NIANTIC, Conn. -- What better way for kids and their parents to celebrate Earth Day than by connecting with other species?
The Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut has lined up some close contact with fascinating creatures for Earth Day weekend, April 21-22. The fun begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, when Cutter the Eagle, mascot of the Connecticut Defenders minor league baseball team, acts out "Casey at the Bat."
Cutter's performance is a nice warm-up for the arrival of a genuine bald eagle, along with owls and hawks, at 2 p.m. An organization called Wind Over Wings will introduce their retinue of raptors and explain how the birds' survival depends on clean air and water. Saturday's events are included with museum admission ($5 per person, free for children under 1).
Sunday opens with a pancake breakfast -- 9:30 to 11 a.m., $6 per person, $3 for children 2 and under -- to raise money for critter care. Lynne Krulikowski, a snake specialist and the museum's animal curator, will arrive at 10:30 a.m. with a plethora of snakes for hands-on discussions. Not all the snakes are local: special guest Rictor, the boa constrictor, hails from an ecosystem far, far away. Turtles and tree frogs will flesh out the gathering.
Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, 409 Main St. (Route 156), Niantic, Conn. 860-691-1111. childrensmuseumsect.org. Directions: Niantic is about 120 miles or two hours from Boston. Take Interstate 95 south to exit 74 in Connecticut. Turn right off the ramp and follow signs. JANE ROY BROWN