Connecticut 2017 Bestie Guide: Best Places for Family Fun

3/11/17 - By Clementina Verge

Connecticut is an outstanding place to raise a family (no bias here, right?) and Mommy Poppins Connecticut readers are crème de la crème. That's some simple, reliable math. Best place to be + best readers and parents = insight into the absolute best places to visit with children. 

In January, we sought your expertise and asked all of you to help us choose our Besties: vote for the best museums, family businesses, entertainment venues, and other categories that add magic to childhood in Connecticut. You graciously answered our request and now the results are in. You chose from 10 nominees in 23 categories (and two voters were picked at random to enjoy great prizes from our wonderful sponsors). The contest is now over, but you can learn about it by browsing Besties FAQ.

We have grouped the results into three winning categories: Best Places for Family Fun, Enrichment Programs, and Parenting Resources. 

Here's your chance to learn a bit more about each winner of the 2017 Connecticut Besties! 

Best Enrichment Programs | Best Parenting Resources


Best Places for Family Fun

Favorite Place for Animal Encounters: Beardsley Zoo

A giant anteater, a red panda, and an Amur tiger, oh my! More than 300 animals call the Beardsley Zoo their home and these creature sure love visitors. One of the state’s top family attractions, the zoo is a great place to learn, explore, and relax. Catch a ride on a carousel, grab a snack in the Peacock Cafe, and delight in watching playful otters put on a show.

Best New Business or Family Spot: Jordan's Furniture/It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course

Zip lines, suspension bridges, vibrant music, and a 45-foot water show will quench your adrenaline thirst for the day, and likely bring you back to It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course for more. Toddler-sized adventurers can navigate Little It, which is set lower to the ground and features shorter bridges and beams. Older climbers can test their skills 60 feet in the air. Afterward, refuel with some delicious pizza and ice cream.

Families unleash their inner Tarzan while taking on ropes, nets, and ladders. Image courtesy of It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course.

Best Romping Spot: Chelsea Piers Connecticut

Whether you’re looking for a family adventure that involves splashing, batting cages, ice skating, or jumping and climbing, Chelsea Piers has it all. The Little Athletes Zone is the perfect spot for explorers ages 6 months to 5 years, and the trampoline park is one of the most terrific in Connecticut.

Best Social Media Mom or Dad in Connecticut: Yazmin Jason for CT Mommy Blog

Yazmin is the awesome mommy behind this blog. Born and raised in Connecticut, she is now raising her three young children here and chronicling their fun adventures across the state.

Yazmin loves spending time with her family and writing all about it. Photo courtesy of CT Mommy Blog.

Best Kids' Museum: Stepping Stones Museum for Children

Whether kids want to build, explore energy, or get wet in the Water Lab, there’s something for everyone at Stepping Stones. Tot Town ensures that even the littlest visitors have fun here, by climbing aboard a yellow school bus, learning about farm animals, and getting messy while exploring works of art. Traveling exhibits, such as the current Healthyville, provide exciting, hands-on activities that keep older children eager to return.

Learning through play in the Express Yourself Exhibit. Photo courtesy of Stepping Stones Children's Museum.

Favorite Place for Family Dining: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Voted “Best Pizza in America,” this establishment has been satisfying appetites since 1925 when an Italian immigrant made his dreams come true in America. Frank Pepe left behind a family legacy, and today, with six locations throughout the state and a seventh establishment opening in Waterbury this spring, there are many opportunities for family bonding over cheesy deliciousness.

Best Enrichment Programs | Best Parenting Resources