Connecticut

Weekend Fun: Hot Air Balloons, Cardboard Boats, and a Kids' Triathlon

Fall is approaching, and amid the frenzied school supply mall runs, families can check out numerous fairs celebrating the annual harvest season. Just this weekend there are agricultural fairs in Brooklyn, Terryville, and Chester, If ox pulls, carnival midways, and fried fair food aren't your thing, check out the Plainville Hot Air Balloon Festival, or escape an authentic native wigwam. For those who prefer indoor activities, head to Hartford to wish the Bushnell Carousel a happy 105th birthday.

For the latest and best family-friendly goings on around the state, keep checking our frequently updated events calendar and follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Have a great weekend!

10 Family-Friendly Hotels and Inns in Connecticut

Whether you're weekend tripping around Connecticut or splurging on a staycation, a spacious hotel room designed with kids in mind means a fun evening for children (and peace of mind for parents). These hotels tick the family-friendly boxes, offering amenities like bunk beds, pools, special activities...even bedtime cookies and milk! For a small state, Connecticut has plenty of family-friendly attractions, so whether you want to immerse yourself in art, a nautical experience, or enjoy the solitude of nature, we have you covered with hotel recommendations, from New Haven to Hartford to Mystic.

These Hotel Pools Will Wow the Kids on a Family Vacation

When you have kids, finding a hotel with an awesome swimming pool is usually right at the top of the vacation-planning list. After a long day of activity, you can kick back and watch them splash around at the hotel pool. On a rainy day, hotels with indoor swimming pools will be a saving grace. While most kids will be satisfied with any hole that contains water, impress them with something unique to make that next family vacation one that they won't soon forget.

Here are some of our favorite U.S. hotels with pools sure to satisfy the whole family. We've included both outdoor hotel pools, indoor options, and even those hotels that let you swim in the pool without staying there overnight. The options run from a Las Vegas hotel pool to a Texas-shaped rooftop pool in Houston to a day-pass-friendly NYC hotel pool.

For more vacation ideas on where to stay, check out our Hotels & Resorts Guide.

Family Friendly Vineyards and Wineries in New England that Welcome Kids

When thinking of New England, most people conjure up the tastes of apples, cranberries, and maple syrup, but local vineyards prove we can produce some tasty grapes, too. Stretching from Connecticut’s "wine trail" all the way up to New Hampshire's White Mountains, many of these vineyards aren't just great places to sip wine with your grown-up friends, but also to hang out with kids (yes, you heard that right!). Much like the local beer gardens that keep popping up in Boston and Connecticut, these wineries welcome families with beautiful, spacious grounds, and in some cases, apple picking, live music, wagon rides, and other activities.

Here are our favorite family-friendly vineyards and wineries in New England—from coast to mountaintop!

Weekend Fun: Country Fairs, Dragon Boats, and Oysterfest

What's your favorite part of a country fair? Is it the animals? The music? The carnival rides? The fried dough? All this and more is on offer at the array of country fairs happening this weekend all over Connecticut, from Bridgewater to Wolcott to Hamburg. If you're interested in more celebrations, check out the Oyster Festival in Milford or the Dragon Boat Festival in Hartford. 

If you're in the mood for some more easygoing fun, catch your breath at the Dinosaur State Park Day or the Summer Starts Planetarium Shows at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Stamford. Or, maybe check off one of your summer bucket list items with a stop by the Voluntown Farmers Market on Sunday.

For the latest and best family-friendly goings on around the state, keep checking in on our frequently updated events calendar and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Have a great weekend!

Mommy and Me and Baby Classes in Fairfield County, CT

A great way to boost babies' motor and social skills while making some new friends yourself is by enrolling in various baby classes. From stroller hikes to mudpie making, Fairfield County offers no shortage of Mommy and Me classes. Pack up the diaper bag, grab a latte, and sign up for a session or two: These classes are designed for new moms (and dads and other caregivers, too!) with their babies in Fairfield County. 

Iceland with Kids: 10 Things You Will Want To Do on a Family Trip

Iceland has become the place everyone talks about. It's dramatic. It's beautiful. It's rugged, unspoiled, totally different, and the perfect stop between North America and Europe. In fact, it's where the two continents actually meet (cue photo op)! But without amusement parks, warm weather, or any kind of branded entertainment, will it hold your kids' attention? The answer is heck yeah—tell the kids you're bringing them to the Land of the Midnight Sun, and check out as many as you can of the 10 extra-special Icelandic highlights below.

Best Swimming Ponds and Lakes for Connecticut Kids

Connecticut is home to great water parks and more than 20 beaches, but some families are partial to the many ponds, lakes, and freshwater areas—some 3,000 across the state!—where kids can swim in calm waters. Here are our recommendations for swimming ponds and lakes where families can cool off and enjoy beautiful vistas. For more aquatic adventures, be sure to check out our Beaches and Water Fun Guide

Mommy and Me and Baby Classes in the Hartford Area

Whether you're looking to bond with other parents or to boost your baby's growing smarts and skills, Mommy and Me classes are a godsend in motherhood's early days. While children gain more mobility and social skills, moms benefit by making connections, getting some exercise, and escaping home routines for a short while. Here are 10 Mommy and Me classes in the Hartford area that will make both you and your little sidekick happy. If you live(or have a friend) in southwest Connecticut, check out our roundup of some of our favorite Mommy and Me and baby classes in Fairfield County.

Weekend Fun: Pirates, Music, and Sunflowers

Those cool mornings the last couple of days offer a refreshing reminder to savor these last weeks of summer. Aside from our end-of-summer checklist of activities, families can enjoy summer blooms in Killingsworth or Middlefield, sample free ice cream in East Windsor, or swashbuckle with a pirate on Sheffield Island.

We update our Events Calendar frequently so be sure to check back for even more great suggestions. To keep up with the latest family-friendly events and activities, sign up for our free newsletters and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Have a fantastic weekend!

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