It’s January, and we’re all making New Year’s resolutions. And while goals like clearing the clutter or exercising more are worthy indeed, sometimes they are not the most fun to actually follow through with. Am I right?
So we think you should add one more resolution to your list; one that you’ll actually look forward to fulfilling this year. How about we all resolve to have more fun with our kids in 2015?
Of course, we know that getting “out and about” with our little ones can sometimes be challenging, especially when you’re going somewhere new and unfamiliar (Where do I park? Can I use a stroller? Am I allowed to bring food with me? Will there be a changing table in the restroom? Do I need cash for anything?). That’s where we come in!
To keep you on track, we’ve combed through our ever-growing list of places we’ve been and selected our top choices to come up with 50 outings to try in 2015. And since we’ve actually been to and blogged about every single one of these destinations, you can get our signature first-hand preview of them all.
So get ready for a full year of family fun! We have a feeling this will be one New Year’s resolution you won’t have any trouble sticking to 🙂
- Climb inside the cockpits of historic aircraft at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks.
- Cut a rug at the drop-in Tots and Tunes Class or curl up in front of the fireplace with a cup of coffee while the kids read and play at the Farmington Library in Farmington.
- Let the kids bounce around anytime at Bounce Town USA in Milford.
- See the jellyfish, sharks, seals and more at the indoor Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk.
- Let your child burn off a lot of energy by taking them to Flight Trampoline Park in New Britain.
- Let your little one try out their artistic skills while learning about famous picture book artists at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.
- Check out the BRAND NEW mini medieval village playroom at Kidcity Children’s Museum in Middletown.
- Drop in for a Saturday Morning Art Class at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain.
- Plan a day trip to the Boston Children’s Museum in Boston, Massachusetts where you’ll find a huge selection of activities for kids of all ages, including a whole room devoted to kids ages 3 and under (and don’t forget to take advantage of your reciprocal museum membership!).
- Encourage your budding little chef with a Kids’ Cooking Class at Stew Leonard’s in Newington.
- Splish and splash in the amazing water table room and discover many other exciting exhibits at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford.
- Marvel at the magnificent model train layout at Time Machine Toy & Hobby in Manchester.
- See hundreds of real dinosaur footprints at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill.
- Play pretend, visit the animals or take a class at the Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester.
- Meet some friends (yours and the kiddos’!) for a playdate at Tot Town, an amazing indoor playspace in Brookfield (it’s open every day of the week and they serve coffee; yay!).
- Indulge your sweet tooth at the Pez Museum and Visitor’s Center in Orange.
- Drop in for a class or playtime at the Noah Webster Library in West Hartford.
- Have some outdoor fun indoors at TimberGyms in Newington.
- Visit the Children’s Museum and ride the Carousel at Holyoke Heritage State Park in nearby Holyoke, Massachusetts.
- Ride the rails with everyone’s favorite steam engine at Day Out With Thomas (April/May–get ticket information here!) or have some Big Top fun on The Circus Train (July–get ticket information here!) at the Essex Steam Train in Essex.
- Be among the first riders to take a spin on the historic and newly refurbished Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford once it reopens this spring!
- Get behind the wheel at a Touch A Truck event like the ones in Glastonbury or Enfield.
- Check out the NEW Playground at Riverfront Park in Glastonbury.
- Find yourself surrounded by thousands of beautiful butterflies at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.
- Discover the Zoo at Forest Park in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.
- Practice your animal sounds with the farmyard residents at Flamig Farm in Simsbury.
- Participate in pretend play and creative exploration at the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut (and if it’s summertime, then head across the street for a beach day at Hole in the Wall Beach) in Niantic.
- Plan a playdate at the completely fenced-in Buckingham Road Playground in Avon with its multiple playscapes and covered picnic area.
- Visit with dozens of farm animals and take a pony ride at Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam.
- Step back in time with the famous cheeseburgers and ice cream at Shady Glen diner in Manchester.
- Encourage even your littlest learner to discover and play at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk with its wide range of activities for kids of all ages, including a great area specially designed for ages 0-3.
- Pick your own delicious fruit (and pick up some delicious goodies at the Apple Barrel store) at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield.
- Enjoy a casual Sunday morning treat with a homemade breakfast at Rose’s Berry Farm in Glastonbury (June-October).
- Pick your own flowers at Petersen Farm in South Windsor (July-September).
- Spend a summer afternoon at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford.
- Enjoy a FREE Summer Concert at Elizabeth Park in Hartford (June-August).
- Cool off with a swim in the summer or explore the outdoors year-round at Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury.
- Play all day at the Lake Compounce amusement and water parks (May-September).
- Take a ferry ride to Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam and enjoy a picnic with beautiful views.
- Plan a day trip to the Roger Williams Park Zoo (and/or the Providence Children’s Museum) in Providence, Rhode Island.
- Get up close and personal with the Beluga Whales at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic.
- Explore Northwest Park in Windsor with its animal barn, playground, picnic areas, nature center and hiking trails.
- Sample some homemade ice cream and visit the horses, cows and sheep at the UConn Dairy Bar and Animal Barns in Storrs.
- Get lost in the Garden’s Dream Farm Corn Maze in Enfield (August-October).
- Take a train ride to the pumpkin patch at the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston (October).
- Walk, run, bike (or push a stroller!) on the historic Airline State Park Trail in Hebron (and other eastern CT towns).
- Jump in the haystack, pick turnips and feed the cows on the Hurst Farm Hayride in Andover (October).
- Wear your wings to the Wee Faerie Village at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme (October).
- Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, see the elves in action, and check out the live reindeer at Santa’s Christmas Village in Torrington (December).
- Go ice skating at Winterfest in Bushnell Park in Hartford (November-February).
So there you have it! Our top 50 for 2015. We hope you have a wonderful time exploring our state and making memories with your family this year. And to make your outings even more convenient, we’ve put together a board on Pinterest where you can find links to all of these outings PLUS an interactive map showing you exactly where to find each destination.
Don’t forget to let us know how you’re doing with this challenge. Tell us how many places you’ve made it to so far in 2015!
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – The state’s only free-standing hospital that offers comprehensive, world-class health care to children. Based in Hartford, Connecticut Children’s also provides services at several locations throughout the state.
- Family Dental Practice of Bloomfield – Located in Bloomfield, this dental practice offers Family Dental Care, Invisalign, Cosmetic Dentistry, and IV Sedation. Visit their calm, convenient location with a friendly staff and state of the art technology. Kids are welcome!
- 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.
- Mandell JCC – The Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, welcomes and serves families and individuals of all ages, stages, backgrounds and faiths. Our fitness, wellness and recreation, arts and culture, camp, early childhood education programs, classes, clubs and services are open to all. You Belong Here!
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