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Raising children in Connecticut comes with lots of perks—the Nutmeg State is packed with kid-friendly museums, cultural centers, orchards, beaches, and more. Even if you do just one thing a month, you have years of ideas to work with! We hope this list inspires you to experience all that Connecticut has to offer you and your family.
And don't forget to check out our guides: museumsindoor playdaytripsand more on our home. Enjoy, and have fun creating wonderful memories for you and your children. How about a handy checklist to put on the 'fridge or family bulletin board? We've made a printable version of this list that features 50 of our fave Connecticut-based family activities. Enjoy a concert at the Ridgefield Playhouse —check the website for a list of current performers.
Pack a lunch and head over to the Downtown Cabaret Theater to watch one of the Theater for Young Audiences performances. Be a spectator at the annual Thanksgiving Parade in Stamford —complete with floats and enormous balloons. Visit the Danbury Railway Museumwhich offers history lessons, train rides seasonal and hands-on learning.
Fun for train fanatics and their parents! Pick a pumpkin and enjoy a hayride at Warrup's Farm in Redding. Take the kids skating outdoors! Take the train into NYC; the ride can be a treat for little ones! Check out the live reindeer yes, you read correctly! While the major renovations won't be complete untilvisitors can enjoy features of the "New Bruce" today.
Enjoy a kid-friendly concert or show at The Palace in Stamford. A trip to the zoo is always memorable. Photo by Ally Noel. Enjoy a lobster roll at Knapps Landing in Stratford bring extra napkins! Canoe for an afternoon at Candlewood Lake. Take in a polo match at the Greenwich Polo club …really!
Hop on the ferry in Bridgeport and head over to Long Island—a beautiful way to see the sound! From Christmas trees to blueberries, and everything in between, spend a day picking at Jones Family Farms.
A minute cruise from Norwalk Harbor will bring you to the historic Sheffield Island where you can picnic, explore a historic lighthouse, and search for shells along the rocky coast. On a hot day, dip your toes into the cool waters of the cascading waterfall in Indian Well State Park.
Sample the freshest oysters at Hummock Island Oyster Farm. Go on carnival rides, enjoy entertainment, and eat some delicious apple fritters at the Southington Apple Harvest. Gaze in awe at the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Fireworks and hot air balloons grace the skies above Plainville once a year.
Dress up and enjoy a Broadway show at the Bushnell Memorial Theater.
From classics like My Fair Lady to modern favorites like Hamiltona night at the Bushnell leaves you singing in your seat. This gem of a park is tucked away in West Hartford. Enjoy movies, music, ballet, and smell the roses at Elizabeth Park. Indulge your sense of curiosity while exploring the different exhibits at the Connecticut Science Center.
Have a family ski day without ever leaving the state. Nearby Mt. Southington is the perfect place to put some miles on those skis. Dinosaurs once roamed this portion of Hartford County. Nowadays, you can learn all about prehistoric times at Dinosaur State Park. Go to Lutz Museum to see Chuckles the groundhog's spring prediction. Cheer on up-and-coming stars at a minor league baseball game!
Sit in the cockpit of an airplane at the New England Air Museum. Ride the roller coasters at Lake Compounce in Bristol. Young and old alike can find rides they enjoy. In the warm weather, water rides are always a hit! Learn about the history of this great state at The Old State House. Adventure through three sets of rapids when you go tubing down the Farmington River.
Take a step back in time and catch a flick on a warm summer's night at one of Connecticut's classic drive-in movie theaters.
This vintage carousel has called Bushnell Park home since Featuring 48 hand-carved horses, it delights both young and old riders. Make sure you save time to explore one of the three playgrounds, nature center, and museum. Climb to the top of Castle Craig and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding town of Meriden. Check out Lyman Orchard's amazing apple picking, corn maze, and tons of festive fall fun! Whether you take a spin on the carousel or get festive for the holidays, spend some time at Lighthouse Point Park. Santa boards and greets everyone during the hour-and-a-quarter ride on an antique coach.
There is a festival of light display inside and outside the train. Make sure you head to the basement and explore the Toddler Sea Caves—an area deed specifically for guests 2 and under. Spend the day at Quassy Amusement Parkenjoying good old fashioned rides, a small water park, and a lake with a beach. From mountain biking to skiing, you can get your adrenaline pumping at Powder Ridge year round. This annual festival is an explosion of creativity including performances, art shows, and so much more.
Indulge your inner 90s kid by lacing up your skates and heading to Roller Magic in Waterbury. Get up close to a dinosaur! Photo courtesy of The Dinosaur Place. Relax and take a step back in time in a restored, vintage s train coach while taking a scenic mile round trip ride on the Naugatuck Railroad from Thomaston Railroad Museum of New England.
Go for a mellow, scenic mile family bike ride starting at the Kent Boarding Schoolwinding along an Indian Reservation and the Appalachian Trail, before reaching Bulls Bridge, one of the few working covered bridges in CT. Check out the beautiful and powerful waterfall while there.
Find your pumpkin at Angevine Pumpkin Patch in Warren. Go see a show at the art deco Warner Theater in Torrington built in Get hot cocoa and a salted chocolate caramel at Kent Coffee and Chocolate in Kent. Watch ski jumpers fly into the sky at the annual Salisbury Ski jumping event—Jumpfest!
Ice cream just tastes better when it comes from happy cows. On a Saturday afternoon go for a farm tour at the lovely Arethusa Dairy farm in Litchfield. Go on a drive-through safari where you may drive your vehicle through a acre fenced-in exotic wildlife park at Action Wildlife. Keep an eye out for zebras and buffalo. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around the scenic acre Lake Waramaug.
Hike up to the top of Kent Falls. In the summer, check out the thousands of sunflowers at Waldingfield Farm in Washington. Visit Mystic Aquarium ; it's fun anytime of the year. The sea lion show is particularly entertaining.
While in the area make sure to hit up the fun shops in Olde Mistick Village. Spend the day or night! Indoor pools, fun restaurants like the Sugar Factory, shopping, arcade games, and more make this a perfect staycation destination. Through late December, visit the oldest steam powered cider mill in the US, B.
Clyde's Cider Mill in Mystic. Cheer at a Connecticut Sun's game; it's especially fun for little girls to see the women of the professional basketball league! Visit the little beachside community of Groton Long Point and wander over to the "casino" a penny candy store. All aboard! Visitors in Groton can take a tour of this impressive piece of naval history.
Step back in time and explore the acre open air museum at Mystic Seaport.
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