Things to Do on New Year's Day in Connecticut

Things to Do with Kids on New Year's Day in CT

Sure, you had amazing plans watching the clock strike twelve, but if your kids are anything like mine -- they will still be up at the crack of dawn on New Year's Day looking for something to do. Whether you choose to bundle up and head outdoors or leave the coats at home and check out an indoor activity, there is tons to do in every corner of the state. Spend a nice day with your family skating by the Sound, or take in the IMAX at the Maritime Aquarium. From First Day Hikes to the Science Center, there is something on this list to make sure everyone starts the New Year off right. 

Connecticut Science Center - Hartford
Enjoy a day in this amazing science center full of interesting and fun information and activities for the entire family.

Winterfest Ice Skating - Hartford
Head over to Hartford’s Winterfest for free outdoor ice skating from 11-8 pm. If you work up an appetite while skating you can grab something to eat at the food vending at the Channel 3 Kid’s Camp Candy Cane Café.

Holiday Light Fantasia - Hartford
Take a drive through Connecticut's annual sparkling attraction at Goodwin Park. Last day open is January 1, 2018! 

Talcott Mountain State Park - Simsbury
Go for a hike with your family on New Year's Day and see amazing sites from the top of this mountain!  Maybe there will be a fresh coating of snow to make it sparkle!  Don't forget to check out these other places to hike as well.

Sleeping Giant Hike - Hamden
​Start the new year with a challenging 2.5 - 3 mile hike through Sleeping Giant State Park.

Hike along the CT River - Haddam
​Meet at the Haddam Meadows State Park parking lot for an easy 2-mile hike.


Winterfest at Mystic Aquarium  - Mystic 
Have bubbly with the belugas while watching talented artists chisel away to create ice sculptures. The Mystic Aquarium has a full day of activities on tap including Elf Trivia with Divers, crafts, and face painting. 

Image courtesy of Mystic Aquarium

New Year's Day Open House at Wadsworth Mansion - Middletown 
The Wadsworth Mansion has you set for a day filled with family fun: docent tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a concert featuring the Americana group Horizon Blue.

Rocky Neck State Park Hike - East Lyme
This New Year's Day hike will traverse the Red Trail along the cliff overlooking the Four Mile River and end up at Tony's Nose. Suitable for teens and up.

Fairfield County

Maritime Aquarium - Norwalk 
This is my go-to New Year’s Day family activity. Spend the first day of the New Year with the fish at this Fairfield County family favorite. As an extra special treat, don’t forget to check out Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the IMAX Theater. 

Wonderland at Roseville - Fairfield
If you haven’t checked out the Wonderland of Roseville, today is your LAST chance! This home is decorated with thousands of lights, nutcrackers, and other collectibles. It definitely shouldn’t be missed! Lights go on around 5:00 pm. 

Westport PAL Rink at Longshore - Westport
Skate in to the New Year with a view!  Enjoy panoramic views of the Sound while gliding cross the ice at this outdoor rink. Open skate starts at 11am and runs through 10pm, so you’ve got plenty of time to mosey on over. 

Photo courtesy of Westport PAL Ice Rink

Litchfield County

First Day Hike - Burlington 
Meet at the kiosk in the Sessions Woods parking lot at 10am for this 5.5 mile hike through the Great Wall and Beaver Marsh 

New Year’s Day Hike - Ansonia 
This FREE program will give you a healthy start to the new year and teach you a little history trivia along the way. 

Full Moon Hike - Morris 
This snow shoe hike meanders up Apple Hill to catch an unobstructed view of the super moon glimmering off of Bantam Lake. 

New Haven Area

New Year’s Day Hike Sleeping Giant - Hamden
Bundle up and head for the hills - this hike will involve traveling over uneven, rocky terrain, possibly with a degree e of rock scrambling. Meet at the bulletin board by the kiosk near the park entrance at 1:30 P.M.

Festival of Silver Lights - Meriden
This is the last day to enjoy more than 350,000 twinkling white lights wrapped around more than 200 figures and buildings. 

First Hike Day - Killingworth
​Start the new year off right with a moderate 2.5 mile hike through Chatfield Hollow State Park.

New Year's Hike - Derby
Take a moderate, 2.5-mile hike through Derby's Osbornedale State Park, then have a cup of hot chocolate back at the Kellogg Environmental Center.

Happy New Year!


Photo by Mystic Aquarium.



Winterfest at the Bushnell
Trinity Street
06106 Hartford , CT
Phone: 860-757-9500
41° 45' 47.9268" N, 72° 40' 51.0276" W
Talcott Mountain State Park
Hartford Road
06070 Simsbury , CT 41° 50' 41.37" N, 72° 47' 50.0172" W
Holiday Light Fantasia Goodwin Park
1130 Maple Avenue
06106 Hartford , CT 41° 43' 38.5572" N, 72° 41' 26.8224" W
Bounce U
712 Brook Street
06067 Rocky Hill , CT
Phone: 860-529-6500
41° 38' 27.4884" N, 72° 40' 16.4712" W
Ct Science Center
250 Columbus Blvd
06103 Hartford , CT
Phone: 860-724-6323
41° 45' 52.8228" N, 72° 40' 8.0904" W