Best Summer Day Trips from Connecticut: Fun for Families and Kids

Get out and explore Connecticut with the best summer day trips! Photo courtesy of Sea Kayak Connecticut
Get out and explore Connecticut with the best summer day trips! Photo courtesy of Sea Kayak Connecticut

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 the best summer day trips from Connecticut that kids will love. We grouped these getaways 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.

Best Summer Day Trips from Connecticut - Litchfield Area 

1. Thomaston Railroad Museum of New England 

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.

Image of father and sun on waterslide - Best summer day trips from CT 
Water slides always make for the best summer day trips. Photo courtesy of Quassy Amusement Park

2. Quassy Amusement Park 

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

3. Action Wildlife 

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

4. Clarke Outdoor River Guides

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

5. Lee’s Riding Stables

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

6. R&B Sportsworld

Race go-karts and play phazerball at the family entertainment center R&B Sportsworld in Winsted.9.

7. Mount Tom State Park 

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.

8. Pleasant Valley Drive-In

Enjoy a movie from the comfort of your own car at the Pleasant Valley Drive-In in Barkhamstead. 

Image of kids on a farm - Best summer day trips from Connecticut.
Pick your own berries for a great summer activity. Photo courtesy of March Farm, Facebook

9. March Farms 

Pick your favorite fruits all summer long at March Farms. They have farm fresh cherries, blueberries, and peaches. 

10. Covered Bridge Electric Bike

Experience the fresh air and quintessential New England charm in nearby Cornwall with a trip over the West Cornwall Covered Bridge on an electric bike. Drivers need to be 18 or over, but kids can ride along on a cargo bike. 

11. Lime Rock Park 

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

12. Kent Falls State Park 

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

13. Lake Waramaug 

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

Image of river tubing - best summer day trips from CT 
Nothing beats a laid-back adventure! Photo courtesy of Farmington River Tubing

14. Farmington River 

Go tubing down the Farmington River.

RELATED: Short Hikes to Take with Kids in Connecticut

Best Summer Day Trips from Connecticut - Hartford Area 

Image of child dressed as astronaut.

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

15. New England Carousel Museum 

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

16. New England Air Museum 

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

17. Connecticut Trolley Museum 

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

18. Connecticut Science Center 

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

19. Dinosaur State Park 

Get hands-on with prehistoric history at Dinosaur State Park

20. Lake Compounce 

Take a ride on a vintage 1927 wooden roller coaster at Lake Compounce, the nation’s oldest, continuously operating amusement park.

 

Photo of roller coaster - Best summer day trips from CT.

Take a ride on a classic wooden coaster. Photo courtesy of Lake Compounce Amusement Park

21. Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park 

Spend the day ziplining, wake boarding, and cliff jumping at Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park in Portland.

22. Dunkin Donuts Stadium

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

Best Summer Day Trips from Connecticut - New Haven and Mystic Area

23. UCONN 

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. The Dinosaur Place 

Walk amongst the prehistoric giants and run through the state’s largest splash pad  at The Dinosaur Place.

Image of family on a day trip in Mystic, Connecticut. 
Mystic Seaport takes the family baack to a simpler time. Photo by Ally Noel

25. Mystic

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

26. Ocean Beach Park 

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

27. Lavender Pond Farm 

Take a deep breath and inhale the fragrant smell of lavender as you stroll around Lavender Pond Farm.

Image of pizza - best summer day trips from Connecticut. 
Connecticut pizza is worth the day trip. Photo courtesy of Modern Apizza, Facebook

28. New Haven Pizza 

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

29. USS Nautilus Submarine Force Museum 

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

30. Groton Long Point 

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

Image of a roller rink. 
Throwback fun awaits at the roller rink! Photo courtesy of Roller Magic.

31. Go Rollerskating

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

Best Summer Day Trips from Connecticut - Fairfield County 



Photo of a child picking berries - Best summer day trips from CT
Berry picking at Connecticut farms is delicious and fun. Photo by Ally Noel

32. Jones Family Farm 

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

33. Stamford Museum and Nature Center

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

Photo of a child watching seals swim in the Maritime Aquarium. 
Get up close with marine life at Pinniped Cove. Photo courtesy of Maritime Aquarium

34. Maritime Aquarium 

South Norwalk is home to the Maritime Aquarium. The Maritime will provide visitors of all ages with insight into the rich biodiversity of Long Island Sound. 

35. Sheffield Island Cruise 

Cruise around Norwalk Harbor with the Seaport Association. The Lighthouse Cruise will take you by three historic lighthouses. 

36. Adventure Park 

Pack your sense of adventure and swing through the trees at Adventure Park

37. Polo 

Take in a polo match at the Greenwich Polo Club.

38. Earthplace

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

Photo of kids playing in the surf at a CT beach. 
Sherwood Island is just one of Connecticut's beaches worthy of a day trip. Photo by Ally Noel.

39. Sherwood Island

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

40. Go Kayaking

Rent a kayak and take a trip down the Saugatuck at the Sea Kayak CT

 

 

 

 

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