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Nestled within New England, Connecticut is a gem of a state, brimming with family-friendly attractions just waiting to do be discovered. Best known for its untouched nature, buttered lobster rolls, prestigious universities, and fantastic amusement parks, it’s guaranteed that families of all ages can spend an unforgettable vacation here.
If you’re looking for fun things to do in New England, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Depending on your unique preferences, you can decide on a nature-themed trip, a vacation on the coast if you’ll be visiting during the summer months, or to one of the state’s family-friendly theme parks.
Connecticut is conveniently located in the middle of New England, making it easy to do quick and easy day trips to other nearby states. Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire are all within just a few hour’s drive away.
If you want to stay inside the state boundaries, focus on visiting some of those we porpose. If you’re looking for things to do in CT with toddlers, you’ll find plenty of parks, playgrounds, and attractions geared towards little ones.
Connecticut is a fantastic New England destination, just waiting to be discovered! If you’re looking for things to do near or in Connecticut, keep reading this article until the end to discover our best family-friendly tips.
Spend the day in nature at Wadsorth Falls State Park
Want to spend the day outside exploring some of the most magnificent nature in Connecticut? Head over to Wadsorth Falls State Park in Middletown. The public recreation area is free to enter and offers over 285 hiking trails, fishing, biking, swimming, and picnic areas. There are plenty of scenic overlook points where you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding natural areas as well. Depending on the ages of your group and your unique preferences, you can decide on the best way to spend your day at the park. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Connecticut with kids, look no further!
Wadsworth Falls State Park sits along the Coginchaug River and boasts stunning waterfalls. There are two separate natural waterfalls located within the park grounds, which can be reached by the Big Falls hiking trail and the Little Falls hiking trail.
Wadsworth Falls State Park is one of the best things to do in Connecticut because of the sheer number of outdoor activities offered here. If you’re interested in hiking during your visit, decide on which trail you’ll explore. Different trails are marked by different colors, making it easy to stick to your trail of choice. The most popular trail to hike is the Wadsworth Falls Loop, which is 3.6 miles long and has an elevation gain of 364 feet. Bear in mind that it takes around 1.5 hours to complete the entire hike, so it may not be suitable for young children or elderly. However, it is generally considered an easy route, it is flat in many areas and there are a few scenic spots along the way. Little Falls Trail and Big Falls Trail are the best ones to choose if you want to see the waterfalls. The names stay true to the falls they lead to, as Little Falls trail leads to a small cascade while Big Falls Trail leads to the largest waterfall in the park.
Swimming and picnicking are allowed in designated areas. If you’re visiting during the summer months and would like to swim, go to the pond near the park’s north entrance at 721 Wadsworth Street. The swimming hole is small, but it is safe for kids and young swimmers. Be sure to pack all the food and drinks you’ll need during your park visit, and don’t leave anything behind when you leave.
If you enjoy mountain biking, you can go on the marked trails. Trout fishing is popular here, but be sure to follow the state’s fishing rules and only fish in designated fishing areas.
There’s not a better way to spend time in nature with your family in Connecticut than with a visit to Wadsworth Falls State Park! If you’re looking for fun, outdoor things to do in Connecticut with kids during spring, summer, or fall, this is your best bet.
Enjoy a day at Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort
Whether you’ll be visiting Connecticut during fall, spring, summer, or winter, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the family-friendly activities offered at Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort. Set in the heart of Connecticut, the 225 acre ski resort is best known for its ski runs and trails during the winter, and excellent powdery white snow. It’s the best place to enjoy winter sports in the state, with snowboarding, skiing, snow tubing, and more!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Connecticut in the winter, look no further. Whether your family are experienced skiers or total beginners, Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort offers the perfect setting to ski. Kids can learn to ski on the bunny slopes and with ski lessons instructed by the expert staff members here. There are over 22 trails in total for skiers to enjoy, 4 lifts, and night-skiing is a popular activity here as well. Tubing is fun for everyone, and is like sledding, except better! Fly down hillsides and mini-mountains on giant inflatable tubes as you share your favorite nostalgic winter activity alongside your kids. Ski and snowboard rentals and gear are available here.
If you’ll be visiting Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort during a time of year when the ground isn’t covered with snow, you’ll still find plenty of ways to enjoy the park. Zip along the treetops on the Zip Lines. Enjoy some rounds of disc golf, or go mountain biking in the forested trails. You can still go tubing even when there isn’t snow on the ground on the synthetic tubing carpets! It’s the only summer mountain tubing park in New England.
A visit to Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort is an excellent choice for outdoor activities in CT and is by far one of the best things to do in Connecticut. However, we’ve saved our number one Connecticut family adventure for last.
Lake Compounce is a place filled with history and is America’s first and oldest theme park. There’s not a better place to enjoy family-friendly fun between the amusement park and water park attractions. Keep on reading to learn more about the fun adventures awaiting you at Lake Compounce!
Welcome to the Official Park of Family Fun since 1846
If you’re wondering what to do in Connecticut, look no further. Lake Compounce is the ultimate fun family adventure offered in the state. The amusement park has it all! From water park fun, to top-rated roller coasters, to rides for every member of the family! It has been serving families since it opened in 1846, making the park experts in family-friendly fun and entertainment.
Spend your day exploring the many rides and attractions throughout the park. You’ll find everything from thrill rides to roller coasters, to classic rides, kiddie rides, water attractions, and more! There’s not a better way to enjoy a day filled with endless fun alongside your family members.
Hold on to your hats at the park’s many thrill rides, which are designed for thrill-seekers young and old. Lake Compounce is home to Boulder Dash, which has been rated as the top wooden roller coaster in the world five times by Amusement Today. Take a ride on Boulder Dash through the woods as you hold on tight and laugh your way through the twists and turns. Brave ones can take a ride of Phobia Phear Coaster, which reaches speeds up to 65 miles per hour combined with hair-raising heights, speedy drops, and tummy twisting rolls. Satisfy your inner thrill-seeker at Drop Zone, which is a mini drop tower designed for the littlest adrenaline junkies. These are just a few of many of the park’s best thrill rides.
Little ones can enjoy the colorful kiddie rides, which are scattered all throughout the park. Go for a ride aboard the Compounce Railway. Or, fly high in the sky on the Flying Elephants. Get behind the wheel and drive around on the Little Critters. Twist and shout on the spinning Drum Circus. Unearth fossils at the Dino Expedition area. Be sure not to leave before going for a nostalgic ride on the Fantasy Carousel!
If you’ll be visiting the park during the summer months, be sure to bring your bathing suit and pool towels and make a splash on the water rides in Crocodile Cove! Crocodile Cove, the water park area of Lake Compounce is filled with water play areas for kids and adults of all ages. Splash down the Storm Surge waterslide. Go for a family rafting adventure down Mammoth Falls, or cool off in the wavy waters of Bayou Bay. Enjoy a relaxing float down Croc-O-Nile, or plunge down Tunnel Twisters. A day spent at the water park attractions of Lake Compounce & Crocodile Cove is the perfect way to cool off and have fun this summer.
Between all the fun and action, you’ll be sure to work up quite the appetite during your park visit. Luckily, you’ll have a mouthwatering selection of restaurants, snack shacks, and beverage options to choose from. Grab a delicious slice at Harborside Pizza. Enjoy a burger with fries at Johnny Rockets, or choose from an incredible menu of spuds at The Potato Patch. Whatever you’re craving, you’ll be sure to find it at Lake Compounce!
Join in on the fun at one of the many year-round events hosted by Lake Compounce. Get ready for frights all night during Phantom Fall Fest in October. Or visit the park all lit up during Holiday Lights in December. Events at Lake Compounce are suitable for the whole family and are one of the best things to do in Connecticut!
Want to make the fun last even longer? Stay overnight at Lake Compounce Campground to enjoy a quality camping experience with your family. It’s conveniently located just steps away from the park and offers a variety of accommodations including RV spaces, tent sites, cabins, and tipis.
What are you waiting for? Come create unforgettable memories with your family on the rides, attractions, and events at Lake Compounce! Even better yet, purchase season passes to enjoy unlimited visits to the park.