Kids can plan their very own space shuttle mission to Mars at the Discovery Museum (4450 Park Ave., Bridgeport, 203/372-3521, www.discoverymuseum.org , hours scheduled weekly, $8.50 adults, $7 seniors, students and children 5–17, free for children under 5), a children’s museum full of interactive exhibits that teach about science and teamwork. The museum also includes art exhibits for both adults and kids and a planetarium with two shows daily.
More animals are on display at the Connecticut Audubon Birdcraft Museum (314 Unquowa Rd., Fairfield, 203/259-0416, www.ctaudubon.org/visit/birdcraft.htm , 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Tues.–Fri. year-round, $2 adults, $1 children under 14), the country’s first nature center, established in 1914. The dioramas and dinosaur footprints inside the small museum are showing their age a bit, but still make an engaging trip into the way Nutmeggers saw their wildlife 100 years ago. The museum sits on six acres of sanctuary teeming with avian species.
Fairfield’s  namesake liberal arts college, Fairfield University (1073 North Benson Rd., Fairfield, 203/254-4000, www.fairfield.edu ) doesn’t have much in the way of formal attractions, but the gorgeous tree-lined campus will have you sighing for the days when you could spread out on the quad with a good book. While you are there, sit awhile in the peaceful Japanese Garden, or check out the small but significant Kress Foundation Collection (DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Room 302, Fairfield University, Fairfield, 203/254-4000, ext. 2215, www.fairfield.edu/arts/art_kress.html , by appt., restricted hours, call for information) of paintings by Old Masters from Italy.