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Top 10 Connecticut Family Day Trips Not to Miss!

1. Falls Village
We have to start with FV because that was our town! There is a beautiful outlet of the Appalachian Trail you can access right near the region's High School and you can catch a view of the Great Falls with a short walk from the village itself. There are a few little shops and an annual car show but the view is what makes FV a little home in my heart. The best part about exploring this area is that the great outdoors are always free to explore. :)

2. Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill
This place was AWESOME and I am not entirely sure why so many people I come across who live in CT have never been here. Obviously, I was coming from a different point of view, I moved to the northwest corner after living in a huge state (NY) so I wanted to see ALL of CT basically immediately. This is an interactive museum built over top of real authentic dinosaur tracks that were found in 1966. The inside also has a fun little kids center and outdoors there are activities on weekends and some beautiful trails (if you are coming during warm weather keep in mind that you should pack your meal because they do not sell food but have a few nice spots to eat). Admission is free under 5, $2 for kids 6-12, and $5 12+


 3.  Angevine Christmas Tree Farm, Warren CT
I curse the little buggers that made transporting Christmas trees over state lines illegal because now that we have settled in upstate NY we can't trek to Warren where we experienced our first magical Christmas tree in the first house we ever lived in together. This was my first time cutting down my own Christmas tree and I am just rampant with the spirit of the season AND IT LIVED UP TO ALL MY EXPECTATIONS! The kids ran around and played tag while we chopped down our tree, we watched the sun crest over the mountainside, then we went into the Christmas barn where we had hot cocoa and the kids had Christmas treats and then listened to an old steinway player piano. It was fabulous! You will not regret your visit to this family run farm! 

This is an awesome family campground in CT-- they have theme weekends with activities and movie nights, photo contests, lots of other on property fun (swimming, playground, horseshoes, live local music). The sites are beautiful! Rates are competitive and change seasonally.

The town I grew up in has a huge county fair only a few towns north. It draws people from all over NY and it pulls in big name acts to the stage. Although the Goshen Fair isn't of this magnitude, there is something distinctly special about it. The Goshen Fair has the rides and games and fair food and crazy attractions that you find at every fair. It has big crowds but not as overpacked as some other local fairs in the region and the best part is that it is Labor Day weekend. Most fairs have come and gone by then and having a goodbye to summer that feels like the sweet hint of summer first peaking out at you is refreshing.

6. Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport
 My fiance lived in CT for the majority of his life and still ended up never knowing there was even in Zoo in the state. Most people trek down to the Bronx Zoo in NY but honestly, at least in my opinion, most zoos are not worth a second trip. We had a great day at Beardsley, we went early in the season so crowds were low and we hit the first showing of the movie Zooptopia that had just come out so we arrived around noon. The zoo closes at 4 and we had plenty of time to see everything. Under 3 enter for free, 3-11 pay just $12 and 12+ $15.

We stopped here on the way back from a day out and about and the kids still talk about it! This place is certainly worth the stop. It is a self-guided museum right at the factory! There is a scavenger hunt for kids, lots of memorabilia, and literally all the pez you could dream of! They charge $4 for kids and $5 for adults to enter but you get a lanyard with your pez-shaped ticket attached as well as a pez dispenser (if you complete the scavenger hunt) and your ticket comes with a $2 off coupon so its more than fair price.

The nicest thing about Kent Falls is that its easy. Everything about it.. its an easy to find location, easy to park, easy to spot the falls from the road, easy walk, easy hike... all the makings for an easy day. One that includes picnics and cooking in the park. You can easily throw together a day of natural beauty and sunshiney fun with Kent Falls at the setting. Pack some food, outdoor games, cameras, and your family and head out and enjoy the easy beauty of CT. 

9. Mystic Seaport (and Aquarium)
Couples could make a weekend out of Mystic. Its not far from the casino, you can check out the historic seaport, shops, aquarium. However, having visited all spots I really think the most fun could be the seaport for day trip for kids. There are lots of other (more expensive) port villages to walk around in but Mystic is historic and easy/affordable to stay, and besides the charm the port is interesting and active. The aquarium is not a far drive from the seaport, and is mostly outdoors and is packed on most weekends. If you are interested in the Beluga whale or Penguin encounter it's certainly worth the trip, however, see below for our family's real aquarium choice! 

10.  Norwalk Aquarium
All the kids visited this aquarium on school trips and you know that teachers know best! They rave about it and my fiance even chaperoned the most recent trip and loved it as well. If it is aquariums you are after, the jelly-filled and shark-infested water's at Norwalk are worth the trip! And it boasts an IMAX theatre as well! Prices are $16 for kids 3-12, $21 for kids 13-17, $23 for adults.


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