The unofficial start of summer has arrived and we are ready to help you plan your season of fun!
For the second year in a row, Shawna and I have put together a list of over 50 destinations, activities, and events that your family is sure to enjoy. These are places we have personally been to with our families and written about on our blog. Not only do we provide you with this handy list, but we’ve also included a link to our blog post about the destination so you can get all the details you’ve come to expect from Out and About Mom. Just like our 2014 Summer Bucket List, it was hard to keep this list to just 50 places as there are so many wonderful activities available in (and around) Connecticut during the summer months. But we think our bucket list will be a great starting point for you summer planning!
So, get your calendar out, start reserving your museum passes, and get ready to plan some great family-friendly adventures with our 2015 Summer Bucket List for the Connecticut Mom.
Of course this list isn’t just for moms, it is for ANY caregiver looking for outing inspiration in the Connecticut area. And, just like last year, we’ve included a few extras in the list such as noting FREE activities and highlighting (♥) activities that would be perfect for a new mom with a young baby in tow (we’ve been there!).
We hope you enjoy our 2015 Summer Bucket List for the Connecticut Mom and that you and your family have a wonderful season filled with amazing adventures!
Here we go (listed in no particular order) . . .
- Go strawberry picking and enjoy a bakery treat at Dondero Orchards in South Glastonbury. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Sneak in a little learning and guarantee a lot of fun with a class or event at The Little Green Tambourine in Canton.
- Get your toes wet in the brook and enjoy the playgrounds at Salmon Brook Park in Granby. (FREE)
- Soak up the sun at Hole in the Wall Beach and then enjoy some playground time at McCook Point Park in Niantic. (Access to the beach restricted during the week due to construction)
- See the beautiful waterfalls, take a family hike, and then go for a swim at Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown. (FREE)
- Let your child explore their artistic side at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. (Museum Pass may be available)
- Visit with animals, go on a nature walk, and let the kids play on the natural playground at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Stamford. (Museum Pass may be available)
- Take advantage of the new FREE class offerings at the Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester. (Museum Pass may be available)
- Let the kids be surrounded by butterflies at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens in South Deerfield, MA.
- Enjoy a delicious glass of local wine while the kids play at Lost Acres Vineyard in North Granby. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Pick blueberries and visit with the alpacas and goats at Auerfarm in Bloomfield. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Check out the new Dinosaur attraction, all the fun kiddie rides, and the water park at Lake Compounce in Bristol.
- Devour a lobster roll at Lobster Landing in Clinton. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Relax while the kids watch a FREE movie at Bow Tie Cinemas in Hartford, Stamford, and Trumbull. (FREE)
- Enjoy the fully fenced-in playground at Hubbard Park in Meriden. (FREE) ♥
- Check out the brand new exhibit at Kidcity in Middletown. (Museum Pass may be available)
- Take a day trip to Boston and spend some time at the Boston Children’s Museum.
- Cool off at either the Fernridge Park or Wolcott Park spray pads in West Hartford. (FREE)
- Take the kids for a swim or hike at the Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury. (FREE on weekdays) ♥
- Enjoy a nature walk and some rock skipping on the pond at Fisher Meadows in Avon. (FREE) ♥
- Go fly a kite and enjoy a scenic picnic lunch at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford. ♥
- Go on a family bike ride on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Avon. (FREE) ♥
- Take a family hike and check out the beautiful views from Cedar Ridge Overlook at Penwood State Park in Bloomfield. (FREE) ♥
- Spend a Sunday at the Coventry Regional Farmers Market (It is their 12th and Final year!) (FREE to visit) ♥
- Spend time with penguins, sea lions, and farm animals at Central Park Zoo in New York City.
- Saddle up for a pony ride at Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Wave to Beluga whales and catch the sea lion show at Mystic Aquarium. (Museum Pass may be available)
- Come face to face with a giraffe at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI. (Museum Pass may be available)
- Enjoy a scoop of Dirty Barn Shoes or another famous ice cream flavor while you pet the animals at Robb’s Farm in Glastonbury. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Have some fun (and food) in the sun plus playtime for the little ones with a combo farmers’ market/playground outing at the South Windsor Farmers’ Market (then play at nearby My Friend’s Place Boundless Playground) or the Wethersfield Farmers’ Market (just across the street from Mikey’s Place Playground). (FREE to visit) ♥
- Explore the family-friendly 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)
- Pick peaches at Belltown Hill Orchards in Glastonbury. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Discover the beautiful grounds, visit fine feathered friends at the Aviary and find the model train in the Sensory Garden at Wickham Park in Manchester.
- Cool off with some seriously homemade ice cream (the milk comes straight from their own cows!) at the UConn Dairy Bar, and then wander through the nearby UConn animal barns–which are free and open to the public–in Storrs. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Surprise a friend or family member with a beautiful bouquet of pick-your-own flowers from Petersen Farm in South Windsor. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Dine seaside at Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Ride the wagon out to pick blueberries and raspberries at Rose’s Berry Farm in Glastonbury. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Enjoy delicious lobster rolls and ice cream from the Snack Shack and discover the Faerie Village at Jessica’s Garden in Marlborough. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Take a picnic to Bodie’s Place Playground in Milford. (FREE)
- 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)♥
- Hunt for treasures and find some family-friendly al fresco dining in Putnam, CT. (FREE to visit) ♥
- Indulge in cheeseburgers and ice cream at the oh-so-retro Shady Glen Diner in Manchester.
- Go shopping at the Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market in Guilford.♥
- Take a morning dip at Eastbury Pond in Glastonbury.
- Tour the Springfield Museums, then picnic at the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, MA.
- Ride bikes or stroll along the Air Line State Park Trail in Hebron and nearby areas. (FREE) ♥
- 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.
- Drop in for some cookie baking and decorating at The Cookie Workshop in Trumbull.
- Escape the heat with one of the daily kids’ activities offered at Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester. (FREE)
- Plan a playdate at the fabulous and fully-fenced Josh’s Jungle Playground in Hamden. (FREE)
♥ Great outing for new moms.
Please note that some of the suggested outings are businesses that have been or are currently sponsors of our site. Any opinions expressed here, however, are 100% our own.
Looking for even more inspiration for your summer calendar?
Here are a few oldie (but goodie) posts where we’ve summarized some great outing ideas.
- 50 FREE Activities to do with Kids in the Summer
- 50 Outings for 2015
- Big List of Connecticut Playgrounds
- Children’s Museums in Connecticut
- Children’s Museums in RI, MA, & NY
- Fenced-in Playgrounds
- Ice Cream Destinations in Connecticut
- Museum Membership and Reciprocity
- 2014 Summer Bucket List
- Swimming Destinations
- Touch-a-Truck Events
- Transportation-Inspired Outings
And if your adventure schedule is still not complete, check out our Places We’ve Been Page for a full list of the blog posts we’ve written over the last few years.
That’s it for now!
We hope our summer bucket list has inspired you to start your summer planning. There is so much to see and do in (and around) Connecticut and summer can be the perfect time to check out many of these great destinations. Have fun!
Shawna & Mandy
- 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.
- 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.
- The Little Green Tambourine – Located in Canton, CT, this healthy living creative arts studio offers a variety of opportunities for kids to learn and play.
- 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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