Summer Day Trips in Connecticut for Families that are Fun for Kids

Tubing down the Farmington River is a fun activity with kids. Photo courtesy of Farmington River Tubing
Tubing down the Farmington River is a fun activity with kids. Photo courtesy of Farmington River Tubing

One of the best things about living in Connecticut is that great beaches, state parks, and amusement park rides, are all within a short drive. We've rounded up some awesome day trips that Connecticut kids will love, grouped by area so families can easily double up on attractions and create their own itinerary.

Whether you're looking to explore natural beauty, expand knowledge, or scream with delight on a water slide or roller coaster, these day trips in Connecticut are just the ticket. Find even more summer activities in our Connecticut Summer Fun Guide.

Litchfield-Area Day Trips

1. Ride in a restored vintage 1920s train coach while taking a scenic 20-mile round trip ride on the Naugatuck Railroad from Thomaston Railroad Museum of New England.

2. Soak in the fun at Quassy Amusement Park with old-fashioned rides, a small water park, and a lake with a beach.

Enjoy the rides at the Quassy Amusement Park. Photo by Makayla O'Keefe/Mommy Poppins

3. Go on a drive-through safari and see exotic wildlife at Action Wildlife.  

4. Spend the day rafting down the scenic Housatonic River with Clarke Outdoor River Guides.

5. Picnic on a hillside while watching race cars speed by at Lime Rock Park; touted as "The Road Racing Center of the East."

6. Hike up to the top of Kent Falls and then go grab a sweet treat at Kent Coffee & Chocolate Co. 

7. Go on a horseback trail ride or pony ride at Lee’s Riding Stables.

8. Race go-karts and play phazerball at the family entertainment center R&B Sportsworld in Winsted.

9. Hike up to the Lookout Tower and enjoy the view at Mount Tom State Park and then jump in for a swim at the sandy beach on Lake Tom.

10. Spend the day kayaking, swimming, and enjoying the stunning views at Lake Waramaug. 

11. Check out the Music, Moves, & More series at March Farm in Bethlehem. In addition to a steady rotation of pick your own fruits and berries, the farm also has a steady rotation of special events and activities. 

12. Enjoy nature at the White Memorial Conservation Center. 

RELATED: Short Hikes to Take with Kids in Connecticut

Hartford-Area Day Trips

Be an astronaut for the day at The New England Air Museum. Photo Credit: coachdenis via Instagram

13. Admire restored carousel horses at The New England Carousel Museum.

14. Sit in the cockpit of a fighter jet at the New England Air Museum.

15. Enjoy unlimited rides on vintage vehicles at the Connecticut Trolley Museum.

16. Spend the day exploring water forces, bubbles, robots, galaxies, and more scientific wonders at the Connecticut Science Center.

17. Get hands-on with prehistoric history at Dinosaur State Park.

Photo courtesy of Lake Compounce Amusement Park

18. Celebrate the 175th season of the nation’s oldest, continuously operating amusement park. Take a ride on a vintage 1927 wooden roller coaster at Lake Compounce,. 

19. Pack a picnic and head to the family-friendly Sounds of Summer Concert Series at Great River Park in East Hartford. 

20. Head to one of the oldest continuing agricultural fairs in the state, The Brooklyn Fair.

21. Go tubing down the Farmington River.

22. Spend the day zip lining, wakeboarding, and cliff jumping at Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park in Portland.

23. Pack a picnic basket and blanket and head for the beautiful hills of Storrs/Mansfield at the University of CT. Park your family under a tree at Horsebarn Hill, then enjoy an ice cream cone at the renowned UConn Dairy Bar, run by the School of Agriculture.

24. Cheer for the home team and watch a Yard Goats game in downtown Hartford. 

Greater New Haven and Mystic Day Trips

Enjoy the Roller Magic. Photo by Ally Noel

25. Take a pizza tour through New Haven and see if you can pick a favorite pizza. 

26. Enjoy special family programming at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas all around New Haven.  

27. Walk amongst the prehistoric giants at The Dinosaur Place.

28. Get your share of 30,000 oysters, live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, amusement rides, a schooner boat cruise, plus canoe and kayak races at the Milford Oyster Festival.

29. Visit Mystic for the aquarium, seaport, and, of course, pizza.  

30. Wander around the shops at Olde Mystic Village and immerse yourself in magic at the newly opened Cloak and Wand

31. Visit Ocean Beach Park for swimming and old-fashioned boardwalk fun.

32. Tour a submarine and learn about the amazing history behind the use of submarines in the military at the USS Nautilus Submarine Force Museum.

33. Visit the little beachside community of Groton Long Point and wander over to their "casino" (a penny candy store).  

34. Take a trip back to the 90s with a skate around the rink at Roller Magic.  


Fairfield County Day Trips

Berry picking at Connecticut farms is delicious and fun. Photo Credit: Mommy Poppins

35. Go berry picking at Jones Family Farm or one of the many others statewide.  

36. Norwalk Oyster Festival has a Kids Cove with character meet and greets, variety shows, demonstrations, and more.  

37. Explore 80 miles of trails, Nature's Playground, Otter Pond, Bendel Pond Picnic Area, and the Heckscher Farm at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center.

38. Watch the seals explore their new habitat at the Maritime Aquarium’s newly renovated Pinniped Cove. 

Pinniped Cove. Photo courtesy of Maritime Aquarium

39. Race a go-kart around the track at RPM in Stamford. 

40. Take in a polo match at the Greenwich Polo Club.

41. Sign up for a Canoe Paddle, or just drop by for a Birds of Prey feeding at Earthplace in Westport. 

42. Spend the day at one of Connecticut’s affordable beaches (state beaches are free!) on the Sound.

43. Sit on the edge of the Housatonic River and enjoy a lobster roll at Knapp's Landing in Stratford.

44. Head out to Hummock Island Oyster Farm, explore its beauty, and see how oysters are farmed.

45. Rent a kayak and take a trip down the Saugatuck at the Westport Paddle Club.



Robin Hood's Faire 2022
Harwinton Fairgrounds - 10:30 AM Pick
Toddler Tales at Stepping Stones
Stepping Stones - 9:30 AM
Monday Morning Hikes at Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center
Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center - 9:00 AM
Spring Outdoors in the Last Green Valley
The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor - various times
Bicycles on Main
Downtown Old Wethersfield - various times
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides