Frequently Asked Questions
The answers to some of our most common questions are below. If your question is not here, please feel free to contact Director of Education Lisa Monachelli at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I book a program?Programs can be booked using our Program Reservation Form which can be e-mailed, mailed or faxed to our Director of Education, Lisa Monachelli. Lisa's fax number is 203.322.0408. You can also call at 203.977.6568 or email email@example.com.
How far in advance do I need to book a program?Availability can vary depending on the program and time of year. Programs must be booked at least two weeks in advance. We recommend booking at least a month in advance, especially for the busy fall and spring months. Our program calendar is usually completely full for the year by May.
What if I don't see the kind of program I want in your brochure?Please let us know what kind of program you might be looking for and we can create something for you! We develop special programs for groups all the time.
What are the fees for programs? Our fee structure has two parts, the entrance fee and the program fee. Entrance fees are waived for Stamford Public Schools, $3/student for Stamford private and PreK schools and $4/students for all other schools. Programs are $70 for each 1-hour program block.
How does payment work?
We do not require payment in advance of the program. You are welcome to bring payment in the form of cash, check (made out to SM&NC) or credit card (Visa, MC or Amex) the day of the program. We can also accept purchase orders through PTA, BOCES or other organizations.
Do you offer scholarships?>We do have limited funding for transportation and scholarships available each year. For more information, please contact our education staff.
What if I have to cancel or change my program? If you cannot make your program date or need to change the date, please call our Director of Education as soon as possible at 203.977.6515. We will make every effort to work with your change in schedule. We don't charge for program changes. If a group does not cancel their program with at least 24 hours' notice, they will be billed for the program fees.
How do weather-related cancellations work? If your school, or the museum, is closed due to inclement weather, we will work with you to reschedule once school has resumed. SM&NC staff are prepared to run programs rain or shine. Should you decide to cancel on a rainy day, please contact us at 203.977.6515 to let us know. We will make every effort to reschedule but we cannot guarantee availability.
What is the maximum group size? Most of our programs have a maximum group size of 25, with some exceptions. Planetarium programs can accommodate 45 people for one program. Some programs may be able to accommodate larger groups, please ask.
Is there a charge for chaperones? We do not charge for chaperones and do not have a chaperone limit. We do remind groups that some of our classrooms have limited seating so not all chaperones may be able to participate in the program. We recommend that siblings not attend but if they do, any siblings 3 and up must be included in the head count.
Can groups tour the farm and facilities while not on program? Absolutely! Groups have full access to the farm, trails, playground and exhibits during the visit. Please keep in mind that the playground can be closed in inclement or snowy weather and that the galleries are closed between installations. For more information on our current exhibit, please click here.
Where can we eat lunch/snack? We have plenty of outdoor picnic areas available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are coming during the winter months, you may request an indoor space. We do not have a cafeteria area so groups will eat in one of our classroom areas, if available.
Can students feed the animals? Our famers do an amazing job keeping our animals happy and healthy, therefore, we ask that you don't feed ducks, geese, goats or any of the other animals. Despite many beliefs to the contrary, bread is actually very bad for waterfowl and can cause disease and malnutrition. If you want your students to have an interactive feeding experience with our animals, you may book a Hands-on Heckscher program.
Where are your restroom facilities located? Year-round restrooms can be found in the Overbrook Nature Center, the Museum Building and adjacent to Heckscher Wild on the farm. Seasonal restrooms can also be found across from the Meadow.
Where do we go when we arrive? For groups doing Maple Syrupping and Apple Cidering programs, buses should enter through our back gate on Scofieldtown Road, about .6 miles past our main entrance. Once you turn left on Scofieldtown Road, stay straight, going past Northeast School. There will be an open gate on your right. Buses can unload and park towards the back of the parking area and students can enter through the top farm gate. All other groups should come in through our main gate, just off High Ridge Road. Please have buses or cars check in with our front gate and they will direct you.
What is the difference between the Planetarium and Observatory? The Planetarium, located in the main Museum Building, offers groups an opportunity to see the stars during the day. Using projection, students can learn about the Solar System, constellations and Native American stories in the sky. The Observatory, located at the top of the farm, is open to the public on Friday evenings (weather permitting) for viewing through our 22-inch research telescope, as well as astronomy lectures on selected weeks.