Today’s post is brought to you by The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. Don’t miss their upcoming presentation that is perfect for your littlest theater goers: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE! coming up on January 8, 2017 at 3:00pm.
Join Daniel Tiger and his friends as they hop aboard the trolley and explore their beloved Neighborhood of Make-Believe in this live theatrical production filled with singing, dancing, laughter and “grr-ific” surprises.
It’s an interactive musical adventure that will delight the young and the young at heart!
Purchase tickets or get more information about Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE! here. VIP tickets include access to a post show Meet and Greet with Daniel and friends!
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT OUT AND ABOUT MOM!
Holiday break. It’s such a mixed blessing. On the one hand, we’re completely free of schedules, routines and daily responsibilities. On the other hand…we’re completely free of schedules, routines and daily responsibilities. Ack! The whole week stretches before us like a blank canvas. And then the kiddos ask: “what are we going to do today?”
Well, this year, we’re going to help you answer that question. Every. Single. Day. Because we’ve got over a week’s worth of awesome ideas for the upcoming holiday break. And the best part is, you are going to love these activities as much as your kiddos will!
Now, as always, these are all places that we have been to and blogged about. But some of those posts might be showing their age a bit. So please, be sure to check the websites of each of these destinations for the most up-to-date information, especially for things like hours and admission. We’ve included links to each destination’s website and Facebook page (where available)–along with a link to our original OAAM post for a helpful sneak peek–right here in this post. So it’s more than a list of outing ideas, it’s a go-to resource you can bookmark now and use all week long.
So check out our outing inspiration for your 2016 holiday break. This is gonna be fun!
1. Connecticut River Museum Holiday Train Show
The 23rd Annual Holiday Train Show at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, CT let’s you savor the holiday spirit into the new year (this year’s event runs until February 20, 2017). Visitors can challenge themselves to a scavenger hunt of various objects hidden within the train layout, while the littlest engineers can get hands-on at an American Flyer and Lionel Train layout designed for toddler-size viewing. An added bonus: during the holiday break week you can treat your older kiddos (ages 6-12) to one of three unique morning workshops taking place at The Museum. Preregistration required for morning workshops.
2. Bright Nights
Keep the holiday spirit burning bright until the new year at Bright Nights, just over the border in Springfield, MA. This massive holiday light display stretches for 3 miles and is the perfect excuse to get bundled up, grab a hot beverage and spend an evening “ooo-ing” and “ahh-ing” over illuminated representations of Noah’s Ark, Jurassic World, Toy Land, a Victorian Village, Seuss Land and more! Admission is by the carload, making it a pretty budget-friendly activity. Plus, we’ve even found a coupon for you to save $3!
3. JumpingClay USA
Bring your artsy/craftsy kiddos to JumpingClay USA in Enfield, CT for a truly one-of-a-kind creative experience (seriously, this is the only studio of its kind in this whole country! no joke!). Here they’ll learn simple techniques for transforming the signature clay into cute creatures and other fun objects. This winter break you’ll find projects like penguins, snowmen, reindeer, mittens and my personal favorite: Hot Chocolate Moose 🙂 Look for special pre-school workshops each morning for your beginner sculptors. Preregistration required. Check their Facebook Page for the latest holiday vacation schedule.
4. Maritime Aquarium
Don’t let the cold weather keep you from visiting with fantastic and friendly sea creatures! The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT is an indoor aquarium that’s the perfect destination for nature-loving kiddos during the winter months. In addition to perennial favorites like the Shark and Ray Touch Pool and the Jiggle a Jelly, not to mention river otters, sea turtles and seals, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s you can spot a shark-diving Santa in The Aquarium’s 110,000-gallon “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit. Santa in a scuba suit? It’s not exactly how most folks would choose to de-stress after a night delivering presents to about a billion children, but hey, we won’t judge 🙂
5. Pez Visitor Center
In case you didn’t get enough treats during the holiday season, you can take a sweet trip to the Pez Visitor Center in Orange, CT. This unique destination is one part nostalgia, one part sugar binge and definitely one part eye candy. From displays of vintage Pez dispensers and era-specific toys, to fill-your-own Pez buckets, video postcards and an interactive trivia game for hands-on fun, this colorful walk down memory lane will make you feel like a kid again. Please note that the production floor will not be operational during the holiday break week.
6. IT Adventure Indoor Ropes Course
If you’re looking for a challenging (and fun!) activity for the whole family, look no further than the IT Adventure Indoor Ropes Course located inside the Jordan’s Furniture location in New Haven, CT. There’s a pint-sized course for the little ones (under 48 inches tall), soaring climbing walls and the main attraction: a gigantic ropes course filled with twists, turns, bridges, zip lines, plank walks, rope ladders and more! (Kids who measure at least 42 inches can participate in all activities if accompanied by an adult.) There’s also a spectacular choreographed fountain show, a pizza place and an ice cream counter. Like I said, something for everyone 🙂
7. Chocolate Works
If you’re looking for a truly indulgent outing, head to Chocolate Works in Darien, CT. This NEW sweet spot offers drop-in chocolate making activities that allow kiddos to have their fun and eat it too. Mold and decorate a chocolate shape, send cookies through a chocolate “car wash” and drench some fruit in a chocolate fountain. Oh, and just try to resist the oodles of loose candy in bins stretched as far as the eye can see. Eat your heart out, Willy Wonka 🙂
8. Veterans Memorial Ice Skating Rink
Nothing says winter quite like donning a pair of ice skates and gliding across a smooth-as-glass skating rink. If you’ve got the need for speed, take your family to Veterans Memorial Ice Skating Rink in West Harford, CT, which offers public skating to both residents and nonresidents of that town (non-resident rates are slightly higher). Normally, the rink features toddler-friendly skate times on select weekday mornings (make a note for January!), but during the holiday break all public skating sessions will be open to all. You can find the detailed 2016-2017 schedule here.
We think that should be more than enough to keep you busy for the next week and a half or so, but if you’re still looking for more ideas for things to do, check out our Places We’ve Been Page for hundreds (we’re not kidding!) of additional outings and destinations.
It’s been another wonderful year here at Out and About Mom! As always, we are so grateful for our amazing readers who follow our posts, give us great tips on outings to try, inspire us with their own adventures and help support us on our mission to make exploring someplace new with your family a little less stressful and a whole lot more fun.
Speaking of family fun, this is also the time of year when we take a little break from our weekly blogging so that we can focus more fully on holiday celebrations and activities with family and friends. You may see us pop up on Facebook now an then, but for the next two weeks, we won’t be blogging about our adventures.
Of course, we’re already making our list (and checking it twice) of outings for the new year. And there are some good ones on deck!
We hope everyone has a happy, safe and memorable holiday season filled with love, laugher and lots of family time, and we are looking forward to another year of “scouting your outings!”
See you in ’17 🙂
Shawna & Mandy
Interested in advertising opportunities with Out and About Mom? Get more info here.
Want to keep up with things to do with kids in Connecticut?
Check back every week 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 and follow us on Instagram to keep up with the latest posts and get some extra tidbits we share only through those sites.