The Barnum Museum

The Barnum Museum, Bridgeport: Hours, Address, The Barnum Museum Reviews: 4/5

The Barnum Museum
4
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Conceived and constructed by the great American showman, P.T. Barnum, The Barnum Museum has proudly served an international audience since 1893, and is one of our country's great national treasures. The ornate, exotic building distinguishes the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut's uniqueness, it is a symbol of achievement and creativity, and is a testament to the pioneers and visionaries of the 19th century.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.0
49 reviews
Excellent
20
Very good
14
Average
9
Poor
3
Terrible
3

Gene R J
Silver Spring, MD6,983 contributions
Historic building in Bridgeport, CT
May 2021
We stopped to see this beautiful building completed in 1893 by Barnum, called The Barnum Museum Institute of Science and History. It was closed for renovations after storm damage in 2010-2012 but we found the door agar and were permitted a sneak peak. The museum now is about the life of P. T. Barnum, who lived here, was the mayor of Bridgeport in 1857 and where he built his “Iranistan” mansion. Inside was a nice model of the big circus tent, his bust and several large elephant photos.
Great historical stop.
Written May 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joe H
DeWitt, NY876 contributions
Limited displays in temporary exhibit space
Jan 2020
The actual museum building is awaiting a very expensive reconstruction to repair tornado damage and the staff estimated that it will be 5-7 years before the museum will reopen in its own building. For now, a very limited selection of items is on display in a small exhibit area of the adjacent bank building. I was told that the full collection contains thousands of items and what you can view now is only a small sample.

What's there is interesting, ranging from a display of items relating to General Tom Thumb and other little people Barnum brought on tour, to Jenny Lind and Barnum family items. There's a short video about the movie, The Greatest Showman, which concludes that Barnum would have loved the movie because it was so full of humbug. However, we looked at everything and were done in about 30-40 minutes, so you shouldn't expect a lot. There's no admission charge although donations are encouraged.

I'm hopeful that someday I will be able to return to a fully renovated museum and view a much larger portion of the collection.This extremely limited sampling does not tell the
Barnum story very well at all.

We found lots of meter parking on the street right near the museum. Please note that the museum has extremely limited visitor hours, 11-3 on Thursday and Friday only when we were there.
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rediffusion
Hertfordshire, UK227 contributions
Go there
Aug 2019
What a gem of a museum and sad that it might take some time to get back into the main building. Entrance is free, but we had such a great time with the knowledgeable guides that we left a donation and I hope that the museum gets its renovations sooner rather than later to allow them to get all their exhibits out of storage. Allow maybe an hour or two. If you are a fan of the Greatest Showman then you won't be disappointed.
Parking is on street, at meters.
Written October 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

notconnectedtoservic
Durham, NC143 contributions
Get out and enjoy
Sep 2019
This is a great facility. If you're withing driving distance, check out their hours and make plans to have a family friendly day out.
Written September 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joe D
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States39 contributions
Personalized experience
Jun 2019 • Family
Our kids are huge fans of The Greatest Showman, so we knew we had to visit here during our recent vacation to CT. We were not disappointed. Although the museum is currently under renovation and has limited hours, the staff who was operating the museum was exceptional. We were the only visitors at the time, and the lovely woman (whose name sadly escapes me) personally took us through the exhibits and told us all about Barnum and his many fantastic experiences. Even though they were trying to close up the museum for the day, she wanted to make sure we had a great time, and we certainly did. I would highly recommend it to fans of Barnum and the circus culture. I would love to go back when the renovation is complete.
Written June 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dustythoughts
Manchester, CT1,353 contributions
Terrific gem
Jul 2018 • Friends
If you're ever in Bridgeport, you should really come to this museum. It's a gem of a museum, with a lot of fascinating information about PT Barnum. It's not a huge museum, but the tour guides are knowledgeable and you can also wander the museum at your own pace.
Written June 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carol C
Sayville, NY7 contributions
Terrific
Apr 2019 • Couples
Marian has a wealth of information and is so willing to share stories about Barnum , his life, and the museum. I found it to be much more interesting than I anticipated. We spent an hour there
Written April 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Emily M
Albrightsville, PA23 contributions
So much information!!
Mar 2019 • Couples
While the amount of artifacts they have on display right now is small, the tour guides know so much about everything it doesn't seem like a small museum!! She was able to stop at each artifact and talk about them for a few minutes each, giving so much more information than I even knew was possible. I love how they embrace the success of the movie but also are able to describe the things that are incorrect from it. You could tell the ladies working here are honestly passionate about Barnum and it was great that all of the artifacts are 100% original. I really can't wait to come back when the full museum is restored, if the description of the renovations on their website is accurate it sounds like it'll be a amazing. We left here really believing in the magic of Barnum and would definitely recommend this little gem of a museum
Written March 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

chofetzchaim
17 contributions
Glad We Stopped By
Jan 2019 • Couples
While the museum used to be larger, due to tornado damage, much of the stuff is packed away awaiting a renovated space (which will be some years in coming). Nevertheless, there is still a LOT to see and learn about Barnum, the circus, as well as other things he was interested in. But Mary O'Keefe, the docent, made the trip for us. She is hysterically funny, well informed and passionate about Barnum. The museum is free (donations appreciated) and you get a free clown nose and free postcards.This museum is different and also relevant to life in this part of Connecticut.
Written January 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

merritteanderson
Arlington, VA102 contributions
Well worth a stop
May 2018 • Couples
We stopped here, and really were glad we did. The volunteers were really well-informed and very knowledgeable and the displays were well done. We learned alot about Barnum.
Written December 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Barnum Museum

The Barnum Museum is open:
  • Thu - Fri 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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