Well, hello, summer! We’ve been waiting for you. I am more than ready for some summer adventures with my children. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to venture on day trips with friends and family. Here are some great spots that can be done in a day outside of Fairfield County.
Hartford is not only our state’s capitol, but it is filled with some wonderful museums and places of interest. A perfect day in Hartford would begin at the Connecticut Science Center. With 7 galleries jam-packed with hands-on exhibits, this is the perfect spot for mixed ages to spend some time together.
Grab lunch at a nearby restaurant, pack your own, or enjoy some Subway (or even froyo) inside the museum. The Center also houses a 3D movie theater for an additional fee. After a visit to the center, you can make your way to Bushnell Park. With the back drop of our capitol building, you can go for a ride on the carousel, play in the playground or even catch some live performances.
New Haven is another great little city that has many different activities and places to visit. When my sister is in town, we have spent the day with the older cousins walking around Yale campus. These are some great itinerary suggestions for hanging out in the Yale area. If you are in need of some furniture, you can always visit the IT Adventure Ropes Course at Jordan’s Furniture or get some alone time by using the IKEA kid’s play space (it’s free!).
Enjoy some world famous pizza on Wooster Street, a vegetarian meal at Claire’s Corner Copia or get the best falafel in Connecticut at Mamoun’s. Also worth mentioning, every Tuesday night is family night at the Leitner Family Observatory and Planeterium. Take part in an indoor planetarium show and then use their telescopes to explore the night sky in the great outdoors.
Every year a sea cruise to Thimble Islands is on our bucket list. Drive down to Stony Creek, CT and grab a spot on the Sea Mist boat tour with Thimble Island Cruise. It seems like the perfect way to spend a sunny day. This review gives some great information about planning your outing here.
If your children are into hiking and love the great outdoors Kent Falls is a very picturesque location and well worth the car ride. Children and adults will enjoy some hiking and playing time together. End the day with a visit to the Hopkins Vineyard. Set on the northern shore of Lake Waramaug, Hopkins Vineyard is a beautiful kid-friendly winery that offers guided tours, tastings, and tasty bites to eat.
New York City
Now that my youngest child is no longer a toddler, we love spending the day in the city. Both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Museum of Natural History have been amazing experiences for both my five and eight year old. Dean & Deluca has affordable lunch options for even the pickiest eater as you make your way into Central Park from the Upper East Side.
Just the park alone is a full day adventure filled with a variety of options for all ages. The outdoor free entertainment is always a blast for the kids. Get a snack at Alice’s Teacup or Serendipity. You can even enter the Broadway lottery to try to win reduced tickets to a kid-friendly show. Helpful tip: Children 5 – 11 ride for $1 with the Family Fare Pass on Metro-North Trains.