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.
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Before beach towels get stored away for another season and late summer nights are replaced by bedtime curfews, there's still plenty of time to embrace late-summer fun with Connecticut kids. Here are our favorite things to close out the summer vacation season as a family. Don't forget to check our list of must-do August activities, free August fun, and events calendar for even more ideas for making the most of summer's end.
Whether your child experiments with toy instruments or just hums favorite tunes in the back seat of the car, chances are music is at least a small part of his or her day. For parents looking for ways to inspire their kids make more music or develop piano, violin, or vocal skills, the choices for classes and instruction appear endless. While we could never cover every one of these programs in one post, we've rounded up some of our favorites in and around Boston.
Looking for other types of enrichment programs, including sports, art, and more? Please check out our Boston Classes Guide.
Get ready to make a splash. Several pools in the Hartford area 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 Classes and Activities Guide.
In Western New York, hugging the shores of Lake Erie, awaits Buffalo, the second largest city in the Empire State. Famous for its spicy chicken wings, this vibrant area is also known for its history, art deco architecture, great restaurants, and plenty of family-friendly fun, indoors and out. The nearby Niagara Falls usually attracts the most tourist attention, but do not skip a visit to Buffalo, which makes the list for being one of our favorite family getaways in upstate New York.
Below are nearly two dozen suggestions of kid-friendly activities for a great family trip to Buffalo, New York.
Strawberry picking farms can be found all over Connecticut. This tasty red fruit is one of the healthiest and most delicious treats that warmer weather brings to the Northeast.
Find a u-pick farm for strawberry picking with your Connecticut kids with our list of great spots below. Watch the excitement on their faces as they hunt for the biggest, reddest berries on the farm.
The Connecticut pick-your-own strawberry season is short, usually lasting only from early or mid-June to early July; don’t miss out! There are so many great strawberry-based recipes you can prepare with the kids, too: homemade jam, strawberry shortcake, berry tarts, or simply enjoying fresh fruit in cereals, salads, or as an ice cream topping.
Can you thrive for a day in 1518? That’s a question Siri cannot answer at Wigwam Escape, since cell phones (and watches) are not allowed inside this historically-themed escape room recently opened at The Institute for American Indian Studies Museum & Research Center. The popularity of escape rooms has surged in recent years, and they're especially appealing to kids who love the thrill of solving problems and puzzles on a tight deadline. Wigwam Escape is no exception, except that the unique Native American historical setting adds a truly meaningful educational and family-bonding opportunity to the adrenaline rush.
Some of Connecticut's best treasures are anchored in natural beauty, no matter the season. The Nutmeg State is home to 110 state parks, which means there's a lot of outdoor adventure to be had. We've compiled a list of favorite spots to visit with children, taking into consideration terrain, views, access to restrooms, and other amenities or attractions associated with each destination. Bonus: in 2018, entry to Connecticut state parks became free to residents, so enjoy the bargain.
For wee ones, consider our suggestions for 1-Mile Hikes and 10 Fantastic Stroller Hikes, or challenge older children to a trek up a mountain. Grab your hiking shoes, pack snacks, and enjoy the views and fresh air.