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 Events Calendar 

Programs at The Barnum Museum

All programs held in the People's United Bank Gallery unless otherwise indicated.
The Gallery is located at the rear of The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604


Envisioning the future! Exhibition Hours:

Our Envisioning the Future! exhibit, featuring artifacts that belonged to P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb and others, is open for viewing and exploration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on Thursdays and Fridays. This exhibit is located in the People's United Bank Gallery adjacent to the historic building.

Please note the historic Museum building is closed due to storm damage from the F1 tornado that struck Bridgeport on June 24th, 2010.

Admission to Envisioning the Future! is free. Suggested donation amounts or nominal admission fees are charged for most programs; please refer to our calendar of events for details.

Directions are available here. Street parking is available. If you have any questions, please contact or call (203) 331-1104 x 100.


Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Mysterious Bridgeport: Wicked Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Bridgeport

This non-strenuous walking tour will be led by Michael J. Bielawa, poet and a historian at the Bridgeport Public Library and author of the book Wicked Bridgeport, which won the first annual New England Paranormal Literary Award. Bielawa's Wicked Bridgeport walking tour will focus on the Park City's macabre and fascinating downtown history. Tales of pirates, gangsters, ghosts, a Victorian Era international manhunt and the unsolved murder of a world-famous sea captain all lurk along the streets and alleys of downtown Bridgeport. Focusing on Bridgeport's magnificent historic sites, this fascinating program will guide guests through the intrigue of the city's 19th century streets. ... more information.

Bielawa will be signing and selling his books after the tour, when the group returns to the museum for refreshments.

The walk lasts approximately 90 minutes and comfortable footgear is highly suggested. Advance reservations are needed since the program is limited to 25 participants. General Admission is $15 and Barnum Museum members are $10.
Registration can be made only through or by calling 203-331-1104 to get more details. Recommended for ages 18 and older.


Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

Connecticut Main Streets Come Alive
presented by John Simone, Executive Director, CL&P's Connecticut Main Street Programs.

Simone will provide an overview of how Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) fulfills its mission to be the champion and leading resource for vibrant and sustainable Main Streets as foundations for healthy Connecticut communities. A successful downtown is one that incorporates housing, retail, social and business opportunities with transportation options for all uses - walkers, cyclists, motorists and more. CMSC encourages dynamic downtowns through education, technical assistance and advocacy.

The presentation also includes a description of CMCS's newest initiative, Come Home to Downtown. CMSC partnered with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority to create this pilot program, which is designed to address downtown mixed-use redevelopment including housing. Since there are many buildings with vacant upper floors in downtowns around the state, the key questions are: Why aren't these buildings being redeveloped? What is needed to make that happen? This program is designed to answers these questions.

No registration required. $5 suggested donation and children under 12 are free.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

Hot Off the Press: P.T. Barnum's Newspaper - Sneak Peek program
presented by Adrienne Saint-Pierre, Curator of The Barnum Museum.

Come to this month's Sneak Peek to see the museum's extremely rare Herald of Freedom newspapers from the early 1830s and learn how Barnum spent time in jail because of his publication. Sneak Peek programs are an informal lecture series focusing on items in the collection that are rarely on display. P.T. Barnum was truly a Renaissance man. Few people know that when Barnum was in his early twenties, he began publishing his own newspaper to circulate the democratic voice of the new nation. On October 19, 1831, the first issue of the Herald of Freedom was printed in Danbury. Occasionally sparking tempers and controversy through his writing, Barnum was sued for libel and even went to jail for 60 days.
No registration required. $3 suggested donation. Visitors are encouraged to bring their lunch.


Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

An Evening with the Executive Director, Kathleen Maher
By special invitation - Exclusively for Barnum Museum Vision Members.

Maher will discuss the current state of the museum and reveal some of the exciting, innovative visions for the future of P.T. Barnum's collection. Everyone is welcome to become a Vision Member. Individual memberships are $25 and dual (bring a friend) memberships are $40. RSVP to to (203) 331-1104, ext.100, or


Please contact the Museum for Membership information at (203) 331-1104.

"The Noblest Art is that of Making Others Happy"
P.T. Barnum, 1891


The Barnum Museum | 820 Main Street | Bridgeport, CT 06604
phone: 203-331-1104 | fax: 203-331-0079
Executive Director/Curator:
Kathleen Maher

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