Past Manchester, heading into the Quiet Corner, Moms and Dads can find the bustling minitropolis of Vernon. There are many family friendly things to do in this town, especially for your pre-teens and teens. While you're in th area, make sure to check out some of our favorite road trips in the Quiet Corner and these other small Connecticut towns.
Courtesy of Spark Virtual Reality
Spark Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is hot and Spark is the right place to go for anyone who wants to give it a try. Choose from a huge selection of virtual video-game style adventures. Each gaming zone supports 1-5 people at a time. They are open Thursday through Sunday. Check their website for hours and pricing.
Ron A Roll
This skating rink takes you back in time with a huge, wooden roller rink with music and lights, skate rental, snacks and concession. Choose from public skate, toddler skate, cheap skate or if you get babysitting, adult skate. You can even hold your child's next birthday party there!
Courtesy A. Storey
Bounce house and inflatable fun for kids open every day of the week. There is a variety of bounce house structures complete with slides, obstacles, and climbing features.
Hidden Dragon Karate
This facility has 3 dojo's and offers classes for children of all ages. Starting with the preschool set, classes are offered mostly in the evenings and during the day on Saturdays.
SpareTime Entertainment Bowling
Bowling, arcades, and pizza and a lot of fun. SpareTime also has a laser tag course. The Vernon location has 20 lanes and 5 private VIP rooms.
Solve the puzzle to escape the room while hanging out with friends. Two adventures for kids include "Lost Teddy" and "Hide and Seek."
Bolton Ice Palace
Ice skating is offered year round at the Ice Palace. Youth as young as 3 can take a Learn to Skate class. This large facility has locker rooms and a pro-shop.
Mar-Lea Mini Golf (Bolton)
This multi-hole mini-golf course with challenging features opens annually in April.
New England Civil War Museum and Research Center
Enclosed on the second floor of Memorial Hall, the museum is run by volunteers. You will be able to see a large collection of artifacts from the Civil War period and learn about those who served. The museum is open every Sunday and there is free.
Jack and Allie's Children's Bookstore
This adorable bookstore runs regular events including a weekly story-time and so much more. It's brightly light, cozy, and a fun place for kids to feel at ease.
"Centrally located between, New York, Boston, and Heaven," Rein's is a destination New York-style deli. There is a huge menu with delicious items such as bagel, lox and cream cheese, and Knocks and Beans (sausages). They also offer gluten free choices.
If your family likes diner food, this is for you. There's booth seating and a vast menu to choose from. Who doesn't like diner fries?
Courtesy A. Goodworth
Rita's Italian Ice
Come and taste the ice that everyone loves. They serve Italian Ice, Creamy Ice (like ice cream), Gelato, and Custard.
Munson's Chocolates (Bolton)
Stop by and get some of Connecticut's yummiest chocolate at this chocolate factory.
Get Out in Nature
Valley Falls Park
Managed by the Vernon Parks and Recreation Dept., this is a beautiful park that offers a picnic pavilion. There are several hiking trails and a small beachfront for seasonal swimming. Valley Falls Loop Trail brings you to a waterfall.
Belding Wildlife Management Area
Visitors can enjoy over 200 acres of nature at this protected site. Families will see many types of animals, flora, and the Tankerhoosen River.
Talcottville Ravine Trail
This 2 mile hike begins at the Vernon Depot (formerly Dobsonville Depot) and goes along the lines of a now defunct train line and the Tankerhoosen River. Trail quality varies along the way.
Beautiful Shenepsit Lake is a reservoir and a great place to fish. Kids' fishing derbies are help three times a year and there's also a hiking trail. Fishing is allowed in designated areas and swimming is not allowed.
Fox Hill Tower
Located in Henry Park, Fox Hill Tower is a memorial to those lost in WWI. The tower is 72 feet tall and 24 feet in diameter.
Take a hike along Vernon's rail-to-trail line. It's 4.2 miles and lined with crushed rock and dirt. Beautiful water scenes, you travel across the Talcottville Iron Bridge where you might even spot a deer if you are quiet.
Strong Family Farm
Historic farm where you can purchase fresh local produce, dairy items, and sign up for a goat yoga class!
The farm recently opened a newly expanded farm store where you can purchase eggs, crafts, and local food.
Bolton Notch State Park
This kid- friendly hiking/walking state park is located in Bolton on 95-acres and has interesting features such as a tunnel and small streams. Free parking.
Pesce's Farm (Bolton)
Pick your own strawberries at this farm (in season).
Fish Family Farm (Bolton)
Come get some fresh from the farm ice cream. They also run hayrides in the fall and an annual Farm Day event.
Photo courtesy J. Rodriguez