A Summer Bucket List for the Connecticut Mom

Hello to our new visitors!

This post has gone somewhat viral and we know that many of you are visiting Out and About Mom for the very first time (which of course is super exciting for me and Shawna!)

Whether you found us through our segment on NBC Connecticut or a friend shared our site with you, we wanted to say WELCOME and thank you so much for stopping by.  Below you will find a great list of some of our favorite summer activities, but I wanted to let you know that we have over 300 outings documented on our site, so there is even more to check out!  You can get all of the details on our list of adventures here.  Plus, we post new outing ideas every Tuesday and Thursday each week.  You can go here to get an automatic notification of new posts straight to your email inbox. And you can like us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest posts and get some extra tidbits we share only through those sites.

Again, thank you so much for stopping by and we hope you have a great time planning your summer adventures!


Bucket List

Are you busy making summer plans?  Well we thought we’d give you a little help by putting together a few ideas (well, more like 50!).

While Shawna and I are excited about all the new places we will be visiting with the kids this summer, we are equally excited about heading back to what have become some of our favorite summer destinations.

With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to create a Summer Bucket List for the Connecticut Mom (and all other caregivers of course) and get down on paper all our “must do” outings for the summer season.

Oh and for any readers who are new moms with a baby in tow, we’ve highlighted () a few outings we think you would especially enjoy.

Here we go (listed in no particular order) . . .

  1. Feed the animals at Flamig Farm in Simsbury. 
  2. Cool off at either the Fernridge Park or Wolcott Park spray pads in West Hartford. (FREE)
  3. Have a beach day at Hammonasset State Park followed by dinner at Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale Restaurant in Madison.
  4. Spend a day in Mystic with a visit to Mystic River Park Playground followed by a walk downtown to check out the drawbridge and grab some ice cream. (FREE to visit)
  5. Spend a rainy afternoon in the large play area at the Noah Webster Library in West Hartford. (FREE) 
  6. Visit with farm animals and explore the short walking trail at Westmoor Park in West Hartford. (FREE) 
  7. Take your little one to the water area at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford.
  8. Let the kids pick out their favorite fresh fruits and vegetables at the Coventry Farmers’ Market. (FREE to visit) 
  9. Spend a Sunday morning enjoying Breakfast with a View at Rose’s Berry Farm in Glastonbury. (Begins June 8, 2014) 
  10. Visit the cows and get fresh milk and ice cream at the Fish Family Farm in Bolton. (FREE to visit)
  11. Enjoy the fully fenced in Buckingham Road Playground in Avon. (FREE)
  12. Plan a fun morning out with a visit to the smaller-scale Zoo at Forest Park in Springfield, MA.  (Check out a pass at your library for FREE entry)
  13. Enjoy the beach and let the kids be entertained by passing trains at Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme.
  14. Take a nature walk at the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton.  (Trails are FREE)
  15. Enjoy a Wednesday night summer concert at Elizabeth Park in Hartford. (FREE) 
  16. Take your little one(s) on a stroller ride and enjoy the scenic views at the Reservoir in West Hartford. (FREE) 
  17. Grab a treat at TCBY and then enjoy the awesome boundless playground nearby in Bloomfield. (FREE to visit)
  18. Check out a few books at the Simsbury Library and then head across the street for playtime and lunch at the Rotary Park Boundless Playground. (FREE)
  19. Take a ferry ride across the Connecticut River and visit the Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam.
  20. Visit the farm animals and enjoy the wonderful playground and scenery at Northwest Park in Windsor. (FREE) 
  21. Let the kids play in the Hayloft Playscape and then pick some fruit at March Farm in Bethlehem. (FREE to visit)
  22. Grab a hot dog and try to catch a fly ball at the Rock Cats baseball game in New Britain.
  23. Get inside the prarie dog habitat and check out the gigantic bison at Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport. (Check out a pass at your library for FREE entry)
  24. Take part in a drop in program at the Avon Free Public Library. (FREE)
  25. Enjoy your coffee while the kids play in the children’s section at the Farmington Library. (FREE)
  26. Enjoy homemade ice cream while you pet the animals at Robb’s Farm in Glastonbury.
  27. Watch the Pez factory in action at the PEZ Visitors Center in Orange.
  28. Wave to Beluga whales and catch the sea lion show at Mystic Aquarium(Check out a pass at your library for discounted entry)
  29. Come face to face with a giraffe at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI.
  30. Pick peaches at Belltown Hill Orchards in Glastonbury.
  31. Enjoy fun (and food) in the sun at the South Windsor Farmer’s Market then play at nearby My Friend’s Place Boundless Playground(FREE admission) ♥ 
  32. Enjoy the nature trails, then make a cast of a real dinosaur footprint at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill. (FREE; BYO casting supplies–see post for details)
  33. Explore the beautiful grounds, visit fine feathered friends at the Aviary and find the model train in the Sensory Garden at Wickham Park in Manchester.
  34. Cool off with some indoor (air conditioned) fun at Monkey Joe’s in Hamden.
  35. Check out the giant indoor play area plus the outdoor water slides at Stay & Play in Old Saybrook.
  36. Dine seaside at Abbot’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank.
  37. Ride the wagon out to pick blueberries and raspberries at Rose’s Berry Farm in Glastonbury.
  38. Enjoy delicious lobster rolls and ice cream from the Snack Shack and discover the Faerie Village at Jessica’s Garden in Marlborough.
  39. Explore Bodie’s Place Playground in Milford.
  40. Discover the family-friendly galleries and programs at the New Britain Museum of American Art. (FREE admission on Saturday mornings and with a library museum pass)
  41. Go treasure hunting in Putnam, CT.
  42. Indulge in cheeseburgers and ice cream at Shady Glen in Manchester.
  43. Go shopping at the Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market in Guilford.
  44. Go for a morning dip at Eastbury Pond in Glastonbury.
  45. Tour the Springfield Museums, then picnic at the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, MA.
  46. Ride bikes or take a stroll on the Air Line State Park Trail in Hebron and nearby areas. (FREE) 
  47. Head to Holyoke to visit the Children’s Museum, then go for a ride on the carousel at Holyoke Heritage State Park in Holyoke, MA.
  48. Escape the heat at the Cora J. Belden Library’s Children’s Play Area in Rocky Hill. (FREE)
  49. Whip up some fun at a Stew Leonard’s Toddler Cooking Class in Newington.
  50. Plan a playdate at the fabulous and fully-fenced Rainbow Playground in Southington. (FREE)

Great outing for new moms.


So that is our list!

What is on your bucket list for this summer?  Please let us (and all the moms and dads reading this post) know by leaving a comment below.

Oh and if you found this post useful, let us know by hitting the Facebook “like” button at the top of this page and sharing this post with your friends.  Thank you for helping us to spread the word!

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  • 4D Vision Gym – A vision training center located in Cromwell, CT where Dr. Juanita Collier, MS, OD and her staff show members how to utilize Vision Therapy to correct visual issues and make learning and playing easier and more fun.
  • The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT this private pre-school, elementary and middle school serves families from over 20 communities.

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Want to keep up with things to do with kids in Connecticut?

Check back every Tuesday and Thursday as we dish up more Momsense for getting out and about with your little ones. Don’t have time to check back in? Let us send you an automatic notification of new posts straight to your email inbox by signing up here. Also, you can like us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest posts and get some extra tidbits we share only through those sites.



  1. says

    Hi Shawna and Mandy!
    I saw this come summer bucket list post through on my personal Facebook page. Great blog! And we saw Mandy was a mom of twins! We wanted to share your blog on our Twin Z Pillow Facebook! We make pillows for moms of multiples and I know our viewers would love your blog post! We are from NH and our pillow covers are made in Ma! So close to home! Let us know if it be ok to share your summer bucket list with our twin mom Facebook followers?
    Thank you,

  2. Ren says

    In Ansonia the Ansonia Nature Center has kids’ activities. Also the Massaro Community Farm has Farm Days on June 3 from 3- 5, and other activities also.

  3. says

    A summer isnt complete w/out a day at Walnut Beach in Milford CT followed by a walk to get some homemade ice cream at the Walnut Beach Creamery.
    The beach even offers free outdoor music at the Pavilion on Sundays and you can rent Paddle boards, surf boards or mopeds at the local Scoot & Paddle store!
    I love our little town with lots of heart~

  4. says

    Great list! Thanks for the ideas. I’m putting together my own list. I included Red Rooster is Brewster, for the drive-in burger shack and mini-golf. I also plan to take the kids to Storm King in Newburgh and Minnewaska State Park in New Paltz, which are just an hour drive from Danbury.
    Nancy recently posted..Family Mysteries.My Profile

  5. Janice says

    There were a lot on here I’ve never heard of before and that is so great!! With all the parks, why not add Wickham Park in Manchester where there are multiple gardens including a sensory one which is great for the kids. There is a small fee per carload, I think $5? There is a small aviary where they can feed different birds and ducks, a playground, and just expansive open areas on fields where you can set up a blanket for a picnic, in the sun or shade. Its a favored place of myself and every child I’ve brought there loves it and asks to go back to feed “The big blue bird” (Peacock, they have 2 last time I was there and 1 or 2 white ones. Both are beautiful!)

    • Janice says

      I apologize, it is in there, just that the park name is not in pink so it didn’t jump out. But you have the sensory garden and that was my big thing. :) Figures after looking 4 times, writing a comment about it, that in my 5th look, Id find it. Ps, they have a small train that runs in the sensory garden on the weekends. :) Its very cute!

  6. says

    Encounter over 40 life-sized dinosaurs on our Dinosaur Trails in our unique dinosaur park, monkey around at Monty’s Playground, get lost in our A “Maze” asaurus, and cool off at the Splashpad! If you get hungry, fill up at Monty’s Munchies or grab a sweet treat at the Ice Cream Shop. Whether it is an outing with the family, or your favorite kids birthday there are fun family activities for every age.
    CT DayDreamer recently posted..New for 2014! A Jurassic Park Themed Dinosaur EncounterMy Profile

  7. Mamaroo says

    Mandy & Shawna,
    Your blogging is so great to get to new places with the kids! When are you ever home? LOL

    I love learning about all the outdoor places. Here is another to add to summer playdates- Fernridge park splashpad and playground on Fern Red. In WHTFD. Also Rockwell park in Bristol renovated a couple years back and hey have a huge splashpad great for little ones and older kids alike with adjacent playground. Not lots of shade by the splashpad so bring an umbrella if that’s a concern. That is by far one our family’s fun FREE go tos when the weather might be questionable for heading to the pool. Thanks for all your info…looking forward to reading more. Maybe we’ll run into you at one of the summer bucket list locations!

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