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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.

Webb Deane Stevens Revolutionary War encampment credit--Charles-Lyle
The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village Atractions Outdoor adventure Oakdale CT
The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village

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

Outdoor adventure at its family finest

Discover this amazing 60-acre adventure park with a seven-acre man-made lake with its own active volcano. Walk along nature trails among 40 life-sized dinosaurs. Indoors, dig for gems, pan for “gold” and unearth dinosaur bones in Discovery Depot. Children will love getting lost in the dinosaur themed ”MAZE”asaurus, and playing on the Giant T. Rex Mascot Monty’s playground featuring the SpaceNet, a 15 foot tall three-dimensional swinging, vibrating, climbing web. Cool off in New England’s largest SplashPad. Bring a picnic or enjoy great food at the Cobalt Café and other locations. Enjoy special events, educational programs and endless shopping and plan a birthday party, scout, school or recreational group outing. Check out the new Cooper Creek Mini Golf Course open in 2018 for ages 8+!
Red Tailed Hawk at First Churck Steeple - Historic Wethersfield, CT
Historic Wethersfield

The outdoors really is great at various venues in this charming town

Are you an active adventure-seeker, or looking for something on the quiet side? Historic Wethersfield has you covered. A heritage trail bike ride will take you past historic homes and working farms, or head down to the 1860 Reservoir for fishing and canoeing. Mill Woods Park has a skate park; bocce, tennis and basketball courts and a swimming pond, and Wintergreen Woods offers walking trails through 110 acres of forest and wetlands. Visit a nature center for a meadow stroll where you might spy an eagle, or walk through colonial gardens. Historical society walking tours let you see more about the town’s origins. (It was founded in 1633-34). Don’t forget ice skating, swimming, farmers’ markets and shopping along Main Street.
Kids at the Helm! 500x250 - Argia Mystic Cruises - Mystic, CT
Argia Mystic Cruises

12 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. Snacks and soda are provided, but you can bring your own food and beverages. There are seats for all 49 passengers and a lovely little main salon down below. The exquisite Argia also is available for groups and classes who want to know about the ecology of the sea (and handle some of its creatures) and for private charters.
Amazing View - Foxwoods High Flyer - Mashantucket, CT
Foxwoods HighFlyer

350 Trolley Lane Blvd. Mashantucket, CT, 06338 Phone: 860-312-3597

Zip through the skies from the rooftop of this Connecticut casino

Talk about getting up close and personal with Mother Nature: From the rooftop of the famous Foxwoods Resort Casino – that’s 350 feet, or 32 stories, atop Fox Tower – you can take an exhilarating mile-long zipline tour that sends you soaring through the air, above the trees, reaching speeds of almost 60 mph, finishing up at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. A shuttle runs every 15 minutes to take you back to the casino, and a viewing shuttle for family and friends also leaves the casino every 15 minutes.
Becky Thatcher 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

Ride the rails, ply the river at this delightful combo attraction

You are more than riding the rails when you board one of the vintage coaches of the Essex Steam Train. Because after a leisurely ride through the heart of the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley, past ponds, waterfalls and meadows, you are escorted onto the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a cruise past rocky shorelines, the Goodspeed Opera House and the Haddam Swing Bridge. Both forms of transport get you up close and personal to flora and fauna, from eagles and blue herons to the eye-popping colors of autumn leaves. Special excursions include a dinner train, sunset cruises, caboose weekends and the popular North Pole Express. Or, take a locomotive out for a spin in a “Hand on the Throttle” session.