25 Kid-Friendly Adventures in New London County

From awesome old-fashioned ice cream shops to great places for skating, fishing, and family hikes, plenty of family-friendly activities await in New London County. Whether you play at the children's museum, interact with beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium, relax on sandy beaches, or pitch a tent and roast marshmallows under the stars, no matter where you end up, at least 25 family-friendly adventures await. Beautiful year-round, this area of the state is especially lovely during the summer and fall.

A Visit to the Connecticut River Museum in Essex

In Eastern Connecticut, on the edge of the Connecticut River, a small unassuming building holds many archeological treasures, history lessons, nautical artwork, and a full-sized replica of the first American submarine. The 22nd Annual Train Show is a special seasonal attraction for visitors of all ages, and only a few minutes away, a ride on the North Pole Express awaits at the Essex Steam Train Station. 

A Visit to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London

At least one Saturday morning a month, you’ll find my family perusing art galleries and museums. We find the experience equally relaxing and energizing, and my daughters get excited about finding a new favorite artwork or inspiration for a new project. Recently, we took our first trip to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum and spent a lovely day in New London.

Top Ten Things to Do with Kids in East Haddam

East Haddam, a town in southeastern Connecticut that is rich in natural scenery and history, is a fabulous destination for a day trip and there is no better time to visit than the fall. Located along the Connecticut River, most of its charms are outside, so be sure to wear comfy shoes and bring a camera because there will be some spectacular fall foliage photo-ops. You might have to plan two day trips, however, to fit everything in.

Our Visit to the Wee Faerie Village at Florence Griswold Museum in New London County

During the next three weeks, in a kingdom of enchantment sprawled along the scenic Lieutenant River in New London County, hundreds of little princesses and princes with shimmering wings and golden crowns will race each other through this royal territory. This year’s Wee Faerie Village at Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme features 32 fairy houses inspired by beloved childhood classics. The annual event attracted some 19,000 visitors last year, and for good reason.

Laser Tag Parties in the Hartford Area and New Haven County

Recently my eight-year old daughter was invited to a laser tag party. I was admittedly apprehensive at first -- my little girl, battling with lasers? But she wanted to try it and I’m glad we gave it a shot. If you aren’t aware of how it works, the kids wear packs on their bodies that track if they are struck by a laser beam shot by another kid. Most places have obstacles to hide behind as well as for sneaking up on opponents. Kids work in teams so that they are not alone. Different places have varying themes and special effects. If your child likes high adventure and is looking for a thrill, check out the following places in the Hartford and New Haven areas for his or her next birthday party. For more birthday party ideas, check out our Connecticut Kids' Birthday Party Guide

Pick-Your-Own Apple Orchards in Eastern Connecticut

Gala. Honeycrisp. Cortland. Liberty. McIntosh and Macoun. It just wouldn't be autumn in Connecticut without a delicious apple-picking adventure. For most families, it means enjoying the outdoors on a beautiful autumn day, road tripping with friends, or eating nothing but cider donuts and apples for three straight hours (and the inevitable-but-oh-so-worth-it stomachache that follows). If you are heading out to pick straight from the tree, call ahead to see what's available, but meanwhile, check out our Apple Picking Guide, which includes farms all over the state. Below are some wonderful family-owned orchards to consider in Eastern Connecticut:

Fun Things to Do With Kids in Storrs, Connecticut

Though it is home to Connecticut’s flagship university, Storrs is a fun village not only for college students. Located about a half an hour east of Hartford, plenty of local attractions here (and in the town of Mansfield) will entertain, educate, and relax even the youngest visitors. So spend some time driving over its bucolic hills, exploring its trails, shopping its quaint stores, or enjoying a movie at one of the last remaining drive-in theaters in the state.

Fun & Unique Kids' Birthday Party Places in Hartford County

Your child's birthday is coming up and your house is a mess—totally unsuitable for hosting a bunch of little bodies. But your kid wants the coolest party ever. So what do you do? Read this post, of course! We’ve found some great kids' party places in the Hartford area that are original and offbeat, ensuring an awesome birthday experience that doesn't involve you cleaning your house. You can find even more birthday bash options in our Party Guide, including roundups of museum, spa, and artsy party packages all over Connecticut.

Connecticut Hiking Challenge: Have Fun & Win a Medal on These Family Hikes

Life in Connecticut is challenging... especially in 2015, when there are so many trails and so little time. Say what? You haven’t started The Sky’s the Limit hiking competition yet? Designed to encourage exploration of our state’s natural wonders (all free!) while spending time together, this outdoor recreation campaign launched in January. Thus far, my family has visited seven state parks and we have three more to go before becoming eligible for a shiny medallion. With spring in full swing, it's time for your family to sign on. May the winner take all!


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