Enjoy Thrills At The Countrys Oldest Amusement Park
Thrill-seekers looking for a day of family-friendly fun can ride the coasters at Lake Compounce. The oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States, this 332-acre park includes a beach and water park with the price of admission.
Its one of the coolest things to do in Connecticut for families with kids, as youll find a long list of heart-pounding adventures for everyone. Test your bravery on the Boulder Dash, an award-winning wooden coaster, or see if you can tackle the Phobia Phear Coaster that reaches speeds of up to 65 miles an hour.
In addition to roller coasters, this park features classic carousel rides and giant Ferris wheels for those who prefer a more low-key adventure. Kid-friendly train rides take you around the park, while the Ghost Hunt lets you hunt down ghosts in the Bleakstone Manor.
If you need to cool off, head to the on-site water park Bayou Bay. Kick back and relax on the Croc-O-Nile lazy river or plunge down the cascading waterfall at Mammoth Falls. Alternately, opt to drive a mini-Corvette around the race track or zoom around in a bumper car.
There you have it! The 25 best things to do in Connecticut. Whats your favorite thing to do in The Nutmeg State?
Planning a trip to Connecticut? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!
Yale Peabody Museum Of Natural History
f11photo / Shutterstock
Located on the picturesque campus of the Ivy Leagues Yale University, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is a world-class museum.
Definitely a top museum to visit while youre in Connecticut, the Peabody was founded in 1866 and is one of the most prolific natural history museums in the world.
Some of the museums permanent exhibits include fossil fragments, a hall of reptiles, the evolution of mammals, ancient Egypt, birds of Connecticut, and a dinosaur exhibit.
Beyond Peabodys permanent collection, there are ever-changing temporary or special exhibits that you may catch depending on when you visit.
Furthermore, the museum boasts discovery rooms and programs that are geared toward young children.
Finally, on given days there are behind the scenes and daily themed tours.
A visit to tourist attractions like the Peabody museum is both interactive and engaging.
There is truly something for everyone to see and experience at the Peabody.
Address: 170 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06511, United States
Best Things To Do In Plainfield
In sparsely populated Windham County, the small town of Plainfield is made up of the four villages of Plainfield, Moosup, Wauregan and Central Village.
Safe to say that activities in this quiet part of Connecticut are rural and outdoors, like woodland hikes in rare swamp habitats, visits to farms with corn mazes and fishing at the many ponds.
These water bodies pepper the land and were created to turn the waterwheels of factories in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Today only faint vestiges survive in a landscape that has returned to nature.
Your priority in Plainfield has to be the nearby Prudence Crandall Museum where a marker for tolerance and race relations was laid down in the 1830s.
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The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum features changing exhibits of thought-provoking contemporary art and does not collect art or hold a permanent collection. It showcases works based on changing themes and is dedicated to promoting the work of innovative artists who encourage viewers to think creatively. Also on the grounds is a two-acre outdoor sculpture garden.
Several other attractions in Connecticut are good places to visit for tourists interested in art. Among them are the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton and the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme. Weir farm was the summer home and studio of artist J. Alden Weir, and the Griswold Museum is a restored 1817 mansion whose owner hosted a number of American Impressionist artists and collected their works.
Address: 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, Connecticut
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Shop At The Westport Farmers Market
Shopping is one of the best things to do in Connecticut with family, especially if it means hanging out at the Westport Farmers Market. This market is known for its artisanal products, as well as fresh fish and organic produce. You can easily grab something to eat right then during your visit, but we urge you to grab a few extra items for the rest of your CT vacation.
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Visit The Mashantucket Pequot Museum
This museum contains eighty-five thousand square feet of space. As soon as you walk in, you will be greeted by a life-size diorama. As you wander through the museum, you will see exhibits that share information about the Arrival of People, Life on the Reservation, the Pequot War, and Life in a Pequot Village.
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Connecticut Bucket List: Find Fun Things To Do In Ct Usa & Nearby
Is there anything fun in CT? In this session of the Everyday Bucket List Podcast, I go solo today & discuss Connecticut . If youre headed this way & need fun things to do in Connecticut this weekend or during the week, I give ideas for day trips in CT & places to stop in mostly Southern, CT including New Haven, Madison, Mystic & other places to stop along the shoreline. I also discuss other day trips from CT to Port Jefferson, Block Island & more that I recently marked off my bucket list.
If you want to receive more Everyday Bucket List Podcast episodes, get access to them regularly through your device. Theyre sent your way as soon as theyre published. Subscribe onApple Podcasts or Stitcher today!
Some of the resources below have affiliate links. If you purchase something through a link, I would make a small commission at no additional cost to you.
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Explore The Uss Nautilus And The Submarine Museum
If you have always wanted to walk through a submarine, then you are going to think that the USS Nautilus is one of the top things to do in Connecticut. This is also one of the fun things to do with kids in CT, because they can see how everyone lives and works on a submarine. Everyone will wonder how sleep is possible on the small bunks that are on this submarine! After you explore the USS Nautilus, you can walk through the submarine museum to see how the submarines have changed over the years.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons
Discover Indigenous Cultures At Mashantucket Pequot Museum
For a dose of culture, Mashantucket Pequot Museum is one of the coolest things to do in Connecticut for families and history buffs alike. This award-winning cultural attraction in Mashantucket boasts fascinating multi-sensory exhibits that will take you back in time all the way to the Ice Ages.
You can easily spend an entire day exploring the over 300,000 square foot facility, which features five floors of life-size exhibits, captivating films, and touch-screen computer programs. The tribally-owned museum highlights the Native American and natural history of New England, detailing the Ice Age to the present day.
Its touch-screen computers and audio guide add to the experience, while enlarged photographs put a face to the contemporary Pequots. The museum also boasts an 18-story observation tower, in addition to two libraries, a gift shop, and an on-site restaurant.
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Escape To One Of Cts Charming Small Towns
Small towns in New England are such special places. In Connecticut you can find many such villages and towns, perhaps even when youre not looking for them. But to give you a few hints, here are a couple of the cutest small towns in Connecticut: Old Saybrook, Guilford, Kent, Storrs, and Simsbury. For an excellent place to stay in/near these towns, consider one of these charming Connecticut cabins.
Connecticut Christmas Light Displays
Where: All over Connecticut
When: The month of December
Why go? Most towns in Connecticut have a decorated house or two that host an elaborate Christmas light display. While some are done by the town, others are privately held. Here is a great list of the places you should drive to find some spectacular light displays.
Where: Mystic Village, Mystic
When: weekends December 1-31
Why go? This is a highly festive event where you can stroll through the streets of Mystic Village and see Christmas trees, old fashioned lanterns and homes lit up in all their glory. You will have a guide who will tell you all about Christmas in Colonial Connecticut.
Where: Shore Line Trolley Museum, East Haven
When: Every weekend in December
Why go? Take a ride on the vintage trolley and stop at the special Christmas station where you can meet Santa Claus himself. Plus, you will get some treats on the ride.
Where: Bethlehem, CT
When: The first weekend in December
Why go? You can get your Christmas cards mailed from the Bethlehem, CT post office, get some delicious food, browse the local shops and enjoy live music. Plus, free kids crafts, a fun run, and more.
Where: Lake Compounce, Bristol
When: November 25 January 2
Where: Hubbard Park, Meriden
When: November 21-January 4
The Silver Lights Festival is FREE!
Where: East Haddam, CT
When: throughout the year
Where: Kent, CT
Where: First Presbyterian Church, New Haven
When: First Sunday in December
Where: New Haven Green
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Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Connecticut
Connecticut, also known as The Constitution State, The Nutmeg State, The Provisions State and The Land of Steady Habits, offers some of the most beautiful and spectacular sights and places to visit! Just browse through these awesome pictures and be amazed by its beauty. I had a lot of fun picking them out, let me know if you know of any places I could add
Dine On Connecticuts Famous Buttery Lobster Rolls
Connecticut is known for its hot buttered lobster rolls that lure in foodies from across the country. Served everywhere from seafood shacks to fine dining restaurants, youll find hundreds of spots to satisfy your seafood cravings on Connecticuts shoreline!
To sample what this New England coastal state does best, head to Captain Scotts Lobster Dock in New London for a classic lobster roll. You also cant go wrong with Abbotts Lobster in the Rough in Noank, as this legendary seaside restaurant has been a fan favorite for decades.
Lobster Landing in Clinton is beloved for its hot and buttered lobster roll experiences, while The Lobster Shack in East Haven is a seasonal waterfront eatery that serves homemade clam chowders alongside its lobster delicacies.
- Image courtesy of Captain Scotts Lobster Dock
- Image courtesy of Captain Scotts Lobster Dock
Head to Guilford to enjoy the mom-and-pop atmosphere at Guilford Lobster Pound, which features picnic tables overlooking the harbor. However, Lenny and Joes Fish Tale is a shoreline favorite in Westbrook and Madison with its generous portions of lobster on its rolls.
For a bucket list experience, you can also dig into Connecticuts other seafood specialties at a classic New England clam bake. Sheffield Island is one of the best places to experience this authentic seafood feast, with the Clambake on Sheffield Island held every Tuesday in August.
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Get A Thrill At Lake Compounce Amusement Park
Lake Compounce Carousel | Photo by The Library of Congress
Americas oldest operating amusement park, Lake Compounce is named after Chief John Compound. Visiting this park is one of the most popular family activities in CT.
Since 1864 when it was first opened as a lake park, families from all over New England and the tri-state area come to the park for chills and thrills. The lake hosts the largest outdoor water park in the state with attractions for kids of all ages.
The shipwreck at Clipper Cove has water slides and cannons to cool you off. Zoomerang, for big kids, provides up-ended thrills and a large Kiddie land with rides modeled after the big kid rides keeps the little ones happy.
Although there are thoroughly modern and thrilling rides at the park, there are also nods to the parks history with a trolley car ride and an exciting wooden roller coaster named Boulderdash which is built into the side of Southington Mountain. For a more relaxed visit, your family can also spend the day at the lake swimming and sunning.
Visit Ogle Enders Falls In Granby
A perfect destination for waterfall lovers, Ogle Enders Falls in Granby is a must-see natural marvel in Connecticut. This captivating site actually features five separate waterfalls, surrounded by some of the states most picturesque forest scenery!
The first fall is six feet tall, then its followed by three shorter, gentler cascades that appear like a staircase. The last fall features two falls, plunging at 15 feet into an inviting pool below.
The best way to take in its beauty is from the summit. You can reach it by following one of the best waterfall hikes in Connecticut, which leads you to a photogenic vista of the cascades and beautiful rock formations.
In summer, several of the waterfall cascades plunge into popular swimming holes for adventurers. If youre looking for a less-crowded option, wait until you get to the fifth fall before you jump in.
Its a perfect day trip from the capital city of Hartford, less than a 30-minute drive to Enders State Forest. In this 2,000-acre natural oasis, youll find a landscape of diverse forests, wetlands, and waterfalls to explore.
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Go Camping In Pachaug State Forest
A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, Pachaug State Forest is the largest state forest in Connecticut. Boasting over 26,000 acres and spread across multiple towns, its an ideal getaway for an overnight camping adventure.
Start your adventure in Pachaug State Forest by following one of its scenic hiking trails. Youll find both short and long-distance hiking options, with the Pachaung Trail running about 30 miles from Pacha Pond to Green Fall Pond.
The Nehantic Trail is a 15-mile route leading to the Pauchaug River, while the Quinebaug Trail runs for seven miles over gentle hills and through beautiful pine forests. When its time to rest before another day of adventure, set up your tent in one of the areas popular campgrounds.
Green Falls Campground in Voluntown offers 18 wooded sites with pond fishing and swimming available, while Mt. Misery Campground has wooded sites along with stream fishing. If horseback riding is on your itinerary, the Frog Hollow Horse Camp is exclusively for equestrian use with 18 semi-wooded sites.
Best Places To Visit In Connecticut
Last updated on September 21, 2021 in USA
Divided in two by the Connecticut River that runs through it, the state of Connecticut is a beautiful place to explore that is all too often overlooked by visitors, who instead head to nearby New York or Boston. This means that you can see the authentic side of New England without the crowds, and there certainly is a lot for you to experience.
As it was one of the original 13 colonies, the state is home to many of the countrys oldest towns and settlements. As such, there is a myriad of fascinating historical tourist attractions and cultural landmarks, with many of the best places to visit in Connecticut relate to the areas rich seafaring past.
With many of its main cities to be found on the Long Island Sound, there is a gorgeous stretch of scenic shoreline for you to discover, while many excellent state parks lie waiting in its interior.
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Places Of Interest In Ct: Mystic Aquarium
The Mystic Aquarium exists to inspire people to protect the ocean, and to conserve ocean life. Along with the usual fascinating tanks of colorful sea-dwellers, the aquarium has unique offerings. The Arctic Coast exhibit brings visitors up close to beluga whales, the African penguin exhibit shows off many of these critically-endangered little birds, and the frog exhibit houses more than thirty species of frogs from all over the world.
Visitors will love the sea lion show in the marine theater, will have an opportunity to touch lizards, snakes, and American alligators in the Reptile Encounter room, and to marvel and shriek in the 4D theatre. Interactive exhibits introduce visitors to world habitats, and give an understanding of why the earth’s different ecozones must be protected.
55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, Connecticut 06355, Phone: 860-572-5955
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Soak Up The Sunshine At Hammonasset Beach State Park
If youre a beach lover and not sure what to do in Connecticut, add a trip to Hammonasset Beach State Park to your list! Its Connecticuts largest shoreline park, offering two miles of sun-kissed beach for a fun day of swimming, strolling the boardwalk, and relaxing in the sunshine.
This beach getaway is about an hours drive south of Hartford in Madison and is also a popular destination for overnight camping trips. Let little ones play in the sand as you enjoy beautiful views of Long Island Sound, then head to the pavilion showers and snack bar when you need to freshen up.
In summer, the beach is filled with colorful umbrellas and kids building sandcastles, but its big enough to find your own patch of sand. When you want to stretch your legs, follow the walking trails to admire the areas beautiful flora and fauna.
The Hammonasset Beach State Park Walk is one of the most popular walking paths, with the 3.4-mile paved multi-use trail starting at the Meigs Point Nature Center. For a shorter trek, the Willards Island Nature Trail stretches for 1.1 miles through the parks bird-filled salt marshes.
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