Photo courtesy of Empower Leadership and Sports Adventure Center
Photo courtesy of Empower Leadership and Sports Adventure Center

30 Things We Can't Wait to Do this Spring With Connecticut Kids

As soon as the first spring daffodils start poking through, we remember the old adage by Connecticut naturalist Hal Borland: "No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." With spring (finally!) upon us, Connecticut families can start getting excited about all the fun activities—from playgrounds to hikes to ice cream—that await us when the snow melts and the jackets get hung in the back of the closet. For more ideas for making the most of the season, check out our spring fun guide.

1. Grab some binoculars and tune little ears into some birdsong—it's birdwatching season!

2.If your crew isn't already hitting the trails, let this be the year you start a tradition of family hikes. After a wet season, Connecticut waterfalls are especially beautiful.

The daffodils are spectacular in Hubbard Park. Photo courtesy of Meriden Daffodil Festival

3. Smell the flowers (and take some gorgeous photographs) at the Daffodil Festival in Meriden's Hubbard Park, which is beautiful year-round but especially in the spring.

4. Go fishing! Connecticut has lots to offer the budding angler, so go catch your own dinner.

5. Hit one of the Connecticut's awesome playgrounds, in Hartford, New London, and beyond.

6. Enjoy your first ice cone of the season—we love these spots in New Haven and Fairfield County. Ever have lavender ice cream? Head to Farmington Valley for this deliciousness.

7. Visit a farm. Farms in the springtime mean one thing--BABY ANIMALS! What kid doesn't love getting up close and personal with pint-sized poultry or little livestock? Flamig Farm in Hartford County is an especially fun spot.

8. Head to Beardsley Zoo and take a peek at the two rare Amur leopard cubs born in January.

9. Head to Lake Compounce, the oldest continuously-operating amusement park.

10. Enjoy delicious food and cultural activities at the Little Poland Festival in New Britain or Dionysus Greek Festival in New Britain.

11. The slow pace, imaginative courses, and relatively short duration make mini golf an activity that's great for the whole family—check out putt-putt in Fairfield and Hartford Counties.

12. Head to the farmers market. Spring means the return of farmers markets, which is great news in our house. Connecticut has a thriving local food scene and there are dozens of incredible markets from one end of the state to the other. 

13. Go canoeing and kayaking down a river or across a lake in a canoe or kayak. 

14. Ride bikes (or skateboard). When the snow melts and the weather warms, it's time to get outside and get moving. Around here that means the bikes and skateboards come out in force. There are plenty of places where you can take the kids to ride when the driveway starts to feel too small. 

15. Stop to smell the roses in Elizabeth Park—some 800 varieties begin blooming in early June.

16. Stretch your muscles and zipline through one of the many outdoor ropes courses

17. Check out the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the largest Native American museum in the world—it's scheduled to re-open after renovations in early spring.

18. We live among some of the most amazing waterways imaginable and there are boat tours aplenty for the whole family across the state. 

19. Head to the ballpark. The Bridgeport Bluefish may be but a memory now, but there are still other teams in Connecticut. The Hartford Yard Goats (best. name. ever.) are but one of several teams you can root for. 

20. Search for pirate gold. Every year, Milford pays homage to infamous pirate Captain Kidd. Legend has it his buried treasure is somewhere along the CT shoreline. The 2019 date has not been released yet, but look for it in early June.

21. Take in a show at the Downtown Cabaret in Bridgeport, which offers up two classic stories this spring, Princess and the Frog and Snow White.

22. Hit the beach. Maybe with a jacket. Just because it isn't blazing summer sun doesn't mean that you can't head to the shore. There's lots to do at the beach besides swimming and Connecticut has a lot of great spots. The best part is, admission at state beaches is now free for residents.

23. Spend a day with Thomas the Train at the Essex Steam Train Museum, where you can hang with the whole Sodor gang. 

Meet a penguin at the Mystic Aquarium. Photo courtesy of Visit Connecticut

24. Catch "spring fever" with sea critters at the Mystic Aquarium during April 13th to 21st, when a block party, games, and more special activities are planned.

25. Pull a fast one on your kids on April Fools Day—or any day!

26. Go berry picking. Sure it's early season, but spring does last until mid-June after all and the berries will start to ripen. There are few simple pleasures in life like a berry freshly picked.

27. After the long months of winter, spring is the time to break free from the cabin fever and get out and about with a spring-themed day trip.

28. The 60-acre outdoor adventure park and nature trails filled with life-sized dinosaurs at The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art are a great springtime destination.

29. Ready to see some unusual animals in a bucolic New England setting? Head to Action Wildlife Foundation in Goshen, home to some 250 animals, including the famous "zonkey."

30. Go on a literary or artistic adventure. The homes of Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Florence Griswold feature beautiful landscapes and gardens, and are child-friendly. 

Happy Spring!