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Pumpkin Festivals and Jack-O-Lantern Displays for New England Families

New England is brimming with fall festivals, but kids are particularly enamored with events celebrating the humble pumpkin: the symbol of autumn and Halloween. Whether you stick close to home or make a day or weekend trip out of it, going to a pumpkin festival or visiting a glowing jack-o'-lantern display is a fun, family-friendly way to get into the spirit of the season. Here's a sampling of pumpkin fun in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine over the next month. Get inspired for a trip to the pumpkin patch for a jack-o'-lantern display on your own front porch!

Fun Fall Activities for Connecticut Preschoolers

So many fall traditions in Connecticut seem tailor-made for preschoolers: Who better to upend a freshly raked leaf pile or run around a pumpkin patch long enough to find that perfect Jack-O-Lantern? From local events like apple festivals and pumpkin carnivals to perennial favorites like apple picking, pumpkin patch visits, and corn mazes, we've rounded up 18 of the best ways to have some big fall adventures with little companions this fall. And don't forget our fall fun guide has even more ideas for making the most of the season in Connecticut.

Corn Mazes in Connecticut with Fun Activities for Kids and Families

The perfect balance of fun and challenge for kids, corn mazes are a fall tradition for many Connecticut families. No matter what part of the state you live in, you likely have the opportunity for a corn-mazing adventure. These farms feature not just mazes, but extra activities like hay rides and animal petting areas. So, put your sneakers and thinking caps on, and get out there! For more autumnal outings, see our post on Things to Do This Fall in Connecticut, including papple picking spots, fall festivals and fairs, and pumpkin patches.

End of Summer Checklist: 30Things To Do in Connecticut with Kids Before School Starts

Before beach towels get stored away for another season and late summer nights are replaced by bedtime curfews, there's still plenty of time to embrace late-summer fun with Connecticut kids. Here are our favorite things to close out the summer vacation season as a family. Don't forget to check our list of must-do August activities, free August fun, and events calendar for even more ideas for making the most of summer's end.

Connecticut's Best Sunflower Patches and Places to Cut Your Own Flowers

Forget grocery store posies—by mid-summer, Connecticut fields are bursting with sunflowers and other brightly colored flowers, and many farms allow you to cut your own bouquet to bring home. Sure, most kids like to pick their own berries, veggies and fruit, but many children also have a special fondness for selecting the most beautiful blooms to carefully arrange in vases, press into books, or weave into hair crowns. Bonus fun: One of these sunflower farms has a flower maze, too! Find your flower power at these Connecticut farms.

Fun Boat Rides for Connecticut Kids and Families

As close to a shoreline as most Connecticut families are, a fun boat ride with kids can make for a perfect day trip. Whether you’re looking for a scenic ferry cruise, an interactive sailboat adventure, or an educational marine experience, there's a boat ride to suit every kid who's looking to get out on the river or sea this summer.

We have rounded up some of the best tours and interactive sailing adventures across the state. For more fun on the water, be sure to check out our Connecticut Beaches and Water Fun Guide and the best places for canoeing and kayaking with kids in Connecticut.

Farms to Pick Your Own Berries, Peaches, Plums, and More in Connecticut

Fresh summer fruit is treat enough, but when kids can pick their own berries, peaches, and plums themselves, dessert is all the sweeter. For more pick-your-own options in Connecticut, check out our berrylicious posts devoted to just strawberry picking and blueberry picking in Connecticut. Happy picking—and baking, and best of all, eating! For more summer fun, check out our Connecticut Summer Fun Guide.

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

When you live in Connecticut and within a short drive of great beaches, state parks, and amuseument park rides, every summer weekend is an opportunity for a quick, easy family day trip with kids. Here, we've collected some outings that Connecticut kids will love, grouped by area so you can easily double up on attractions and create your own itinerary. Click through each link for more information and inspiration, whether you are looking to explore natural beauty, expand knowledge, or scream with delight on a water slide or roller coaster. Find even more summer activities in our Connecticut Summer Fun Guide.

Great Connecticut Beaches for Toddlers: Gentle Surf, Playgrounds, and More

Parenthood may have put an end to lazy lounging in the sun, but visiting a great Connecticut beach with a curious, playful toddler or preschooler in tow is a whole new kind of fun. What makes a good beach or lake experience with a little one? These tot- and mom-approved spots have features like bathrooms, concessions, gentle (or no) surf, tide pools, or spraygrounds that allow for more independent exploration with fewer meltdowns. Just pack some toys, sunscreen, and your patience, and your bound for a fun beach day.

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