Connecticut

Top 10 North Carolina Beaches for Families

North Carolina is home to top notch colleges, bustling cities, fun towns tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains, and some of the best beaches on the East Coast. Most of these beaches are a far cry from the bustling carnival-like atmosphere of the boardwalk towns in the Jersey Shore, and others take a bit more effort to get to than you might expect, but they’re definitely worth it. Wild horses, cute seaside towns, and a dose of southern charm make North Carolina a great beach destination for you and your family.

Keep reading for our top picks for family-friendly beaches in North Carolina.

4th of July Fireworks in Connecticut

Here in Connecticut we love fireworks so much that the shows start as early as late June and continue throughout July! Kick off summer with a bang with our roundup of more than 40 (!) CT pyrotechnic displays in honor of Independence Day. As always before heading out, check the weather forecast and parking restrictions, especially at beaches. Some venues allow nonresidents to pay for parking on-site, but others require that passes be purchased in advance at a separate location.

Camping Adventures Await in Connecticut

When done right, camping is a blast. It brings to reality idyllic stories of roasting marshmallows over a fire and telling imaginative stories while gazing at a night sky. Once the initial equipment is purchased, camping can be a frugal way to vacation – averaging about only $30 a night. Opportunities to camp around the country are endless, but if you’re new to camping or have young children, “experts” recommend beginning the adventure close to home. It just happens that Connecticut offers some fantastic campgrounds. We have five recommendations  for tent camping that your family can try out.  If you don't feel quite ready to pop up a tent, we mention a few locations that provide cabins for rent, while still keeping things basic. In addition, we offer some camping tips that will help make the experience that much more enjoyable.

For more ideas on how to have a great summer, browse our Summer Fun Guide.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Shakespeare, a Campout, and a STEAM Fair, June 23-24

Summer officially arrives on Thursday so maybe that's why this coming weekend feels absolutely jam packed with summer time fun. You can kick off the weekend with a movie in the park on Friday night - Despicable Me 3 in New Fairfield or Hidden Figures in New Haven - and then spend Saturday and Sunday consorting with orcs and goblins at a Renaissance Faire, exploring the latest in robotics and makerspaces at Danbury STEAM, or stopping by Neverland in an inventive new production of "Peter Pan" in New Canaan. For the camping curious, the Great American Campout at the New Canaan Nature Center is a fantastic introduction to sleeping out of doors, with easy access to bathrooms and guided activities (and who doesn't love s'mores?)--just be sure to register in advance.

If you're in the mood for a little multicultural exploration, check out the Irish Festival in North Haven, the Italian Feast in New Haven or Latino Fest in Hartford. And just in case you've already thinking about fireworks, check out the pyrotechnic displays at Branford Point and following the New Britain Bees' baseball game (and check out our definitive fireworks post to start planning for Independence Day.) 

For even more options, check out our Event Calendar, which we update frequently with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Have a wonderful weekend!

8 Affordable Fairfield County Beaches

What do you most associate with Fairfield County and the summer time? The pristine beaches that line the Connecticut coast probably come to mind. Even for families on a budget, or those who do not live in a seaside town, soft sand and gentle waves are within reach. Here is a list of the nicest and most affordable ($30 or under per family) beach spots to visit in Fairfield County. Most of these beaches are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. For more CT Beach and Water Fun, check out our guide and enjoy the sunshine. 

Cabo with Kids! All Inclusive Decadence at Mexico's Grand Velas Resort Los Cabos

Sometimes as parents we're happy to plan the family vacation around theme parks and cartoon characters; other times we want to be pampered like a real princess, not a Disney princess. A vacation that provides grown-up decadence and luxury with fun and entertainment for kids (including time supervised by someone else)—that is the ultimate family getaway. And that is what we found in Los Cabos at Grand Velas' new seaside resort.

An Urban Oasis: Exploring Mill River Park in Stamford

If you told me ten years ago that I would be walking through a serene landscape along the Mill River in Stamford, I would have laughed. But that’s exactly what my daughter and I found ourselves doing on this absolutely beautiful day. The landscape here has changed dramatically over the past decade - and I’m not just talking about the high-rise condos that have taken over Stamford. With the help of the Army Corps of Engineers and civic collaboration, Stamford now houses a “world-class park in the heart of downtown Stamford.”  

The Long Awaited CTrail Hartford Train Line Opens This Weekend!

After several years of anticipation, the CTrail Hartford train line to Springfield opens Father's Day weekend. Spend a fun day on the train with your train enthusiast. You can hop on the train in New Haven and go all the way to Springfield with stops in Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, and Windsor Locks on the way. The Hartford Line will provide you with an opportunity to check out some of the coolest places at each stop including bakeries, museums, mini-golf, and more. In celebration of opening weekend, all rides are free! Check out our suggestions on what to do at each stop. Some locations that we recommend may need an uber to get to them. Many are within walking distance. And make sure to check out our post on fun CT train rides to take with your preschooler.

Fathers Day Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Dinosaurs, Drive-In Movies, and Cardboard Box Forts

It's Fathers Day Weekend, and time to show Dad how much you appreciate his lawn mowing skills and groan-inducing pun-filled jokes. This weekend take some time to participate in some classic Dad-oriented activities like building a cardboard box fort (really, this is a thing). Is your Dad into vintage automobiles? Check out car shows this weekend in Norwalk, New Canaan, and New Britain. If cars aren't his thing, how about dinosaurs?

This weekend is also a great time to head to the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, with events happening all weekend long at various sites throughout New Haven. Finally, cap the weekend off with cheeseburgers and malted milkshakes at the drive-in.

For even more options, check out our Event Calendar, which is constantly updated with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Have a fabulous weekend!

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