residence.
Morgan Urgo, executive director of the New England Carousel Museum, said that she is excited that these grants will encourage more people to visit the museums.
“Museums in general are kind of a mystery for people and right now with people’s finances so stressed many families wouldn’t take the extra money to go out and see something they are unfamiliar with,” she said. “If you don’t go to museums as children, you often don’t go to visit them as adults. Our hope is that this will encourage people to come visit so that the museums become less of a mystery. Hopefully, people will see that this is a fun place, with a working carousel, and then maybe they will come back for programs or story times or birthday parties when things are back up and running.”
Urgo said that she began promoting the free admission when the grants were received last week.
“Quite a few people have taken advantage of it already,” she said. “Many said that they had never been here or didn’t realize what it was. These grants will help us to share what we do with the community. We wish that we could offer free admission all the time, but sometimes we do rely on the funding to make ends meet.”
General admission includes guided tours at noon and 2 p.m. during public hours and one carousel ride per person. Additional carousel rides are $1 each or $3 for an unlimited ride bracelet. Masks are required for all visitors over the age of 2. Reservations are not required.
The New England Carousel Museum and Museum of Fire History are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.