Celebrating Valentine's Day in the Hartford Area

When you have young children, it is only a matter of time before red roses, champagne, and prix-fixe menus are replaced by balloons, pink lemonade, and heart-shaped lollipops on Valentine's Day. This, however, doesn’t mean you have to stay in watching Nick Jr. specials. Many Valentine-themed activities are scheduled to take place in the Hartford area. If your child is old enough for drop-off activities, there are even some parents' night out options where youngsters can enjoy a fun, love-themed activity, while you and your special someone enjoy a dinner unaccompanied by crayons and coloring pages. Whatever you decide, there are ample opportunities to celebrate love on Valentine's Day. If you decide to keep the celebration at home, check out this fun Valentine's craft perfect for little ones.

Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free in Central CT

During the summer months we try to spend as much time out of the house as possible.  Between all the beach days, zoo visits, farmers markets, weekend getaways and festivals, the cost of all these things can quickly rack up. After all this, it's nice to find ways to save money in as many ways as possible. Many restaurants allow children to eat free so I have compiled a list of places where kids can eat free so that your money can be spent on other entertaining things to do. For a list of some of our fave family friendly restaurants in Central CT, but not necessarily free, check out our other post also.

Halloween Events for Kids in Hartford County

What would fall be without some fun, Halloween-themed activities? Whether you are a fright fest fan or looking for something tamer for young children, there are many spooky-themed events taking place in the Hartford area -- a great opportunity to show off all those creative costumes more than once during the Halloween season! From scary movie viewings to haunted attractions, there are many activities to keep you and the family busy from now until Halloween night.

Where to Host an Outdoor Party in the Hartford Area

If your child’s birthday falls during the summer months you have hit the jackpot in terms of party options. Let’s face it, keeping 20 little munchkins, or your entire extended family, happy outside is a much more appealing option than in your living room, right? If your own backyard isn’t suitable there are a plethora of choices for hosting an outdoor event such as a birthday party or family reunion in the Hartford area.

Places to Play Mini Golf in the Hartford Area

Nothing says summer like mini golf -- it’s pretty much a requisite activity, along with swimming and ice cream. One of these courses, Farmington Miniature Golf & Ice Cream Parlor, marries two of these things perfectly! There are several other courses in the Hartford area and each have their own unique flavor, so when you are ready to try out your putter, check this guide to choose one your kids might be most interested in. Better yet, work your way down the list and then report back which one was your favorite! We've also rounded up mini golf in Fairfield County.

25 Things to Do With Kids This Summer in the Farmington Valley

The Farmington Valley, located along the western border of Hartford County, comprises the quaint towns of Avon, Simsbury, Farmington, Canton, and Granby. Traversed by the Farmington River and dotted with lakes, farms, and horse stables, the area is quiet and picturesque yet also home to great restaurants, top-notch sports facilities, and a plethora of cultural events. Check out our list below and take advantage of some of the area’s attractions (many of which are free!).

Family Fun at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington

It is never too early to introduce your child to art. In the Hartford area, one tends to think of the grandiose Wadsworth, or perhaps the sleek New Britain Museum of American Art, but don’t overlook the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington. There, in the 1901 Colonial Revival house turned museum, both art and history come alive. The Hill-stead, however, is not just for grown-ups and art buffs: family-friendly events like First Sundays and seasonal community events on the estate’s magnificent grounds invite families and children to enjoy and learn from this cultural landmark right up the road. (Check out our Museum Guide for ideas of other CT museums to try with kids by county.)

Ice Cream Parlors in Farmington Valley, Connecticut

Ice cream. Two words that instantly trigger giggles and screeches from most kids. This treat is delicious year-round, but definitely even better in summer. In my household, we take ice cream very seriously—in fact, we celebrate National Ice Cream Day (yes, there is such a thing on July 19!) by driving around in search of frozen delights to fill our bellies.

We find that Farmington Valley near Hartford, Connecticut boasts top-notch ice cream. Whether you get it in a cup or a chocolate-dipped cone, with rainbow sprinkles or gummy bears, atop a fluffy waffle or in a banana split, the ice cream in Farmington is sure to tickle your taste buds and cool you down. Below are some of our favorite local parlors. Want more? Check out our roundups of top scoop spots in New Haven County and Fairfield County.

Celebrate Father's Day In and Near Hartford, Connecticut with the Whole Family

It's Father's Day weekend which means it's time to celebrate all of the dads in our lives, whether they're fathers, step-dads, grandpas, uncles or friends. Rather than give these special guys yet another tie or coffee mug, consider planning a memorable outing with the whole family. There are many great goings-on throughout the Hartford area, where kids and dads can spend quality time together. Want to travel further afield? Check out our roundup of Father's Day family fun in Fairfield County.


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