It's mid-July, and in between scanning the beach and heat index reports, Connecticut residents are enjoying the annual summer fair and festival season, which is in full swing. On a hot day, what's better than an ice cream festival? And speaking of sweet treats, berry season is here at local pick-your-own farms. For those who prefer indoor activities during the summer season, how about learning the ancient craft of leatherworking? As always, be sure to check with the venues directly for any outdoor activities in the event of weather-related schedule changes.
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Greater Hartford Jazz Festival—Hartford
Enjoy a family-friendly music performance, with the Hartford skyline as a backdrop. This annual event typically draws 40,000 people, and there are plenty of other activities besides the music. Free.
North Stonington Fair—North Stonington
It's an old-fashioned country fair, complete with animal and tractor pulls, hay-tossing competitions, carnival rides, carnival food, live entertainment, and more. Free admission for children.
Soar Into Summer Fun—Windsor Locks
The New England Air Museum's summer programming is loaded with activities for young and old. Check out a flight simulator and learn the principles of flight through interactive demonstrations.
Nutmeg State Games—New Britain
Come cheer on young athletes at Connecticut's largest multi-sport annual competition. More than 7.500 athletes will be competing in 22 different sports, and admission to all competition venues is free.
Historic downtown Bethel hosts its 32nd annual street festival, complete with activities, contests, music, demonstrations and more.
Saturday, July 15
Image courtesy of Lyman Orchards
Celebrate nature's sweetest nutritional powerhouse with an afternoon of family fun. Pick your own berries, then take in some live music, pie-eating contests, a wagon ride, and sample numerous blueberry-themed treats. Free admission.
Over 100 vendors are expected at the 36th annual Newington Extravaganza. In addition, there are paddle boat rides, games, and plenty of food. End the evening with a fireworks display over Mill Pond Park. Free.
Come meet two live birds of prey from A Place Called Hope raptor center, then examine numerous other specimens in the Kellogg Environmental Center's collection. Learn about the special adaptations that make hawks unique among birds. Free.
Native Americans have been working with leather for thousands of years. Decorate your own keychain or bookmark using stamping tools.
A Wild! Time—Stamford
Kids five and up are invited to come help prepare meals for the Stamford Nature Center's tortoises, lizards, and other fruit and vegetable-loving animals. Space is limited. First-come, first-served.
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Sunday, July 16
Ice Cream and Bluegrass—Thompson
Come to Fort Hill Farm for a toe-tapping, foot-stomping family celebration. Complimentary cones of Farmer's Cow fresh, Connecticut-made ice cream. Free.
There will be games, prizes, bounce houses, food, and plenty of education at this old-fashioned block party. Yale, Cancercare, and Sister's Journey will be distributing health packets and information. Free.
Meet some unique tropical animals in a live interactive stage show at the Connecticut Science Center. Free with admission.
More than 14,000 people annually attend one of the top craft fairs in New England. In addition to the 170 vendors, the expo is a celebration of the arts, complete with art activities for children. Free.
Concert on the Green—Fairfield
Bring a lawn chair and enjoy free music under the stars. Free.
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Image courtesy of the North Stonington Fair