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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.

Follow these links for : Zoos, Aquariums & Animal Parks - Outdoor Adventures - Rainy Day Activities

Family Activities in Connecticut
Bluefish Girls 500x250 - Black Hawk Party Boat - Niantic, CT
Blackhawk Sport Fishing

Sailing from the Niantic Bay Marina Niantic, CT, 06357 Phone: 860-448-3662 Toll-Free: 800-382-2824

Seeking something different to do with the kids? Take them on a fishing or sightseeing cruise!

Looking for something different to do with the kids? Take them fishing! There are no age limits for future fishing-lovers aboard the Black Hawk, the impeccably maintained boat run by Blackhawk Sportfishing. Bring your gear, or rent a rod and reel on-site, and head in search of porgy (a great way to acquaint kids into the sport of fishing), bluefish, fluke or stripers. The kids might even get to honk the boat horn or win a T-shirt! You can bring a cooler or purchase burgers, hot dogs and snacks on board. Take your fish home (the crew will fillet and clean your catch for a small fee), have it tossed back in or donated to a food bank. Blackfish also offers sightseeing and nature cruises, seal and eagle watches.
Riverbank Family 500x250 - Essex Steam Train & Riverboat - Essex, CT
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

One Railroad Avenue Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-0103 Toll-Free: 800-377-3987

Boats and trains: a combination bound to be a sure-fire hit with everyone in the family

Imagine telling the kids that today you are going to go on a train, or a riverboat – or both! Or maybe you’ll book a four-seat rail bike and tool along the tracks from Essex Station to Old Saybrook. Or you’ll get up close to vintage train locomotives – and perhaps a caboose! Great family activities await you at Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, the only steam and riverboat connection in the country, with two operating steam locomotives and multiple classes of passenger service taking you through the scenic countryside to Deep River Landing, where you can board the 70-foot Mississippi-style riverboat, the Becky Thatcher, for a 1 1/4-hour cruise past the rocky shores and wildlife along the Connecticut River and its wildlife, including swans, herons and bald eagles. Please check our website for current train & riverboat schedules.
Photo for Family Activities 500x250 - IT Adventures - New Haven, CT
IT Adventure Ropes Course

40 Sargent Drive New Haven, CT, 06511 Phone: 203-812-9981

An adventure for everyone in the family at this fun, challenging ropes course

An adventure awaits family members of all ages at the It Adventure Ropes Course inside Jordan’s Furniture. The world’s largest indoor ropes course includes more than 100 exciting challenges, from crisscross angled rope ladders and zig-zag swinging beams to cargo nets and tricky bridges. And, zip rails that sit at heights up to 56 feet let you fly over a liquid fireworks water show from one end of the course to the other. A full-body harness and sling line keeps you connected the entire time. For children under 48 inches tall, there’s the fun Little It course, with platforms less than three feet above the ground and adult chaperones nearby to lend assistance if needed.
Atractions Outdoor Adventure - The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village - Oakdale CT
The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village

1650 Hartford-New London Tpke. (Rt. 85) Oakdale, CT, 06370 Phone: 860-443-4367

Something fun for everyone, from a Splash Pad to a dinosaur trail, at this adventure park

From the tiniest tots to young-at-heart adults, there is something for everyone to do, and love doing, at The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village. At the Splash Pad, a zero-depth water playground, there’s a separate area for infants to toddlers, while older kids will love the water cannons, dino rib cage waterfall and dumping buckets. Over at T-rex Tower, obstacles include zip lines, slides and bridges. There’s also a tricky dino maze and, of course, the 50 life-sized dinosaurs who inhabit 1.5 miles of easy-to-travel trails (and caves!). Adults will also enjoy Copper Creek Mini Golf and the variety of shops, from those selling fossils and minerals to an ever-changing antiques marketplace.
The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat -Train & Boat Excursions through the Connecticut River Valley - with all the bells & whistles!
Explore Ice Castles in North Woodstock, NH! Click here to explore.
Everybody Can Help - Argia Mystic Cruises - Mystic, CT
Argia Mystic Cruises

75 Steamboat Wharf Mystic, CT, 06355 Phone: 860-536-0416

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.

Enjoy our lowest rates Weekdays on our first trips of the day! Pack a picnic and bring the family aboard ARGIA for a 2-hour day-sail!
Ticket Please - Railroad Museum of New England - Thomaston, CT
Railroad Museum of New England

242 East Main Street Thomaston, CT, 06787 Phone: 860-283-7245

Seeking family fun? You’ll get everyone on board with a trip to this railroad museum

Looking for a fun activity for the whole family? It’s time to make tracks to the Railroad Museum of New England, where kids can explore steam and diesel locomotive passenger and freight cars, a crane, a plow and cabooses. (One is bright red!) There are educational exhibits at the historic Thomaston Station, too. And the highlight, of course, is stepping aboard a vintage train for an excursion up the Naugatuck River Valley, over the famed Thomaston Dam, through woods and over the river. Special excursions to delight children of all ages are the Easter Bunny Express, the Pumpkin Patch train, the Santa Express and the Northern Lights Limited. The latter two trains, decorated for the season, include visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Gallery Girl - Connecticut River Museum - Essex, CT
Connecticut River Museum

67 Main Street, Steamboat Dock Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-8269

Families who visit this river museum learn about history, experience outdoor adventures

Bring the family to the Connecticut River Museum and prepare for a day that is both fun and educational. Through artifacts and artwork, you’ll learn about the river’s history and its Native American communities, explore the memorabilia and vintage racing motors of the speed-racing era on the river from 1900 to 1940, trace the river in a vertical mural that winds up and down three floors, or step inside a replica of the Turtle, the first submarine to be used in combat in 1776. You can take a cruise on the Onrust, a re-created 1614 sailing vessel or on the eco-tour boat RiverQuest, perhaps seeing an eagle or osprey. There’s a great drop-in Summer Fun Days program for kids 6 through 12.
Ansonia Recreational & Nature Center - Ansonia, CT
Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center

10 Deerfield Lane Ansonia, CT, 06401 Phone: 203-736-1053

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.
Bushnell Park Carousel - Hartford, CT - Photo Credit Bushnell Park Foundation
The Bushnell Park Carousel

Bushnell Park - 1 Jewell Street Hartford, CT, 06010 Phone: 860-232-6710

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.
Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk - Norwalk, CT
Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

10 North Water Street Norwalk, CT, 06854 Phone: 203-852-0700

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.