Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities in New England, the beautiful state of Connecticut has plenty of gentle, family friendly opportunities for all ages. Moms and dads, grandparents, and little ones of all sizes can enjoy these fun activities.
The Mystic Aquarium in the coastal town of Mystic has a great collection of sea animals and changing exhibits. Sea horses, fish, jellyfish, sea lions, beluga whales and African penguins are just some of the animals you can visit. A 4-D theater and exhibits on topics like the Arctic and the Titanic make the aquarium a fascinating place for families.
If you’d rather lounge with a picnic or just enjoy some time on the beach, you might want to check out Ocean Beach Park in New London. Ocean Beach describes their half-mile of coast as “sugar-sand,” and it doesn’t get much sweeter than that. The Park also offers a boardwalk, miniature golf, a nature trail, picnic areas, playgrounds and even a spray park for very young children. It’s a perfect place to go on a hot day.
Spring, summer and fall are all great times to head to Bishop’s Orchards in the coastal town of Guilford. Families can pick fresh berries, apples or pumpkins in season, and there’s something special for all ages to enjoy. Kids will love the miniature railroad and a chance to visit real live llamas and goats, while adults will find plenty to enjoy at the bakery, winery and farmer’s market. The 300 plus acre farm has been family owned and operated since the late 19th century.
Head to Essex for a unique and old-fashioned experience your family will never forget, a two and a half hour steam train ride through the river valley towns of Chester and Deep River, followed by a riverboat cruise on the Connecticut River.
The capital city of Hartford offers plenty of historic attractions like the Mark Twain House, where one of America’s most renowned authors lived from 1874-1891. Tour the 25 rooms of the house, including the room where Twain wrote some of his greatest classics. Once you’re in the Victorian era mindset, you might want to head to Bushnell Park Carousel in Bristol, whose hand-carved steeds and Wurlitzer organ music will transport you to a simpler time.
In West Hartford, there’s plenty to do and see at the Children’s Museum. Besides hands-on exhibits, children and their families can enjoy the nature centre and a planetarium.
Kids love dinosaurs! What child could resist a park full of life-sized dinosaur models? That’s what you’ll find at the Dinosaur Place in Montville, where gentle walking trails invite children to explore and learn all about dinosaurs. Montville is located between Norwich and New London. Picnic areas, ice cream and a splash pad top off the kid-friendly attractions at the Dinosaur Place.