Parents, grandparents, and caretakers are always on the hunt for some educational, but fun children’s activities. Get outside and into Connecticut’s nature for hands-on activities or beat the heat indoors with a visit to one of Connecticut’s fine museums. There is no shortage of activities to enjoy with the whole family.
Head to Connecticut’s capital for a hands-on day of science fun for babies, children, tweens, and teens at the Connecticut Science Center. Your budding engineer will love the Invention Dimension LEGO room and teens might find it at least a bit cool to hang out among the flowers in the rooftop garden. There is even a place for the littlest scientists in the KidSpace meant for children under seven.
Fun for the whole family, learn about Connecticut’s past as a whaling and seafaring community at the educational yet fun Mystic Seaport. With their numerous events and newly opened (and gorgeous) Thompson Building that holds current exhibitions, you could easily spend an entire day exploring all there is to offer here. At Mystic Seaport, explore the old whaling ships, play old-fashioned games, or marvel at the cooper or blacksmith.
Learn about the underwater world at the Mystic Aquarium. Visitors will have the chance to see penguins and sharks, find Dory, or even get their little hands wet in the touch tanks. They also have several great events for kids of all ages (and adults) including the wonderful Toddler Tuesday, with activities and games for those just learning to walk.
Learn about Connecticut’s nature at the Audubon-Sharon Raptor Center through their hiking trails, live animal exhibits, and events. This nature center spans 3,000 acres and works to conserve Connecticut’s forests for birds and other animal species. An awesome upcoming event at the Audubon-Sharon Center, called Raptors & Riesling, celebrates their work rehabilitating 747 birds last year and gives children the chance to meet their resident raptors.
RiverQuest of Connecticut offers the very cool opportunity to cruise the Connecticut River while spotting eagles, osprey, and Connecticut landmarks such as Gillette’s Castle. These educational tours are appropriate for children 10 and over and the guides will provide abundant information about Connecticut’s birds. For littler kids, they also have a Kids Cruise that is meant to teach children to use binoculars to observe birds.
Learn to give names to the stars in the night sky at the John McCarthy Observatory. Plan to attend one of their nighttime events where you can spot the stars or learn to use a telescope. During the day, see the massive scaled solar system model, which can be found in 12 locations in New Milford.
Explore nature and meet friendly farm animals at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. At the Henri Bendel mansion, visitors can marvel at the beautiful gardens dotted with Italian sculptures and inside, they can absorb the art, Native American, and natural history exhibits. In the nearby ponds, visitors can visit friendly otters in an indoor enclosure or head to the Heckscher Farm to meet charismatic farm animals.
Kids interested in machines and transportation will surely love the New England Air Museum. Exhibited at this museum are over 100 aircrafts, models of airships, and information about the history of aircrafts, important historical figures, and memorials to those lost in battles.
Teach your kids to read GPS coordinates by participating in Connecticut’s active geocaching scene. For the uninitiated, geocaching is an activity in which participants hunt for a hidden object using GPS coordinates that have been posted online. Geocaching is a free activity to participate in and there are numerous locations to find hidden objects all over Connecticut including in Bigelow Hollow State Park, Beaver Brook State Park, Gay City State Park, Macedonia Brook State Park, and many more.