One Railroad AvenueEssex, CT, 06426Phone: 860-767-0103Toll-Free: 800-377-3987
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). Please check our website regularly for 2020 schedules and updates.
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.
June 26th through late mid-October, choose a day or sunset cruise aboard ARGIA!
A destination for kids of all ages, Mystic Aquarium provides families the opportunity to learn about their ocean planet all while having fun! With thousands of marine animals including beluga whales, penguins, seals, fish, frogs, alligators and more – Mom, Dad and each of the kids will have their own Aquarium favorite. Hands-on exhibits welcome curious children to touch sharks, stingrays and even some exotic reptiles. Daily complimentary sea lion shows provide a truly unique opportunity to see these fascinating animals up-close and in action. You can even take in a 3-D show at one of our two theaters. And, come face to claw with animatronic dinosaurs in ‘Jurassic Giants’ – that is, if you dare! Plus, special events and activities all year long make the Aquarium a destination worth revisiting often. SEA more at MysticAquarium.org.
67 Main Street, Steamboat DockEssex, CT, 06426Phone: 860-767-8269
Inside and out, lots to fascinate and entertain families along our riverbank!
There are so many things to do outside at the family-friendly Connecticut River Museum – winter cruises to see majestic bald eagles, sailing adventures aboard the 1614 replica ship Onrust, canoeing or kayaking on a quiet cove, strolling the harborside grounds, walking to historic Essex Village for lunch – that you might forget to go inside. But don’t! The kids will love to examine the handmade tools used for fishing and hunting in and along the river, old navigation tools, the model train layout set up every fall, the three-story river mural that snakes up and down staircases and the model of the very cool Turtle, the first submarine to be used in combat (during the Revolutionary War).
1650 Hartford-New London Tpke. (Rt. 85)Oakdale, CT, 06370Phone: 860-443-4367
Wide (and wild) variety of activities means this park has something for everyone
When The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village says they have fun activities for all ages, you should take them literally. With more than 50 life-sized dinosaurs on a 1.5-mile nature trail, you can take your time (and photos) with little ones, who also have special sections for play in Monty’s Playground and the Splash Pad. For bigger kids, the pad features water buckets and cannons. It’s family fun time at the two-story enclosed T-Rex Tower, with crazy obstacles in each room and in the twisty-turny A”MAZE”asaurus maze. There’s also an Old West Mining Town-themed mini-golf course, an ice cream shop, and a snack bar for burgers and pizza. Check the website for social distancing and other health and safety updates.