Although Mother Nature sometimes has a few tricks up her sleeve, signs of spring are really and truly spreading across Connecticut. The daffodils are blooming in Litchfield, trails are ready for the pitter patter of feet in Stamford, and ice cream cones are just about ready to be filled in Newtown. Perhaps the biggest sign of the change of seasons for many of us is spring break and five whole days free of the school-morning scramble.
Although you may dream of cruising away to the warm seas of the Caribbean, in reality, you may not get much farther than the shores of the Long Island Sound this April vacation week. Thankfully, we live in a place where staycations are full of interesting possibilities, from full-day vacation camps to family-friendly workshops. Make sure to check out 30 things we can’t wait to do this spring in Connecticut for even more ideas.
1. Salty Cow, anyone? Get your first farm-fresh ice cream cone of the season at Ferry Acres Creamery in Newtown.
2. Explore the complex inner workings of the human form (and gawk at genuine, preserved human specimens) in Real Bodies: The Exhibition, on display in Hartford through June.
With everything else to do and see at the Connecticut Science Center, you can easily spend an entire day here.
3. Hartford's spring break starts a week earlier than most other counties in the state—keep first- through sixth-graders busy at a Vacation Exploration Camp. Each day at the camp explores a different theme, from music-themed coding to the Amazon rainforest.
4. Help Hartford-area tots and preschoolers exercise their voices and get their wiggles out at a spring break sing-along in Simsbury.
RELATED: Connecticut Day Trips Guide
Bask in spring at the Daffodil Festival at Laurel Ridge Farm. Photo by Psyberartist/CC BY 2.0
5. Take advantage of a sunny day to visit the glorious first blooms of the Litchfield Daffodils at Laurel Ridge Farm. Spend the day exploring 51 other things to do in Litchfield County.
6. Bring your mitts and order some popcorn to cheer on Connecticut's newest minor league baseball team, the Hartford Yard Goats—opening day is April 11!
7. Point the family toward Mystic. Hunt for treasure, learn about swashbuckling history, and make a souvenir to take home during Pirate Days, or catch "spring fever" at the Aquarium.
8. Casinos—at least in Connecticut—are for kids, too...at least during spring break week. Back-to-back Family Days at the Mohegan Sun include cupcake decorating, face painting, and sports activities.
9. Take a hike! The Stamford Museum & Nature Center are once again hosting themed hiking days during spring break week, complete with outdoor adventures and crafts.
10. Life was so much simpler back in the olden days... or was it? Learn to cook a meal over the hearth and play a variety of Colonial games in Glastonbury and find out!
11. Stoke kids' imaginations during April Break at The Little Green Tambourine in Canton, where they'll enjoy super-creative activities based on Disney characters, Lego, unicorns, and detectives!
12. Looking for an easy day trip on the coast? Spend the day in Niantic. Browse the hundreds of shelves at the Book Barn, check out the Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, spend allowance money at the Niantic Toy Shop, fly a kite at Rocky Neck Beach, and don't forget to indulge in a treat at Gumdrops & Lollipops.
13. Search for eggs, score some sweet photos, and decorate some spring crafts at these fun Easter activities and bunny breakfasts around the state.
14. Catch Snow White at Bridgeport's Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre.
15. Go shelling at our state's great beaches, from Milford's Silver Sands State Park to Groton's Esker Point, before the sunburns and crowds become an issue.
There's a new adventure every day at Aquarium Camp. Photo courtesy of the Maritime Aquarium
16. Got an aquatic-loving 6- to 8-year-old? Dive into a new adventure every day at Norwalk's Maritime Aquarium's full-day camp program.
17. Go on a prehistoric egg hunt or celebrate Earth Day...with dinos! The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art opens for the season March 29.
18. Peek at the stars and constellations through three high-powered telescopes at Kids' Night at Wesleyan's Van Vleck Observatory in Middletown.
19. Keep brains busy at a local library. There are special library programs during spring break week for every age group; we're particularly psyched to check out Animal, Art and Music of Africa in Norwalk.
20. Romp in the sunshine with some adorable baby animals, from potbellied pigs to peacocks—Flamig Farm's petting zoo opens in April in Hartford.
Photo by Jared Sluyter on Unsplash