Morris Berd, Boy with a Bird, ca. 1947, oil on canvas. Gift of Harold Ka....jpg

NEW LONDON — The Lyman Allyn Art Museum kicks off its "Season of Wonderment" with the opening of its newest family-friendly exhibit, "Grand Menagerie: Animals in Art!" on Saturday, Nov. 23, beginning at 10 a.m. The exhibit, on view through Jan. 26, will showcase more than 50 artworks and artifacts featuring "a zoo’s worth of animals existing within the museum’s collection — in paintings, ceramics, sculpture, drawings, bronze, textiles and more." Interactive exhibits appropriate for all ages will also be on display. 

The museum will offer a variety  of activities and programs throughout November and December, designed to provide holiday fun for the whole family. Patrons are encouraged to reserve spots early for programs that require RSVPs.

On Sunday, Nov. 24, a program called "Cupcakes & Cocoa Family Parties" will take place from 1-3 p.m., and will be repeated on Dec. 1, 8 and 15, from 1-3 p.m.

The event begins with a hot chocolate bar and festive treats in the elegant Hendel Library. Following that, children and adults can find a zoo’s worth of animals in a "Grand Menagerie"-themed I-Spy activity. Once the exploring is complete, everyone will head to the studio to sculpt their own exotic animals out of clay. The event price is $15 for adults, $12 for kids, and free for children 3 and under. Full payment is required at the time of reservation. Space is limited; please call 860-443-2545 ext. 2129 to reserve your spot.

Also on the calendar is "Free First Saturday," on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when patrons are invited to spend a winter day exploring the museum and visiting the art studio, where they can create snowstorm paintings. Free admission for everyone all day.

Another event, "Science Saturday," is scheduled to take place on Dec. 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. when participants can create a river of cascading colors during a frozen rainbow eruption activity. The event is free with admission.

The museum is located at 625 Williams St., New London. For more information call 860-443-2545, ext. 2129 or on the web at

— Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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