What's Open In Connecticut for Kids Right Now
Believe it or not, we’ve been riding the waves of this pandemic for about a year now. But, we’ve come a long way! Many of our favorite family-friendly indoor and outdoor spots in Connecticut, including museums, zoos, indoor play spaces, and entertainment places (including the Maritime Aquarium's cool new 4D theater), have progressively reopened with enhanced safety protocols, so kids can enjoy a special outing while staying safe.
Read on to see which of our favorite Connecticut winter day trip spots are open for family fun right now, and be sure to contact each business directly in case policies have changed. Most spots require advanced ticketing and mask wearing and enforce hand sanitizing and washing and capacity restrictions; but kids have gotten used to these measures and will just be excited for to bust out of their own four walls to see some cool art, visit animals, and jump and swing around.
Feburary 2021 note: There are some notable family favorites that have not reopened yet. The Peabody Museum of Natural History and the Bruce Museum are currently closed for planned renovations. Three of Connecticut’s popular children’s museums -Stepping Stones, Imagine Nation, and Kid City- remain closed, as well as the Yale Museums and the Discovery Museum.
Family-Friendly Museums, Zoos, & Aquariums Now Open in Connecticut
Both of Connecticut’s aquariums remain open, and advance purchase of a timed ticket is required for both attractions. Guests can take advantage of the outdoor paths through Mystic Aquarium’s exhibit spaces while The Maritime Aquarium just opened its brand new 4D Theater as part of a major renovation.
Connecticut only has one zoo; fortunately for us, Bridgeport's Beardsley Zoo has successfully been open since May and has been able to remain open since then. Make sure you make a reservation online for your timed tickets prior to your visit.
Three of our children’s museums have reopened their doors since closing in March: Niantic Children’s Museum, The Children’s Museum of CT in West Hartford, and EverWonder in Newtown. The New England Air Museum is currently open and following a winter hours schedule. It's currently offering a socially distanced Flights of Fun Family Program available every weekend.
Mystic Seaport invites guests to get outside and explore its shipyard, a historic seaport, and historic vessels. Some of their kids’ activities, such as the Children’s Museum and Discovery Barn, are currently closed.
Many of the Nutmeg State’s art museums have also reopened following state guidelines and safety protocols. The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art is currently showing Frank Stella’s Stars- which includes both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
The new Genome in Me exhibit opens its doors on February 13th at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford. It includes a Family Scavenger Hunt to start looking for characteristics and family traits.
Rent snowshoes and give it trekking a try! Photo courtesy of Earthplace
Connecticut Nature Centers Now Open
Connecticut’s Nature Centers have been our family’s connection to the great outdoors throughout the pandemic. Many of these venues offer fantastic opportunities and programming to get outside and explore our natural surroundings. Many of the physical buildings remain closed, but the grounds, trails, and outdoor exhibits remain open to the public.
New Canaan Nature Center, Stamford Museum & Nature Center, and Earthplace have a robust calendar of outdoor events and activities, ranging from Stamford’s popular Farm It Yourself programming to family campfires at Earthplace.
Indoor fun spots keep kids from climbing their own walls. Photo courtesy of Chelsea Piers CT
Indoor Play Spaces and Fun Zones Now Open in Connecticut
Many of our indoor playspaces and fun zones have reopened making our New England winter a little bit more bearable.
Indoor ropes courses, rock climbing gyms, and trampoline parks are ready for active indoor play. Spend a day climbing the walls at Rock Climb Fairfield, soaring through the air at the IT Adventure Ropes Course in New Haven, or Soarin’ in Manchester.
The Connecticut Sportsplex in Branford offers laser tag, arcade, and an indoor playscape, while Chelsea Piers Connecticut offers drop-in passes to the jump and climb zone, batting cages, gymnastics and ninja programs. You can also bounce the day away at many of Connecticut’s trampoline parks.
Most of our favorite drop-in craft studios have reopened, and many are now offering amazing take-home kits and smaller group sessions.
Spend a day either escaping reality at XPeriment Virtual Reality or just trying to escape one of our popular escape rooms—some offer virtual programming, too!
Like the other indoor entertainment venues in the state, RMP Raceway, Bowlmor, and Pinstripes are currently operating at 50% capacity and offering weekly specials so families get the most out of their visit.
So mask up, get out there, and enjoy—and consider combining one of these outings with a visit to one of Connecticut's open ice skating rinks and a meal in an igloo, greenhouse, or cozy heated patio at one of these family-friendly outdoor Connecticut restaurants.