Are you looking for things to do in Connecticut with your kids? Whether you live here or just passing through, this beautiful nutmeg state is full of fun things to do! If you are visiting for the first time, looking for a fun day trip or even just an afternoon to get out of the house, check out these ten activities in Connecticut that your family will love.
Here is a list of the 10 Best Things To Do in Connecticut With Your Kids
1. Peabody Museum of Natural History
They run, they crawl, they fly and fall. No, not your kids! Rather, all the creatures and exhibits on display at the Peabody Museum of Natural History. Since 1866, families have been enjoying the Peabody’s growing and expanding collection of dinosaur bones, insects, aquatic life and more.
Their programming is filled with exhibits and hands-on activities for guests of all ages. Kids can even enjoy camp programs throughout the summer.
Offering affordable ticketing options, the Peabody Museum has been a long time family-friendly location that both kids and parents enjoy. Educational and fun, the perfect combination!
2. North Pole Express at the Essex Steam Train
If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting the North Pole then you’re in luck! Connecticut has a steam-powered locomotive that whimsically transports you directly to where Santa lives. Essex Steam Train’s North Pole Express is Connecticut’s most magical attraction. In ninety minutes of pure joy and wonder, guests ride the train and are entertained by a pair of Santa’s elves. Each train car is fully equipped with a pair of Santa’s elves that serve as your conductor.
Do you enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and musical numbers? Then this train ride is the ticket! And who knows, maybe if everyone has behaved, Santa might make an appearance. Make sure you book your reservation in September. This attraction is very sought after!
3. New Haven Pizza Scene
Whether you’re a Connecticut local or merely passing through, you’ve likely heard about New Haven’s pizza scene. You’ll have many locations to choose from like Pepe’s, Sally’s, Modern, BAR (just to name a few). Each destination will offer a slightly different interpretation of what it means to be a perfect pizza pie.
And the options of endless: thin crust, red sauce, white sauce, clam toppings, baked potato pie. Seriously, New Haven has it all! Perfectly located next to I-95 and I-91 makes this city easy to visit and to build into your itinerary. Tasty, fun and legendary: the perfect recipe!
And if you’re interested in places for pizza outside of Connecticut, check out this ultimate list: The Best Pizza Place in Every State.
4. Mystic Aquarium and Maritime Aquarium
For the family that enjoys some real life under the sea action, The Mystic Aquarium (Mystic, Connecticut) and Maritime Center (Norwalk, Connecticut) are amazing for all your up close and personal interactions with aquatic life. Both aquariums are state of the art facilities that not only have fish and sea life but also different style movie theaters and live shows.
A ticket to The Maritime Aquarium includes admission to one IMAX movie with different selections shown throughout the day. Mystic Aquarium offers a live show with their sea lions, and two additional theaters offering 4-D experiences.
These aquariums are top notch and such a fun way to spend a full day. Easily the most fun you’ll have in the sea without even getting wet!
5. Visiting Connecticut’s Beaches
Whether it’s to bask in the summer sun, to grab a sweatshirt for an early fall stroll or to crawl out of hibernation and breathe in that hint of spring air… Connecticut’s beaches are the best! Being a coastal state, Connecticut takes pride in their beaches that stretch all the way from Greenwich to Stonington.
Relaxing and fun, the beach is a go-to destination in the summer. But many towns offer fun events and activities that start as early as spring and stretch into those breezy fall evenings. Many towns will host fun movies on the beach at night. Some beaches have installed splash pads for younger kids and provide recreational intramural sports programs. Or maybe you prefer the good ol’ fashion activity of plopping down a towel and catching a tan.
6. Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey Game
For the fastest, most swift athletic action in Connecticut, make sure not to miss a Bridgeport Sound Tigers hockey game. These players move with so much speed and agility that your kids won’t want to look away. The best part is they can hoot, holler and yell as loud as they want. It’s a hockey game after all!
The Sound Tigers travel all over, but their home is the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Easy and safe parking located next to the arena. Be sure to check out their themed nights that include occasion character shows and games. A Sound Tigers game is the perfect way to get a fun sports night at an affordable local cost.
7. Stew Leonard’s
Normally bringing your kids to the grocery store could be the start of a major headache, but not at Stew Leonard’s. Originally a small dairy store, Stew Leonard’s has evolved into a full experience for all that visit one of their three Connecticut locations.
They have it all! Fun animatronic attractions that teach kids about dairy and meat, outdoor petting zoos and even an ice cream stand as you conclude your shopping trip.
Stew Leonard’s also offers exciting year-round programming like harvest hayrides in the fall and holiday Christmas tree selection events. Weekends can get crowded, but any day of the week you might be able to meet Stew Leonard’s very own mascot. Your kids will be utterly excited to snag a picture with Clover the Cow!
8. Connecticut Wine Trail
Winding through the gorgeous New England terrain, Connecticut Wine Trail has quickly evolved into a kid-friendly attraction. Parents can educate their palettes sampling numerous types of reds and whites as they watch their kids play in the fields with yard games.
Stretching from Stonington to Litchfield, Connecticut Wine Trail features twenty-six different wineries. Many of the locations offer small bites or meals for your family to snack on. Great place to meet with friends or other families and some wineries are even dog-friendly!
9. Lake Compounce
For the thrill-seeking family, check out all the rides, roller coasters, and attractions at Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut. Surrounded by lush New England forests, Lake Compounce is home to one of America’s top-rated wooden roller coasters, Boulder Dash.
This theme park has enough rides and activities to last your family several days even! If rides and roller coasters aren’t for you, be sure to check out the water park in the summer. This place is complete with water slides, splash pads, and family raft adventures. Lake Compounce even has a very popular Haunted Graveyard in October!
10. Connecticut Science Center
There’s nothing better than bringing your kids somewhere and not needing to worry about what they might break or touch. At the Connecticut Science Center, every exhibit encourages kids to step right up and get involved. Each exhibit uses tangible, everyday life experiences to teach children about science and how it relates to us.
With over six levels to explore, your family could spend hours having fun together. Whether it’s the Butterfly Garden, the Sports Lab, the Movie Theater or the Rooftop Garden, there is definitely something for everyone. And hey, you might even learn a thing or two!