Welcome 2017. Welcome January. It’s time to kickstart the new year by celebrating 15 holidays sure to make your heart burst with happiness. We see you rolling your eyes: Didn’t the holiday season just end? No worries. These celebrations do not require ugly sweaters or schmoozing at obligatory gatherings, and spending extra money is optional.
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The Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven houses one of the oldest natural history collections in the world and is one of the best family-friendly museums in Connecticut. Featuring three floors of exhibits, it makes for a wonderful and memorable day trip with children. In the colder months, you can spend plenty of hours indoors, learning about birds, gemstones, dinosaurs, and everything in between. On warmer days, walking around the city becomes a pleasure, as does taking a detour through Lighthouse Point Park, relaxing on the boardwalk or exploring the playground. Don't leave head home before sampling the delicious cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood, and if time allows, check out It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course. There is no doubt that the New Haven area packs many opportunities for adventure, including free family activities, and below are reasons why the Peabody Museum should definitely be on your "Must See" list.
The first storm of the season creates quite a stir for those of us who excitedly await a winter wonderland. Sure, building snowmen and having snowball fights leave us breathless with fun, but it's hard to match the thrill of holding tight to a sled while careening down a hill on a quest to be the one who finishes first and travels the farthest. For a truly great sledding experience, check out these awesome hills in the Hartford area. Winter lasts only about 12 weeks, so pack a thermos with hot chocolate, maybe grab an extra pair of mittens and socks (don't forget lip balm and sunscreen!), and embrace the snowy adventures.
If you are looking to explore more winter activities, check out our Ski and Snow Sports Guide. Mount Southington for downhill skiing and Winding Trails for cross-country are two local attractions worth exploring. Sledding fun also awaits in Fairfield County.
Let's face it -- tutus and tights aren't everyone's favorite way of celebrating the holiday season, but for many families, attending a musical or theatrical performance is a beloved tradition. If your loved ones are seeking a break from sugar plum fairies and an army of mice, we have a few suggestions for festive productions lighting up the stage at a venue near you.
If, however, you have a budding ballerina in your midst and Clara's story is on your "must see" list, don't worry: we also have you covered for performances of The Nutcracker. Additionally, the Mommy Poppins Holiday Guide has many more suggestions for your family this holiday season, including places to visit with Santa.
One of the scariest things about Halloween is the potential for sugar overdose, especially since few children left to their own devises are able to resist an all-candy binge. No, we’re not suggesting that you say “Boo” to the sweet stuff. After all, we enjoy it even as adults, whether it’s chocolaty, gooey, or nutty. But, most of us understand moderation a little bit better than we did in elementary school, and know that a sugar crash can leave us feeling terrible. So what to do with all the sweet quests? Here are nine suggestions for ensuring bright smiles and feel-good tummies.
If you’re looking for a small-town fair big on entertainment, mouth-watering foods, and scrumptious desserts, the Southington Apple Harvest Festival, celebrating its 48th year and mentioned in our 30 Fun Things to Do This Fall in Connecticut is sure to deliver. Nestled around the charming Southington Town Green, this family-oriented event attracts about 100,000 visitors annually. Add free admission and free parking to the fact that purchases benefit local community organizations and businesses, and you have an all-around feel good experience.
Wondering where you can sink your toes into a 40-mile stretch of sand featuring some of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Look no further than Cape Cod. Of course, as a New Englander, I may be biased, but only slightly. Without dispute, the waves, ponds, marshes, and dunes that comprise the Cape Cod National Seashore are magnificent. Add biking and hiking trails, historic landmarks, old lighthouses, wild cranberry bogs, miniature golf, and delicious ice cream parlors, and you have a recipe for coastal adventure and lifelong memories.
If you’re looking for a destination that celebrates autumn, grants pumpkins celebrity status, and leaves out the scary stuff, set your GPS location to Pumpkintown U.S.A., located less than 30 minutes southeast of Hartford. Here you can sit and chat with Barack and Michelle Gourdama, watch Arnold Squashernager flex his muscles, or crash the wedding of Tanya Turnip and Willie Joe Beet. They are but a few of the adorable pumpkinheads that will welcome thousands of visitors from now until the end of October. If you have children under age 10, Pumpkintown is a "must see" this fall, and be sure to browse our Connecticut Fall Guide for more fun ideas.