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2023 Summer Bucket List


With schools all over the state gearing up for vacation, it’s time to turn our attention to the big question: What are we going to do this summer?

Not to worry! We’ve got your back with 700+ (and counting!) activities, events, and things to do. We’ve organized them into 25 categories and linked to other round ups to stop it from getting too chaotic.

We’re calling it our Summer Bucket List, just because I’m trying to do them all with my family too 🤣Want a printable version? Click here to print your own.

PS- Sometimes we may use sponsored content to cover the cost of running the blog- we thank Nature’s Art Village for helping to sponsor this post. All opinions are our own though!

Dinosaur Place
1.Check out the Dinosaur Place

I cannot tell you how many times we drove by the giant dinosaur with sunglasses on our way to the beach without stopping in. Now that my kids are a little older (I have an honest-to-goodness PRESCHOOLER!?!), the time was right to finally see what was in there.

It. Was. AWESOME!!! They fully immersed (and completely exhausted!) my kids. Some of our favorites:

Basically, if you have young children, this is the theme park you want to visit.

2. Travel to the Rainforest at the Science Center 

This is another must stop- and the perfect place to spend a heat wave or rainy day. Everything is so hands on. Some of our favorites:

PS- looking to visit more than once? See how much we saved with our Membership.

Yard Goats

Image Credit: Hartford Yard Goats

3. Watch the GOATS play at a Yard Goats Game 

I may not be much of a baseball player, but Yard Goats games are different. Our whole family always has a TOTAL BLAST.  I’m not sure if it’s a minor league thing, but they are so interactive and kid friendly! Active kids will love being able to run the bases on Sundays. Plus, Fireworks on Saturdays, themed days- think “Wizard Night” “Marvel Night” and “Princesses and Pirates Night.”

The “vibe” also hits different – they just seem to get kids. The game is so interactive and features a lot of opportunities for audience participation via cheering, Jumbotron- the list goes on and on.

Add in a thriving food scene, and some fun printables we put together, and all of the sudden it’s a really fun night out with the kids- even for non-sports people.

Other options for (free/low cost!) Connecticut baseball fun include the CCBL baseball league , New Britain Bees, Bristol Blues, Mystic Schooners, and Danbury Westerners. 
Concert on the Green

Image Credit: Town of Glastonbury, town of Essex, Dogfish Head

4. Attend an Outdoor Concert:

Is there anything that says “Connecticut summer” than outdoor concerts on the town green? Growing up, I looked forward to dancing along to the music with my friends all year.

As a parent, I now realize just how kid friendly they are – all you have to do is pack a picnic, and kids can dance and sing (and eat!) to their hearts content. It’s the perfect place for them to enjoy music and just being kids!

We’ve rounded up a list of concerts around the state- whether you want to listen to music at Riverfront in Glastonbury,  eat ice cream and watch the band play by Mystic Drawbridge, or soak in the history alongside the music at the Connecticut Historical Society or the Florence Griswold Museum, there really is something for everyone.

Library Summer Reading

Image Credit: BubbleMania, Canva, Hartford Stage

5. Head to the Library for Amazing Events

Did you know that there are over 500 summer reading events offered by Connecticut Libraries?

Since when has summer reading gotten…cool!?!?!?! Parties…prizes…comedy shows…BMX biking…cooking classes… I mean, the list just goes on and on. The Hartford Stage even came up with a whole SUMMER CAMP dedicated to bringing summer reading to life. We’ve seen libraries offering JEDI TRAINING. Seriously- where was this when we were kids?

Plus, libraries have tons of fun things to check out- think movie screens, cake pans, crafts– anything and everything you need for fun summer activities!

Park Picnic
6. Picnic at the Park or Playground

Pick up some of the best cheese in the country at Arethusa Farm, visit the Pond House Cafe Shack on a stroll through Elizabeth Park, or choose your own adventure. Summer Days are made for picnicking and there is no shortage of gorgeous CT Spots. We’re working on a list, but in the meantime, some of our favorites so far include:

Beach Day
8. Visit the Farm

It’s pick your own season, and we have SO MANY FARMS in Connecticut. Just a few of our summer favorites:

PS- Looking for fun berry picking activities? Check these out!

Children's Museum
9. Check out a Children’s Museum:

We have SO MANY Museums in our State. Some of our favorite CT museums for kids to unleash their imaginations:

It’s the perfect thing to do on a rainy day. Check out this post for other fun CT Indoor Attractions, including:

PS- Want to see some fantastic museum tours? Check out our YouTube or TikTok Pages.

CT Splash Pads

Image Credit: Town of Colchester, Town of New Haven

10. Cool off at the Splash Pad

Connecticut has some AMAZING Splash Pads- and more are being built (Nevers Park!!!) Some of our favorites:


Image Credit: Richmond Library, Canva

11. Watch the Fireworks: 

Did you know there are over 50 CT Fireworks shows!?!?!

Check out our round up of state wide events- and keep checking back as we continue to update throughout the season!

Photo Credit: Nature’s Art Village

No Child Left Inside
12. Visit State Parks with “No Child Left Inside”

Did you know? Connecticut State Parks “No Child Left Inside” Program is entering its 18th year! DEEP says:

NCLI’s new Families in the Parks program expands on the Great Park Pursuit Family Adventure Program by reaching more families and youth, while also extending the season and locations of activities. You and the children in your care can enjoy a wide variety of FREE, fun and educational outdoor recreational opportunities. Enjoy time together and reconnect with the outdoors, nature and each other.

The best news? There are TONS OF EVENTS and if you participate in 10 you could win TWO FREE NIGHTS OF CAMPING!!!

Follow along as we visit events along the state:

Fossils and gems
13. Dig in and Explore some rocks!

My kids are OBSESSED with all things sand, rocks, and archeology. I think it’s a sensory thing- they just love to play in the dirt. Fortunately there are TONS of places to dig in the sand and find some cool fossils.

Pool Swim

Photo Credit: Canva, Town of Glastonbury, Town of West Hartford

Farmers Market

Photo Credit: Coventry Farmer’s Market, Willimantic Farmer’s Market

15. Visit the Farmers Market:

Whether you want to time strolling through the field or downtown, Connecticut has some amazing Farmer’s Markets. Some of our favorites include:


Photo Credit: Mystic Aquarium and Norwalk Aquarium

16: Head Under the Sea at the Aquarium:

Is it summer without seeing a few fish? We have a few places with fantastic under the sea exhibits.

Animals at the Zoo

Photo Credit: Beardsley Zoo

17. Visit the Animals at the Zoo or Nature Center

It’s not summer without a trip to the Beardsley Zoo! Some of our favorite attractions include:

Plus, there are tons of Nature Centers:

And so many more!

Seasonal Food Stand

Photo Credit: Vernon Summer Days, Robin Hood’s Faire, Vernon Summer Days Again 

18. Stop for an outdoor Lunch with the kids.

Summer is peak outdoor dining season, and we have some great spots for family foodies. I’m hoping to report on a bunch of spots this summer. For Science, of course 🤪

Carnival/Summer Fair
Boat on Water

Photo Credit: Canva

20. Enjoy a boating trip on the water

There are so many ways to go for a boating adventure- whether you want to kayak, sail, or go for a power boating adventure.

Some of our favorites:

Adventure Park

Photo Credit: Storrs Adventure Park, Fun City New Britain, Funbox Milford

21. Visit an Adventure or Theme Park

Did you know that Connecticut has its fair share of adventure and theme parks? The Dinosaur Place is at the top of our list because it is perfect for our young kids, but there are tons more to check out too!

Some of our family favorites:

Mini Golf

Photo Credit: Copper Creek, Sonny’s Place, Matterhorn Mini Golf

22. Mini Golf

It’s a classic for a reason! There’s just so much to see and do. Plus, it develops all kinds of gross motor skills in kids, gets you outside, and is just all around fantastic for family bonding. Some of our CT Favorites:

Drive in Movie

Photo Credit: Mansfield Drive In and Canva

23. Drive in Movie Theater

Drive in Movie Theaters aren’t just a thing of the past! It’s the perfect family-friendly movie option – kids can move around a little more, there are SNACKS, and it’s just a great family time.

Some of our favorites:

PS- Want to host a movie night in your backyard? Check out your local Library of Things to see if they offer outdoor movie projectors.

Ice Cream Challenge

Photo Credit: Kloter Farms Ice Cream Barn, UConn Dairy Bar, Rich Farm Oxford, Arethusa Farm 

25. Step back in time one of CT’s Fantastic Historical Museums:

There are so many ways to explore Connecticut’s History! Some of our favorites for kids are:

Have a summer fun activity you’d like to add? Comment below or email so we can check it out! 

As always, a lot of energy goes into checking each event and venue. That said, it’s always best to confirm with the organizer yourself prior to going.😄


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