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Day Trip: Travel Back In Time at The Dinosaur Place

Thanks to a reader tip, we recently left the city and traveled back in time to wilds of Eastern Connecticut to spend the day at The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art, where kids can explore a family friendly Jurassic Park style attraction.  Encounter thirty life-sized cretaceous creatures while trekking the wooded nature trails around Raptor Bay, a seven acre lake complete with its own erupting volcano.  A giant playground, an amazing maze, a super cool water play area along with exciting indoor activities (panning for gold and gem mining to name two) round out the offerings. Dinosaur Place is minutes away from Mystic, Connecticut and Rhode Island's beaches making for a perfect day trip destination or part of a weekend away.  Here’s the inside scoop on this fun prehistoric park, and tips to make the most of your time there.

Activities in Central Connecticut for Children with Special Needs

Many kids’ schedules are packed with extracurriculars, but for children with special needs, it can be challenging to find programs they can participate in fully. We've rounded up some adapted classes and activities in the Hartford and New Haven areas that accommodate a variety of learning styles, so that kids with special needs—be they physical, social, or emotional—can partake in the same enriching fun as their peers.

Pick Your Own Apple Orchards This Autumn in Eastern CT

Packing up the kids and heading out to pick apples is a rite of passage, and almost a requirement, for families in New England.  Giving kids, both big and little, the experience of seeing where food originates on the farm, is invaluable.  Not to mention, the pictures of kiddos in the orchards and among the pumpkins are sure to be popular with the grandparents.  Check out some of the best pick your own farms for apples in Eastern Connecticut! And make sure to check out our CT Apple Picking Farm Guide too.

NYC Labor Day Weekend Trips: 8 Car-Free Family Getaways Near New York City

The (unofficial) final weekend of summer is just a few days away and with the kids going back to school, the three-day holiday is the perfect time for one last family getaway.

Over on our Travel site, we posted about a bunch of cool last-minute travel deals, most involving plane or car rides. But for those looking to vacation without having to hit an airport or rent a vehicle, we've rounded up some of our favorite family destinations that are less than three hours from New York City and accessible via public transportation. From gorgeous beaches to ride-filled amusement parks to out-of-town culture spots, here are eight great Labor Day weekend trips for NYC families.

Southeastern CT Indoor Play Place: Stay and Play, Old Saybrook, Connecticut

STAY & PLAY IS NO LONGER OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

Imagine a local spot that is chock-a-block full of giant playscapes, ball pits, riding toys, ropes, slides, games, offers nutritious, organic snacks for both kids and adults, serves fair-trade coffee, caters to kids ages birth to 12, AND offers free Wi-Fi.  And, imagine this same facility holds a wide array of classes and space for birthday parties.  Surely, if such a perfect place existed, they'd include special events for our special needs kiddos, too. Consider your wish come true. Here's an indoor play space in Eastern CT that you'll want to check out. Welcome to Stay and Play in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

Trick or Treating /Trunk or Treating Events in Southeastern Connecticut

The brisk chill in the air, the sounds of walking on crunchy leaves, homes decorated with pumpkins and mums...all signs point to the heart of fall!  And, that means for most of us Moms, we're in the midst of constructing crazy characters or making that last, mad dash for the department store to find our kiddo's favorite costume!  (While you're there, don't forget to pick up your goodies to hand out on Halloween!)  Want to supplement your neighborhood trick-or-treating experience or would you rather your kids attend a safe trick-or-treating event?  Southeastern Connecticut has lots of fun events coming up!

Pumpkin Patches in Eastern Connecticut

Apparently, eight years old is the age where Halloween really begins to matter.  In previous years, we settled for a rushed trip to the department store costume department and grabbed whatever fit from the disheveled, picked over displays.  Decorations were minimal and the pumpkin never saw a knife.  It did, however, see the outside of my front door for long, long after it was considered "fresh".  This year?  Not so much.  My kids are ON the BALL.  My children chose their costume choices (an obscure Minecraft character and a soccer fairy) in early September, and are expecting the full decoration treatment.  They've even begun decorating their rooms.  So, I'm guessing they're also anticipating the entire Halloween/Fall experience, which for me, includes a trip to the pumpkin patch, and lucky for us, (and you!) we've got lots of options to choose from in Eastern Connecticut!

NYC Labor Day Weekend Family Getaways: Nearby Destinations for Weekend or Day Trips

Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, is fast approaching. While there are certainly plenty of ways to enjoy one last blast of summer right here in NYC, the three-day weekend is the perfect time for a quick family getaway before school starts.

Whether you're looking for a spectacular day trip or a multiday break, our tri-state area sites in New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut and recently launched Westchester County have been covering the best things to do and places to go in their respective locales all season. In just one click, you can find out everything you want to know about visiting the Poconos, the Jersey Shore and other family hot spots with kids. We're highlighting six awesome areas for a Labor Day getaway, all within comfortable commuting distance of New York City. For even more family travel inspiration, check out our NYC Day Trips Guide, which includes a post about car-free Labor Day getaways, and our Travel site, which has a roundup of Labor Day weekend vacation deals.

A Day Trip to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme

Interested in a great day trip? It may seem strange, to those who don't know about Miss Florence Griswold, that the home, gardens and grounds of this woman's home in Old Lyme, CT has gained such notoriety and attracts thousands of visitors each year from all over the world.  But, just take a quick visit to the Florence Griswold Museum, and a brief tour by any of the museum docents, and you'll soon discover why this hidden gem plays such a huge role in the history of art in the US.

Back to School Shopping Tips in Eastern Connecticut

School doesn't start for weeks, and yet I'm compelled to shop for all things back to school RIGHT NOW!  I blame it on the cool August weather streak we're in and those last few weeks of summer where I see the light at the end of the vacation tunnel!  Both factors have put me into list making overdrive and revisiting our favorite spots in Eastern Connecticut for stocking up on all our back to school supplies, clothes, and finishing those imperative back to school errands to ensure we start off this school year right!

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