25 Things To Do Over Winter Break in Connecticut with Kids

Get fully immersed in the Polar Express 4D Experience. Photo courtesy of the Maritime Aquarium
Get fully immersed in the Polar Express 4D Experience. Photo courtesy of the Maritime Aquarium

School may be out between Christmas and New Year's Day, but winter break week doesn't always feel like a vacation for moms and dads. If you're searching for ways to keep kids busy during Christmas vacation, check out our list of 25 fun and enriching activities, from science museums to animal story times and winter walks that will give the whole family some exercise.

For more ideas to keep the entire family entertained during school break, bookmark the Mommy Poppins events calendar and our Connecticut Holiday Fun Guide

 
Up to 8 guests per igloo for rooftop pizza in Stamford. Photo courtesy of Sign of the Whale

​1. Order a pizza for your rooftop igloo at Sign of the Whale in Stamford. 

2. Visit with reindeer at the Reindeer Festival and take a walk around the beautiful greenhouses at Sam Bridge.  

3. Take a winter break day trip to the Westport Winter Farmers’ Market and indulge in freshly made croissants, cookies, and tons of other local goodies. Make sure to pick up a Get Growing Craft Kit to go! 

 
Take to the ice in a winter wonderland skating rink. Photo courtesy of Foxwoods Rink & Patio, Facebook

4. Twirl around the skating rink at Foxwoods. Afterward, you can enjoy a meal in a holiday-inspired igloo on the winter patio right next to the rink. 

5. Experience the butterflies in a tropical paradise at the Connecticut Science Center

6. Spend a day in Norwalk checking out the Maritime Aquarium’s special holiday programming. Get fully immersed in the “Polar Express 4D Experience” and watch Santa dive with the Sharks.

7. Mark the shortest day of the year at the Lutz Children's Museum's Winter Solstice Starlight Stroll

8. There's no school nights on winter break, so put on your skis and head down the hills at Sundown after dark. 

9. Challenge yourself physically and mentally during Christmas vacation at the It Adventure Ropes Course in New Haven. 

10. Celebrate this season of lights at the Magic of Lights drive-thru light display in East Hartford or the Holiday Lights Spectacular in Bridgeport.  

 
Don't miss landmark Christmas lights on houses across the state! Photo courtesy of Amarantes Winter Wonderland 

11. Christmas break is the perfect time to get out and see the amazing neighborhood holiday lights all over Connecticut before they turn off for the season.

 
There's so much to do at the zoo on winter break weekdays—kids' crafts and activities, story time, and a magician. Beardsley Zoo photo courtesy of Mommy Poppins

12. Take a walk through a winter wonderland at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. Enjoy festive holiday fare in the Elf Kitchen and take your photos with Santa’s Sleigh. 

13. Bring the whole family to Holiday Magic at At Mystic Seaport. Enjoy special holiday tours and programs in the Lantern Light Village. 

 
Winter break is a great time to go ice skating with family. Photo courtesy of Winterfesthartford.com

14. Learn to skate at one of Connecticut's outdoor ice rinks.

15. Warm-up and dip your spoon into some rich, creamy hot chocolate at one of these hot chocolate spots.

16. Squeeze in a 2-mile holiday light experience all the way until January 2, 2022 with Holiday Light Fantasia.

 
Experience a wonderland of lights and shopping in Mystic. Photo courtesy of Old Mistick Village

17. Check out the largest display of holiday lights in all of New England at Olde Mistick Village.

18. Take a ride through the unique Winterfest and the Tunnel of Lights experience offered at the Connecticut Trolley Museum. 

19. Head outside into the crisp air on one of our favorite winter walks.

Kids will marvel at the numerous displays at the Christmas House in Torrington.

20. Bring your family to the Christmas House in Torrington.

21. All Aboard! Get your tickets to the Holiday Train Show at the Connecticut River Museum and challenge yourself with their I-Spy scavenger hunt. 

22. There's a new holiday tradition in Stamford this year! Families can enjoy strolling through a festive and dazzling world of lights at the Holiday Stroll in Mill River Park. 

23. The Holiday Lights are BACK at Lake Compounce with more dates and enhanced programming. The entire park will be covered in hundreds of thousands of bulbs.  

 
Save Santa Claus at the Christmas Escape Room! Photo courtesy of Mohegan Sun

24. The Christmas Escape Room at Mohegan Sun is a one-of-a-kind holiday experience  

25. Escape on a winter day trip—right here in Connecticut!

An earlier version of this post by Jacqueline Miller ran in 2019.

Updated December 2021

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