Fun for children and families, from riverboats to dinosaur hiding places
Family activities in Connecticut include things as diverse as tracking evidence of dinosaurs to exploring a shipbuilding village of 1830 to visits with Beluga whales. The state boasts lots of child-oriented and science-oriented museums that will keep kids occupied for hour after hours. There is lots to do, indoors and out, in all seasons of the year. Lots of resorts and hotels and inns welcome kids with family friendly lodging
55 Coogan Boulevard
Mystic, CT, 06355
Family fun with exciting marine life
One of the truly great family places for young and older lets you enjoy the fun and hands on learning in exceptional natural and man-made environments. Meet thousands of marine animals including beluga whales, African penguins, rescued seals, colorful fish and many more. The frog exhibit holds over 30 different species of frogs. Curious kids and moms and dads are welcome to touch live sharks, stingrays and exotic reptiles like a 6” alligator. Sea lions demonstrate amazing behaviors and the virtual ride at the 4-D Theater takes you through another world. Stretch your mind at the National Geographic Theater and feel the rush of adventure when you discover the earth’s most extreme environments in Exploration: Wild! Sea more at MysticAquarium.org.
40 Sargent Drive
New Haven, CT, 06511
Play nice together on a one of a kind indoor ropes course
Here’s the ultimate in indoor physical activity for the whole family - Jordan’s IT Adventure Ropes Course, the largest such activity in the world. Enjoy an incredible adventure on two 60’ high ropes courses. Climb and zip and jump and walk amidst swinging beams, angled rope ladders, cargo nets, bridges, and planks. Watch 1000 water nozzles dance to lights, stereo sounds and music. Soar across the longest Sky Rail zip lines ever made high above the restaurants and Waltzing Water show - and remember to keep your feet up, you may get wet! Other activities have you free-falling 50' down to the ground, crossing the 200’ catwalk, and climbing wobbly poles and vertical walls that only take you higher with each step. Stop in for some kid-friendly family fun, ages 2 and up.
1355 Boston Post Road
Guilford, CT, 06437
Find fantastic family fun and support your local farmer
Almost nothing beats family fun like picking up fresh produce right from the farm. Open year-round, Bishop's Orchards continues a 144-year tradition on 313 acres where you can pick strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, apples, and pumpkins. The farm market has grown from a roadside stand to a wholesale supplier of fruits and vegetables to New York and New England. It’s also a thriving retail market, fully operating bakery, specialty food grocer and most recently, a winery. The kids will love the llamas, alpacas and goats and the G-Scale train with cars from the NYNH Railroad circling overhead. Get your farm fresh produce and an authentic farm experience at the same time. Look for the "big red apple" known far and wide.
32 Reeds Gap Road
Middlefield, CT, 06455
Have great family fun and learn about today’s farms and farmers
Teach your kids what a farm is and what farmers do at this beautiful destination on the Connecticut River. Run by the same family for almost three hundred years, Lyman Orchards invites families to be famers for a day from June to October to pick nearly 100 varieties of fruits. You can call the 24-hour hotline for crop and field conditions, varieties, and market prices. The exceptional Farm Market has baked goods including award winning pies all made in the Farm Bakery. Take home the Eco friendly fruits and CT grown vegetables grown with naturally occurring controls such as ladybugs and other predators. For a special treat, bring your clubs and play golf on the farm’s two championship golf courses.
77 Forest Street
Hartford, CT, 06105
The Family Tour introduces kids to Harriet Beecher Stowe
Who was the most famous American woman in the 19th century? Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have greeted Harriet Beecher Stowe with “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” At Hartford’s Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, your kids will learn about Stowe, the internationally famous author of the selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The Family Tour – specially sized for kids 5-12 (accompanied by an adult) - brings the life and impact of Connecticut’s First Lady of Literature to light for families with story-telling, journaling and historic letters! Weekends and school vacation weeks at 1:30 PM. Reservations suggested: 860-522-9258 x 317 or Info@StoweCenter.org.
Norwich Free Academy - 108 Crescent Street
Norwich, CT, 06360
Family fun and learning in Norwich
Experience fun and learning at this enchanting museum stocked with art and historical artifacts. People and cultures through 35 centuries and five continents are featured here on the campus of Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, CT. Along with art treasures there is a unique gift shop to browse and shop for prints , the work of Connecticut artisans, books, CDs, puzzles, bags and other accessories. Started by a gift from philanthropist William A. Slater more than a century ago, the museum is itself a treasure done in Romanesque Revival style architecture by Stephen C. Earle. You can all enjoy an interpreter-guided tour -- free with admission – as well as permanent and changing exhibits, film screenings, discussions and regularly scheduled events.
One Railroad Avenue
Essex, CT, 06426
Much more than a Choo Choo
Climb aboard the only steam train and riverboat connection in the U.S! Kids will enjoy riding in the vintage coaches alongside farms, ponds, and boat yards, and spotting swans, ducks, and egrets. The 12-mile, narrated roundtrip brings passengers to Deep River Landing, where the riverboat continues the adventure with a 1¼-hour cruise on the breathtaking Connecticut River. The steam train returns visitors to Essex station. Throughout the year, there are several special events specifically for kids: In April and May, Day Out with Thomas; mid-November through December, Santa Special (daytime) and North Pole Express (nighttime).
1225 Ocean Avenue
New London, CT, 06320
Rated one of the best beaches by National Geographic
There’s family fun and more at Ocean Beach Park. New this year is our Splash Park for kids under 8. For more water fun we have the ocean, of course, an Olympic-size swimming pool and triple waterslide. Our award-winning lifeguard staff is on duty for your safety. For more fun we have rides, mini-golf, and a Family Fun Center with a video arcade. Kids can enjoy our playground and adults can work out in the health club. The nature walk and observation deck let you enjoy our natural beauty. When all the activity makes you hungry you have dining choices; our full-service restaurant, a food court, or ice cream stands. Ocean Beach Park can also accommodate picnics and corporate events. Our nightly entertainment schedule includes Classic Car Cruises on Mondays; kids movies on the beach Tuesday; live magic on Wednesday; Sock Hop on Thursday; and live bands on Friday.
Matthews Park - 303 West Avenue
Norwalk, CT, 06850
A "wow" experience for all ages, even adults!
Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Conn., our mission is to inspires lifelong learning. We do that with fun and fascinating exhibits and outdoor spaces. Wander about our garden and listen while whimsical sculptures use sun, wind, and water power to produce musical sounds. In our Energy Lab kids are mesmerized by a raceway powered by water, or when balls are whisked away down a wind-powered maze. They'll learn about evaporation first hand by painting with brush and water, and then seeing their paintings disappear. We have exhibits designed for all ages ten and under, including toddlers and infants. Adults will be fascinated, too.
1650 Hartford-New London Tpke. (Rt. 85)
Oakdale, CT, 06370
Dino-Sized Family Fun Awaits!
Conveniently located minutes from Mystic, Connecticut in the heart of Mystic Country, The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village offers a full day of family fun for children, and adults, of all ages! The Giant T. Rex Mascot, Monty, welcomes your family to this 60 acre outdoor adventure park. Explore over a mile of dinosaur-filled nature trails featuring more than 40 life-sized dinosaurs and wrapping around a scenic seven acre man-made lake with its own active volcano! During the summer, cool off in New England’s largest SplashPad, a unique zero-depth water park. Children will love getting lost in a”MAZE”asaurus dinosaur-themed maze and playing on Monty’s playground featuring the custom-made SpaceNet, a 15 foot tall three-dimensional swinging, vibrating, climbing web. More adventures await guests throughout Nature’s Art Village, including digging for gems, panning for “gold” and unearthing dinosaur bones in Discovery Depot, the indoor adventure center.
Winter Hours for Dinosaur Place: Thurs.-Sun. 10am-5pm. Discovery Depot: Weekdays & School Holidays 10a-5p. The Shops & PAST Antiques Marketplace: Open daily 10a-6p. Gateway Museums: Open Daily 10a-12:30p and 1-5pm.
12 Steamboat Wharf
Mystic, CT, 06355
Haul Away! Bring the whole family sailing.
Sail away aboard the
traditional sailing schooner Argia for a journey into the past. The adventure
begins as the Ship's horn blows and you depart from Mystic's historic Bascule
Bridge, a national historic landmark. As the ship travels down the Mystic River,
join the crew in raising sail the old-fashioned way...or lend a hand steering
the ship! Morgan Point Lighthouse and the quaint fishing village of Noank greet
you at the river’s mouth, followed by islands and peaceful sailing. Snacks and
lemonade are provided.
May 1st through late mid-October, choose a day or sunset cruise aboard ARGIA!
Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
10 North Water St.
Norwalk, CT, 06854
Kids and parents can visit nose-to-nose with sharks, seals, river otters, wrinkly sea turtles, and stinging jellyfish. Educational public cruises, changing exhibits, a working boat shop, hands-on touch tanks, toddler play area, and an IMAX movie theater with a screen that’s six stories tall make this a place of seafaring adventure.
Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center
10 Deerfield Lane
Ansonia, CT, 06401
This nature center is a wonderful place for kids to run, play, climb, explore, and also learn about nature. There is a large variety of interesting activities. Open daily, year-round.
See full description
of Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center.
The Bushnell Park Carousel
Jewell Street at the Memorial Arch
Bristol, CT, 06010
Kids and adults both are entranced by this hand-carved carousel with 48 horses, two chariots, stained glass windows, mirrors reflecting 800 twinkling light bulbs, and a Wurlitzer band organ. Open May to October, Tuesday to Sunday; September and October, Thursday to Sunday. Call for seasonal changes in hours.
1875 Noble Ave.
Bridgeport, CT, 06610
This zoo exhibits hundreds of animals, from tigers to monkeys and everything in between. Habitats for children to explore include a South American rainforest and a New England farmyard. For quite time, there is a picnic grove, carousel, Victorian greenhouse, and café. Summer programs include Animal Tales and A Day at the Ocean.