Once school ends, parents are suddenly faced with a whole lot of unstructured time for the kids. But don't stress: This is where summer camps come into the picture—and they don't have to break the bank. We've made it easy for Connecticut parents with our picks for affordable (some even free!) Connecticut summer camps. Remember also to inquire with your local parks and recreation department; these camps tend to be very affordable options, too.
Latest posts by Jennifer Coe
Soon, sugar houses all across the state get to work on the process of collecting and evaporating clear watery sap into tasty, golden syrup. The traditional maple sugaring season extends from February until late March, though that depends greatly on the weather (freezing nights and warm, sunny days are necessary to provide good sap yields). If you and the kids are interested in learning more about this sweet New England tradition, head to a maple syrup or sugaring festival or tour in Litchfield, Hartford, Fairfield, and New Haven counties. Some sugar houses invite you to stop in anytime the evaporator is running (but call before heading out).
It may be cold outside, but it's always swimming season at these Hartford-area indoor pools. Whether your child is clamoring to splash around or still learning to swim, these pools welcome families with day pass options and drop-in family swim hours.
After you go for a dip, make sure to check out our entire list of things to do indoors in Connecticut. After your swim, spend the day doing one or more of our 45 favorite things to do with kids in Hartford.
The preschool-age is such a fun time to see a child's curiosity and imagination blossom. My 5-year old loves pretending he is a doctor, musician, and chef, all in the same hour. Nurture those wide ranging interests bringing your preschooler to some of central Connecticut's best museums, state parks, craft centers, and energy-burning indoor playgrounds. Here's a list of our favorite spots to take preschoolers around Hartford and central Connecticut.
If you have kids of multiple ages, check out 45 Unmissable Things to do with Kids in Hartford.
February is the month of love, so get out there and embrace it! Nutmeg kids can celebrate the Valentine's season with the Fire and Ice Festival in Putnam, crafting in Litchfield and Monroe, and chocolate tastings in both Willimantic and Wilton. Or, catch live productions of some of kid-favorite shows and events, including Pinkaliscious and Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure. For even more ways to enjoy your days, check out our Indoor Play Guide and Connecticut Winter Fun Guide. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get a list of each week's highlighted events!
Connecticut may be small, but it boasts hundreds of art museums, historical homesteads, science museums, children’s museums, and cultural centers across the state. If you want to take advantage of everything the Nutmeg State has to offer but don’t love the price tag that comes along with it, then you'll love the fact that so many of Connecticut's greatest museums and cultural attractions are free for little (and in some cases, all) kids. From the Bruce Museum in Greenwich to the Wadsworth Antheneum in Hartford, there's something for every interest and age group.
Family budgets get really tight sometimes, but mom still needs a break from meal planning. Wouldn't it be great to go to a favorite, kid-friendly restaurant and eat food someone else prepared...that's free? Here is a list of Connecticut restaurants that offer free kids meals at different times. Pair your free meal with an accompanying activity from our Free Things To Do Guide, and make an affordable family outing of it.
Ah, the cheerful glow of holiday lights; few things make the season brighter. And while there are plenty of impressive public light shows you can take in around the state, let's not forget those neighborhoods where festive families go over the top with their home holiday lights. If you know where to look, you can find some truly dazzling displays. So pile in the car, fire up the GPS, and get your twinkly lights fix with these spectacular home holiday light displays around Connecticut. See our Connecticut Holiday Fun Guide for more ideas for making merry with kids this season.