Connecticut

20 Easy (But Gorgeous) Hiking Trails To Do with Kids and Babies

By Shanti Hodges

Looking for a hiking trail near you? Great walking trails top our picks for fun summer activities and fall outings with kids. A hike is an opportunity for quality family time, exercise for kids, and of course, discoveries small and large, from bugs to waterfalls.

These getaway-worthy, family-friendly hiking trails are just a sampling of my favorite trails, highlighted in my new book, Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Adventures with Babies and Toddlers. As founder of Hike it Baby, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families get on the trail with kids, I’ve been fortunate enough to sample nature trails across the country, including at our best national parks and campsites, and even those extra-special, smaller local parks that often offer the best hikes for toddlers and families with little kids.

Now I’m sharing 20 of my favorites, from Connecticut to Florida to Washington state, that are perfect for your next day trip or family vacation. Most are easy loop paths, but I’ve included some moderate trails and top destinations, such as Mt. Rainer and the Badlands. Many of these hikes are FREE, too. The list also highlights family-friendly perks like bathrooms, and benches for a rest or a nursing mom.

Stroll Around Connecticut: 10 Fantastic Stroller Hikes

These stroller friendly trails take advantage of the state’s rail trails, greenways, and river pathways. The smooth, paved surfaces make it easy for you and your wheels to explore the state. Whether you wish to enjoy peaceful walks through rivers and forests or stroll through city centers and parks, there is something on this list for everyone (even a few playgrounds for those big kids who occasionally have to tag along). And once your baby graduates out of the stroller go for a hike on one of these one mile or less trails that are perfect for the preschool set. 

11 NYC Neighborhoods to Visit With Your Family This Summer

Whether you're a New York native, a day-tripper, or a tourist from way outta town, summer is the perfect time to explore this action-packed city. And since there's certainly no shortage of warm-weather adventures for kids of all ages, we partnered with the Big Apple pros over at NYCgo to share some of the top can't-be-missed 'hoods worthy of a visit while the sun's out this season.

From sharks to new parks, make it a summer of adventure with these hot, family-friendly neighborhoods across all five boroughs!

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Sails, Sales, and Fairy Tales

It's hard to imagine anything more summer-y than a parade of tall ships. Unless it's an outdoor carnival or maybe fireworks. Or better yet, tall ships, an outdoor carnival, specialty foods, transforming movie robots, fireworks and live music - for free. That, in a nutshell, is New London Sailfest, a three-day downtown party with all of the above, and more. If somehow none of that sounds like fun to you, there are plenty of other waterfront options like the Rowayton River Ramble, Riverfront Fireworks and Concert, and a Riverfront Food Truck Festival. Non-nautical activities include an outdoor fairy tale theater, a backyard birding walk, and family mini-golf and fine art outings.

For even more options, check out our Event Calendar, which we update frequently with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Have a wonderful weekend! 

25 Free and Inexpensive Summer Activities in Fairfield County

I’m no mathematician, but 3 little girls x2 weeks of summer camp x3 weeks of swimming lessons x3 new bathing suits = a whole lot of money.  So I’m on the hunt for summer activities that won’t (further) break the bank.  Happily, there are lots of options here in Fairfield County for summer fun that aren't prohibitively expensive! And, here's a list of 100 free things to do across the state this summer. 

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Blueberries, Fireflies, and More Fireworks, July 7-8

Like many parents, I was not super thrilled to realize that Independence Day fell on a Wednesday this year. Late night fireworks and early morning camp schedules are not a fantastic combination (and let's not even talk about the camps that didn't meet this week because of the holiday). But now that we're through the other side, I have to admit I'm sort of relieved for a chance for a do-over this coming weekend. Didn't get your fill of fireworks on Wednesday? Head to Berlin or Darien or Manchester on Saturday. 

Or, spend a different kind of evening under the stars at a free (or nearly free) outdoor movie. This weekend alone you can catch Wonder Woman at Mill River Park in Stamford, Paddington 2 at the Shoppes at Farmington Valley in Canton, and Pixels at Shady Beach in Norwalk. If you're in the mood for something a little closer to nature, head to the New Canaan Nature Center for their Night of 1,000 Fireflies or to the White Memorial Conservation Center to learn all about turtles. And don't miss the start of blueberry picking season.

For even more options, check out our Event Calendar, which we update frequently with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Have a wonderful weekend! 

New Charlotte's Web Experience at Old Sturbridge Village

There are few stories as ingrained into our collective memory as Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White’s classic novel of an unlikely friendship between a barn spider, a pig, and a young girl. Lucky for us, Old Sturbridge Village (already one of our favorite summer day trips) is breathing new life into White's story with The Charlotte’s Web Experience: a unique live production running from July 5th through August 26th. Kids are part of the act in this interactive re-telling of the timeless tale, which is staged on an actual farm and involves music, cute barn animals, and even delicious themed treats.

Make a Splash and Learn to Swim at Hartford Area Pools

Several indoor pools in the Hartford are offer open swim times and lessons to refresh you on a hot day or help you think sunny thoughts on a cold day. Some require town residency,  while others are open to nonresidents. It’s a great way to get the family some exercise even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Plus, swimming is a lifelong skill that enhances safety and increases opportunities for fun. For more enrichment and after school classes check out our Guide.

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