Connecticut

Pumpkin Festivals and Jack-O-Lantern Displays for New England Families

New England is brimming with fall festivals, but kids are particularly enamored with events celebrating the humble pumpkin: the symbol of autumn and Halloween. Whether you stick close to home or make a day or weekend trip out of it, going to a pumpkin festival or visiting a glowing jack-o'-lantern display is a fun, family-friendly way to get into the spirit of the season. Here's a sampling of pumpkin fun in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine over the next month. Get inspired for a trip to the pumpkin patch for a jack-o'-lantern display on your own front porch!

8 Fall Foliage Trips with Extra Fun for Families in New England

When it comes to showing off fall colors, New England clearly does it best. And even though you don't have to travel to glimpse some red and gold, there are certain towns in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut that boast some particularly stunning foliage displays, drawing families for fall day trips or weekend getaways.

Sure, kids might not thrill to the wonders of changing foliage quite the way grown-ups do. But most enjoy trips to pretty destinations, with fun stops to hike, eat, and play along the way. These fall locales combine great fall color with fun family activities. Now all you have to do is convince the kids to put down their devices and appreciate the scenery! For more autumn hotspots around the country, check out the complete Mommy Poppins fall leaves and foliage guide.

13 Perfect Fall Weekend Getaways Near NYC for Families

Fall in the Northeast is a lovely time of year for a family getaway. The crisp air, fall colors, and outdoor activities are hard to resist for most kids (and grown-ups). New Yorkers can experience that magic right in the city's gorgeous parks, some of which feel almost like a countryside retreat during a foliage walk. But for a weekend away, perhaps over those fall school holidays, consider a weekend trip to fully immerse the family in fall fun.

We’ve rounded up 13 options, from a luxury retreat in Connecticut to glamping in New Hampshire to an Adirondack wilderness retreat where you can really unplug. 

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.

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!

14 Outdoor Water Parks With Water Slides and Spraygrounds for New England Kids and Families

Splash pads and swimming pools are fun ways to cool off near home, but in three hours or less by car, families in Massachusetts or Connecticut can get to most of the following outdoor water parks for a wet and wild adventure with kids. Although there's no shortage of big slides at these amusement parks, you don't have to be a daredevil (or of a certain height) to enjoy yourself. There are wave pools, family raft rides, and lazy rivers for preschoolers (and those of us who don't need to plummet a down a very tall slide to have fun). Some of the parks are dedicated to water attractions, and others are part of a larger theme park, but they all offer plenty of chances to get completely soaked. 

Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC

For young children, a ride on a carousel’s painted pony, a spin with dad around the bumper car track, and a dripping swirl of frozen custard are the stuff summer memories are made of. No need to seek out the latest scary high-tech roller coasters (which means you can cross Luna Park's most scary rides off your list).

Rides that look mild (or frankly, downright boring) to big people usually provide just the right amount of thrills for toddlers and preschoolers. Happily, there are a number of amusement and water parks in or near the New York City metro area that offer these kinds of tame attractions. Here's our roundup of theme parks perfect for the pint-sized.

Find more seasonal rides in our Theme and Water Parks Guide for families.

8 Great Theme Parks For Families in New England

For a memorable family outing jam-packed with exhilarating rides, indulgent snacks, and giggle-inducing character interactions, head to a theme park. We have some great choices here in New England and rounded up our eight favorites for families with kids ranging from toddlers to teens. Some are close enough for a daycation while others are better suited for a weekend getaway; regardless, they all make for a quick escape from the every day blahs. For even more local thrills, explore our theme and water park guides for Boston and Connecticut, and if you have a few extra days for fun and relaxation, check out our Best Amusement Parks Near NYC

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