Hartford

Preschool Summer Camps in the Hartford Area

Before children enter school, whether it’s pre-school or kindergarten, parents often look for opportunities to help prepare them for the upcoming school year. Many great summer camp options in the Hartford County area fill this need. Summer camp is a great way for children to improve social and academic skills, while becoming more comfortable in a structured setting, surrounded by peers and other adults. Also, be sure to check out our CT Summer Camp Guide and our Summer Camp Directory.

20 Ways to Celebrate Maple Sugaring Season in Connecticut

In February, hundreds of sugar houses all across the state get to work on the process of collecting and evaporating clear watery sap into golden syrup. The traditional maple sugaring season extends from early February until late March, though that depends greatly on the weather (which has varied considerably over the last few years). Freezing nights and warm, sunny days are necessary to provide good sap yields. Did you know that it takes 40 parts maple sap to make 1 part maple syrup (10 gallons sap to make 1 quart syrup)? That's why the good stuff ain't cheap!

If you want to get in on the action yourself, there are open housesdemonstrations and festivals celebrating this sweet treat happening the next few weekends in LitchfieldHartford, Fairfield, and New Haven counties. Some sugar houses invite you to stop in anytime the evaporator is running (but call before heading out).

Look for more winter fun outings in our Winter Fun Activities Guide and our frequently updated Events Calendar, as well as our newsletters, FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Have a fabulous week!

Indoor Play Areas in the Hartford Area

Just because it's winter doesn’t mean that you and your family have to go into hibernation. There are some great indoor play spaces in the Hartford area where your active child can burn off excess energy by climbing, bouncing, running, and jumping. He or she might even take a nap for you later! Also, check out the list we've compiled of indoor play places specifically for big kids in Hartford County. For even more indoor fun check out our Connecticut Indoor Play Guide.

Inflatable Fun! A Visit to Bounce Town in Canton

Too wet? Too cold? Too hot? No problem. The climate-controlled Bounce Town in Canton provides a great outing for children, no matter what the season or the reason. Oversized inflatables will entertain for hours: rush up the ladder of a fire truck, go under the sea on a Nemo-like adventure, chase each other through a Frozen bouncy house, giggle your way down the bumpy Kahuna slide (my daughter couldn’t get enough of this one), and challenge each other to a basketball shootout. Kids will leave exhausted, happy, and begging to return.

20 Family Friendly New Year's Eve Celebrations in Connecticut

I have crossed over. Dreams of elegant parties and midnight champagne toasts have been replaced with longing for easy bedtimes and a good night's sleep. But it feels wrong not to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another without some sort of revelry. Happily, there's no shortage of ways to celebrate New Year's Eve together as a family: no baby sitter required! Whether you're interested in bowling or skating (ice or roller), museums or light shows, there's something for everyone. The First Night events in Hartford and Westport offer a little bit of everything including fireworks, music, and more.

For more great ideas to finish up 2017 and make plans for 2018, be sure to check our frequently updated events calendar and subscribe to our weekly newsletters. Follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram so that you won't miss a thing. Merry Christmas! See you next year!

Things to Do on New Year's Day in Connecticut

Sure, you had amazing plans watching the clock strike twelve, but if your kids are anything like mine -- they will still be up at the crack of dawn on New Year's Day looking for something to do. Whether you choose to bundle up and head outdoors or leave the coats at home and check out an indoor activity, there is tons to do in every corner of the state. Spend a nice day with your family skating by the Sound, or take in the IMAX at the Maritime Aquarium. From First Day Hikes to the Science Center, there is something on this list to make sure everyone starts the New Year off right. 

Free Museum Days in Connecticut

Connecticut may be one of the nation’s smallest states, but what it lacks in square footage it makes up for in culture.  Connecticut is literally bursting at the seams with hundreds of art museums, historical homesteads, science museums, children’s museums, and cultural centers in every corner of the state. From the Lyman AIlyn in New London to the Wadsworth Antheneum in Hartford, if you want to take advantage of everything the Nutmeg State has to offer, but don’t love the price tag that comes along with it, then this list of museum free days is for you! And for more info on CT Museums check out our Museum Guide.

Below is a list of free museum hours around the state. Please confirm these free days/evenings with the museums. Sometimes, especially near a national or religious holiday, schedules may change. Also, keep in mind that teachers, veterans, or seniors may also receive extra discounts. 

Great Birthday Cake and Cupcake Bakeries in Hartford Area

I think most of us can agree that when it comes to birthdays the cake is one of the most important parts of the party! Making sure you get a good one can be crucial. Whether your little one prefers chocolate or vanilla or cupcakes over cake, there are many amazing bakeries in the Hartford County area. We've listed a few of our favorites below. In our Birthday Party Guide you'll find tons of ideas on themes and locations too!

Free Holiday and Christmas Events for Connecticut Kids

Christmas lights and festive holiday fun are popping up everywhere you look in Connecticut. And along with it, many families feel a strain in their wallets as they dole out the gifts (and seasonal tips). No time to despair, we've rounded up some free family fun for all to enjoy.

Read on for kid-friendly events and activities in Connecticut that won't cost you a cent, from lights festivals to arts and crafts and holiday light shows. Join the fun to get your family in the jolly spirit.

Connecticut's Christmas Light Displays

There is something magical about a holiday light display. Generation after generation have made a ritual of going to see the displays each season. I have so many fun memories of bundling up in the backseat and driving around town searching for the best Christmas lights in town. New Haven has its Fantasy of Lights, Fairfield has several houses that make the holidays special, and Hartford has a huge list of special places to visit.

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