SUMMER IS HERE!
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!
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:
- T-Rex Tower
- Splash Pad– Featuring games like Downpour Derby, Interactive Water Cannons, And More.
- Dino Trails – Including touch exhibits and volcano that erupts every hour on the hour.
Basically, if you have young children, this is the theme park you want to visit.
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:
- Head Under the Canopy
- Rollercoaster Design
- Food and Nutrition with Esther the Digester
- Ambulance at Health Lab
- Lunar Lander
PS- looking to visit more than once? See how much we saved with our Membership.
Image Credit: Hartford Yard Goats
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.
Image Credit: Town of Glastonbury, town of Essex, Dogfish Head
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.
Image Credit: BubbleMania, Canva, Hartford Stage
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!
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:
Some of our other favorites include:
- Hammonasset Beach State Park and Meig’s Point Nature Center
- Clinton Town Beach
- Harvey’s Beach, Old Saybrook
- Ocean Beach Park, New London
- duBois Beach, Stonington
- Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven
- Jennings Beach, Fairfield
Check out our top 10 beaches for families here.
It’s pick your own season, and we have SO MANY FARMS in Connecticut. Just a few of our summer favorites:
- Visit Killam & Bassette Farmstead, LLC for tons of fresh produce – or attend one of their monthly Free Farm Tasting Days!
- Lyman Orchards offers tons of events plus delicious pick your own options
- Jones Family Farm
- Brown’s Harvest
- Belltown Hill Orchards
- Fish Family Farm
- Flamig Farm
- Bishops Orchards
- Lavender Pond Farm
- Buttonwood Farms
PS- Looking for fun berry picking activities? Check these out!
We have SO MANY Museums in our State. Some of our favorite CT museums for kids to unleash their imaginations:
- The Children’s Museum, West Hartford
- Niantic Children’s Museum
- Lutz Museum, Manchester
- KidCity, Middletown
- KidsPlay, Torrington
- Stepping Stones Museum, Norwalk
- Discovery Museum, Bridgeport
It’s the perfect thing to do on a rainy day. Check out this post for other fun CT Indoor Attractions, including:
Image Credit: Town of Colchester, Town of New Haven
Image Credit: Richmond Library, Canva
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
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:
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.
Photo Credit: Canva, Town of Glastonbury, Town of West Hartford
14. Spend the Day at the Pool:
It’s not summer without a pool day! The 860/203 has tons of options for families of all ages.
- Wolf Park Pool, Monroe
- Fernridge Park, West Hartford
- Addison Park, Glastonbury
- Churchill Pool, Newington
- Veteran’s Memorial Pool, Middletown
- Ocean Beach Park Pool, New London
- Looking for a rainy day activity? Check out our list of pools.
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
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!
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 🤪
- Looking for Lobster Rolls? Try Lobster Landing in Clinton or Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank.
- Johnny Ad’s in Old Saybrook offers both excellent seafood and non seafood items.
- Top Dog Hot Dog, Portland has delicious and inexpensive options – and is super fun!
- It’s open year round, but the outdoor dining at Parkville Market in Hartford is excellent.
Summer fairs and carnivals are in season, and there are so many different ones to check out!
- May 20-July 2: Robin Hood’s Medieval Faire
- June 10: Celebrate! West Hartford
- June 10: Westbrook Family Day
- June 17: Strawberry Festival at Lyman Orchards
- June 17-19: Juneteenth Celebrations
- June 30-July 1: Trumbull Day
- July 8-9: Sailfest New London
- July 19-22: Quaker Farms Vol. Fire Co. Annual Carnival – Oxford CT
- July 26-29: Vernon’s Annual Summer Days Carnival
- July 28-30: Lebanon County Fair
- August 4-6: Potato and Corn Fest, North Branford
- August 24- 27: Brooklyn Fair
Photo Credit: Canva
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:
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:
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:
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.
Photo Credit: Kloter Farms Ice Cream Barn, UConn Dairy Bar, Rich Farm Oxford, Arethusa Farm
There are SO MANY AMAZING ice cream spots around our state.
- UConn Dairy Bar, Storrs, CT
- Kloter Farms Ice Cream, Ellington
- We-Li-Kit Farm, Pomfret Center, CT
- Main Street Creamery, Wethersfield CT
- Arethusa Farm Dairy and Café, New Haven, Bantam, and West Hartford
- Fish Family Farm in Bolton
- Mystic Drawbridge, Mystic
- Frisbie’s Dairy Barn, New Britain
- Manny’s Sweet Treats, Parkville Market
Photo Credit: Genius Museum, New England Air Museum, Carousel Museum
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 Kate@Kidtivity.com 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.😄