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Eastern Connecticut Fall Fairs and Festivals

Call me a crazy New Englander, but this time of year is what I live for. I love slipping on a pair of boots, some fleece, perhaps a scarf if there's a nip in the air, and loading up the family into our SUV, with a destination in mind...a local fair. Fair season ranks up there with premieres of favorite new television shows, the first snow of the year, or that first, warmish spring day when you can begin to taste summer. It's a rite of seasonal passage, spending too much money on fried dough and games you'll never win, riding the ferris wheel and stopping at the top with an unencumbered view of the entire midway and beyond. It's delightful. Eastern Connecticut has a many opportunities to savor the Fall season, so take advantage of as many as you can!

Best Ice Cream Shops in the New London Area

There is a delicious solution to the long, hot, and humid days of summer: ice cream! The sweet treat is a quick way to cool off a bit and share a smile. We've made finding the best ice cream shops in the area a mission. Stand by for some of the best frozen treats you'll find in New London County...and if you happen to be in Fairfield County, check out our favorite ice cream shops there.

Pumpkintown U.S.A.: The Best Destination for Pumpkins of All Ages

If you’re looking for a destination that celebrates autumn, grants pumpkins celebrity status, and leaves out the scary stuff, set your GPS location to Pumpkintown U.S.A., located less than 30 minutes southeast of Hartford. Here you can sit and chat with Barack and Michelle Gourdama, watch Arnold Squashernager flex his muscles, or crash the wedding of Tanya Turnip and Willie Joe Beet. They are but a few of the adorable pumpkinheads that will welcome thousands of visitors from now until the end of October. If you have children under age 10, Pumpkintown is a "must see" this fall, and be sure to browse our Connecticut Fall Guide for more fun ideas. 

Wondrous, Wild Waterfalls Waiting for You in Connecticut

Waterfalls are amazing creations of nature that astound even the hardiest hiker and outdoor lover. The water pounding on the rocks, the splash of the spray, and the shallow wading pools leave the kids with lasting memories. Connecticut is lucky to be home to hundreds of waterfalls; many of them are accessible with just short walks and a little effort for all ages. Of course, please exercise caution at all of these sites as rocks are slippery when wet! If you are looking for more outdoor adventures, go hiking at one of these Hartford area spots and check out our list of ropes courses in Connecticut!

Day Trip to Groton Long Point, CT: Bikes, Kids and Beaches

This summer we are planning to visit one of our favorite summer haunts – Groton Long Point. You can check out this day trip and others in our CT Day Trip Guide. Groton Long Point, a small residential community PERFECT for kids, is nestled in between Mystic and Groton. My 11 cousins and I spent our summers cruising the streets of GLP on our bikes – so I know every nook and cranny of the magical place!

Hitch a Ride to These Pumpkin Patches in Eastern CT

Pumpkin season has arrived. Whether your child loves to play pumpkin drums, make rolling pumpkin art, decorate it with googly eyes, take a hammer to its face, or help you bake a pie, pumpkin-picking is a must-do fall activity. We’ve scoured Eastern Connecticut to find that perfect pumpkin….and double bonus, we found corn mazes, too. All you have to do is pick the one closest to your house. For more fun fall ideas, sign up for our weekly newsletter and check out our Halloween and Fall Fun Guide

Best Mountains to Climb With Kids in Connecticut

Have you ever planned a perfect day of hiking with the kiddos only to hear whines ranging from “I’m bored,” to, “I have to go to the bathroom,” to, “Are we there yet?” I have definitely been there and feel your pain. You’ve packed the perfect picnic lunch to be enjoyed alongside a babbling brook after you’ve spent your morning becoming one with nature but your kids have lost interest after finishing their Nature Valley granola bar 10 minutes into the hike. Sigh.

Well, have you considered climbing a mountain? We have rounded up some hikes across the state that are sure to keep the kid’s interest as you scale mountain tops, discover giants, castles, and maybe a hobbit house or two.

Best Playgrounds and Playscapes in New London County

From beach-front plays areas to boundless playscapes accessible to all abilities, New London County is home to some amazing playgrounds and many are opened year-round. So pack sunblock on a summer day or an extra sweater for those chilly days, and soak up their giggles as they burn off energy and make new friends. 

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