Just a short drive from the casinos and hotels lies Mashantucket Museum, formally known as Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. Housed in a modern glass, steel and cement building, the museum is an impressive structure on four levels. There are numerous exhibits depicting reservation life, many of them life-size. You'll find artifacts, jewelry and artwork on display, plus two theaters, a gallery, an auditorium, two libraries, a gift shop and restaurant. Plan to spend some time here!
Pequot reservation life is presented in an extraordinary series of dioramas. As I made my way through the life-size exhibits, I had to remind myself that these were displays. At times I felt as if I was surrounded by others when I was actually alone—that's how lifelike the exhibits are!
Historical timelines go all the way back to the ice age. Here you'll enter a number of glacial tunnels, somewhat like a maze. It reminded me of an amusement park funhouse where you feel slightly confused and discombobulated! This is a good time to point out Making Your Way Through the Pequot Museum, a detailed map and floor plan given to visitors upon arrival. The museum can be somewhat confusing, making it easy to bypass important exhibits. Using the map makes your self-guided tour a breeze. It will also prompt you to pick up an Acoustiguide as you enter the Pequot village, something I forgot to do (I wasn't looking at my map!), adding narration to your tour.
If you're not afraid of heights, be sure to check out the museum's 185-foot observation tower. Ride the glass elevator to the observation deck and be prepared to say WOW!!! You'll be witnessing a panoramic display of Foxwoods, MGM Grand, and all of Mashantucket reservation. I must admit I had to keep my eyes closed on the ride up and down the elevator. I'm not exactly fearful of heights—flying doesn't bother me, for instance; however, the feeling of falling off does! Notice the young boy hugging the column in the picture below—my sentiments exactly!!!
Scenic View From Pequot Museum's Observation Tower
Share your favorite exhibits and experiences. I'd love to hear from you!