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Work the kids' muscles and imaginations at outdoor adventures in Connecticut

Wear out those kids (and adults, too) on your vacation in Connecticut with a day at an outdoor adventure park where they can play Tarzan, Spiderman, or whatever heroic image they love. Experts will get the family suited up with harnesses, pulleys and carabiners and send everyone out on a zip line and ropes course that folks will be talking about well after vacation is over. You can call this educational if you like. The bigger point is that kids and adults get to use their muscles, wits, and imaginations up in the air. Combine the day with a second day at a traditional amusement park. Make this a family outing to remember.

Find more great outdoor adventures at Explore New England.

Webb Deane Stevens Revolutionary War encampment credit--Charles-Lyle
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

Looking for adventures for all ages? Make tracks to this dinosaur-themed play park

Make tracks today to The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village, a 60-acre outdoor adventure park that features over 50 life-sized dinos on 1.5 miles of pristine, easy-to-walk nature trails. Pose for a selfie under the belly of a 40-foot-tall Brachiosaurus, explore dino-filled caves, feel the vibrations of a rumbling volcano at Raptor Bay, a 7-acre lake. Other outdoor attractions include New England’s largest Splash Pad, a dinosaur-themed maze and Monty’s Playground with a variety of climbing, jumping, balancing and sliding activities. At the T-Rex Tower, climb through a crazy obstacle-filled tower, swing across on a zip line and slide down a super-slick slide. There’s also an 18-hole Old West-themed mini golf course.
Inn at Harbor Hill Summer Evening View - Distinctive Inns of New England
Distinctive Inns of New England

Luxurious Accommodations throughout New England , CT Phone:

If you love seaside activities, this shoreline inn is perfect for you

Located on the scenic Connecticut shoreline in Niantic, just minutes from Mystic Seaport, the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina offers casual seaside elegance to those who are attracted to spending time near or on the water. Take a complimentary sunset cruise through Niantic Bay aboard a pontoon boat, stroll along the mile-long boardwalk overlooking Long Island Sound or relax and swim at three local beaches. Sport fishermen, pleasure boaters and water sports enthusiasts can dock their vessels at the property’s 67-slip marina and relax on the award-winning inn’s wraparound porch, when they stay at the inn overlooking the marina. The fishing and sailing in this area are top-notch, matched by the hospitality and amenities at this award-winning 16-room bed-and-breakfast inn.
Meadows & CT River Aerial View - Historic Wethersfield, CT
Historic Wethersfield

Historic town’s many parks, trails, heritage tours make for a great day in the great outdoors

Historic Wethersfield has more to celebrate than its heritage: It also has a number of parks and other places sure to please every outdoor enthusiast. At Mill Woods Park, you can hike wooded trails, explore wildflower meadows or enjoy the skate park, beach, outdoor swimming pool, bocce courts and pond skating and fishing. Standish Park has tennis courts and a wheelchair-friendly playground; Wintergreen Woods features 110 acres with scenic nature trails. The Heritage Way Bike Trail meanders 10 miles through parks and woods, and the 3-mile Heritage Walk takes you past the Cove Warehouse Maritime Museum, through meadows and past the Ancient Burying Ground. Launch your boat at the Cove, fish at the reservoir or go sledding at Farms Village Park.
Spring Pedal Car - 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

Explore the Connecticut River Valley from a rail bike, train car or riverboat deck

Experience the Connecticut River Valley up close and personal on a rail bike, from a restored rail car or from the open deck of a Mississippi-style riverboat at Exxon Steam Train & Riverboat. April through June, you can pedal a two- or four-seat rail bike on tracks that take you through the valley’s scenic terrain. An 8-mile round trip is over moderate terrain from Essex Station to Old Saybrook; a 9-mile trip is slightly more difficult, to Chester. Train excursions, including a seasonal open air car, roll through the valley and can take you right to Deep River Landing, where you can board the 70-foot Becky Thatcher riverboat for a 1 1/4-hour cruise on the Connecticut River. Please check our website for current train & riverboat schedules.
Explore Ice Castles in North Woodstock, NH! Click here to explore.
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

Book a fishing or sightseeing cruise and enjoy the fun of being out on the water

The great outdoors doesn’t get any greater than when you’re experiencing it from the deck of a party boat. At Blackhawk Sportfishing, you can have the fun of reeling in porgy in early May, fluke and bluefish in the summer, sea bass in the fall. Bring your own gear or rent a rod and reel on the boat. Keep your fish (for a small fee, the crew will fillet and clean them for you) or have them tossed back – or donated to a food bank. Not up for a fishing cruise? Blackhawk also offers sunset and nature cruises as well as seal and eagle watches. Bring your own cooler (beer is OK if it’s not in bottles) or buy burgers, dogs and snacks onboard.
Gybe at Baptist Church - Argia Mystic Cruises - Mystic, CT
Argia Mystic Cruises

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

Sail into the past aboard the Mystic-based schooner Argia

Aboard the 81-foot sailing vessel Argia, a modern replica of a 19th century packet schooner, you can travel back into the past – gliding by history-rich Mystic, helping the crew hoist and trim the sails – or just enjoy the view of islands, lighthouses and scenic coastlines from the vessel’s spacious wooden deck. The Coast Guard licensed schooner sails protected waters during the day and, for those seeking the romance of the sea at twilight, at sunset. Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine (or order snacks from us when you book) to make this excursion truly memorable. There are seats for all 49 passengers and a lovely little main salon down below.
Locomotive - Railroad Museum of New England - Thomaston, CT
Railroad Museum of New England

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

Admire the scenery of the Litchfield Hills as you rumble past in a vintage train

Explore the great outdoors from the comfort of your seat in a coach, first-class or lounge car, part of a vintage train leaving from the Railroad Museum of New England. Scenic tours follow the Naugatuck River, through inviting woodlands and over the famed Thomaston Dam, with panoramic views of the river valley. The scenery outside, as you travel past trees and over bridges, is as compelling as the interiors of train cars, styled from their appropriate era of travel. There are special excursions during the winter holidays and Eastertime, a trip to a pick-your-own-pumpkin patch and foliage tours in the fall, and a day trip to Torrington for shopping and dining in the summer. Back at Thomaston Station, check out the steam and diesel locomotives and cabooses.