Connecticut

Summer Day Trips in Connecticut for Families that are Fun for Kids

When you live in Connecticut and within a short drive of great beaches, state parks, and amuseument park rides, every summer weekend is an opportunity for a quick, easy family day trip with kids. Here, we've collected some outings that Connecticut kids will love, grouped by area so you can easily double up on attractions and create your own itinerary. Click through each link for more information and inspiration, whether you are looking to explore natural beauty, expand knowledge, or scream with delight on a water slide or roller coaster. Find even more summer activities in our Connecticut Summer Fun Guide.

Weekend Getaway: Make a Splash at Great Wolf Lodge, Poconos

At Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, families can enjoy an indoor water park that is a balmy 84 degrees every day, even in the middle of winter. The resort appeals to families with toddlers to teens for a quick weekend getaway or school vacation trip. Who needs to splurge on a flight to the Caribbean, eh?

The Poconos family resort's location just completed its first phase of a $15 million renovation that included updating its rooms and adding in new kid-friendly programming. We returned for a visit to get the scoop on all the new attractions, including a Summer Camp-In event offered through Labor Day. Great Wolf Lodge didn't forget about mom and dad when adding new upgrades. The Pennsylvania hotel and resort now offers a "Wine Down" service for parents after a long day at the indoor water park.

14 Outdoor Water Parks With Water Slides and Spraygrounds for New England Kids and Families

Splash pads and swimming pools are fun ways to cool off near home, but in three hours or less by car, families in Massachusetts or Connecticut can get to most of the following outdoor water parks for a wet and wild adventure with kids. Although there's no shortage of big slides at these amusement parks, you don't have to be a daredevil (or of a certain height) to enjoy yourself. There are wave pools, family raft rides, and lazy rivers for preschoolers (and those of us who don't need to plummet a down a very tall slide to have fun). Some of the parks are dedicated to water attractions, and others are part of a larger theme park, but they all offer plenty of chances to get completely soaked. 

Great Connecticut Beaches for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Gentle Surf, Tide Pools, Bathrooms, Playgrounds, and More

Parenthood may have put an end to lazy lounging in the sun, but visiting a great Connecticut beach with a curious, playful toddler or preschooler in tow is a whole new kind of fun. What makes a good beach or lake experience with a little one? These tot- and mom-approved spots have features like bathrooms, concessions, gentle (or no) surf, tide pools, or spraygrounds that allow for more independent exploration with fewer meltdowns. Just pack some toys, sunscreen, and your patience, and your bound for a fun beach day.

24 Summer Camp Snacks for Kids That Aren't Boring

Packing for summer camp means gathering up the towels, swimsuits, water bottles—labeling everything!—and finally, ensuring your kid has a healthy snack to power them through an action-packed day.

After a year of making school lunches for kids, it might feel overwhelming to come up with creative summer camp snacks, especially if you have a picky eater who turns up their nose at the likes of a cheese stick or tube of yogurt. So we came up with two dozen camp snack foods to woo both kids and parents with cooling, energizing, and (mostly) healthy snacks.

We separated the list into four handy sections: high-protein snacks, fruit snacks, no-refrigeration required, and allergy-aware and nut-free snacks for kids. Some might be more suited to a post-camp nosh but most can be packed up and sent out the door to summer camp with your kid.

Weekend Fun: Shakespeare, Food Trucks, and Festivals ; June 22-23

Summer is in full swing all across Connecticut. Strawberry fields are open for berry business, the splash pads are running, and the Fourth of July is just around the corner.

This weekend is filled with tons of summer family fun!  There are tons of fests in New London, Hartford, and Stonington. You can have fun on the water in Stamford or Norwalk, and don’t forget to check out our Summer Fun Guide for even more ways to enjoy the season.

Fourth of July Fireworks and Festivities for Connecticut Kids and Families

Here in Connecticut we love fireworks so much that Independence Day celebrations for families start as early as late June and continue well past the Fourth of July. Kick off summer with a bang with our roundup of Connecticut pyrotechnic displays, parades, and parties in honor of the 4th of July. Some are near our favorite playgrounds, others are at the area's finest beaches, but all invite wide-eyed wonder from kids—especially those who can stay awake for the sparkly show.

50 Things to Do in Baltimore with Kids: Where to Eat, Play, and Stay in Charm City

Baltimore is an incredibly kid-friendly city. The walkable Baltimore Inner Harbor offers the impressive National Aquarium, family-friendly restaurants, museums and science centers, and more fun things to do.

Sports fans will find the pro-leagues Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles to cheer on, and if you have a transportation lover, the city is heaven with train museums and boats galore. It’s proximity to Washington, DC, doesn’t hurt either. It’s easy to visit both cities in one trip, taking advantage of all the free admission opportunities in the nation’s capital.

Here's our list of 50 fun things to do with kids in Baltimore, Maryland, from attractions to festivals, restaurants and even a few hotel suggestions for when you're ready to crash. Check out our other City Guides for more family travel ideas.

Top Swimming Pools for Families Near and Around Hartford, CT

Kids plus swimming pools are what summer dreams are made of, and the Hartford area has plenty to offer. We've rounded up our favorite outdoor pools where you and the kids can take a refreshing dip during the summer months around the Hartford, Connecticut area.

Read through our list of Hartford swimming pools to find the one right for your family, whether that's the one with an adjacent playground or an inexpensive day pass. A number of these spots offer kiddie pools, but you can also check out our list of awesome splash pads in the area, too. 

One thing's for sure: There are plenty of ways to get wet and stay cool this summer in Connecticut!

11 Crazy Awesome Pool Floats for Kids and Babies on Amazon and Target

Long gone are the days of the boring rectangular pool float that popped almost as soon as you finally filled it with air. Today's kids can hit the pool with a fabulous float in almost any design they can imagine, from the Millennium Falcon to a giant slice of pizza to on-trend unicorn floats. The best part? Parents can order these pool toys all online at either Target.com or Amazon. Check out our list of 11 crazy awesome pool floats for babies, kids, and teens in summer 2019.

Find more ways to cool down this summer in our Beaches, Lakes, and Pools Guides.

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